Manchester Gregorian Football Club

Match Report. Manchester Gregorians v Heywood St James

Following a battling and deserved 3 points away from home against Heyside last week – Greg’s were chasing their first back to back wins of the season against a Haywood st James side who hadn’t played a league fixture since the November lockdown ended.

Heywood started the game on the front foot with greggs struggling to cope defensively with their physicality and energy in the first 15 mins.

0-1: Heywoods pressure paid off after a hopeful left wing cross was drilled low into sea of bodies in the penalty area and the ball falling kindly to the heywood striker who was able to get a thigh onto the cross and see it crawl over the line corner.

This was the wake up call that was needed with greggs immediately finding the computer they’d been lacking.

1-1: own goal – great work by Marcus down the left flank using his antelope stride to break past a number of opposing midfielders and then cut a cross field ball into the path of Sam, the Boyle, Boylan – who was able to beat his man and drill a delightful cross across the 6 yard line. One of Heywood’s poor centre half pairing under pressure from Josh side-footed into the top right corner with the aplomb of a seasoned striker


1-2 – Jake’s mare – Greggs conceded a needless free kick 35 years out from goal on the right flank. A high arching ball raked into the 6 yard box and Jake, who was having an excellent game, perhaps his best in Greg’s shirt, transformed into Roy Carroll for a few moment of madness – with the ball squirming through his arms and between his legs. Lloyd desperately cleared with the ball 2 feet over the line and that was that – despite some comical protestations to the ref from captain Danny Hulme that it wasn’t over the line.

2-2 – Abdi’s madness – Moments after going behind Greggs immediately responded with the goal of the game and a contender for goal of the season. Rauiri played beautifully weighted ball over the tiring Heywood defence, Josh showed a turn of pace – that many fans didn’t know he was capable of to beat the defender to the ball – creating half a yard of space he squared the ball across the penalty box to an on-rushing Abdi – who deftly lifted the ball over the defenders challenge with the outside of his boot and finishing low into the right corner. It was a Bergkamp-esque finish that you won’t want to miss on MOTD tonight and will have the fan base demanded a 7-year contract is signed on Monday morning.

3-2 – Ishy quick fire third – 2 minutes later ishy was put clean through by I’ll guess josh? Ishy showed great composure under pressure to round the keeper and slot home into an empty net from a tight angle.

4-2 – Josh – I can’t remember this goal sorry Josh, I’m sure it was great…this report is getting away from me

5-2 – a high ball in from the right had the Heywood keeper flapping at the back post, Josh was able to get his head to it header with Abdi striking home low across goal after a goalmouth scramble

In the end a comprehensive dismantling of a strong heywood side, that had managed pat purring afterward.

Player ratings:

Jake – 8/10 – best performance in a Greggs shirt- despite the aforementioned clanger

Lloyd- 8/10 – dealt well with a tricky winger and was able to support in getting forward

Ruari – 8/10 – despite audibly chastising himself for every minor mistake was a rock at the back and had a forward pass success rate of 92%

Bob – 8/10 – Mr Greg’s did what he always does

Marcus – 8/10 – shook off his late injury scare after Dan rod savaged him in the warm up – was electric on the left and the opposition just couldn’t deal with his pace. Key opta stat clocked the fastest speed of any player on the pitch – 28.3mph. Gazelle.

Danny H – 8/10 – always on hand to break up play and start attacks – composure personified

Joe – 10/10 – a performance for the ages, likened to a Lee Cattermole level of performance thanklessly harassed all day long and payed the foundations for a 4 goal haul immediatey after coming off.

Ishy – 8/10 – grabbed a goal and always looked threatening on the ball, had to do more densively today but still managed to pull the attacking strings

Sam – 8/10 – like a ferret down the right flank, opponents hate to play against him – even his own teammates hate playing against him in training as he routinely harassed and hobbles them.

Abdi – 10/10 – a performance that had everything including THAT goal.

Josh – 8/10 worked tirelessly as the lone frontman but got his rewards with a goal and played a major part in the goal of the game


Dan R – 8/10 – tried to injure Marcus to get on sooner, but after a stern talking to from management was able to let loose in the second half and was his usual swashbuckling self.

Joe D- 8/10- first performance for the firsts after some head turning performances for the 2nds – a P90-X training regime during covid further pushed his cause for inclusion. Slotted in perfectly and gave management a good headache

Abdul – 8/10 – an energetic performance on the right flank – a menace to a tired heywood in the second half

MOTM- Abdi/Joe C

The above match report are the views of Joe Copland and not necessary of the club as a whole.

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