Hat tricks for Fullard and Booth as Ovenden march on at top

OVENDEN West Riding sent out a signal to their West Riding County Amateur League title rivals by overwhelming Marsden - a side with a better than even record this season - by 8-0 on Saturday.

They scored four goals in each half and strike pair John Booth and Steve Fullard bagged hat-tricks as the Halifax side retained their four-point lead over Tyersal.

Marsden matched Ovenden for the first 15 minutes with Ali Farrell and Sean Gant to the fore, frustrating the Natty Lane side with their offside trap.

However, on 20 minutes Mat Jones and Booth linked well on the right and booth set up Fullard to steer the ball past Shane Kelly.

Five minutes later Jones set up Damien Randall to score from close range and Kelly, constantly in action, was powerless to prevent Booth making it 3-0 from a Fullard pass.

Jones’s header forward put Fullard in the clear to score from 12 yards before the break.

Ovenden continued to press for more goals and on the hour Booth crashed an 18-yarder past Kelly and in off an upright.

Mick Palethorpe, Fullard and Jones all went close before skipper Martin Ayscough somehow beat Kelly at his near post from an acute angle.

Palethorpe and Graham Hall made timely tackles as Marsden kept plugging away but Booth completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot and Fullard matched him with a simple tap-in.

Chasing trio Tyersal, Golcar United and Kirkburton all won, Tyersal with a 3-0 home success over Brighouse Town.

Brighouse boss Darren Laycock was pleased with an improved performance from his side, who lost Antony Brown to the firsts and were without recognised central strikers.

Jake Driver, normally a winger, worked hard in a different role while Dave Conway and Matthew Whiteley looked more solid at the back.

There was a touch of fortunate about both Tyersal’s first half goals, A mis-hit shot ended up win the top corner of the net and then the ball fell nicely for the hosts to bag a second after half an hour.

Brighouse appealed in vain for offside as the Bradford side virtually made the game safe through Andrew Bailey after 50 minutes.

Matthew Howgate and Thomas Rose were both denied by the home ‘keeper after going through one-on-one.

Halifax Irish are eight points adrift at the foot of Division One after an undeserved 3-2 defeat away to Tingley Athletic.

They were positive from the start and nearly went in front when skipper Declan Rothery went close from distance.

Irish were caught on the break when their former player Chris Dennison centred for Andy Lockhart to volley home unmarked at the far post.

The visitors went close through Tom Robinson, Gareth Gaukroger and Callum Cook but were frustrated by the Tingley keeper.

Callum Cook made it five goals in five games at the start of the second half from a Luke Holmes centre, beating the last man before slotting the ball home at the start of the second half.

Irish were behind again when Dennison clipped a free kick over the wall and into the bottom corner but responded immediately when Gaukroger whipped a cross met by Phil Gomes with a cultured finish.

However, in the dying minutes and with Irish searching for a winner, Tingley snatched it when Lockhart, who looked offside, ran through and finished coolly under the keeper.