DAVID Prieto's 89th-minute winner sealed a dramatic comeback for Prestwich as they returned to action with a 4-3 victory at home to Roach Dynamos.

The Hopwood Hall College were twice two goals behind but scored three in the final 15 minutes to put their promotion bid back on the rails.

A brace from Dave Thompson, following a first-half strike from Steven Murty, put Mike Kosub's men back on level terms before Prieto's late, late show ensured they moved up to fourth place in Division One of the Lancashire Amateur League.

The outcome was testimony to the fitness levels and obduracy of the lads as prior to the late surge it had been a poor performance all round, making any serious push for one of the two promotion places a distant dream.

Whether or not it was due to the lengthy lay off, having not played since a 2-2 draw at Whitworth Valley on December 12, it was hard to say.

But the below-par display against a side that had won just three matches all season was all the more baffling given that Prestwich had virtually a full-strength squad, apart from Darren Buckley, who’s anticipated return had stalled after he aggravated a long-standing injury in training.

From the onset there was a lack of cohesion in Prestwich’s play as they conceded possession cheaply with wayward passing out of defence.

Roach were playing a far better game than their lowly league position (11th) suggested, defending deep, denying space and breaking with speed and purpose.

Having survived a couple of scares it came as no surprise when Roach took the lead in the sixth minute when a break down the right resulted in a long cross to the far post which saw their big centre forward leap above a static Sam Holden to plant the ball beyond Mike Hudson.

The pattern continued with sloppy passing from deep and the normally so effective wide men Murty and Mike Neary running blindly at players in congested areas.

There was the odd break. Matt Struminski played in Sean Haslam but he squirmed his shot wide under pressure from his marker.

Roach continued to look dangerous on the break and in their strong central strikers had the ideal foils for making long balls stick. They also had a tricky left winger that was giving right back Andy Davies lots of problems.

Hudson made an excellent save, turning a low drive from the left round the post, before Roach added a second goal on 40 minutes through a 20-yard drive.

Prestwich briefly rose from their slumber just before half time when Murty jinxed his way through on the left to coolly sweep the ball past the keeper to reduce the arrears before the break.

The home side improved somewhat in the second period without ever quite reaching the levels of quick-passing football they have previously shown they are capable off.

Haslam's day went from bad to worse as he missed two further gilt-edged.

Having lost Richard Steadman through injury in the first half and up against a couple of decent strikers, the defence continued to be vulnerable to long balls, and Roach made it 3-1 on 55 mins with a nicely taken lob over Hudson.

Buoyed by the goal Roach were rampant and Prestwich could easily have capitulated completely, with only Hudson and some desperate defending to thank for not conceding any more.

Gradually, following the introduction of substitutes Thompson and Quentin Jacob, they started to claw their way back in the game as the visitors tired.

Prieto dropped deeper and began driving at the Roach defence, while Thompson offered more of a goal threat.

Still, it took a hotly disputed 75th-minute penalty following a foul on Thompson, which he converted, to spark Prestwich into life.

Neary then set up the leveller three minutes later, powering into the box before his blocked shot fell to Thompson, who lashed the ball home from 20 yards.

Prieto's winner, when it came, was an absolute peach. He picked the ball up near the left touchline, twisted and turned before smashing the ball high into the net from a tight angle.

Prestwich had to sweat for five minutes of injury time as Roach search for the equaliser, but Murty was unlucky not to add to his tally on the break.

Weather permitting, Kosub's men travel to second-bottom on Saturday, kick off 2pm.