The torment for Prestwich continued in a game which they dominated for large parts of it but failed to reap any reward for their efforts.
It all started badly when Lewis Smith had to pull out during the warm-up and took a place on the bench with a groin injury. David Wheaton stepped up and played the whole game, fully justifying his selection. Smith joined two other injured players on the bench who were there only for emergencies.
The early part of the game was largely played in midfield with both teams having half chances but no clear opportunities. Old Mancs perhaps had the better of the possession in the first 20 minutes, but the game was tight, and Prestwich slowly turned the tide. Wheaton and Martin Hill were causing Mancs defence problems down the right and the hard running Harvey Rhodes was testing the centre backs for pace. Despite several very good balls into the box there was never a Prestwich player there to capitalize on the chance and all were cleared.
Another blow then struck Prestwich on 22 minutes when Dale Beaumont had to be replaced after pulling a hamstring and on went the already struggling Smith to fill in at centre back.
The game turned Mancs way in the 32nd minute when a break down the right found the bulky but impressive Mancs striker who turned his marker and fired an excellent shot across Michael Hudson and into the far corner for 1–0. Prestwich rallied and several efforts on goal were either wide or straight at their keeper. Then on 40 minutes it got worse when another break down the right saw a midfielder get free of his marker and from the edge of the box hit his shot into the top right – hand corner of the net giving Hudson no chance.
The half ended at 2 – 0 with Prestwich trying hard to reduce the deficit.
Prestwich upped their game in the second half in a bid to get on level terms and took the game to Mancs who were restricted to occasional attacks which produced nothing. Again, Prestwich delivered several good crosses into the box but got no reward. Then on 52 minutes the limping Smith could not carry on and was replaced by Stephen Charles who was also carrying a knock from 3 weeks ago. This prompted changes as Wheaton was moved to full back to allow Charles to join Rhodes up front and this changed the game.
Prestwich started to create more chances, but all were wide, over the bar or straight at the keeper. Charles had a chance that just ran away from him and was saved by the keeper at his feet. He then forced the save of the match from the keeper when he weaved his way into the box and unleashed a fierce drive that was saved at the near post and cleared. Despite chance after chance Prestwich could not force a goal.
Then the only piece of luck that fell their way occurred. A free kick from the right by Mancs evaded everybody in the box and struck the far post before being cleared. They also had a couple of corners late in the game that were well defended. As the game neared it’s conclusion the chance of the game fell to Rafael Straszewski as another dangerous cross fell to him 5 yards out, he had only to pick his spot, but blazed his shot high over the bar and out of the ground.
A minute later the whistle blew with Prestwich again despairing at their lack of a cutting edge in front of goal, because their performance at least deserved the reward of a point.
Please check the website for details of the next match as the current fixture is likely to change.