Halifax Hammers narrowly avoided being on the wrong end of a cup upset as they edged past Beehive and Crosskeys on penalties after a 3-3 draw in the Halifax FA Sunday Cup.
Hammers, who are top of the Ziggys Metro Cars Halifax Sunday League Premier Division, fell behind in wet and windy conditions at Savile Park when Jack Beaumont converted Alex O’Keefe’s cross from the left.
Hammers were awarded a penalty when Terriq Pervez was brought down in the box, and Prevez himself scored from 12 yards.
A mistake in the Hammers defence allowed Beaumont to regain the lead for Crosskeys, but Hammers again fought back and equalised through Pervez for the second time.
Pervez spurned a great chance for a hat-trick after the interval before, against the run of play, O’Keefe scored from a counter-attack and the upset was on again.
Nick Green could have sealed the win for Beehive but missed with the keeper beaten, and that proved costly when Hammers’ pressure finally told as defender Waleed Raja headed home with just six minutes to go.
Hammers keeper Yasar Mohammad saved two penalties in the shoot-out before full-back Iklhaq Ahmed scored the winners to send the Hammers through 4-2 on penalties.
Fellow Premier Division side Waiters Arms also progressed into the quarter-finals with a 5-1 thrashing of home side Ryburn United.
Lee Wood put the away side in front after some strong early pressure, but Ryburn were only one goal down at the break.
But that was soon two when David Chappell headed in, and then veteran Ryburn keeper Craig Walker punched a long-throw by Ashton Richardson into his own net.
Kev Talbot nodded in a Lee Albon cross to make it 4-0 before a 25-yard screamer from Wood added the visitors’ fifth.
James Goodwin scored a last-minute consolation for the hosts.
Unpredictable Premier Division side Hollins Holme made amends for their 9-3 defeat to Barge the previous week by thrashing Division One King Cross Park by an identical score last Sunday.
The District Cup game had been flagged up as one which might produce a shock, but Hollins had a much stronger side out and romped to victory in a game at Savile Park which was marred by a home player suffering a broken leg.
Hollins were 2-0 ahead when play was held up for half an hour while an ambulance was summoned for the stricken home player.
It was 3-1 at half time but Hollins suffered a horendous start to the second period and it was soon 3-3.
The visitors made changes, moving midfielder Andrew Butterworth up front, and he responded with a hat-trick as Hollins ran away with the contest.
There were also two goals each for James Chadwick and Greg Spink while Chris Garbutt, not noted for his scoring, netted for the second day in succession.
Premier Division Barge FC’s victory over Queens Head proved a microcosm of their season as a whole, as they started off slowly but grew into a good cup tie.
Queens Head were two goals to the good before Matthew Bagshaw’s charges produced a spirited comeback. Andy Salm got the first back from the penalty spot, before Luke Johnson hit a trademark goal from distance.
The last 15 minutes belonged to Sam Halstead; his two goals to win the match were described as “world class” by his manager.
The strikes from out of nowhere saw Barge through to the next round and he was only denied a late hat-trick by the woodwork following a fine free kick delivery.
Division One side Old Pond hit six without reply against Division Two leaders Fountain Head FC.
Player-manager Richard Dawson admitted his side were expecting a tough test against an in-form opponent but his side had the game all but sealed after quarter of an hour.
With just minutes played Paul Taylor notched his tenth of the campaign with a rasping drive from the edge of the area having been fed by Michael Barlow.
It wasn’t long before the Hove Edge side doubled their advantage; Steve Galloway scooping up a rebound after Hayden Lewis’ shot was parried.
Galloway could have added a second having been pushed in the penalty area, but saw his ensuing spot kick saved. It wasn’t long before the third goal did arrive however; Connor Storer the recipient of a Taylor through ball which he coolly slotted home.
The game was all but over barring a monumental comeback on 16 minutes when Barlow was again the unselfish provider of a tap in for Galloway’s second.
A fifth goal just before the interval, Barlow the inevitable provider, put any dim hopes of Fountain Head progressing to bed as Storer stroked home his second.
Craig Holdsworth’s visiting side showed great spirit in the second half with an improved performance. Wayne Allert had to make a great last gasp challenge to block Craig Gladwin when through on goal, whilst Jason Kirby in goal made two top drawer one on one blocks to preserve a rare clean sheet for his side.
The match was rounded off when Lewis fed Galloway who helped himself to his second hat-trick in four games with a fine turn and shot.
Division Two’s North Bridge narrowly put paid to Halifax Rangers Reserves last time out in the league, but were undaunted by the step up to taking on the same club’s first team in the cup.
Rangers took the lead firing home after a free kick, but Bridge fired back well. Slater Barnes’ corner was firstly flicked home by Steven Priestley, before Reese Fox fed Alex Conwell who produced a calm finish.
Priestley thought he had his second but for an offside flag – before his side were pegged back at the other end as Rangers fired home off the post to equalise.
It would be Bridge who went in ahead at the interval however, as Barnes fed Priestley who rifled home his side’s third from distance.
The second half belonged to the visitors as they put the tie to bed. Josh Pendleton and Fox were involved as Barnes scored the fourth, before Ash Whitaker’s throw-in culminated in Priestley grabbing his hat-trick.
Rangers pushed to the last and had chances to force a nervy ending when Sam Davidson was penalised for a tug back in the area, but the home side saw their spot kick expertly saved by Andy Blakey in the Bridge net.
Elsewhere in the cup, Bradshaw beat Mount Tabor 5-2, while Ryburn Valley beat Oddfellows 4-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in normal time.
In the Premier Division, Top Club were due to play Carrington FC, but had to postpone with the switched Huddersfield Town kick off to Sunday lunchtime robbing them of the necessary number.