PRESTWICH Heys’ long unbeaten league run came to an end with a 3-2 defeat on a blustery afternoon at AFC Blackpool.

The loss, in which two Prestwich players were sent off, dented their promotion hopes but they sit fourth in the First Division table, with games in hand.

Despite their gruelling schedule and a raft of changes, Heys started brightly, Chris Baguley seeing an early chance blocked.

There was a let-off on six minutes when Blackpool’s Jack Williams skied a great chance over the bar, but it was Heys who made the breakthrough shortly afterwards. Lee Grimshaw was clattered on the edge of the penalty area, and Baguley calmly curled the dead ball into the top corner.

The lead lasted only three minutes as a Blackpool free kick was floated into the box, where Williams produced a crisp finish.

After Anthony Hall flew into a tackle and was shown only a yellow card despite the home bench baying for a red, the game became littered with niggling fouls and pushes with few clear chances being created.

Just before the half-hour mark, Hall did see red for kicking out after being caught in the face,.

Up against it with 10 men, Michael Smith made two fine stops as AFC Blackpool upped the tempo, and he was happy to see a free kick clear the bar just before half time.

Four minutes after the restart, Heys fell behind to a goal from Blackpool captain Danny Pickering, who clipped in from the edge of the area.

Heys went close when Carl Fitton’s cross was met by Grimshaw, but his header sailed over.

But on 57 minutes, disaster struck again for Heys. Conan Bishop exploited some hesitant defending and jinked into the box, where Smith brought him down for a penalty.

Smith blocked Pickering’s spot-kick, but the penalty taker was first to the loose ball and made it 3-1.

Blackpool’s Kit Gregory fired a great chance over the bar as Heys pushed forward in a bid to try to salvage something.

With 15 minutes left, Heys were awarded a free kick for a foul on Danny White, who got on the end of the dead ball and flicked it home to give them the lift they needed for a final push.

Rio Wilson-Heyes made a tricky run into the home penalty area, only to be stopped by a fine tackle from Danny Mottram.

One long clearance from Blackpool almost reaped a reward when a cross was curled in for Williams, but he headed over.

The best chance for Heys came on 88 minutes when Wilson-Heyes made a superb run but saw his cross put behind for a corner.The cross fell to Jacob Holt, who connected powerfully with the ball, but it thundered agonisingly just over the bar.

The game ended with further disappointment for Heys as Wilson-Heyes was booked for a foul, and then shown a second yellow card for dissent.

Heys had won a gripping contest the previous Wednesday, beating Sandbach United 2-1 at Adie Moran Park.

White opened the scoring two minutes in and Alfie Belcher made it 2-0 with a couple of minutes gone in the second half.

Chris Rowntree’s goal for Sandbach meant a nervous last half hour but Heys held on for the win.

Heys were scheduled to travel to Chadderton last night but the match was put back 24 hours to this evening, 7.45pm kick off.

They are next in action on Saturday, when they face Sandbach again, in the second leg of their LWC Drinks Cup semi-final (3pm kick off).

They hold a 2-1 lead from the first leg.