Hammers sink Barge as Carrington move level with leaders

Awais Khan
Awais Khan

Halifax Hammers beat an under-strength Barge 12-0 to keep in touching distance of the top two in the Ziggys Metro Cars Halifax Sunday League Premier Division.

Hammers raced into 5-0 half time lead with Matty Waller scoring four and Lamin Jannah scoring the other.

The rout continued after the interval with youngster Awais Khan scoring four, including some good solo strikes, Khurram Shazad also scored a fine individual goal, and goalkeeper Yasar Mohammed also got on score sheet from the penalty spot. Defender Waleed Raja headed home powerfully from a corner kick to complete the scoring.

But Carrington remain in second place after beating Feathers 5-2, which puts them level on points with leaders Waiters Arms, who have a superior goal difference.

Waiters play third-from-bottom Barge on Thursday night, and boss Adam Fenton expecting a tight tussle for the title.

He said: “I’m hoping to have a strong squad to pick from. Barge are a tricky team who try to play football but seem to have struggled against the top few sides, they are definitely a banana skin and as Mount Tabor proved to us the other week you can’t take any team in this division lightly.

“Should we pick up maximum points there then it goes down to the last two games. We play Halifax Hammers at home the week after with a point no good to either team so I would expect both sides to go for it to put pressure on Carrington. “We are top on goal difference at the minute but I expect Carrington to claw some of that back in their last few games so I’m just hoping we can take it all the way into that last match away to them.

“It would be disappointing to lose out now after been top for so long but we have never done things the easy way and if you’d given me our league position now with three games to go and two cup finals to look forward to after losing to Queens Head the first game of the season then I would have ripped your hand off.

“I just hope the lads manage to stay fit, with some of them having a few night games this month for their Saturday sides too and with pitches getting hard it’s a worry.”

Top Club ended their difficult season rock bottom of the Premier Division without having picked up a point following a 7-1 defeat at Queens Head.

Manager Chris Smith deserves credit for keeping what is ostensibly a Division Two side afloat during a tortuous campaign in the top flight and they will look forward to competing in Division One with more relish next season.

Although both already eliminated, North Bridge and Triangle put in spirited performances in the Ziggys Metro Cars Invitational Cup,

Away side Triangle started brightly playing down the slope and went closest to opening the scoring as Lewis Holdsworth headed against the post.

Sam Davidson and Anthony Todd looked solid in front of keeper and player manager Andy Blakey however – and it was the home side who edged ahead on these solid foundations.

Slater Barnes displayed some trademark trickery down the right flank rendering a couple of visiting defenders statues before squaring to provide his captain Tom Hoodlass with a tap in.

The skipper had a chance to double his sides lead from distance but Matthew Riches in the Triangle net held his shot, but he could do nothing as Barnes doubled the now dominant home side’s advantage. Jamie Callaghan put the attacking man through on goal and he casually slotted home.

Holdsworth looked the visitors best threat at getting back into the match and went close on a couple of occasions before the interval. He charged down a Blakey clearance but had to watch the ball trickle agonisingly wide and also fired a shot just shy of the mark.

The home side were less profligate at the other end and put themselves three to the good before the break. Callaghan slid the ball home from close in for this third of the campaign.

The game was fully put to bed early in the second half when Andy Day found Niall Cuttle with a cutting though ball and powerfully finished to make it four. Bridge continued to press but Triangle manager Gareth Landin could be pleased with his sides attitude as they continued to be committed in defence. Robin Dance made the tackle of the match to deny Barnes in the penalty area with a perfectly timed slide, whilst Riches also earned his stripes denying Barnes his hat-trick in a one on one and also tipping a Hoodlass chip wide.

Their reward was gleaned at the other end a Jason Hanks produced a well-executed lobbed finish to make it 4-1 which is how the match finished. Elsewhere in the competition Barge FC put themselves in pole position in Group B with a midweek 2-0 victory against Ryburn Valley. A victory over Weavers on Sunday would seal their progression to the Semi Finals where they will face Beehive & Crosskeys who secured top spot in Group D with a 6 -1 victory against Halifax Hammers Reserves at the weekend. Nick Green got a hat-trick for Beehive, with Aaron Bennett, Alex O’Keefe and Simon Gerrard also amongst the goals. Mohammed Ozair got the consolation for Hammers.