Late drama as Salem peg back Denholme

Salem's Matty Horsfall against Denholme on Saturday
Salem's Matty Horsfall against Denholme on Saturday

Division One promotion contenders Salem and Denholme United fought out a 4-4 draw in one of only six Halifax AFL matches to take place on a soggy Saturday.

With all the Premier games off, the focus was on two of the teams chasing Northowram and Shelf United in the section below.

The Savile Park contest was a dramatic affair with Salem fighting back from 4-1 down midway through to second half to snatch a point.

Neil Roberts missed two good chances for Denholme before the home centre half put the ball in his own net following a Matty Waring cross on 25 minutes.

The visitors were passing well in midfield and they were further rewarded by Paul Armitage’s 20-yard screamer to make it 0-2 at half time.

Salem pulled one back from the kick off in the second half when a midfielder ran straight through the Denholme ranks, but Neil Roberts scored for the visitors and when he set up Waring to make it 1-4 it looked game over.

However, Salem made changes and stormed back. Their speedy sub scored and then a 25-yard lob cut the deficit further.

A Denholme effort was cleared off the line and Salem, whose scorers were Matty Horsfall, Lee Worrall, Steve Croft and Adam Gaze, grabbed a late equaliser.

Wadsworth United climbed out of the bottom two with a 3-2 success at Stainland United, who have been dragged into the relegation picture.

Mike McKelvey lifted the ball over the ‘keeper for the opening goal but Stainland equalised when visiting custodian Matty Senior came out of his goal to clear but was undone by a bobbling ball.

Sam Cartwright restored the visitors’ lead in a scramble but Stainland got their second from a corner just before half time.

Wadsworth had the slope in their favour at Stainland Rec in the second half and had several chances.

Midfielder Kieron Sim came up with their winner, having been pushed forward into midfield after scoring several goals as a defender this season.

Calder ‘76 Reserves kept Sowerby United Reserves rooted at the foot of the table after a 3-2 home win in the only game to go ahead in Division Two.

The teams had been due to meet at first team level and Calder felt Sowerby had strengthened their reserve side so they sent on first team striker Jonny Gibson in the second half and he made a difference.

Sowerby went 2-0 up inside 20 minutes through Alex Haggerty and Dan Boyd but Gav Martin chipped the excellent home keeper at the start of the second half and Calder quickly hit the front with Gibson setting up two goals for winger Danny Mitchell.

Salem Reserves, who had their two previous wins in Division Three this season taken away from them, got one that counted with a 2-0 success away to St Columbas.

Salem, who had rolled over Elland Allstars Reserves twice before that team folded, had lost twice previously to Saints this season.

However, they took the lead after an uninspiring opening 30 minutes at Savile Park. Jonathan Rigglesby, on his first game back at Salem after two seasons at Sowerby Bridge, mis-hit a 25-yard free-kick but ex-Salem keeper Des Brown let the ball slip from his grasp into the net.

That was the only action of note until 10 minutes from end when, following a Salem corner, the ball went round the penalty area like a pinball until Martin Jenkins lashed home from a yard out.

Salem, with Dan Manley to the fore, could have made it 3-0 but Mehmet El Trappo put a penalty wide after a hand-ball.

The top two in the division were both beaten, Brighouse Sports’ dismay at losing 4-2 away to Savile Arms being eased by a 1-0 setback from Shelf FC at West Central.

Former winners Ovenden West Riding beat fellow West Riding CA side Storthes Hall 2-1 at Natty Lane on Saturday to reach the West Riding Challenge Cup quarter finals.

In a first half littered with ferocious challenges, Ovenden fell behind to an Alex Slack header from a Gavin Armitage free kick on 15 minutes.

West Riding, with Steve Fullard back to his best, kept visiting keeper Jordan Roberts busy and he denied Damian Randall.

After the break more open football was provided by West Riding. Jordan Coduri went close before eventually levelling on 75 minutes with an effort into the roof of the net from six yards.

Eight minutes later Booth dispossessed John Buckley deep inside his own penalty area to find Coduri lurking three yards out and his delicate finish was too much for Roberts,

Ovenden have a home quarter final on February 1 against either Newsome or Silsden Reserves.

Spring Hall Celtic will be away to either Beeston St Anthonys Reserves or Slaithwaite United on the same date in the West Riding Trophy after winning 2-0 at FC Gawthorpe.

Terriq Pervez and Khurram Shazad got the goals for the Halifax AFL Division Two side.