PRESTWICH Heys welcomed Darius Photiou back to the starting line-up as they racked up three points with a spirited display at Shelley Recreation.

The home side enjoyed the best on the opening half hour, with a decent shout for a penalty turned down.

Heys had their moments, Rio Wilson-Heyes making a good run and playing the ball into Will Shawcross, who took a touch before overhitting his shot.

On 15 minutes, Heys fell behind when a free-kick on their right flank evaded everyone, skipper Anthony Leech converting at the far post.

Minutes later, Photiou sent a testing ball into the box, but Jamie Sinnott was narrowly offside at the far post.

The home side were still on top but Danny White saw his on-target free kick pushed away, Wilson-Heyes’ powerful shot was parried and Shawcross’ follow-up was also saved.

James Wolfenden was booked for throwing the ball at an opponent, a rash action which would cost him later.

Shelley keeper Paul Day denied Wilson-Heyes, but would soon be at fault for Heys’ equaliser, completely missing a corner into the area, Jacob Holt finding the top corner with a fine finish, Day compounding his error by being sinbinned for dissent in the aftermath.

But Heys’ chances suffered a blow when Wolfenden received his second yellow for a tackle from behind.

With Day still out of the action at the start of the second half, 10-man Heys went close through Jacob Wood and Adie Bellamy but it was when the impressive Photiou burst into the box and was pulled back that the chance came. The referee awarded a spot-kick and Danny White made no mistake.

Shelley were back to 11 players a minute later, and Heys found themselves on the back foot, Russ Saunders forced into a great save.

Heys were resolute in defence, blunting the home side’s attacks with Shelley unable to take advantage of the extra man.

Skipper Wood led the line magnificently as Shelley ran out of ideas, and Heys had opportunities, the cloesest coming when substitute Shelton Payne curled one over the bar with his back to goal.

Shelley thought they had equalised with five minutes left, but the referee blew for a foul for a push, Josh Dyson sinbinned for his protests.

It was not a vintage performance but Heys’ never-say-die attitude and work-rate was first class in the second half.

Heys followed the victory with a further point from Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw at Chadderton.

They are back in action on Saturday, hosting Atherton LR at Adie Moran Park. Kick off is 3pm.