Hammers inflict a first defeat on Waiters

Spot the ball: Old Pond's Jamie O'Callaghan in action against Acton
Spot the ball: Old Pond's Jamie O'Callaghan in action against Acton

Halifax Hammers blew the Division One title race wide open as they inflicted a first league defeat of the season on leaders Waiters Arms.

In one of only four games to survive the weather, Hammers reduced the gap between themselves and Adam Fenton’s side to just one point with their 3-1 win, although Waiters have two games in hand.

The game was switched to Savile Park due to the snow at Goldfields, and it was Hammers who started on top and took the lead when Matty Waller’s mazy run tok him past two players before supplying an inch perfect pass to Sam Ahmed. He in turn put a delightful ball into the box for Terriq Pervez to smash home.

Hammers could have increased their lead but Pervez and Ahmed saw their efforts well saved while at the other end Waiters fired wide.

Waiters were on level terms midway through the half when Fenton picked the ball up in the middle and crossed for Chris Doyle. His mis-hit shot fell nicely for Lee Wood who scored with the Hammers defence appealing for offside.

Waiters had a good spell but failed to captalise and it was Hammers who finished the half stronger, Pervez seeing an effort correctly ruled out for offside.

Waiters started the second half brightly with Wood’s effort well saved by Hussain Farooq before a lovely counter attack by Hammers, involving M.Yaaser, M. Ozair and Pervez, ended with Waller beating the offside trap and slamming the ball into the bottom corner.

Waiters threw men forward but were kept out by a keen Hammers defence before a fine move saw Ahmed’s effort cleared off the line but the ball fell to Waller who twisted and turned out of a couple of challenges before unleashing a powerful shot into the top corner to seal the win.

Hollins Holme consolidated third place with a 9-1 home success over a Bradshaw side battling to get away from the relegation zone.

A vastly entertaining game between two sides, who always share a plethora of goals, saw Old Pond and Acton Athletic share the spoils from a 4-4 draw.

Both sides created early chances, Paul Meredith chipping over for Pond before Ryan Carney scuffed wide in an icy patch.

Meredith provided the pass for the opener though, sliding returning captain Paul Taylor in and he deftly looped the ball into the corner of the net.

He then returned the favour to Meredith with a fine pass allowing his strike partner to make it 2-0 to Pond.

Acton struck back through Stephen Mitchell who rifled home after Ben Briggs had punched clear.

Pond had opportunities to put themeselves well clear, but Taylor struck the post, the defender later admitting the ball may have crossed the line in his clamour to clear.

Taylor then won a penalty right on the stroke of half time but Shane Callaghan made an excellent diving save to his right.

Acton started the second half on the front foot and Briggs had to make a superb point blank save, which set up a good move at the other end where Pond stretched their lead.

Meredith, Jamie O’Callaghan and Taylor were all involved in the build up before Meredith rammed the ball home having been given a second bite.

Another penalty was then awarded to Pond, but not much blame was attributed to Meredith who struck the post from a very difficult lie at the penalty spot.

The home side took advantage of the profligacy at the other end and brought the game level. Aiden Scully headed home before Mitchell grabbed his second having been sent clear.

Comedy prevailed towards the end when a Lee Williams free kick from just inside the Acton half ended up dropping straight into the back of the net as Callaghan slipped while advancing to gather.

With almost the last kick of the game, Simon Stockings’ shot was cleared from in front of the line by Ricky Walker, but the referee surprised both sets of players by awarding a goal.

The only other game on came in the Premier Division where Mount Tabor eased their relegation fears with a 2-1 win at Shoulder FC Northowram.

FIXTURES

Tuesday, April 2

Division One: Hollins Holme v Waiters Arms, Queens Head v Royd Club, Thornhill Briggs v Oddfellows.

Division Two: Rastrick Bowling Club v The Vine Reserves, Top Club v Ryburn Valley

Thursday, April 4.

Premier Division: Carrington FC v Engineers, FC Champs v Mount Tabor, King Cross Sports v Elland Sports.