PRESTWICH HEYS 1 ALSAGER TOWN 2

Heys were left feeling deflated as they slipped to a 2-1 defeat after being undone by a late Alsager rally at Adie Moran Park.

In front of the biggest crowd of the season, 119, Heys controlled the game for long periods and led through a 17th-minute Paul Tierney goal.

Jon Lyons' side might have added to their tally as they pushed the unbeaten visitors back with some fine football but in the final quarter things turned sour for Heys as the visitors clinched victory with two goals from set pieces.

Heys were quickly into their stride and went close in the third minute as Danny White’s deft pass picked out Tierney who lifted his shot just over.

As both sides pressed and probed it was Heys looking the more incisive and only a last-ditch cover tackle kept out Greg Wills after a fine run by Darius Photiou.

Alsager has their moments too, particularly when their top scorer Michael Lennon was on the ball, but by and large it was the hosts setting the pace and in the 17th minute they took the lead.

As Alsager struggled to clear from a corner, Tierney bravely nipped in ahead of the onrushing keeper to head home from White's flick on.

Playing with confidence Heys moved the ball around to stretch the visitors. Erike Sousa got through one on one with Chris Fletcher but the keeper raced from his line to save and then White just failed to get connect after a Tierney through ball.

Lennon got in behind the Prestwich defence but Heys keeper Matt Green dealt comfortably with his near-post effort in a rare moment of real threat from Alsager.

However, it was clear that Heys would need more than one goal to feel comfortable and they entered the break perhaps reflecting they had not made more of their superiority.

They started the second half looking to put that right and a superb pass from Shaun Johnson picked Tierney out in space but the keeper got down quickly to cover his shot.

Tierney, White and Wills then combined to create an opening for Johnson but his shot just cleared the bar.

Alsager were digging in to keep themselves in the game and the introduction of the strapping Mark Grice into their attack began to take effect as his height began to cause problems for the Heys rearguard.

The substitute might have levelled after a flowing move, followed by a clever dummy by Lennon, created space but Grice blazed over.

With Heys forced to reshuffle in midfield when the influential Ash Reece and White succumbed to injuries the momentum began to shift towards the visitors and in the 73rd minute they levelled when Paul Taylor nipped in to glance a header from a corner.

Facing an increasing aerial bombardment Heys then lost centre half Josh Hill to injury and their problems increased eight minutes from time as Alsager again caught them out at a set piece. A long throw was flicked on at the near post and Taylor headed home at the far post for what proved to be the winner.

Heys will look to bounce back this Saturday when they host Carlisle City at Adie Moran Park. Kick off is 3pm.

The following Wednesday night (September 28) Heys will make history by staging their first ever floodlit home game, hosting Conference North side Chorley in the first round of the Lancashire Challenge Trophy (7.45pm).

Heys reserves made it in to the last eight of the Gilgryst Cup with a 3-1 penalty shoot-out win at Elton Vale. The teams had tied 2-2 in normal time, with Ryan Cain and Richard Woodward on the mark for the visitors.