PRESTWICH Heys’ hosting of Lower Breck was billed as a huge game between two teams gunning for promotion from the North West Counties First Division North.

However, it ultimately proved something of an anti-climax for the home faithful who saw their team defeated 4-0.

Heys simply did not show up. That should not detract from the visitors, because Lower Breck are a mightily impressive side and are five points clear at the top, having scored 37 goals in their 10 games. Everything about their performance suggested they will not be dislodged from their current position.

Their victory at Adie Moran Park followed a 4-3 win against second-placed Ashton Town less than 48 hours previously but Lower Breck showed no signs of fatigue as they dismantled a Heys side that on the day was second best in all aspects of the game.

Heys looked anything but promotion contenders on this showing. It was an afternoon from front to back when they did not fire, the sort of day when even the most accomplished of players could not find a five-yard pass. Sometimes it is possible to get away with it when things are not going right, but Heys were at the mercy of ruthless opponents who capitalised to the full.

The opening exchanges gave little indication of what was to follow as both sides sized each other up. The mood was almost subdued.

Heys gave a debut to striker Jack Coop, signed from Nelson, who looked to make an instant impression, as neat footwork created room for a shot that was then blocked by an outstretched defensive boot.

It would be the 10th minute before a genuine opening arose as Luke Duffy burst into the box for the visitors before firing over from a tight angle.

A surging run from James Colbeck ended with him shooting over as Lower Breck began to assert their authority.

Heys were not helping themselves by not respecting possession and as momentum grew for the Merseysiders, they took the lead in the 32nd minute.

Michael Culshaw opened Heys up down the right and his cross found Duffy at the far post. He set himself before rifling a shot into the bottom corner.

A snap-shot by Rio Wilson-Heyes went just wide as Heys looked to respond but it was a rare sighting of goal. Quicker into the challenge and impressive in their movement, Lower Breck as good as set up camp in Heys’ half.

In the 43rd minute they doubled their lead from a corner, Mike Dougie escaping his marker to head home.

Only two crucial last-ditch interventions by Jake Wood prevented further damage being inflicted before the interval.

There was no change in momentum from the restart as Stephen Milne found space but fired wide and, in the 53rd minute, any hopes of a Heys comeback were as good as ended.

Keeper Russell Saunders did well to keep out a Milne header, at full stretch, but his efforts counted for nothing as Duffy, following up, stabbed home his second from close range.

Heys did get forward as Max White and Brad Sixsmith linked well to find Wilson-Heyes, whose shot stung the keeper’s hands before being comfortably gathered.

Lower Breck, however continued to dominate. Milne cut through the defence and Saunders got down well to save. Then, Paul Mooney fired a 25-yard free kick just over.

With nothing to lose, manager Jon Lyons introduced forwards Jamie Sinnott and Haydn Foulds and their presence did something to stem the visitors’ flow.

Justin Pickering fired wide and Foulds drilled a shot across the face of goal as Heys finally gave the Lower Breck defence something to think about.

However, five minutes from time, Lower Breck underlined their superiority. As Heys conceded possession deep in their own half Culshaw crossed and Jamie Henders stooped to head home his side’s fourth goal and complete a miserable afternoon for the hosts.

Lyons will look for a response from his team when they travel to Garstang for a league game this Saturday. Kick off is 3pm.