Two second half free kicks from John Main were enough for Irlam to secure a 2-1 victory against play-off chasing Prestwich Heys at a windy RG3 Digital Stadium on Saturday, writes Rick Barrett.

Heys came into this one in confident mood after an impressive 5-2 victory at home to Chadderton, just 48 hours earlier, while Irlam were fielding no less than five ex-Heys players, so some familiar names were on show for the home side.

Irlam were first to show in the sixth minute when winger Jack Mitchell was put through but fired over from just inside the box, but the visitors quickly responded with great work from Gabriel Mooney-Munoz finding Matt Davies six yards out, but his shot was blocked and cleared.

Heys full back Jack McConnell then fired a free kick over the bar, and it was drama on thirteen minutes when Irlam keeper Lee White threw the ball out and went down injured. He was treated for a good few minutes before being helped off the pitch and was replaced in goals by defender Alex Francis.

Francis was tested shortly after by McConnell, tipping a low shot round the post and out for a corner and then it was injury drama for Heys with McConnell limping off, replaced by Nathan Emery.

Former Heys striker Kaiden Barlow had the ball in the net for Irlam on twenty-one minutes, but the referee ruled this out for handball.

Prestwich were growing in confidence though as the half went on and Kieran Molloy was put clean through on thirty-seven minutes, but the advancing keeper Francis managed to block with his feet.

As the pressure mounted the deadlock was broken on forty-one minutes it was great work by Connor Brotherton on the right his cross found Connor Martin who connected with a bicycle type kick which flew past Francis into the bottom left from twelve yards to put the visitors into a deserved lead.

So, Heys were 1-0 ahead at half time but few would have predicted the turn of events that were to happen in the second half. On fifty minutes Irlam were awarded a free kick on the left and it was John Main who buried it low inside the far post past Heys keeper James Coates to put the home side level.

Prestwich responded by making a substitution, Danny White replacing full back Jacob Ngoy and Martin had a chance to put Heys back in front, but he headed a cross, from the left, over the bar.

It was a case of Deja Vu on sixty-eight minutes a free kick on the left, this time twenty-five yards out, again hit by Main and this one flew into the top left-hand corner past Coates to put Irlam 2-1 up with Heys starting to look disjointed after a great first half effort.

More injury woe for the visitors came shortly after with another defender, this time Sam Olawumi, going off with a broken nose and was replaced by Rio Wilson-Heyes.

As the half progressed it was the home side dealing with the windy conditions much better without creating many chances although Jack Mitchell did fire one over for Irlam on seventy-six minutes.

Heys frustration boiled over a minute from time, substitute Danny White fired over the bar from twelve yards and kicked out at an Irlam player who had gone down injured resulting in the referee showing him a straight red to put the cap on Heys disappointing second half as the whistle was blown for full time.

Defeat it was then for Heys who let this game slide after failing to capitalise on first half chances and as a result drop out of the play off places, into sixth. However, with three games to play they still have a great chance to be in that all important top five come the end of the season.

TEAM: James Coates, Jacob Ngoy, Jack McConnell, Pa Jenkins, Sam Olawumi, Aaron Chalmers, Gabriel Mooney-Munoz, Connor Brotherton, Connor Martin, Matthew Davies, Kieron Molloy, Subs: Nathan Emery (for McConnell 38 mins), Rio Wilson-Heyes (for Olawumi 70 mins), Danny White (for Ngoy 55 mins), Brad Sullivan (for Jenkins 66 mins), Dylan Fitzgerald (for Davies 70 mins)

Heys enter the final week of the League season with a home game against West Didsbury & Chorlton on Saturday (3pm), followed by the visit of Charnock Richard next Thursday,18th April, 7.45pm