Halifax Rangers overcame the sadness following the recent death of popular and long serving manager/secretary Mel Owens, by earning a fully deserved 3-1 win over Division Two new boys West Central.
Central joined in the minutes applause in memory of the respected clubman which was appreciated by the Rangers contingent and the family of Mr Owens who were present at the match.
The game was played in a good spirit, assisted by referee Craig Salmons, and it was Rangers who made the early chances.
The breakthrough came following a tackle in midfield and a slick pass to Grant Metcalfe allowed him to slip the ball past the West Central ‘keeper.
West Central started to come more into the game and when they were awarded a free kick about 30 yards out Roman Micski’s shot flew in for 1-1.
Both sides took turns to attack before a free kick was flicked on and superbly headed into the net by Aiden Hill to make it 2-1 to Rangers.
Both sides created and missed chances after the break before a long clearance by Josh Ward put Josh Skinner through and he rounded the ‘keeper and stroked the ball into an empty net.
Rangers went in search of further goals with Shaun Kelly forcing a final save from West Central’s ‘keeper.
FC Bowling Green’s Dan Taylor admitted to being a relieved man after his Premier Division table-toppers edged out Elland 2-1.
Elland have made an inconsistent start to the season but produced a fine display and were unlucky not to claim a share of the spoils.
Green were quickly into their passing game and enjoyed the majority of the first half possession.
Andrew Sutcliffe twice went close to breaking the deadlock, first of all firing over after good work from Reece Uttley, then narrowly failing to connect with a diving header on the stroke of half-time.
Elland were always dangerous on the break with Carlton Balmer and Damon Nichols to the fore and they helped Elland to get a grip on the game in the second half.
The visitors took the lead when a Green corner was cleared upfield and Dene Heppenstall ran on before setting up Balmer whose cross-cum-shot evaded Craig Lobley in the home goal.
Lobley kept his side in it with a couple of decent saves before Sutcliffe finally pulled the scores level, his shot just squeezing in past the ‘keeper.
Green then secured the points five minutes later when Chris Dennison unleashed a speculative shot from 30 yards which evaded everybody.
Elland worked hard to fashion an equaliser but were again kept in check by Lobley.
“Elland gave a very good account of themselves and it was just good to get the win and keep the unbeaten run going,” said Taylor.
Carrington beat Feathers 3-2 at White Lee Rec but the scoreline did not really reflect what was a fairly one-sided game.
The visitors were camped inside the Feathers half throughout the first period but were unable to make the breakthrough due to a combination of wasteful finishing and some excellent defending.
Feathers efforts were limited to a couple of counter attacks although they may feel a bit aggrieved that they weren’t awarded a penalty after a clumsy challenge by a Carrington defender.
It was more of the same after the break as Carrington continued to dominate and they finally made the breakthrough when Jordan Coduri cut in from the left and found the corner of the net.
Coduri stabbed home his second shortly after before Matty Jones drilled one in off the post from just inside the box.
The Feathers defenders continued to work hard to keep the score down and goalkeeper James Whitworth was having an impressive game.
With five minutes remaining the game changed in farcical circumstances. As goalkeeper Craig Turnbull rushed out to clear a seemingly innocuous ball over the top, Dan Crosland inexplicably touched the ball beyond him and Luke Maguire nipped in to knock the ball into the empty net. Moments later, under no pressure, a poor touch from Crosland allowed the Feathers to break away and Alex Davey scored.
Hollins Holme’s improvement continued with an excellent 5-0 win over Waiters Arms.
The win was made even sweeter bvy the fact that the victory was achieved without four front line players.
Keeper Steve Butterworth was among those absent which forced midfielder Chris Garbutt to take up station between the sticks.
And he proved more than a useful replacement with some fine saves in a golless first half.
The second half was a different story as Rob Day proved his goalscoring abilities with a hat-trick on his debut.
First of all he picked up a ball from Spencer Harris and took it round the ‘keeper before netting from a tight angle.
His second followed a mistake by the Waiters ‘keeper who kicked the ball straight at him leaving Day with a simple chance.
The newcomer then turned provider for James Chadwick to fire in the third before Day secured his hat-trick with a dipping 30-yard effort.
Spence wrapped things up when he beat four players before slotting the ball home.