Mellor at home, Wilkinson Sword - 2 Nov 2002
In the second game in two weeks against teams from up t' North, Purley faced Mellor, winners of League North, for the Wilkinson Sword trophy. This week it was Purley's time to play at home, so Mellor had the joys of getting up at the crack of dawn to make their way down the motorway. However, the long trip didn't seem to bother Mellor as they started strongly, and though both teams had opportunities, Mellor were much more sharp when scoring chances presented themselves, and they eased into a 4-0 lead after ten minutes. Purley weren't about to roll over to Northern teams two weeks in a row, and upped their game. By the end of the first quarter they had managed to pull the lead back to 4-3. Then at the beginning of the second quarter Darren Novell drove from behind goal, beat his man, decided to take on another, and amidst the calls of 'pass, pass' did what attackers often seem to do when they hear that cry, and took on one last man and slotted the ball just under the crossbar to bring the score to 4-4.
With the hard work to get back on level terms now done, Purley then seemed to just lose concentration. The defence was lack-lustre, the attack gave the ball away too easily, and in a period of five minutes, which would prove to be the difference in this game, Mellor scored three goals without reply. After a time-out Purley steadied the ship, but the damage had been done, and at half-time Mellor was back to a four-goal lead at 8-4.
With a comfortable lead going into the second half, Mellor could now afford to relax a little, and though Purley continued to pressure them, they could never manage to narrow the gap, and the teams traded goals to give a final score of 7-12. One of the hard lessons Purley has learnt in the last two weeks is that if they are going to beat any of the top Northern sides, they will have to be at the top of their game for every minute.
Goals: Jamie Tasko 4, Mark Dingfield 2, Darren Novell 1