Midgley in top form to sink leaders

Joe Gibson (centre) was a Midgley scorer
Joe Gibson (centre) was a Midgley scorer

Midgley United inflicted a first league defeat of the season on Greetland, who were overtaken at the summit of the Haslem-Sheppard Halifax AFL by their conquerors and Stump Cross.

Midgley made light of the absences of injured star strikers Tom Booth and George Bamford to win 3-1 away, a scoreline which the visitors felt barely reflected their superiority.

“It was probably our best performance of the season,” said Midgley boss Craig Gee, whose side will be looking to complete a quick double in Saturday’s return game.

The visitors were in charge from the start. A Calum Rodgers effort looped over ‘keeper Craig Taylor and hit the bar and Jamie Coward struck a post with a left foot drive.

The goal Midgley deserved came from Calum Wheelwright, who netted from close range after 25 minutes.

Saves from Taylor and a goalline clearance limited the damage until Joe Gibson made it 0-2 after an hour and Rob Stansfield put further daylight between the teams, both from corners.

Greetland got one back when Midgley ‘keeper Steve Butterworth’s clearance hit Dave Woffenden - the visitors claimed he had handled - and the striker lobbed the ball home.

Midgley go second while Stump, playing their first game for more than a month, are back at the summit after beating bottom club Sowerby Bridge 3-0.

Two goals in five minutes midway through the second half settled it, Damian Watkins mopping up after the Bridge ‘keeper had spilled a shot from Tom Robinson, who then scored himself from the edge of the box.

The visitors had been in the hunt up to then, Gary Allchin making a couple of saves as the impressive Adam Barlow did his best for Bridge.

Stump had led 1-0 at the break, Watkins getting a touch with his head to a Robinson free-kick after 20 minutes.

Watkins and Josh Hiley missed chances for Stump in the opening 45 minutes while Robinson hit a post.

Calder ‘76 survived a late comeback from Copley United to get back to winning ways with a 5-4 home success.

Calder are notoriously slow starters but they played some good football early on. Ricky Topham gave them the lead after Steve Jones’s effort had been blocked, but Gary Ash beat the offside trap to make it 1-1.

Jonny Gibson was Calder’s man of the match but Jones was pulling the strings and he rounded off a good team move to make it 2-1 before adding his second before half time.

Gibson’s deflected shot put more daylight between the teams and although the unmarked Shane Dawson got Copley’s second, Sam Taylor poked the ball home for 5-2.

Paul Drake launched Copley’s comeback with a back post header after a free-kick had deflected off the defensive wall and Ash’s second with 10 minutes left gave Copley impetus.

The visitors pressed late on to no avail and Gav Martin missed two one-on-ones for Calder on the break.

Division One leaders Northowram turned on the style in the first half against Wadsworth, hitting five goals without reply en route to an 8-1 success.

The Rams, playing up the slope at Northowram Rec, took the lead when Danny King’s long crossfield free kick was headed back across goal by Danny Rushworth and the unmarked Chris Conroy nodded home from close range.

Conroy blazed over from a good position but Mark Eade scored from the penalty spot and when the Wadsworth keeper had kept out Olly Spencer’s shot with his legs, Danny King forced home the rebound at the near post.

Spencer and Eade might have scored before Conroy side-footed in from Archie Griffiths’ perfectly weighted chip and then bagged his 25th of the season after taking the ball past four opponents.

Wadsworth competed well after Eade had picked up Jake Baker’s pass and rounded the ‘keeper to make it 6-0 after 50 minutes.

They pulled a goal back from Sam Cartwright’s volley but Conroy’s fourth goal of the game and one from Rushworth made it a day to remember for the Rams.

Second-placed Shelf United put a poor first half display behind them to win 4-1 against Volunteer Arms on Savile Park.

They were fortunate to go in at the break on terms, Kevin Spalding having given Arms the lead from a long ball after 30 minutes, only for a teammate to put the ball in his own net following Danny Thornton’s header just before the break.

Shelf then stepped up a gear and bagged three goals in the third quarter.

Jonny Lister and Thornton both scored after long free-kicks and good work from Elliott Parkinson paved the way for Mark Hindle to turn and shoot home from 20 yards out.

Joe Griffin missed a good chance for Shelf before ‘keeper Daniel Gill lost the ball and Jamie Whitehead scored Volunteer’s second.

Salem and Elland Allstars both lost further ground on the leading pair.

Lee Worrall scored a hat-trick for Salem at Stainland but goals for Joel Wood (two) and Dan Hodgson ensured it finished 3-3.

Two more goals for Connor Bell were only worth a point for Allstars in a 2-2 draw at Ryburn United Reserves, for whom Jake Brown and Richard Redhead were on target.

Greetland Reserves moved off the bottom of the table for the first time since the opening game of the season as they beat Halifax Irish Centre 2-0 in a relegation fight at West Vale.

Both sides had chances in the first half, despite the heavy going. Daryl Camp should have scored for the visitors from a Gary Taylor cross and Andy Hurcombe also had a couple of good chances.

Max Lister hit the bar early in the second half but Jimmy Highley scored a deserved opener for Greetland after 60 minutes.

Highley made a lovely jinking run from the edge of the area before sliding the ball in the bottom corner with his trusty left foot.

The game opened up then. Rory Youell missed a great chance for Greetland while at the other end ’keeper Danny Brooks pulled off a finger tip save.

Veteran midfielder Hurcombe scored a penalty late on to seal the win after he had been brought down.

The top two in Division Two, Mixenden United and AFC Crossleys fought out a 1-1 draw at Natty Lane.

The goals came in the last 10 minutes, Kyle Tyers giving Crossleys the lead from close range after home ‘keeper Anthony Fenwick had parried the ball, and Martin Woodhouse levelling near the end with a deflected shot.

Mixenden, who have dropped more points than their visitors, really needed a win and felt they had played well enough to get three points.

They had a strong penalty claim turned down in each half - one for hand ball and the second when they felt Martin Woodhouse had been pulled down.

Mixenden had the better of the first half, with Danny Johnson and Dom Woodhouse prominent, while Crossleys hit back in the second.

The draw was good news for Spring Hall Celtic, who moved into second place with a 4-2 home win over King Cross Warley Reserves and have dropped the fewest points of the title contenders.

Celtic made it eight wins in a row with goals from Ahmed (two), Terriq Pervez and Hussain Farooq.

Salem Reserves’ revival was ended by leaders Brighouse Sports in Division Three.

The visitors flowing football and pace was too much for their older hosts and Brighouse won 4-1.

Bottom club Salem, who had won their previous two games, included new signing Joe Duffy.

They were under the cosh immediately but ‘keeper Steve Hawksworth rescued them on numerous occasions.

Wasteful finishing from Connor Durkin and Jack Tankard kept the scoresheet blank for 25 minutes but then Tankard broke the deadlock and David Cuthbert added a second before half time.

Brighouse doubled their tally through Durkin and a fine individual effort from Chris Allan but Dan Manley pulled one back with a close-range headed after Martin Jenkins’ free kick hit the bar.

West Central thrashed St Columbas 9-2 with the help of four goals from Lamin Janneh Jnr but Shelf FC stay clear of them in second after Gary Baldy and Alex Conroy scored the only goals of the game at home to Savile Arms.