Midgley unable to grab chance
Midgley United missed a chance to go top of the Halifax AFL on Saturday, when the clash of main title contenders Ryburn United and Illingworth St Mary's was postponed.
Ryburn had thought their Ripponden Wood pitch would be fit when they took a look mid-morning but the cold weather had left its mark.
Midgley remain second, one point behind Illingworth from two games more, after a 3-3 draw away to Greetland.
They needed a late Andrew Butterworth penalty to salvage a point in spite of plenty off possession.
Goals from Karl Jowett, Aaron Dorward and Charlie Cliffe, with Butterworth replying, gave Greetland a 3-1 lead.
Steve Fullard scored Midgley’s second with 25 minutes left and a foul on Steve Senior allowed Butterworth to level things up from the spot.
Northowram humiliated their derby visitors Shelf United 7-0 on a snow-flecked surface.
Shelf, trailing 3-0, had their goalkeeper dismissed with 25 minutes left and the Rams exploited large gaps as their opponents pushed forward and lost shape.
The first half was keenly contested with few chances, Shelf’s David Chappell hitting a post.
The hosts were gifted a goal after 25 minutes when a horrible miskick left Mark Eade to strike a firm low shot into the far corner.
Chris Gent’s shot was well saved from the best move of the half and it was from Gent’s perfectly-weighted corner a minute before half-time that Matthew Rushworth’s firm header doubled Northowram’s advantage.
Experienced Matt Calland extended the Rams’ lead on 54 minutes with a perfectly-placed volley from distance which flew one bounce past the keeper.
James Bunn produced a couple of good saves as Shelf kept pressing but the game was as good as over when the keeper, as the last man, brought down Oldridge as he was about to slot the fourth goal.
Chris Conroy scored from the spot and the keeper was sent off.
Rushworth’s header off the line denied Shelf but the then Rams dominated. The outstanding Lewis Oldridge scored twice with a tap-in from Charlie Hirst, after replacement ‘keeper James Waggett had spilled the ball, in between.
Sowerby United shared the spoils with visitors Copley United in an eight goal thriller.
The hosts spurned several good chances before a quick Copley break ended with Gary Ash scoring.
Sowerby were level 10 minutes later when Rory Thickett outpaced the defenders and fired home.
Copley responded immediately when Daniel Dewick put them in front again.
Sowerby were denied by several fine saves from Copley keeper Craig Skinner before Corey Henderson levelled the scores.
Another quick Copley counter attack saw them hit the front for a third time with another smart finish from Ash.
There was still time for Josh Hiley to level again for Sowerby but when substitute Scott Davies fired in Copley’s fourth it looked like being the winner. However, Harvey Walsh slotted home minutes from time.
Calder 76 continued their recent resurgence with an excellent 5-3 victory away to Warley Rangers, despite playing for more than an hour with 10 men.
Warley took an early lead when Carlton Balmer was picked out by Anthony Campbell’s clever pass and delivered a composed finish.
Mark Kelsey should have doubled the lead but missed from three yards and some neat passing from the visitors enabled Remi Allen to haul his side level.
That spurred Calder and they were gifted the advantage as stand in keeper Lee Goodall fumbled a simple catch, allowing Rick Topham a walk the ball in.
The visitors soon found themselves up against it as Karl Wooliscroft was dismissed for violent conduct.
Rather than deflate Calder, it galvanised them and ace marksman Allen forced Rangers into another defensive mix up and lashed into give his side a 3-1 lead at the break
Warley showed character in the second half and Balmer soon made it 3-2. Five minutes later Campbell stung the keeper’s palms with a long range effort and Mark Kelsey gobbled up the rebound and make it all square.
It was all Warley and Dan Kirman was denied by a point blank save before substitute Martin Boon wasted a golden chance.
Calder’s 10 sensed an opportunity as Rangers tired and were well on top in the closing stages, driven on by tireless man of the match Callum Wheelwright.
They took a deserved lead when Allen beat Goodall to a ball over the top and squared for Topham to tap into an empty net.
Minutes later Allen completed a hat-trick rising highest at the far post to nod past the ‘keeper and give Calder a great win.
Sowerby Bridge moved 13 points clear of title rivals Shelf FC - from five games more - after blitzing second-placed Holmfield 8-1 in Division One.
Sam Hiley bagged a hat-trick and Lee Wood, Oliver Coates, Tom Hiley, Ben Hiley and Martyn Bates were also on target at Savile Park with Ashley Ackroyd getting Holmfield’s consolation.
Shelf at least look likely to be awarded the points from their home game with Greetland Reserves, who were unable to raise a team.
Midgley United Reserves picked up their first point of the season in a 2-2 home draw with Elland Allstars.
Jason Cartlidge and Matthew Thompson scored for the hosts while Elland Jamie Leigh and Stefan Drakes netted for the visitors.
Nathan Hargreaves notched a hat-trick for Ryburn United Reserves, who strengthened their grip on fourth place with a 6-2 win away to Salem.
Denholme United are their nearest pursuers after completing back-to-back home wins, Jack Harrison scoring twice in the 4-2 success against AFC Crossleys.
The Calder 76 Res versus Brighouse Sports AFC contest was postponed.
Three of the six matches in Division Two went ahead with leading pair Ivy House and Illingworth St Mary’s among the teams left frustrated.
Junction Athletic are playing catch-up and they pulled back three points on the top two with a 5-0 home win over Shelf United Reserves, helped by two goals each from Ryan Barkham and Dominic McCloud.
Hebden Royd Red Star Reserves picked up a first league win of the season, at the 14th attempt, with a 6-2 home win over Sowerby Bridge Reserves.
Brandon Wilkinson and Alex Conwell helped them on their way with two goals each for the bottom side.
Fourth-placed Northowram Reserves are on a roll. They made it six wins on the trot since a 5-4 defeat away to leaders Ivy House with a 2-1 victory away to Plummet Line.
Alex Abson and Mark Hayward got their goals with Joe Grimley the scorer for Plummet, who started the day ahead of them.