PRESTWICH Heys got what they deserved as they slumped to a heavy 3-0 home defeat to Daisy Hill at Adie Moran Park on Saturday.

The only saving grace on a miserable afternoon was that the loss was not heavier. In a season that has had its fair share of ebbs and flows this was a low.

Heys were, frankly, abject.

That is to take nothing away from Daisy Hill. They played some fine football, at pace, and out-fought Heys in all areas of the pitch.

They played with a desire that Heys never matched.

Although Heys improved in the second half, they still did little to significantly worry a side that had lost its previous five matches, conceding 28 goals in the process.

They hardly laid a finger on them, in what was as bad a performance as any Heys side for many a year.

There was much optimism beforehand as, with new signing Zack Dale in the starting line-up, home fans were looking for their side to bounce back from the previous week’s defeat at Holker and make ground on the leading pack.

However, from the outset there were worrying signs.

The Cutters were sharper and more incisive in everything they did. Other than an early half-chance for Dale which was blocked the threat came almost exclusively from the visitors.

They should have scored in the 10th minute when the lively Jamie Ramwell opened Heys up before picking out Danny Warburton who somehow sliced wide from close range.

Macauley Farrington then went close with a header before Heys cracked in the 20th minute, when Jacob Ridings was harshly adjudged to have been tripped in the area leading to a penalty.

Danny White was sin-binned in the aftermath for dissent before Ramwell stepped up to slot home the spot kick.

Heys briefly fired into life and forced a corner but from it they almost went further behind. As the ball was cleared, Warburton found space and rounded Russell Saunders, but to Heys’ relief his effort found the side netting.

Outpaced, out-fought and unable to string two passes together, Heys were all at sea. A bout of ping-pong in the box ended with Ramwell stabbing wide when it looked easier to score.

Then in the 40th minute, from a free kick, an Ellis Worrell header came off the post and rolled along the goal line before being cleared.

Heys’ management team Jon Lyon and Matt Barnes, anxious to hear the half time whistle, must have thought their side had got away with it to an extent but on the stroke of the interval, Daisy Hill added to their problems by increasing their lead.

It was a superbly-worked goal as Howell cut through the middle before laying off a deft pass into the path of James Bateman who gleefully tucked the ball into the bottom corner.

As the second half commenced Heys were forced into an early change as Danny White limped from the field. His departure did, however, make way for the welcome return of Dom Slaven after a season-long injury.

The half-time team talk had instilled more urgency into Heys’ play but they still struggled to make any headway and by the hour Jamie Sinnott replaced left-back Dan Vinten to try to increase the home side’s attacking options.

Shortly after it looked like Heys were about to gain a foothold in the game when Dale got in behind the Daisy Hill defence but as he broke into the box he was brought down from behind.

After waving the appeals away, the referee said the ball had been taken. There was an element of truth in that, but the ball was not taken until after the defender’s legs had wrapped themselves around those of the Heys striker.   

The penalty may have made for a different outcome but in reality, the greater threat still came from the Daisies.

Ramwell forced Saunders to save low before Hensley Mills weaved into the penalty area but could not find the finish to match his run, pulling the ball wide.

In a final throw of the dice, Heys threw on another striker, Samuel Amankwaa.

The extra attacking presence did, for the first time in the afternoon, begin to ask questions of the Daisy Hill defence.

Jacob Holt saw a shot blocked for a corner from which the ball broke to Sinnott. His shot then deflected into the path of Dale whose header went just over.

Dale then turned smartly in the box, forcing Dean Williams to drop low to save.

It was too little, too late for Heys though and, five minutes from time, Daisy Hill sealed victory with a third goal.

After Saunders had saved, Heys struggled to clear and with their defence spread, Howell slotted home to complete a miserable afternoon for the hosts.

Heys will hope to improve in their next game, which takes place on Tuesday, December 3. Lyon and Barnes’ team will travel to Colne for a Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy quarter-final. Kick off is 7.45pm.