Halifax 6 Sheffield Uni Bankers III 1: FORMER defender Richard Nutting showed he is settling well into his new striking role with four goals as Halifax ran out easy winners in the Yorkshire Premier.
Halifax produced some decent hockey and it was the perfect response to the previous week, when their good run had been halted with a heavy defeat at the hands of Sheffield Hallam.
The home side stormed into a 3-0 lead, well-worked moves leading to goals from Nutting (two) and Matthew Graham.
Bankers got one back before the break but Benedict Barron produced a superb individual goal to restore the three-goal advantage with a run from half-way and reverse stick finish.
Nutting cheekily nipped in to convert a Jake Balmforth effort which was destined for the net and the forward then completed the scoring.
Michael Jones had a fine match, tackling and distributing well from the centre of defence, while James Smith made several great saves in the second half.
University of Leeds IV 2
Halifax II 3
TWO goals from Sam Spencer helped tip the scales Halifax’s way in Yorkshire Three.
They travelled lacking three key players and were soon under pressure but man of the match Graham Rodgers blocked Leeds’ way.
After 10 minutes the visitors started to find their feet, the back four launching the ball forward to Will Hague, who had several chances but the keeper saved.
On 18 minutes Halifax won a short corner. Jonny Sutcliffe passed to Sam Spencer, whose shot rebounded off the keeper and Pete Balmforth slammed home.
The visitors had two more short corners but couldn’t add to their tally and just before half time Leeds got a short corner which was dispatched with ease.
Leeds may have thought that their youth and fitness would be decisive but how wrong they were.
Midfielders Marshall Sutcliffe and Arch rampaged through their ranks, creating several chances for Haigh, but a second goal remained elusive.
Then Spencer, who had been having a quiet match, rounded two defenders before putting the ball past the keeper to give Halifax a deserved lead.
He added his second when a great through ball found him unmarked in the D and he swept the ball home.
With two minutes to go Leeds managed a consolation goal which made the match look closer than it was.
Boston Spa II 1
Halifax III 1
Halifax came down to earth with a bump in a disappointing Yorkshire Six North stalemate with a physical yet combative Spa outfit.
The visitors dominated the majority of the game and forced numerous short corners but were wasteful in front of goal and also came up against a determined keeper.
Halifax included newcomer Ross Perkins but conditions were cold and tricky, Spa making their intentions clear from the start with some heavy tackles with Ben Greenwood and Dave Manning among the recipients.
Halifax pressed early on but Spa hustled effectively and also threatened on the counter. Their forwards were direct and skilful, giving Matt Ward, Bryan Hans and Nick Barker a stern test.
The home side took the lead against the run of play, a slipped pass being crashed home past Mathew Bretton.
Halifax rallied but shots were cleared or blocked. One attempt was stopped on the line, another illegally with a foot, but it was on the blind side of the home official.
From a missed stop at a short corner, Halifax equalised. The ball somehow found its way back into the D for Dave Manning to control and blast into the net.
The more the half wore on the better the home keeper performed and Halifax had the lion’s share of possession in the second half without ever looking comfortable or dominating. The Spa stopper was in sublime form and his side broke dangerously.
Chris Reynolds moved upfield to try his luck and right at the death top scorer John Horsley was fed by Manning but his shot went across the face of the goal.
OTHER SCORES - Division Six North: Halifax IV 1 Harrogate IV 6. Division Seven North: Acomb II v Halifax V P.