Jack Coop fired a hat-trick as a second half goal blitz to guide Prestwich Heys to a 3-1 victory at Irlam on Tuesday night, writes Stephen Howard.

After a tight goalless first half in which both sides had chances, Matt Barnes’ side took the game by the scruff of the neck after the interval scoring twice within the opening two minutes of the half through Scot Cullen and Coop. The Heys striker then added his second midway through the half before Irlam pulled one back.

However, any hopes the hosts had of a comeback were dispelled when Coop completed his hat trick three minutes from time to secure a victory that lifts Heys to eleventh in the NW Counties Premier Division table.

When the teams met at Adie Moran Park earlier in the season, Irlam were worthy two-nil winners and they created the first opening of this game when former Heys Captain Jacob Holt headed over.

As Heys began to find their feet Ben Hampson sent a header over from a corner before Greg Daniels’ shot straight at Irlam keeper Liam Blackburn.

Both sides then created a series of half chances whilst Brad Sixsmith for Heys and Jordan Southworth for the hosts fired over from distance.

The first real save of the evening came in the 27th minute as Blackburn got down low to keep out a Daniels shot that looked set to give Heys the lead.

Irlam responded on the half hour when a great ball from Demarlio Brown-Sterling found Ethan Beckford who fired over under pressure from Josh Dickin.

Heys ended the half on the up however with Daniels creating openings for Coop and Cullen.

It was to prove a portent of what was to follow as Heys made a blistering start to the second period.

They took the lead inside the first minute as a cross field ball found Joe Rothwell who cut inside, before his looping cross picked out Daniels, who headed goal wards before Cullen poked the ball home.

From the restart Heys swept back up field to add a second goal in the 47th minute. Cullen was the architect, winning possession and breaking forward before picking out Coop who drilled a super shot into the bottom corner.

The shell-shocked hosts looked to respond with Ethan Cartwright and then Holt firing shots over.

However, in the 69th minute Heys increased their lead. Corey Kelly curled a shot in that was touched onto the inside of post by the Irlam keeper and Coop was on hand to slot home from six yards out.

Daniels headed just over shortly after before Irlam hit back to reduce the arrears in the 74th minute.

Beckford slipped a pass in behind Southworth who pushed goal wards before squaring to Brown-Sterling to slot home.

However, Heys were in determined mood and came mightily close to adding to their lead in the 79th minute when after great work by Coop, Lee Grimshaw rounded the keeper only to be denied by a goal line clearance by Holt.

Dickin then went on a swashbuckling run from defence to let fly with a shot that Blackburn pushed to safety.

Three minutes from time Heys put the gloss on an impressive victory with a fourth goal. Rothwell broke forward and fired in a shot that Blackburn couldn’t hold with the ball breaking for Coop to smash home from 12 yards and complete his third hat trick of the season and complete a great night’s work by Heys.

Heys are back in action on Saturday when they host title-chasing Skelmersdale United at Adie Moran Park (3pm).

TEAM: Tom Simpson, Joe Rothwell, Anthony Potts, Brad Sixsmith, Ben Hampson, Josh Dickin, Corey Kelly, Sam Dickinson, Jack Coop, Greg Daniels, Scot Cullen, Subs; Louis Potts, Bailey Dawes (for Dickinson 60 mins), Lee Grimshaw (for Cullen 60 mins) , Ollie Scott (for Sixsmith 87 mins), Adrian Bellamy