Two second half goals from West Didsbury and Chorlton ended our nine match unbeaten run with a 2-1 win over Abbey Hey at the Abbey Stadium.
Following eight straight league wins, as well as one in the FA Vase a week ago, we looked to extend our run against a determined and spirited side in West Didsbury and Chorlton.
We led at the break thanks to Dylan Fitzgerald’s sixth goal of the season, but the home side were undone in the second half, thanks to goals from Liam Delaney and Sam Heathcote.
In an entertaining opening half in Greater Manchester, both sides enjoyed spells of attacking domination and shots on goals. West’s Dontai Gabidon forced a save from Ross Heywood early on, before Delaney had a header cleared off the line from Dylan Norris.
Rhys Clooney had an effort on goal for Abbey minutes later, when he was denied by a goal-saving tackle from Matty Cook inside the penalty area.
The home side scored the games opening goal in first-half injury time when Fitzgerald scored a rebound, after his initial side-footed effort from a Jake Dunford cross was kept out smartly by West goalkeeper Andrew Jones.
Fitzgerald almost nearly doubled Abbey’s lead early into the second half, but was deemed to be in an offside position as he looked to tap home unmarked at the far post from a cross.
The league leaders, still unbeaten prior to kick off, looked to find a way back into the game. They did just that after 66 minutes when Liam Delaney arrived at the far post to sweep the ball beyond Heywood into the bottom left corner, following an inviting cross from Ben Elliott on the right-byline.
The away side’s equaliser gifted them confidence and an urge to find a winner, with them doing so in style through top-scorer Sam Heathcote eleven minutes later. After winning a free-kick on the edge of the area, he stepped up and curled an effort around the wall beyond Heywood, sending the travelling fans into raptures as he celebrated scoring his eleventh goal of the season.
After a dramatic finish at the Abbey Stadium, the visitors held on for all three points as they extended their unbeaten run in the league, whilst Abbey crashed to their first defeat in ten games.
Abbey Hey will look to turn their fortunes around next Saturday and get back into winning ways when they welcome Northern East Counties side Hall Round Rangers in the Second Qualifying Round of this seasons FA Vase (3pm kick off).