PRESTWICH Heys overcame an early shock to romp to a 6-1 win over Manchester Gregorians last Saturday to remain top of the Manchester League Premier Division.

The hardy souls who braved the rain at Eccles College were treated to some superb football as Jon Lyons’ side maintained their lead above second-placed Royton on goal difference, with the top two due to play at Royton on Saturday.

Heys chances of maintaining their advantage looked bleak early on as Gregs started at a rip-roaring pace to pen them in their own half.

Inside the opening minute, goalkeeper Rob Sadler was called into action as he scurried across his goal to palm away a Tom Ward shot.

Marcus Adiqun then saw a shot deflected wide as Heys struggled to gain any possession.

From the ensuing corner the early onslaught paid dividends for Gregs when Matt Dodwell rose to head home and give his side a seventh-minute lead.

Heys dug in and levelled in the 13th minute when Jamie Baguley headed home from a Max White corner.

In a fast paced game, Heys' passing and movement began to wear Gregs down.

A last-ditch tackle thwarted Baguley as he bore down on goal and it then took a great fingertip save by Dan Wolstenholme to keep out a rasping Paul Tierney shot.

Firmly in the ascendancy, Heys took command of the game with two goals in as many minutes just before half time.

Max White unleashed a stunning, curling free kick from 25 yard in the 43rd minute that beat Wolstensholme inside his near post.

The lead was increased on the stroke of half time when Lee Bruce headed powerfully home from a Tierney corner.

The game was soon put to bed after half time as Heys scored two goals within five minutes of the restart, making it four in seven minutes either side of the break.

A great ball by White to Dalton McLaughlin saw the latter's cross cause all kinds of confusion in the Gregs defence and the ball was turned into the net by an opposition defender.

Then Bruce broke down the right, cut inside and teed up Tierney to finish from close range

Heys had the ball in the net again in the 52nd minute but it was ruled out for offside.

The tidal wave continued towards Gregs' goal. Wes Bancroft was denied by Wolstensholme and saw a shot deflected wide. McLaughlin's long-range effort whistled pass the post and then a close-range Tierney header was scrambled off the line.

An emphatic win was rounded off five minutes from time when great interplay between White and McLaughlin saw the latter's sublime pass release Bancroft, who this time was not to be denied as he drew the keeper and slotted home.

Heys have three games in hand over Royton, who won 4-1 at Stockport Georgians and entertain Heys on Saturday, 3.15pm kick off, with the pair five points clear of the rest.

Heys Reserves strengthened their position at the top of Division Two with a 4-1 win at Manchester Gregorians Reserves.

Like the first team, they came from behind to win with goals from Matt Jolly, Jon Stephenson and two from Steve Charles. They host Leigh Athletic on Saturday, kick off 2pm.