Goals from Kieron Molloy, Connor Martin and Matt Davies sealed a vital 3-1 win against West Didsbury and Chorlton as Heys returned to the NWCL Premier Division play-off places with two games to play, writes Paul Thomason.

The rain stopped just in time for kick at Adie Moran Park for this important fixture and it was Heys who got off to the strongest start. A pass from Pa Jenkins in the fourth minute set Kieron Molloy away on the left, however, his angled shot came off the outside of the post. A minute later, Gabriel Mooney-Munoz had an attempt from twenty-five yards out, but this was comfortably saved by Alexander Hughes in Wests goal.

In the 14th minute, a ball from Saidkhon Khamidov to Dylan Fitzgerald in the penalty area, ended up going behind as his shot was blocked. The resulting corner from Molloy, on the left, was flicked on by the outside of the foot from Martin which went just over the bar, landing on the top of the net.

Russell Saunders was called into action for the first time in the 36th minute as a cross from Darren Thornton found the feet of Billy Matthews for West Didsbury, at the far post but his shot was well saved.

It was starting to get a little frustrating for Heys as it didn’t seem like the breakthrough was going to come. Six minutes before the break, after a run from his own half, Aaron Chalmers had a go from around 40 yards out, but was straight at the keeper.

However, two minutes later that breakthrough did arrive as Fitzgerald released Molloy and as the keeper came out, the Heys winger fired it home to his left to give Heys a crucial lead before half-time.

Molloy had another chance before the break. In a similar position to the goal. However, this time he had a defender in front of him and so played it across goal, but no-one was there to finish it off. There was even time for one more chance as a great long ball by Khamidov, from near the halfway line on the left, met the head of Davies, but it was just over.

The first half was largely controlled by Prestwich with very little danger from the visitors. Getting that goal before the break was much needed to settle any nerves going into the second half.

The second half couldn’t have started better for Heys. In the 47th minute, a corner from the right was headed by Chalmers, which was saved, but it was batted to the head of West defender Oliver Ford which then hit Darren Thornton before Martin got the final touch to help the ball over the line.

The game then went quiet for the next quarter of an hour, the best chance coming from the home team as a shot from Matt Davies, inside the penalty area, was deflected wide for a corner.

It all looked comfortable for the hosts but in the 61st minute, the mood of the home fans was changed when a mistake from Kyle Jacobs, as he was caught in possession, allowed Matthews through on goal and he fired low to Saunders’ left to get the visitors back in the game.

The goal gave the away side a new lease of life as they came into the game. playing some good football. However, there wasn’t much threat from them in the final third, but it was getting uncomfortable for Prestwich.

Heys worked to get the momentum back and in the 71st minute, a great run on the left from substitute, Wilson-Heyes saw him play a pass into the penalty area towards Davies who couldn’t reach it. However, he chased the ball down before crossing and finding the head of Wilson-Heyes, but his header went over the bar.

Davies was involved again six minutes later as he picked the ball up around forty yards out as he broke into the box his shot was deflected wide.

With two minutes of normal time remaining, Heys finally made the game safe. Rio Wilson-Heyes found Davies in the box, who chipped the ball over a defender, before going past another, despite the ball sticking in the mud, before firing a shot into the roof of the net to wrap up the points for Heys.

West Didsbury didn’t give up though as a header from Princewell Anuniru hits the bar and went over as we entered stoppage time.

This was a must-win game for Heys, and they did just that. As always, Aaron Chalmers was solid at the back and the defence restricted any sustained attack from the away team with their goal coming from a defensive error. Heys enter the final week of the season with their destiny in their own hands and as the players left the pitch, the heavens opened again and the rain poured, a reflection of the season as the curtain dropped on the final Saturday afternoon League fixture of the season at Adie Moran Park.

Team: Russell Saunders, Samuel Olawumi, Saidkhon Khamidov, Pa Jenkins, Kyle Jacobs, Aaron Chalmers, Dylan Fitzgerald, Gabriel Mooney-Munoz, Connor Martin, Matthew Davies, Kieron Malloy Subs: Connor Brotherton (for Jenkins 65 mins), Dan Wolstenholme, Rio Wilson-Heyes (for Fitzgerald 62 mins), Dan Silver-Adigun (for Martin 90 mins), Brad Sullivan

Heys host Charnock Richard on Thursday night at Adie Moran Park (7.45pm) before travelling to Pilkington on Saturday (3pm).