PRESTWICH Heys are back in FA Vase action on Saturday when they welcome Charnock Richard to Adie Moran Park in the second qualifying round.

After their hard-fought victory over 1874 Northwich in the last round, Heys will be looking to progress into the first round proper at the expense of their Lancashire visitors, who play in the Premier Division of the North West Counties League.

Both teams entered the league four seasons ago and Charnock made an immediate impact, finishing second to gain promotion.

They have since held their own in the top tier but have started this season slowly, having won two and lost four in their six league games.

They advanced through the first qualifying round of the Vase with a 3-2 success at Division One South Cammell Laird and despite their indifferent start will pose a real threat to Heys.

In striker Carl Grimshaw they possess one of non-league’s most prolific scorers of recent times, a player who already has seven goals to his name this season.

When the sides met in that inaugural season, Charnock enjoyed the better of it, winning 5-2 at home and 4-0 at Adie Moran Park. They followed that the following season with a 3-1 win at Prestwich in the Lancashire Challenge Trophy.

Jon Lyons’ side will go into the game in good spirits, despite their five-match unbeaten run ending at the hands of hosts AFC Blackpool on Tuesday night.

Heys fell behind in the first minute and, though they struggled to make an impact, stayed in touch at 1-0 at half time.

A second goal for the hosts five minutes after the restart dispelled any hopes of a Heys comeback and, after they fell 3-0 behind on the hour mark, Brad Sixsmith headed in a goal.

Blackpool completed the scoring before Will Shawcross made a piece of unwanted history by becoming the first Heys player to be sinbinned late in the 4-1 defeat.

Admission for the FA Vase match, which kicks off at 3pm, is £5 (£3 concessions and free for under-16s who must be accompanied by an adult).

Meanwhile, Russell Saunders has been named the Reusch Division One North Goalkeeper of the Month for August.

Heys had the best defensive record in the division in August and Russell, who joined the club in the summer, has played a huge part in that, excelling at making saves and in his organisational skills.

In announcing the award on their website, a league statement read: “After a frenetic start to the Division One North season there were a number of stand-out candidates which gave the awards section a lot to work on.

“Russell played seven games, conceding seven goals, keeping three clean sheets in August and has been in excellent form for the club as they have got off to a good start in Division One North.

“The club cite in their nomination that, despite conceding four goals in the opening two games, Heys have gone on to concede only three in six games, starting with an impressive win over Ashton Town, and the rock sat behind a defence improving game after game was Russ Saunders, his alertness thwarting Ashton every time they had a sight of goal.

“At both Shelley and Chadderton, Russ was instrumental in taking four points, saving from close-range and later with a fine stretch to tip wide in Yorkshire, and showing his versatility at Chadderton with saves to his left and right, as well as a goal-bound shot with his feet at the near post to keep Heys in the game.”