Ryburn lead ahead of crunch game

Ryburn United travel to play title rivals Stump Cross at Shroggs Park on Wednesday having taken over at the top of the Haslem-Sheppard Halifax AFL.

However, they cut it very fine at home to King Cross Warley on Saturday, goal machine Christian Silkstone scoring a winner with two minutes remaining.

Ryburn won 3-2 at their changed venue of Old Earth at Elland and Silkstone got all their goals to take his tally for the season to 38 in all competitions.

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It was a vital win for Ryburn, who have dropped one point fewer than Stump as both prepare for their final three games.

King Cross Warley took the lead through Tom Hiley’s finish into the top corner past stand-in keeper Craig Peckover after 10 minutes.

Silkstone equalised with a header from a corner midway through the first half and although Ryburn peppered their opponents with the wind behind them in the second half, the visitors broke and Dave Maguire cut inside and fired home.

Ryburn sent on subs Si Carter, Alex Coburn and Nathan Hargreaves in an effort to turn it around.

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Silkstone missed a penalty but then made amends from the spot and got the winner at the back post following a corner.

A draw would probably suit Ryburn in Wednesday’s big showdown.

Ryburn manager Craig Walker said: “It is a make-or-break game. Stump have home advantage and are probably favourites.”

Ryburn have by far the best defensive record in the top flight, letting in less than a goal a game, and Walker added: “We have not to concede (a goal) and be strong.”

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Sowerby Bridge host Sowerby United tonight and are desperate for points in the first of two meetings with their derby rivals to complete their season.

A 1-1 draw away to fellow strugglers Hebden Royd Red Star on Saturday was of more use to their hosts, who have one point more and four games left.

Bridge were given an early tonic when Lee Wood broke through from Adam Barlow’s pass and shot in at the near post after five minutes.

However, the home side got on top and equalised with a fine finish from Lewis Cockroft from just inside the area on 30 minutes.

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The second half was an end-to-end affair with both sides looking for a winner.

Star were unable to test Jordan Bolton with their efforts on goal and Adam Barlow almost snatched victory for Bridge with a last-minute overhead kick which was superbly saved by Sainey Touray.

Holmfield stay bottom but are now only one point behind Bridge after winning for the first time since late November, by 4-3 away to Elland United.

Jordan Pettifor scored twice and Jamie Keegan and Danny Kirman were also on target for Holmfield, who have trips down the Calder Valley to Red Star (on Wednesday) and Calder ‘76 to come.

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Greetland moved into third with a comfortable 4-0 home win over a Sowerby United side that is hovering over the relegation places.

It was goalless in a fairly even first half with Greetland wasting the better chances.

Adam Oldfield and Jonny Crowther were stand out figures for the hosts.

Greetland took the lead when Sowerby failed to deal with a ball into the box and Carl Ainley was left free to score.

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The outstanding Oliver Smith and Adam Kershaw tried hard to get Sowerby back in the game but when Smith’s effort was blocked on the line, Greetland went straight to the other end to grab their second through Ainley.

That finished off the visitors and man of the match Ainley and Tom Wall scored further goals for Greetland.

Fixtures - Monday, Premier Division: Sowerby Bridge v Sowerby United. Division One: Ryburn United Res v Salem.

Wednesday, Premier Division: Hebden Royd RS v Holmfield, King Cross Warley v Elland United, Sowerby United v Calder 76, Stump Cross v Ryburn United.

Division Two: Denholme United Res v AFC Crossleys.

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