Having gone behind following a bizarre mix up on the edge of the box between Mike Hudson, John Robertson and an opposing striker that saw the ball fall at the strikers feet with an open net in front of him, only their own profligacy, the off side flag, and some decent saves by the Howe Bridge keeper stopped this turning into a complete rout for the home side.
On a day that both sides suffered several late cry offs there wasn’t a substitute to be seen for either side with Prestwich having to draft in assistant player manager Chris Hopkins despite him being hampered by a severely debilitating injury.
The home side were in the ascendency from the start with right back Liam Burke in particular making the most of the acres of space he was afforded to send in what was to become a catalogue of inviting crosses. The second of which was met brilliantly on the volley by Sean Haslam only to see the bar smack against the cross bar and come out again.
David Prieto was the next to benefit sending a header narrowly wide, but as the half wore on one felt it was a matter of time before Prestwich took the lead, most likely from a Burke cross.
Whilst Prestwich’s back line and keeper Hudson had looked authoritative dealing well with Howe Bridge’s sporadic breaks disaster struck on the half hour with that mix up and Howe Bridge took the lead.
The goal only served to galvanise Prestwich and on 37 minutes Hopkins who performed heroically on the day despite nursing his injury picked up a pass just outside the box, pushed the ball out of his feet with one touch and arrowed it low into the right hand corner with his second for 1-1.
Minutes later captain Darren Buckley scored a delightful second goal, linking up neatly with Prieto and Haslam on the left he struck a powerful shot from a very acute angle that flew across goal over the keeper and into the top right hand corner to make it 2-1 at the interval.
Prestwich’s second half performance was a joy to watch, playing some great quick passing football on the wet surface they started to cut open the opposition at every opportunity. New recruit Andrew Dean who’d largely contented himself with tidying things up at left back whilst prompting more advance players came into his own causing complete havoc down the left wing with his pace an unselfish passing.
A plethora of chances came and went with Dave Thompson uncharacteristically staying off the scoresheet despite numerous chances that came his way before Dean crafted the third.
Having given the right back a 15 yard start Dean used his frightening pace to get beyond him, skin another man and pull the ball back to the edge of the box where it eventually arrive at Haslam’s feet for him to rifle it low into the left hand corner.
Whilst Howe Bridge had previously still been causing the occasional scare and continued to offer a goal threat forcing a number of corners, the third goal stifled their resolve and having suffered a late sending off the game petered out as a contest and Prestwich completed what was another good solid all round team performance.