Two late goals from substitute Greg Mathers gave Poynton a hard-fought victory over North-West Counties side Maine Road on Saturday.

The game started at a quick pace with both sides looking to play football, it was certainly being played at a competitive pace with several early tackles flying in from both sides.

Marcus Graham had the best chance of the opening exchanges, cutting in from the left but firing his shot wide.

It was the visitors who took the lead on 31 minutes. The winger cut inside and beat Scott Wright inside the area before firing a clever finish past keeper Jake O’Regan.

Tom Bowey was Poynton’s most dangerous player in the first half and he created a great chance for Graham with a brilliant through ball but the youngster couldn’t hit the target.

HT: Poynton 0 Maine Road 1

Both teams made a handful of changes at half-time but it was Poynton’s that made an immediate impact. Cavanagh curled a beautiful ball into the area and Marcus Graham cushioned a perfect volley into the path of Ryan Stewart who timed his run to perfection and bundled the ball over the line.

The game was again close with both sides enjoying good spells of possession without creating any clear chances to test the keepers.

Max Dickov was unfortunate after getting into a good position at the back post from another superb pass from the impressive Bowey.

Greg Mathers came on for the final 25 minutes and was straight into the action, a beautiful through ball from Joe Pullen put the striker through but his shot was blocked and then he created his own chance with a smart turn but his powerful shot was straight at the keeper.

Poynton were on top but fitness was starting to show, Rob Stokoe with a great last ditch tackle and keeper O’Regan was brave too make two good blocks.

With 83 minutes on the clock Maine Road regained the lead, tired legs in the Poynton back line allowed the striker to beat O’Regan.

However, the goal seemed to give Poynton a much needed energy boost, a brilliant run by Stewart into the box created the chance for Mathers who hit the ball down into the ground and over the despairing keeper to make it 2-2.

With time running out it was Poynton who grabbed the winner. A clever long kick from O’Regan found Max Dickov down the left hand side and his powerful run and cross was finished by Mathers at the back post.

There was a flashpoint on full time with a horrible tackle on Dickov by the Maine Road full-back but it was a good day for Poynton’s new look squad.

FT: Poynton 3 Maine Road 2

After the game a happy Ed Haslam said “I knew before the game this was going to be the hardest game so far in this busy preseason.”

“We wanted to maintain our pressing game and we did this very well for the first 25 minutes, Maine Road grew into the game and to be fair, took an early lead. I was disappointed to go in at half time down but the message at half time was to stick to to our ethos and to see Raz (Ryan Stewart) return to the team and to grab the equaliser was great.”

When they made it 2-1 I to was against the run of play, we just switched off a little. I only wanted to give Greg 20/25 minute but I brought him on to get us back in the game and obviously he did that, I was delighted for him. The teams third and Greg’s second was very, very pleasing, it was a brilliant team goal, Max Dickov did brilliantly well down the left to put it on a plate for Greg.”

Next up for Poynton is a Reserve Team game on Tuesday night away to Cheadle Heath Nomads Reserves in the Concorde Cup and the First Team are back in action next Saturday, away to Dukinfield Town, 2pm kick off.

POYNTON: O’ Regan, Hough, Wright, Garvey, Jones, McGeoghegan, Bowey, Manson, S Dickov, Cavanagh, Graham. SUBS: Wheeler, Pullen, Stewart, M Dickov, Mathers, Stokoe