Halifax save their skins but player exodus is a major worry

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Halifax 9

Kingston-upon-Hull II 1

halifax gave a thoroughly good performance in their final league match of the season to hammer a poor Hull team.

It means the Park Lane High School side have escaped the relegation positions in the Yorkshire Premier after a difficult season dogged by poor results and inconsistent performances, forcing a loss of confidence. With several key players leaving for various reasons, the club will be needing to build a new team capable of restoring some confidence and consistency at the top of the club.

Halifax welcomed back Matthew Pinder, who has been out since Christmas with hamstring problems, and his influence showed early on.

His excellent passing created chances with Tom Love and Joshua Sutcliffe scoring in the first 10 minutes to settle the team.

With Pinder combining well with top scorer Matthew Graham and Sean Colclough, the Hull defence was always under threat and Colclough made it 3-0 before half time.

For a while in the second half, Halifax took their foot of the gas and allowed Hull to get into the game. It took a Hull goal to wake them up again.

Henry Shelton and Sam Spencer were having good games and Leigh Walker and Johnny Sutcliffe were dominating the central defensive areas.

Goals were scored at regular intervals with Pinder, Michael Jones, Love, Oliver James and Graham getting on the score sheet.

Ben Rhydding VII 0

Halifax III 3

Relegation haunted Ben Rhydding made the Yorkshire Six North champions fight all the way for a hard earned victory, but failed in their brave attempt to beat the drop.

Fielding debutants at this late stage of the season, the home side started very brightly but Halifax defended well, as they have all season. Nick Barker marked closely, Bryn Hans timed his tackles and interceptions to perfection and Trevor Love as usual took no prisoners. On the rare occasions Ben Rhydding got through, sweeper Chris Reynolds tidied up the loose ends.

Gradually Halifax began to work free from the tight marking with Dave Manning and Nigel Bowers influential in midfield.

Attacks were more methodical than explosive as the vistors were missing all of their younger players due to an under-16 competition. Replacement striker Dave Collins linked well with top scorer John Horsley and the two combined to give Halifax the lead, Collins producing a typical clever and astute finish.

Rhydding rallied. The home captain was challenging energetically and one over-zealous tackle forced Manning from the field with a bloody nose.

Halifax were more fluent in the second half and many short corners were gained. A strike by Manning was disallowed for not hitting the backboard, but the skipper atoned with the next attempt, the ball trickling in having been partially stopped on the line by a defender.

The third goal also arrived from a short corner. This time Horsley dispossessed a defender who had blocked a shot and forced the ball home.

Halifax were gaining a full head of steam against a tiring home side but further goals were not forthcoming due to an injury to Bowers and a very harsh yellow card for Paul Mayes.

The visitors left the field having gone through their league campaign unbeaten and with a cup final to come next weekend.

Other score, Yorkshire Three: Kingston-upon-Hull III 7 Halifax II 2