Old Boys lift trophy for first time

Brighouse Old Boys won the Halifax FA Saturday Cup for the first time in their history on Tuesday evening with a 2-1 win over Calder ‘76 at the Shay.

Rob Kenny and Matty Roy struck within four minutes of each other midway through the second half to put the West Yorkshire League Premier Division side in the ascendancy.

Plucky underdogs Calder could have conceded more but regrouped and substitute Irfan Afzal pulled one back for the Halifax AFL side with two minutes left to set up an exciting finale.

However, Brighouse emerged deserved winners to erase the memories of their near miss three years ago when they lost to Ovenden West Riding in the final.

Phil Garbe’s side had settled that score by beating Ovenden, winners of this competition for the last five seasons, in the semi-finals this time but they didn’t have things all their own way against surprise packet Calder.

The first half was fairly even. Calder ‘keeper Warren Clayton beat out an effort from Kenny before the goal opened up for Simon Whitton at the other end but he shot wide.

Calder had a remarkable double escape four minutes before the interval when Old Boys centre forward Lee Burgess smacked the ball against the foot of a post and then Kenny hit the bar just a few seconds later.

The sides continued to trade blows into the second half and Calder produced a superb move from a free kick on the hour, Matty McCambridge and Steve Jones setting up Karl Wooliscroft for a first-time effort which curled just wide of the far post.

Calder have a reputation for blowing hot and cold and they were made to pay when their defence was all at sea for a spell.

A miscued defensive headed resulted in the ball flying into the penalty area and when the generally impressive Scott Dawson was unable to clear, the ball dropped for Kenny who hammered home from 10 yards.

Joe Nalson’s cross hit the outside of a post before Roy doubled the lead in superb style. Naturally left-footed, Roy produced some trickery near the corner of the penalty area before swivelling and hitting a fine shot into the far side of the goal with his right foot.

Kenny, Burgess and Roy all had golden chances to extend Brighouse’s lead in the immediate aftermath of the second goal, Clayton making a couple of saves.

There appeared to be an air of inevitability about the outcome but Calder showed they were not ready to throw in the towel after a raft of substitutions on both sides.

Whitton’s whipped shot was not far wide and Ricky Topham tried to bundle the ball and ‘keeper Jason Hibbert into the net from Gav Fleming cross.

Afzal gave the Calder fans a glimmer of hope when he knocked the ball past the ‘keeper from close range but Brighouse were able to run the clock down.

Brighouse OB: J.Hibbert, J.Nalson, L.Johnson, I.Brock, A.Hall, C.Wydowczyk, J.Cummings, R.Kenny, L.Burgess, J.Fletcher, M.Roy. Subs: C.Lee, A.Burton, A.Tait, D.Place.

Calder ‘76: W.Clayton, G.Fleming, P.Ashman, S.Dawson, M.McCambridge, S.Whitton, S.Jones, S.Stansfield, K.Wooliscroft, R.Allen, R.Topham. Subs: J.Megson, H.Gee, I.Afzal.

Referee: A.Thorpe.