Prestwich Heys bowed out of the Isuzu FA Vase as they were beaten 2-1 by Parkgate at Adie Moran Park on Saturday, writes Stephen Howard.

It was a disappointing afternoon for the hosts who were off the pace in the first half and although they dominated the second period it was a day when they just didn’t do enough to prevent the Yorkshire side, who compete in the North East Counties League, progressing into the First Round and maintaining their 100 per cent record for the season.

Heys welcomed back Club Captain Aaron Chalmers after a six-week absence whilst there was a first start, since his return to the club, for Connor Berry.

However, it was the visitors, who entered the game having won all ten of the matches they have played this season, who were quicker out of the traps and making the perfect start to the afternoon as they went ahead after two just minutes.

A ball in behind the defence beat Chalmers and Joseph Nodder seized possession to break into the box and then drive an angled shot across Heys keeper Jordan Hadlow and into the far corner of the net.

Buoyed by their opening, Parkgate continued to look the livelier of the sides as they played some slick football to keep the Heys defence on their toes.

Nodder saw a near post header, from a corner, deflected onto the outside of the post in the 7th minute and although Heys showed signs of finding their feet, the threat still came from the away team.

In the 24th minute the crossbar came to Heys rescue as Cian Guest rose above everyone only for the ball to come down off the underside of the bar before being scrambled to safety by Kai Haigh.

The latter was one of those to see shots blocked as Heys began to enjoy more possession. Berry saw an angled shot from a tight angle tipped over, and Jacob Ngoy headed wide from a corner, but Parkgate were showing that as well as their attacking threat they were resilient in defence, something that was to put them in good stead for the second forty-five minutes.

The break saw a double change as Brad Sixsmith replaced Haigh, who was on a booking and Matt Davies came on for Rio Wilson-Heyes who had picked up an injury on the stroke of the half time.

Heys opened at a noticeably higher tempo to push the visitors back but save a couple of speculative shots found clear openings hard to come by in light of some spirited defence.

It was not until the hour mark that the home side created a clear chance as they worked the ball left to right and back again before Davies picked out Sixsmith in the box whose shot on the turn was just over.

As Heys continued to press a Saidkhon Khamidov corner was met by Davies, whose glancing header was just wide before Kyle Jacobs tried his luck with a long range shot which was dealt with comfortably by Parkgate keeper Jordan Greaves.

Tyler James replaced Jack Coop in the 65th minute but despite their possession, Heys were finding it hard to break the visitors defence and in the 73rd minute their task became even tougher as Parkgate doubled their lead.

It came from a lightning attack out of defence as Liam Royles broke down the right and with Heys stretched, having committed men forward, when the ball was rolled across the box Silas Valladolid -Collins has the simple task of slotting home from six yards out.

Whether the two-goal cushion saw the visitors relax a little or not is hard to say but two minutes later Heys finally breached their defence. The goal owed much to the pace and trickery of James who cut into the box, skipping past a couple of challenges, before arrowing a shot into the far corner to set up a grandstand finish.

And what a finish it proved. Heys threw everything at the visitors, James and Davies saw shots blocked as the away side threw bodies at everything. A couple of free kicks in good positions were squandered by the home side whilst several corners were scrambled to safety as the away side dug in.

Indeed, with four minutes remaining they may have put the game beyond Heys reach as another swift counter saw the hosts exposed but Hadlow stood his ground before dropping low to keep out Nodder’s shot.

There was still time for Heys to have one last push, but Parkgate held firm to record a hard earned and ultimately deserved victory.

Heys: Jordan Hadlow, Jacob Ngoy, Saidkhon Khamidov, Kyle Jacobs, Aaron Chalmers (Capt), Connor Berry, Greg Daniels, Jack Coop, Bradley Sullivan, Rio Wilson-Heyes, Subs: Brad Sixsmith (for Haigh 45 mins), Russell Saunders, Tyler James (for Coop 65 mins), Regan Brown, Matt Davies (for Wilson-Heyes 45 mins)

Heys return to League action on Saturday when they travel to Lower Breck (3pm) before making the trip to Barnoldswick Town next Tuesday night (7.45pm)