Avro return to winning ways
Monday 12th February 2018 11:29 Football Sports Posted by Mark Phillip

Manchester Premier League

Manchester Gregorians 1-2 Avro

Avro returned to winning ways with a 2-1 victory at Manchester Gregorians in the Manchester Premier League on Saturday.

The squad entered the game having suffered their first defeat of the season against Rochdale Sacred Heart in the Gilcryst Cup the previous weekend, but second half goals from Daryl Weston and Chris Howell secured the club an important victory which extends their lead at the top of the table by eight points.

Cold, wet and blustery conditions on the 3G at Bellevue greeted both sides.
Lee O’Brien and James Hampson are utilising the whole squad at the business end of the season and changes included captain Sam Rathbone and full back Kyle Parsons back in, along with Liam McNally starting in defence with Louis Potts up front as Lee sacrificed himself in the central striking role.

Avro started as if they were determined to get last week’s result out of their system and went on the front foot immediately. A series of trademark lightening fast attacks saw Avro go close to taking the lead on two occasions. Firstly Vinny Howell burst through the Greg’s defence and saw his effort well saved with Duncan Knott unmarked to his right. Then after 23 minutes Chris Howell and Duncan Knott combined beautifully but again Gregs’ keeper was a match for Knott’s strike. In between, Louis Potts, playing as a central striker, curled a lovely shot just past the face of goal. This brought an expected response from the hosts who were showing their league position to be totally misleading, as they brought themselves back into the game with two shots which went very close, the second by the very lively number 11 went out for a corner.

Avro came close to taking the lead on the stroke of half-time when good work by Howell and Knott saw Dunc just fail to connect to Howell’s cross at the far post. Potts had the final attack of the half but he was denied by the Gregs keeper.

Immediately after the re-start, Avro put Gregs under pressure and reduced them to counter attacks which the defence and Karl Stone were largely dealing with efficiently. It took less than two minutes for Avro to cause problems, with Howell and Rathbone coming close twice in succession.

It seemed only a question of time before Avro would take the lead, and they did so in the 67th minute when Daryl Weston headed home a corner to make it 0-1.

Ten minutes later and Avro doubled their lead when link up play between Howell and Matt Landregan was converted by the former.

The hosts afternoon was to turn even worse three minutes later, as their captain was given a straight red card for appearing to say something to the referee.

Avro took advantage of the one-man advantage and immediately hit the bar through Rathbone.

To their credit, Gregorians battled back and reduced the deficit in the dying embers of the match, but despite their best efforts to salvage an equaliser, the Avro defence stood firm and held out for an important three points.

By Mark Hutton

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Judging by the form book, Avro are primed for another three points this weekend when they travel to league strugglers Old Alts, who sit bottom of the table on 10 points, having won two, drawn four and lost 14 of their games so far.

Elsewhere last weekend, East Manchester increased the pressure on second place Wythenshawe Amateurs with a 6-0 victory of Monton. Two goals apiece from Will Shawcross and Brad Byrne, combined with solo efforts from Sam Jones and Alex Beeley, leave East Manchester in third place and just one point behind Wythenshawe.