MATT Barnes spoke of one of the highlights of his football career after seeing his Prestwich Heys side take the derby spoils against Bury AFC.

Jack Coop’s late winner handed Heys a 2-1 victory at Radcliffe’s Neuven Stadium on Tuesday night in what was a first setback for the phoenix club following wins over Steeton and Saturday’s 6-2 victory against AFC Darwen.

Coop gave Heys a sixth-minute lead before Tom Greaves equalised with five minutes remaining – his seventh goal in three games – to set up a grandstand finish.

But it was the visitors rather than the hosts who claimed the bragging rights as Coop grabbed the winner deep in to stoppage time.

It came after a weekend which saw people in Heys tracksuits involved in a disturbance in Ainsworth.

Footage has been widely shared on social media with the club apologising to local residents and a police investigation launched.

Barnes said: “I’ve just said to the lads in there we’ve done exactly what we asked of them.

“I’m so proud of them after the weekend we’ve had.

“It’s out there, everybody knows, that’s one of the proudest moments of my football career.”

The Heys boss, whose side have also won two of their opening three games in Division One North of the North West Counties League, was full of praise for a resolute display.

He said: “ I thought the defence was superb from minute one.

“They did push us and we were happy with that, we expected that.

“They score a lot of goals in the last 10 minutes.

“We expected it and we weren’t changing our way of playing at all. We wanted to come as Prestwich Heys and not be fearing of Bury AFC.

“We certainly didn’t do that. Now we have to kick on.”

AFC boss Andy Welsh insisted lessons would be learned from the new side’s first league defeat.

The phoenix club’s manager said the loss was tough to take as they chased victory – just as they had done against Steeton on the opening day of the season – only for Heys to get the better of the late drama.

Welsh was hoping they could repeat the feat of the Steeton win – grabbing a late equaliser before pushing on to seal a memorable 3-2 victory – but it wasn’t to be.

“We did it against Steeton and we thought we could do it again,” said Welsh.

“But we weren’t set up correctly behind our attacks and it cost us and we came back down to earth with a bump.

“But I’ll hold my hands up and the players will hold their hands up and admit that we got it wrong.

“It was a tough one to take but we will learn from it, you are always learning lessons in football.”

Welsh, who was delighted with Saturday’s performance in the win over Darwen, praised Heys for taking their win to join them on six points in the early table.

“Fair play to Heys, they got their early goal and it gave them something to protect,” he said.

“We huffed and puffed a bit in the first half but I thought we were very good in the second half and got the goal we deserved.”

While Heys return to action at Cleator Moor Brook on Saturday, AFC will have to wait until Wednesday for their next game at Garstang.

“It’s been a stop-start season for us and it is very frustrating,” said Welsh.

“You want to get back out there playing straight away but instead we now have an eight-day wait.”