Manchester Central extended their run to seven games unbeaten with an impressive 5-2 win over Heyside in the Manchester Football League Premier Division on Saturday.
Heyside initially took the lead in the match before Marcello Ahrin scored a brilliant chipped shot to equalise the scores.
Cory Knight scored a deflected effort to give Central the lead before Heyside struck back themselves. Knight added his second of the game, before goals from Elvis Amoakwa and Josh Frith secured the points for Central.
Prior to kickoff Heyside had sat top of the table and manager Paul McGuire and his players knew they were faced with a tough opposition.
However, on a good run of form, the players kept their heads calm and attacked from the off, causing a few early tests for the Heyside defence.
The breakthrough came to the away side, though, when in the 13th minute their winger broke into the box and scrambled the ball past Central goalkeeper Ben Jupp, allowing Heyside to slam home the opening goal of the game into the empty net.
Heyside should have made it two, first with a thunderous header from a free-kick that went just over the bar, before Jupp pulled out an incredible double save to deny the away side a more comfortable lead.
That save proved pivotal as just moments later, in the 36th minute, Ahrin struck a chipped effort from out wide and looped the ball over the Heyside goalkeeper.
Heyside had another great chance denied by Jupp shortly after, before Frith struck a low free kick that rebounded towards the path of a Central player but they couldn’t adjust in time to score. The sides went into the halftime interval level, though Central felt confident that they had created the better attacking play.
The second half saw Central’s attackers stream forward and overwhelm the Heyside opposition, before finally finding a breakthrough in slightly comedic fashion in the 65th minute.
Knight went to tackle to win the ball back, only to block a clearance back towards the Heyside net. Taking another deflection on the way through, it entirely wrong-footed the opposition goalkeeper and gave Central the lead.
That lead lasted just four minutes, however, when Heyside scored a well-worked free kick from out wide. Drilled in low, the man making a front post run dummied making contact with the ball and let it roll past Jupp into the far corner of the net.
Central were encouraged though and fought to win back their lead, and in the 71st minute they did just that when a long throw was knocked down by Cyril Davies and Knight controlled the ball, before firing it home. From that moment on Central continued to push forwards and overwhelm their opponents.
Amoakwa made it four after 81 minutes following a brilliant counterattack which saw Knight release Frith, whose pace took him past his man and to the byline. His cross was then met at the far post by the onrushing Central midfielder.
Frith then finally got on the scoresheet himself in stoppage time in a goal of real quality. Patient, skillful buildup play saw Central’s players create pockets of space in and around the Heyside box. The Heyside defence can feel desperately unlucky to have conceded, blocking three consecutive shots, before it fell to Frith on the volley and flew into the back of the net.
Full time saw Central win 5-2 after an impressive display against a good Heyside team who challenged them all the way, especially in the first half.
Central’s next match sees them face Old Stretfordians in the Manchester FA Challenge Trophy, before a game against East Manchester in their next Premier Division fixture.