AFC Crossleys left unbeaten Halifax AFL Premier Division leaders Stump Cross red faced by inflicting a stunning 4-3 defeat in the second round of the Halifax FA Saturday Cup.
It is only a couple of weeks since the Mason Green side were allowed to withdraw their team from the top section, and field just one side in Division Two, after arguing that mass defections had left them much weaker.
Crossleys, fielding an almost identical line-up to the one which had beaten lowly Sowerby United Reserves by the same score a week earlier, charged into a 4-1 interval lead on Saturday and then hung on against the inevitable Stump fightback.
“We were a bit surprised by the result ourselves,” said Crossleys secretary and goalkeeper Kevin Crossley, who said only two of last season’s first team were still at the club.
Crossley thought a combination of over-confidence from Stump and a “nothing to lose” approach from his men had contributed to the shock result.
The hosts’ first half goals came from Andy Mellard (two), a back-heel from Des Morris and Scott Tompkins, Stump’s reply being a Damian Watkins penalty which had made it 1-1.
In the second half Watkins tucked a through ball under Crossley but Stump’s third goal didn’t come until the last five minutes when Josh Hiley scored from close range following Chris Gent’s cross.
Crossley made some useful saves during the contest while striker Morris, centre backs Nathan Walker and Dave Mlodeski and midfield Scott Cartman also spearheaded the home effort.
Last year’s Halifax AFL double winners Elland United are also out, beaten 3-2 on penalties away to division-lower Hebden Royd Red Star after the game had finished 2-2 following extra time.
Jordan Dean went close with a header and an Elland effort clipped the bar before the visitors were reduced to 10 men after 30 minutes when their centre half lashed out at Jake Grannan off the ball.
Star took the lead with a Simon Leah penalty for hands-ball but Elland laid siege to the Red Star goal in the second half and equalised.
Paul Bradbury’s leaders went in front in the first period of extra time but an Eddy Harvey volley forced penalties.
Skipper Glynn Claxton saved Elland’s first two penalties but Jack Earle and Chadwick missed their spot kicks for Star.
Claxton could do nothing about the third but Danny Gilfillan made it 1-1. Claxton saved the fourth, both sides scored with their next kicks and Joe Januszczyk then sealed Elland’s fate.
Another shock came on Savile Park where Division One high-flyers Sowerby Bridge went down 3-2 to Spring Hall Celtic from the bottom division.
Bridge were firmly on course when Martin Bates scored an early goal and then added a second after half an hour, the visitors also striking the bar a couple of times.
Celtic got one back before half time and Adam Barlow’s missed penalty proved costly for Bridge when their hosts, who knocked the ball around nicely, scored two good goals in the last 10 minutes.
Ryburn United beat Sowerby United 5-3 in a pulsating clash between two AFL Premier sides.
Christian Silkstone headed Ryburn in front in the first minute but Sowerby’s reply was instant with Jonny Caufield closing down the Ryburn keeper quickly before winning the ball and walking the ball into the net.
Sowerby were pressing but sloppy defending allowed Adam Sharp to head home and Ed Hyland made it 3-1 when play was allowed to continue in spite of visiting ‘keeper Paul Barker being laid out.
Sowerby kept battling and a superb left footed shot from Swallow reduced the deficit, only for Billy Grogan’s hopeful shot to squirm under Barker and a clever chip from Nathan Hargreaves to make it 5-2.
Sowerby would not give in and scored the goal of the game when Jake Allott, Corey Henderson and Swallow combined for Lee Barber to finish in style.
Northowram were given a scare by Savile Arms FC from two divisions lower before scraping home 4-3, having led 3-0 at half time.
The youthful home side had the better of the opening 15 minutes, during which Scott Miller hit the bar. However, Rams skipper Matthew Rushworth headed home a corner at the back post, Alex O’Keefe doubled the lead on 20 minutes and then got his second just before half time after neat play between James Waggett and Adam Ingham.
O’Keefe put his side four goals clear but Arms grew in confidence and got back into the contest with a sweetly struck free kick from Goldthorpe and a header from the unmarked Rick Bentley.
Rams missed chances to stretch their lead and Goldthorpe got his second a minute from time.
Remi Allen scored a hat-trick as Premier side Calder won 4-1 against division-lower Halifax Irish Centre at West Vale.
The visitors kept possession well early on and Allen, after heading a good chance over, gave his side the lead after 20 minutes after Paul Ashman had flicked on Simon Stansfield’s ball out of defence.
Allen made it 2-0 with a tap in from Steve Jones’s square ball shortly after but Irish got one back through Ash Holmes, who followed up to score after Warren Clayton had stopped his spot kick.
Irish pressed for an equaliser before and after half time but Karl Wooliscroft and Irfan Afzal started to dominate the midfield for Calder, who were unlucky when Jones broke through from half way and wqas unlucky to see his fine chip go narrowly wide.
Calder did get the crucial next goal when Allen latched on to Ricky Topham’s flick and substitute James Megson completed the scoring, heading over the advancing ‘keeper.
Midgley United and Wadsworth United were another couple of Calder Valley sides to progress.
Midgley were not at their best but were still too strong for first division Elland Allstars, winning 5-1.
Allstars played some decent football but were fighting a losing battle after going 4-0 down in the first half.
George Bamford opened the scoring after a goalmouth scramble, Andrew Butterworth doubled the lead from a corner, Tom Booth tapped the ball home and a Jason Cartlidge header put the home side in command.
Connor Bell got one back for Elland with the goal of the game - a chip from 25 yards over Stephen Butterworth - but Booth had the last word with 10 minutes to go.
Wadsworth surprised their boss Nathan Sim by managing to keep going better than visitors Stainland United, winning 6-3 after extra time.
Wadsworth hadn’t managed a training session for a couple of weeks and Sim is looking for someone else to take over the reins, but his men still scored three times without reply in extra time. Adam Brown and Max Crossley both bagged a hat-trick for the winners, who were 2-0 down after 35 minutes and had Frank Howell in outstanding form in the middle of the park.
Copley United and Holmfield won both away in all-Premier Division ties, at Greetland and Shelf United respectively.
The big guns from the regional leagues generally progressed smoothly in the Halifax FA Saturday Cup, headed by holders Ovenden WR who made mincemeat of Halifax AFL third division side West Central.
Ovenden won 14-0 with Andy Gregory scoring seven goals and Martin Woodhouse three while Matt Devlin, Jay Carney, Kevin Megson and Mohammed Ozair also hit the target.
Huddersfield Amateurs had a straight forward 5-1 win against a plucky Frog FC from the Yorkshire Christian League at Hipperholme and Lightcliffe School.
Sam Frankland scored his second hat-trick in consecutive games, Jacob Travis scored with a header from a corner and Dave Woffenden got the other goal with an audacious overhead kick direct from another corner from man of the match Nathan Hudson.
Brighouse Old Boys made hard work of beating Halifax Athletic with a solitary goal in the last minute but Ealandians had no such problems at home to Mixenden, crushing the AFL first division outfit 7-0.
Halifax Irish won 6-1 away to Salem, dominating from the start.
They took the lead when Jordan Coduri squared the ball to Gareth Sherwood, who found the top corner from 25 yards.
Coduri’s excellent reverse pass enabled Gareth Jones to through and round the keeper and Coduri then bagged two for himself - from an excellent run and finish and then with a spectacular lob on 20 minutes.
After that the game lost its edge with Irish happy to keep possession and Salem keeping numbers behind the ball.
Liam Huson got one back in the second half but that sparked the greens back into life. Jones set up Sherwood, who then completed his hat-trick with a wonderful 30 yard drive.
Denholme United won the only league game in the top two divisions of the Haslem-Sheppard Halifax AFL on Saturday.
Neil Roberts bagged four goals as they won 8-3 at home to a Ryburn United Reserves side who are still looking for a first win after six outings.
It was all change again at the top of Division Two with free-scoring Elland United Reserves powering to the top.
They were 7-1 home winners over Halifax Irish Centre Reserves and lead on goal difference from Warley Rangers Reserves, who drew 2-2 with their Midgley United counterparts, and Sowerby Bridge Reserves, who beat previous leaders Hebden Royd Red Star Reserves 2-0.
Martin Rigby and Connor Clatworthy were on target for Bridge, who were comfortable winners against Red Star.
Calder ‘76 Reserves remain two points clear of Denholme United Reserves in Division Three after both won.
Calder had their expected win over bottom club Salem Reserves, who were beaten 4-0 but showed much more fight under new boss Craig Salmons.
Daniel Mitchell set Calder on their way after two minutes and two well-taken goals from home man of the match James Dempsey looked likely to open the floodgates, particularly when Salem keeper Clive Brown had to be carried off when his neck and back locked.
With Salmons in goal and other positional changes, Salem started to make a game of it and did not concede again until the closing stages when Gavin Martin popped in the fourth following a goalmouth scramble.
Denholme maintained their club’s promising start to the season with Guy Flanagan again on target as they won 2-1 at Brighouse Sports AFC.