Escape bid continues for Irish

Halifax Irish boss Chris Ellerby is not getting too carried away with his side’s survival hopes after back-to-back wins.

The Natty Lane side made it successive 4-2 home wins when they followed up their victory over Westbrook YMCA with success against Dudley Hill Rangers on Saturday.

Irish are still bottom but now only two points behind Rangers and Storthes Hall Reserves. However, they have played one game more than Rangers and two of their final four fixtures are against the leading pair so Ellerby believes the odds are still stacked against his side.

Irish got off to the worst possible start when a long range effort from Jamie Scott cannoned back off the bar and hit George Brookes on the back for a freakish own goal.

However, Irish immediately hit back when captain Callum Cook fed the ball through to Jordan Coduri who coolly finished.

The hosts were put on the back foot but defended magnificently with Nathan Wood and Peter Southwell stopping all attacks down the flanks.

Irish went in front after 20 minutes when Richard Clarke fed Luke Holmes, who beat two players and pulled the ball back to Gareth Gaukroger who smashed the ball home.

Two minutes later Michael Gregory set up Gaukroger, whose shot was saved only for Cook to prod home and take his tally to seven goals in as many games.

Irish made a slow start to the second half and although Michael Gregory and Lee Coulthard broke up a lot of attacks, Hill got back in it through Lyam Bastiy’s long range thunderbolt.

The visitors had the wind in their sails and Bastiy’s superb drive was matched by Brookes’ save while Scott Hamilton made some last ditch tackles.

Substitute Thomas Robinson was denied by a crucial block but Coulthard set Jordan Coduri away down the right and he beat several players before squaring for Cook to bag his second.

Brighouse Town’s interest in the Premier Division Cup ended with a 3-0 home defeat by Littletown.

However, boss Darren Laycock said the scoreline masked the fact that Town had been by far the better side in the first half with Mark Brady and Antony Brown rattling the woodwork and two efforts being cleared off the line.

Littletown didn’t look like scoring but were presented with their first goal by a bad pass and Brighouse handed out a similar gift in the second half.

Play was then even but a third goal, which may have gone in off Luke Hammond, sealed the hosts’ fate.

Ovenden West Riding Reserves could not repeat their cup heroics of six weeks earlier, hosts Campion Reserves beating them 3-1 in Division Two.

Without the injured Chris Woodhouse and the half-time withdrawal of his brother Martin, they were never really in contention.

Richard Hartley helped Ovenden get back to 2-1 before half time but Campion added a third in the second half to kill them off.