FC Bowling Green narrowly triumphed over fellow title favourites Elland Sports 1-0 in what could turn out to be a significant fixture for the destination of the title.
Both sides are strongly tipped for honours this year and with the season at the halfway mark it is advantage Green with the winter period on the horizon.
Elland lined up with an attractive strike force of David Wolfenden, Wayne Crossley and Jacob Driver who began the game at a canter, creating a number of chances and they were unlucky not to grab an early lead when Crossley was denied by Green stopper Paul Barker.
Green shook off the Halloween cobwebs and gained a hold on proceedings defensively with Dan Taylor and Adam Sharpe clearing the lines superbly. With this Green found some momentum and in-form Ishy Ali found space under pressure and struck a splendid cross field pass that found pacy Tom Holroyde who juggled the ball skilfully before eventually lifting it over the onrushing keeper.
Halifax Hammers boss Nayim Akram started with star man Mohammed Ozair up front despite him being injured and it paid dividends as he netted his first hat-trick for the club in a 5-0 success over battling Bradshaw.
Ozair went close inside three minutes with an effort that hit the post and five minutes later Wajid Nawaz suffered a similar fate after good work from Ahsan Farooq, M. Yaaser, Usman Ali and Osman Malik.
Bradshaw started to play football and went close to scoring on several occasions but were kept out by some fine defending from captain Saqaf Hussain and Faisal Saghir.
The deadlock was finally broken after 20 minutes when fine play from Ahsan Farooq and Wajid Nawaz set up Mohammed Ozair who beat the offside trap before smashing the ball into the bottom corner. Bradshaw went close through long range efforts but could not find a way past Qamar Ayub in the Hammers.
The home side doubled their lead when Mohammed Ozair’s inch perfect corner was headed in by Usman Ali before the break.
The second half started with both sides cancelling each other out and it wasn’t until the 70th minute that Hammers scored again with Jasim Saleh producing the danger ball which was very well controlled on his chest by Razwan Saghir who placed the ball in bottom corner.
A fine run by Jasim Saleh put Mohammed Ozair through and he beat two defenders before hitting a crisp shot to make it 4-0. Mohammed Ozair then claimed his hat-trick when he danced past two defenders before smashing the ball into the top corner to complete the scoring.
Carrington Rangers were comfortable 5-1 winners away to Shoulder FC. Carrington took the lead in the opening few minutes when Jay Carney burst through and slid the ball home.
The visitors continued to dominate with Dick Harley and Ste Binns tormenting Shoulder’s defence and it was only a matter of time before they extended their lead, Mark McElroy slamming the ball home after another good passing move. The game was as good as over by half time when Carney got his second, turning well inside the box and finding the corner of the net.
The second half continued in the same pattern with both Hartley and McElroy going close before Danny Alexander scored the goal of the game when he found the top corner of the net with a spectacular volley from the edge of the box.
Shoulder did manage to pull a goal back when the otherwise impressive Carrington defence fell asleep at a throw in. That goal did spark a bit more belief from Shoulder and they enjoyed a decent 15 minute spell but the game was sealed when Robbie Graham scored from the spot after Carney had been brought down in the box.
FC Royal of Pellon remain on the coat-tails of the leaders following their 4-2 home success over King Cross CB&AC while Engineers and Mount Tabor shared the spoils from a 3-3 draw.
Engineers started brightly with the impressive Matty McCambridge hitting the bar from distance, Against the run of play Tabor took the lead when Luke Busfield’s long punt upfield was misjudged by keeper Craig Lobley and he spilled into his own net. It was soon 2-0 when Andrew Wadsworth’s sliding clearance was unfortunately put into his own net. Engineers responded with a Lee Barber penalty after a foul on Matty McCambridge.
Engineers started the second half well but were guilty on many occasions of missing chances and they were made to pay when Chris Woodhouse sprung the offside trap and rounded Lobley for a tap in.
Engineers threw on Ryan Thomas and he pulled a goal back with eight minutes remaining with a finish from a tight angle and Engineers were level five minutes later when Wadsworth’s powerful shot was saved by Crowther in the Tabor goal but Scott Dawson was on hand to level matters.