Cheadle Town 2-4 Prestwich Heys

In short, a spirited second half performance that didn't do enough to repair the damage that was done in the first.

0-3 to Prestwich Heys in the first half, 2-1 to us in the second. If you want to look at it that way.

For the latter 45 minutes we had much more of a "presence", getting our foot on the ball - and our bodies in the way - a lot more.

Just three minutes into the restart Jake Ambrose had whipped a teasing cross in from the right that unfortunately nobody was around to benefit from.

Just six minutes later and we reduced the deficit with a well-worked goal by George Clarey, cutting inside from the left channel and maintaining his run square until he found the right moment to pop the ball under the Heys keeper's body.

Jake had been inches away from putting Danny Wood through just after the hour mark before disaster struck on the 66th minute, proving just how much of a chasm there is between a scoreline of 2-3 and 1-4; Heys' tricky no11 (Rio Wilson-Heyes) had sent in a cross from the left with the initial effort blocked by Whiting only for the rebound to be slammed home by Dominic Slaven.

Despite the disappointment we kept going.

Some incredible footwork from Jake Ambrose got him within range of the goal but his effort was hacked off the line with a Rob Brocklehurst free-kick being clipped square across the face of goal by Rick Whyatt that was desperate for somebody to nod it home from a yard out!

We got further reward with ten minutes to go when James Dunn reduced arrears once more with a well-placed header from a corner before the towering presence of substitute Danny Jones almost gave Heys a fretful ending: latching onto a flick-through he saw the keeper slightly off his line and went for the lob...only to see it creep inches wide.

As alluded to earlier, the mountain to climb as we came out for that second half was too much as Prestwich had raced into a three-goal lead.

As early as the 6th minute Malachi Slaven's drive from the left had taken a nasty bump off one of our defenders and sailed over Whiting's head with Lee Bruce netting the second on 18 minutes, latching onto a header from Jamie Baguley before advancing on goal and flicking the ball past Whiting.

Up until that point it had been Prestwich all the way in terms of possession and chances but we then started to show some signs of life with our best opportunity falling to George Clarey who just couldn't dig the ball out from under his feet after a Luke Hincks cross had put him in a great position to shoot.

Prestwich benefited from another deflection just before half-time for their third goal, with Lee Bruce offered the simplest of tap-ins after an initial shot from the left had cannoned off the heels of one of our back line.

There was still time for Heys to hit the post from a corner at the end of that most damaging of opening 45 minutes for us.

Five matches in, a varied start to say the least but plenty of positives to draw upon, not least the way in which we battled back hard in the second half of this particular encounter.

Onto Sandbach this Saturday....

TEAM: Whiting, Dunn, Ratican, Wood (Russell), Shaw (Delaney), Brocklehurst, Ambrose (Jones), Hincks, Clarey, Whyatt, C Sherrington. SUBS: Russell, Piggott (gk), Jones, Delaney.