Halifax Hammers roared back to top of The Ziggys Metro Cars Halifax Sunday Football League after a convincing 5-1 win over a stubborn Queens Head side.
The two sides largely cancelled each other out in the first 15 minutes, but Hammers soon hit their stride and blitzed their opponents with four goals before half-time.
Mohammed Ozair danced his way into the box before rifling a shot into the top corner to open the scoring before their lead was doubled when Lamin Janneh scored a beauty after a good team move.
Queens were finding it difficult to keep up with Hammers’ quick one touch passing and were soon 3-0 down when a good move on the right involving man-of-the-match Irfan Afzal, with Sameer Ahmed playing a delightful ball to Ahsan Farroq, who scored with a powerful shot.
Straight from the restart, Hammers won back possession and pacey winger Terriq Pervez beat the offside trap to race clear and hit an unstoppable shot into the bottom corner.
Callum Charlton nearly extended the lead further before Janneh was brought down in the penalty box, only for Farooq’s spot-kick to be saved by Queen’s keeper Craig Chew.
In the second-half Ozair hit the bar and Charlton had an effort cleared off the line as the pummeling continued, but Queens got a goal back when Martin Woodhouse hit a screamer past Hammers keeper Hussain Farooq.
The stopper made further excellent saves before Hammers substitute Awais Khan scored a fine solo goal to round off the scoring.
Waiters Arms continued their good form with a comprehensive 7-1 victory over Feathers FC at Trinity.
Waiters started on the front foot and were unlucky not to be three or four in front in the first 10 minutes with Kev Talbot and David Chappell been denied by Feathers keeper Chris Silkstone. Waiters did take the lead when a flowing move down the left saw Dean Park and Carl Maguire combine with the latter’s cross getting turned home by Chappell at the second attempt. Chappell then turned provider teeing up strike partner Talbot to slot home his first of an injury plagued campaign. Waiters were three up shortly after when an Ashton Richardson throw evaded everyone but veteran player manager Adam Fenton who volleyed home at his customary back post position. Both teams continued to play football with Feathers Joel Cleary and Ryan Allen showing some nice touches but when Silkstone got caught off his line two minutes before the break Waiters talisman Lee Wood sent the ball sailing over his head from 50 yards for the goal of the game. Feathers did pull one back right on the whistle when Will Hodgins out jumped Waiters Lee Albon to nod home a Cleary free kick.
This didn’t change the outcome though as Waiters continued to dominate and from a James Waggett 60 yard through ball Chappell raced clear and slotted in his second, Wood added a sixth when a training ground move from Fenton and James Grimble paid off and Wood did the rest from 10 yards. Chances continued to go begging for Waiters with Chappell and Talbot spending most of their time kicking balls into the car park but Chappell did notch his second hat trick of the season when he smartly rounded the keeper after great work from Waiters Skipper Ash O’Shea.
Barge FC completed a seismic reversal in form, as they smashed Hollins Holme 9-3.
Having conceded 26 goals in their first three matches following promotion to the Premier Division, Matthew Bagshaw’s charges put their first points on the board in some style.
Bagshaw admitted that his side’s shape has contributed to their earlier heavy defeats and that a tactical switch to pack out the midfield had contributed to their significant improvement.
Graham Pugh was singled out as being key to the victory over Hollins; the front man dropping back into a midfield role from where he was still able to hone his predatory instincts in netting a hat-trick.
New signing Glen Hall was also excellent playing in the centre of defence from where he also netted a header, whilst Andy Salm also scored and collected the man of the match accolade.
The pace and direct running of Sam Halstead and David Woffenden was also a highlight, with both players helping themselves to a brace in an impressive victory.
In Division One, Old Pond met Halifax Hammers Reserves for a second consecutive weekend having also beaten the same opponent in the West Riding Sunday Cup last time out.
In a reversal of the previous cup tie, it was this time Hammers who started the stronger as they bagged three first half goals through Ishtiaq Ali, Foysal Ahmed and Hassan Ahmed.
Pond got a vital goal themselves as Kristian Ellis fed Hayden Lewis who showed some nifty footwork in shifting himself into a goalscoring position before curling home.
The second half saw Pond dig in with another solid defensive display, but it was debutant Chris Allan who stole the show.
The front man grabbed two having come off the bench to earn Pond a share of the spoils. He finished off a move involving Ellis and Lewis for his first, before a long ball from Dave Lawrence and slide rule pass from Jamie O’Callaghan created the equaliser.
Both teams had chances to take all three points late doors, with Hammers seeing a goal disallowed and Allan blazing over when well placed.
Elsewhere in Division One, King Cross Park and Lee Mount maintained their 100 per cent starts with wins over Ryburn Valley and Ryburn United respectively, while Oddfellows thrashed Halifax Rangers 6-0.
In Division Two North Bridge picked up a narrow victory against early strugglers Halifax Rangers Reserves.
After a reshuffle following the loss of captain Tom Hoodlass to injury, former Crown FC front man Lee McCallion put Bridge ahead with a cross-shot.
Rangers struck back before the interval however, Andy Blakey in the Bridge net unable to keep hold of the ball after initially tipping onto the post.
The visitors needed a fox in the box to get them over the line and steal all three points – and Reese Fox stepped up to the mark in firing home following an Ash Whitaker cross.
Rangers again could have wrestled a point from the match, but were denied by the woodwork in the closing seconds.
Elsewhere in Division Two, Triangle and Fountain Head FC both scored seven, with wins over Bradshaw 7-6 and Ovenden Phoenix 7-3 respectively, while Halifax Amateurs beat Weavers 3-2.