Heyside are held in a 'great' goalless draw
Reporter: John Gilder
Date online: 23 December 2016
Heyside 0, Atherton Town 0
HEYSIDE manager Geoff Howard described this match as "a great nil-niller" - and he was right as his side was held to a draw by Atherton Town at the Crompton House 3G.
Aside from a lack of goals, this was a tense and riveting match throughout, although Howard felt that his side should have won the game.
Howard said: "We were by far the better side and their manager acknowledged it at half-time and at full-time.
"We hit the post twice in the first-half and our goalkeeper has only had to make one save.
"Atherton had one glorious opportunity to score but somehow their striker shot wide of an open goal when he really should have found the back of the net."
Howard gave first team experience to under-19s players Alex Jenkinson and Owen Shaughnessy, who were both on the substitute's bench.
Reece Hursthouse started as an orthodox centre-half - which Howard believes is his best position - and was outstanding against an Atherton opponent who was much taller than him.
Hursthouse, who has usually featured for Heyside in midfield, was dominant throughout at the back and rarely lost an aerial challenge all afternoon.
Mark Hopwood and James Leonard both had the misfortune to strike the uprights in an opening period when it seemed only a matter of time before Heyside would open the scoring.
Atherton had just that one really good chance to score, while Heyside 'keeper Brian Lord pulled off a great stop as the visitors threatened.
Heyside stay second in Division One and, against a side with an identical record, this solitary point could be quite useful in the final reckoning.
HEYSIDE: Lord, Schofield, Pauley, Hursthouse, Thorpe, Dowling, Ollerton, Molyneux, Dunn, Leonard, Hopwood. Subs: Hindley, Booth, Jenkinson, Shaughnessy.
STAR MAN: Reece Hursthouse (Heyside) - Head and shoulders above everyone else.
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