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Shelf enter title reckoning

Actions from Copley Utd v Shelf United, at Shroggs Park. Pictured is Billy Grogan
Actions from Copley Utd v Shelf United, at Shroggs Park. Pictured is Billy Grogan

Shelf United manager John Lister believes his side should be considered among the Halifax AFL title contenders after their 3-1 win away to Greetland yesterday.

“We have got to be now,” said Lister, after his side had climbed to second in the Premier Division.

United have won five games on the trot since losing their first two league games of the season to Shelf FC and Midgley United.

“We are a lot stronger this season,” said Lister. “We’re grinding out results and we’re hard to beat.”

Lister said his side faced a tough start to 2018 with a trip to leaders Ryburn United next weekend, a cup quarter final against Shelf FC and matches against Sowerby Bridge and Northowram also on the horizon.

“We have a tough January and that could be make or break for us,” he added.

Conditions were typical for Goldfields, Greetland at this time of year - windy and cold - which made it a battle yesterday.

Shelf took the lead after 20 minutes when Luke O’Brien broke down the right and Matthew Helliwell’s shot was blocked, leaving Harry Talbot with a tap-in.

Greetland, who had one decent chance in the first half, conceded again 10 minutes later when Billy Grogan was fouled 25 yards out and struck the free-kick into the top corner of the net.

O’Brien had a chance to seal matters with around 15 minutes left when he went through one-on-one with the ‘keeper but shot against the bar.

Adie Ford got visitors’ nerves jangling by making it 1-2 from the penalty spot, after a foul by Danny Cook, but Johnny Butterfield quickly restored the two-goal margin when he tapped home at the back post from a corner.

Plummet Line were also 3-1 away winners in the only other game to go ahead, beating St Columbas at Natty Lane, Illingworth to go six points clear at the top of Division Two.

Plummet were making it eight wins out of eight this season against their promotion rivals.