First wins for Copley and Greetland

Copley United have had to wait a couple of months to get off the mark in the Premier Division of the Haslem-Sheppard Halifax AFL but they did so in style.

Last season’s Division One runners-up were 4-1 away winners against champions Elland United to lift themselves off the foot of the table.

Man of the match Jack Teesdale fire them in fornt with a 25-yard free kick.

Paul Drake then latched on to a spill by the Elland keeper to make it 2-0 at the break.

Jake Bradbury got Elland back in it shortly after the break but Copley dug deep to keep the hosts at bay.

Eventually hard-working striker Benji Waterworth put more daylight between the teams and Gary Devlin got the final goal.

Greetland also won for the first time in the Premier this season.

They beat Holmfield 3-2 in the only other game to go ahead in the top flight, the Midgley United versus Stump Cross and Warley Rangers versus Sowerby United fixtures being called off due to waterlogged pitches.

Danny Dorward gave Greetland the lead and recent signing Mark Heppenstall made it 2-0 at half time with a good shot into the corner of the net.

Holmfield hit back after the break and Paddy Fitzgibbon finished off some nice build-up play but the home side immediately restored the two-goal gap with a Heppenstall penalty after Dorwood had been brought down.

Gareth Gaukroger had the last word for Holmfield with a spectacular effort but Greetland were deserved winners, having created plenty of chances.

Hebden Royd Red Star’s 100 per cent record in Division One was ended by a last minute goal at Northowram, where Paul Glew earned the struggling hosts a 2-2 draw.

The game was high in endeavour but neither goalkeeper was unduly troubled.

Playing up the slope, the Rams took the lead when Mark Eade swivelled and fired an awkwardly bouncing ball into the bottom corner after seven minutes.

Red Star levelled five minutes later when Jordan Dean flicked on Gilfillan’s header and took the lead on 23 minutes when Ryan Thomas, inside the six-yard box, turned and directed his finish just inside the far post.

Despite having more possession, Red Star’s only clear chance came after Thomas rounded James Bunn but the Rams’ defence scrambled the ball to safety.

Openings were few in the second half with defences on top. Eade’s shot took a wicked bounce in the grassless goalmouth, resulting in the keeper saving with his face and needing treatment and Danny Rushworth had a half chance which flew well wide.

Bunn tipped a shot on to the bar and close to full time the Rams forced three corners in quick succession without reward. However, a long throw-in proved their salvation as, in the ensuing scramble, the ball broke clear inches from the line and Glew scooped home the equaliser.

Second-placed Sowerby Bridge’s match away to Mixenden was postponed and Volunteer Arms and Stainland United closed the gap on them.

Volunteer leapfrogged Denholme United courtesy of a 4-2 home win over those rivals while Stainland won 2-1 away to Salem.

The Volunteer match was 1-1 at half time but the home side pulled away against an out-of-sorts Denholme side, for whom Matthew Beney got both goals.

Connor Bell maintained his fine scoring record with two more as Elland Allstars kept Ryburn United Reserves rooted to the bottom of the table with a 3-1 home win.

Sowerby United Reserves paid a high price for wasteful finishing as they went down 3-1 to Midgley United Reserves in Division Two.

Sowerby failed to convert several gilt-edged chances and Jordan Juma in the Midgley goal pulled off a string of fine saves.

Midgley showed their hosts how it was done and raced into a 3-0 lead with clinical strikes from Rawnsley, Tattersall and Bottomley.

Midgley’s confidence grew but Sowerby still pressed with Carl Maguire in fine form. Matthew Thompson was outstanding for Midgley but was powerless when George Turner hit a screamer to pull one back.

Elland United Reserves, Sowerby Bridge Reserves and Warley Rangers Reserves fill the top three places, separated only by goal difference, after all three registered comfortable away wins.

Salem Reserves were brought down to earth with a bump after the previous week’s first win of the season, crashing 6-1 away to Savile Arms in Division Three.

Salem were forced into a late reshuffle when a couple of players failed to show and a young, quick Savile side took only three minutes to score through Will Church.

Tom Green’s tap-in made it 2-0 but against the run of play Craig Salmons’ header was deflected in.

Injuries to Simon Herbert, Salmons and Dan Ackroyd knocked Salem out of their stride and Savile cashed in with a cheeky lob from Jack Griffiths on the stroke of half time.

A goal for Morey Goldthorpe, with Salem appealing in vain for offside, dashed the visitors’ hopes of a comeback and Goldthorpe and Church each bagged a second before Salem, with Dock O’Boyle to the fore, dug in determinedly for the last half hour.

If it comes down to goal difference for honours at the end of the season then Calder ‘76 Reserves should be well placed after thrashing visitors West Central 18-1.

James Megson showed the way with six of the goals and James Jackson and Paul Clayton bagged three apiece against a West Central side who had a full team.

Another side to register a big home win were newcomers Shelf FC, who crushed Elland Allstars Reserves 9-1.

Wadsworth United were unable to raise a team for Saturday’s county cup second round tie against Horbury Town, which was switched to the Wakefield club due to the Hebden Bridge bonfire.

“We just couldn’t get a team together - when we met only six or seven lads turned up for various reasons,” said player-manager Nathan Sim, who is currently sidelined with a knee tendon problem.

However, Sim is confident that they will be able to resume next week. “We should be back to normal for the game away to Volunteer Arms,” he said.




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