Match Preview: Manchester Central v Heyside

Manchester Central

Manchester Central are looking to extend their six game unbeaten run in the Manchester Football League Premier Division when they face Heyside at The Manchester College on Saturday (KO 15:00).

Central lost their opening two matches of the season, but since then manager Paul McGuire’s men have earned three wins and three draws – though their most recent result against AFC Monton has been rescinded due to the club folding.

In that match, Central ran out 10-1 winners in an utterly dominant display. Striker Cory Knight scored five times, taking his remarkable goalscoring record this season to 13 in just eight games – some three higher than anyone else in the Premier Division.

However, with the points of the match having been removed following Monton’s exit, it remains to be seen if these goals will be rescinded too from the official league count. Fellow forward Josh Frith netted a hat-trick in the match, while Dan Burns got Central’s other two goals.

Despite Central’s newfound form and confident display in their last outing, they still face a tough task to beat Heyside this weekend.

The visitors sit top of the league with 21 points, having won seven of their opening nine matches. Heyside beat Old Altrinchamians 1-0 in their most recent match in midweek, courtesy of an Adam Dale goal, though did lose their last Saturday fixture 2-0 to Manchester Gregorians.

Notably, Heyside have a very strong defensive record in the league, conceding just nine goals in nine matches. This has helped offset a much lower scoring record than some of the teams challenging them for the top spot.

Central sit eighth in the league table – now out of 15 teams following Monton’s exit – and have nine points after seven games, having collected two wins and three draws. They have not lost for over a month, having last been beaten on August 16 by Royton Town.

It’s a remarkable run that McGuire will want to see his players continue as they begin to settle, adapt and thrive in the higher standard of football they’ve encountered this season.

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