Hammers cruise into last four of Senior Cup

Terriq Pervez
Terriq Pervez
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Halifax Hammers set up a semi-final clash with Carrington in the Briggs Priestley Senior Cup after seeing off Ryburn Valley 4-1.

In cold and snowy conditions, it was Hammers who took the lead with a good team move involving the make-shift midfield duo of Awais Khan and Kkashif Akmal putting Terriq Pervez clear, who lobbed Matty Hirst in the Ryburn goal. Pervez doubled his tally after Lamin Gitteh put him clear to score.

Ryburn nearly pulled a goal back after a mix up in the Hammers defence but Yasar Mohammad pulled off a fine save, with Hirst doing likewise at the other end to keep the score at 2-0.

But just before half time Hammers added another when Ahsan Farooq set up Sameer Ahmed, who finished from a tight angle.

Despite the worsening conditions now including hailstorms, Hammers scored again through Mazn Amhamed after some good work by Gitteh and Edward Busfield.

Ryburn got one back through Danny Merrick near the end.

In the other semi-final, Waiters Arms will play Ryburn United.

In Division One, Beehive and Crosskeys dented Lee Mount’s title hopes with a 3-2 win, which leaves Mount six points off leaders Halifax Hammers Reserves but with two games in hand after Hammers Reserves beat Old Pond 5-2.

Old Pond were scheduled a good weekend to play on Halifax Hammers Reserves artificial surface at Calderdale College as both sides were able to play some good football at times despite the occasional blizzard sweeping through.

Pond have garnered a reputation for starting well in matches but fading this season, but it was the reverse that was true on Sunday. Hammers played some great football in the first quarter of an hour, especially down the left flank and opened up an early 3-0 lead through a brace from Sohail Bashir and an Atif Hussain finish.

Pond adjusted their formation and tweaked a few positional roles and the remainder of the match was evenly contested. Lee Williams and Hayden Lewis saw efforts tipped wide and over, before being caught on the counter at the other end culminating in a penalty being awarded to Hammers. Luckily for the visitors an unconvincing spot kick which would have brought Bashir’s hat-trick was saved by Pond keeper Jason Kirby.

Paul Taylor had a chance having been fed by Sean Suttle but struck wide as Hammers maintained their three-goal advantage at the break. Pond improved further in the second period and a mis-skewed goal kick fell to Williams who swept the ball home from distance to make it 3-1. Hammers were mainly playing on the counter now, but did so effectively as Wajid Nawaz broke and made it 4-1 to momentarily halt any Pond thoughts of a comeback.

The visitors were undeterred however and had a ten-minute siege on the home side’s goal. Taylor was only denied by an incredible determined defensive block on the line and from the same man’s corner Wayne Allert’s header looked goal-bound but was acrobatically tipped over. Jamie O’Callaghan, who had an excellent game in the Pond midfield after an absence from the team also went close before Pond’s second did finally arrive via a direct route. Keeper Kirby punted forward and Taylor took a good touch before rounding the keeper and scoring.

In pushing forward, Nawaz was able to break and make it 5-2 with just about the last kick of an entertaining match. Elsewhere, there were a host of weather related postponements, including Barge’s scheduled trip to Feathers FC and Top Club’s visit to Shroggs Park to play Queens Head.

North Bridge kicked off the Halifax Sunday Football League’s new competition, The Ziggys Metro Cars Invitational Cup with a comfortable 6-0 win over Halifax Rangers Reserves on a quagmire of a Lane Head surface.

Andy Blakey’s side were the first to taste action in Group A and made sure they started well with Andy Day to the fore in netting a brace.

Mike Kirwan, Shannon Tudor, Niall Cuttle and Steven Priestley were also on the scoresheet in a 6-0 victory in difficult conditions. Premier Division Mount Tabor will be the side to beat in Group A, but Bridge will also face difficult ties against Triangle and Fountain Head who were both promoted from Division Two this season.

The only other game in the competition saw second tier King Cross Park comfortably dispatch Bradshaw in Group D. Stephen Croft netted four for the victors with Evan Robinson and Jonathan Pickles also prevalent on the score sheet in an 11-2 thrashing.