Shelf power past Copley and into semis

Daniel Lumb for Hebden Royd RS against Frog AFC
Daniel Lumb for Hebden Royd RS against Frog AFC

Shelf United are the first side through to the semi-finals of the Halifax FA Saturday Cup and they progressed in style with a 5-0 away thrashing of division-higher Copley United.

It was a sweet success as Copley had beaten them 3-1 on the same Savile Park pitch at the end of last season to determine who was relegated from the Premier Division.

Shelf are hot on the trail of a return to the hot flight and Copley, who had been showing improved form, were no match for the visitors.

Joe Griffin was in superb form again for Shelf, adding another three goals to his burgeoning seasonal tally.

His first two came in the opening half hour. He went through one-on-one to bag the first and then struck with a left foot shot from the edge of the area.

Shelf’s policy of taking the ball to the flanks, which were less cut up, was paying dividends and centre back Paul Dixon made it 3-0 after the visitors had broke with numbers following a Copley corner.

The visitors’ fourth goal was the best, Adie Balding’s header completing a move which also involved Luke Holmes and James Hurtley.

Griffin rounded the ‘keeper for the final goal, cashing in on a defensive mix-up.

Gary Ash had just a couple of half-chances for Copley, who struggled to cope with Griffin and Elliott Parkinson’s work down the left and were well beaten.

Shelf will play either holders Brighouse Old Boys or Hebden Royd Red Star, who meet on January 18.

Red Star moved into the last eight on Saturday when Tom Garland gunned down Frog AFC.

Red Star won 3-1 on a heavy pitch at Hipperholme and Lightcliffe High School in spite of boss Dave Whitehouse having to draft in second teamers Sean Broadbent, James Speechley, Pat Thomas, James Cowens and Jamie Eaton.

Garland scored all the visitors’ goals and on each occasion cashed in on good work from Ben Norman.

His first came from a through ball on 20 minutes but Frog equalised before half time.

Norman combined with Thomas before crossing for Garland to score with a flying header on the hour.

Star’s stand-in ‘keeper Danny Gilfillan saved twice at his near post as Frog went in search of another equaliser.

Norman then shot wide from the penalty spot after a hand-ball but five minutes later set up another goal for Garland.

His cross to the back post was finished by the striker on the half-volley to confirm Star’s place in the last eight.

The Brighouse Town versus Ryburn United quarter-final was postponed and has been rescheduled for Hove Edge next Saturday.

The winners of that tie will meet either Ovenden West Riding or Holmfield.

Holmfield had previously beaten Shelf FC while regular competition winners Ovenden powered through 5-1 at home to a depleted Calder 76 side at Natty Lane.

John Booth and Jay Carney threatened down the right from the start. Callum Meade, on the opposite flank, missed a couple of chances before Robbie Graham cashed in on good approach play with Steve Fullard from 15 yards.

Booth soon made it 2-0 after a series of missed chances by Fullard and Andy Bailey.

Matt McCambridge and Gav Fleming were always under pressure in Calder’s overworked defence and Fullard atoned for his earlier misses.

Jonathan Gibson tried hard to penetrate West Riding’s rearguard but found no way through to ‘keeper Chris Moroney, although Karl Wooliscroft did hit the bar.

Bailey made it 4—0 after Booth had given him the chance from 12 yards.

After the break Calder Had much more of the play but lacked a finishing touch.

Damian Randall strolled through for West Riding’s fifth on the hour mark and Calder were rewarded with a Gibson header on 80 minutes to finish off the scoring.

Skitty Matty Oldfield’s free-kick 10 minutes from time helped Greetland beat visitors King Cross Warley 2-1 and go back to the summit of the Haslem-Sheppard Halifax AFL.

Greetland, who had lost the leadership a few days earlier when Stump Cross were awarded three points from an abandoned game at Calder ‘76, made a dream start to the only match of the day in the Premier Division.

They took the lead inside the opening minute at blustery Goldfield. They did it route one style when Dave Walker’s long throw was headed in from six yards by the in-form Scott McHale.

This seemed to spur Warley and with the wind at their backs the visitors enjoyed the majority of the possession. They were twice denied by Craig Taylor’s excellent saves and good defending from Mickey Conroy and the returning Asa Lumb.

Warley got a deserved equaliser when a cross helped by the strong wind was headed in by Tom Hiley from close range.

Greetland lost key player Dave Woffenden with a broken nose but the introduction of Danny Dorward enabled Greetland to get into the game more and finish the half strongly.

After a few stern words from manager Mark Leonard, Greetland pushed Warley back into their own half.

Callum Hanson and Adam Oldfield pushed forward at every opportunity and Carl Ainley, Danny Dorward and Scott McHale were all denied opportunities by last-gasp defending.

Eventually Oldfield’s long range free kick caused confusion in the Warley box and the ball found its way straight past the keeper.

Warley pushed for an equaliser in the dying seconds but Greetland held firm.

Division One’s bottom pair Halifax Irish Centre and Greetland Reserves pulled off shock wins.

Irish picked up only their third league win of the season and inflicted just a second defeat on Denholme United with a 4-3 success at West Vale.

The visitors drew first blood through Neil Roberts but Irish scored three times before he struck again in the second half.

Irish went 4-2 ahead, with Jake Travis (two), Lewis Harris and Ashley Holms the men on target, but Michael Midgley set up an exciting last 15 minutes with Denholme’s third and it was backs to the wall for the hosts from then on.

Irish moved out of the bottom two while Greetland are now only one point behind inactive Wadsworth United after a 2-0 success at Elland Allstars thanks to an own goal and James Highley.

Volunteer Arms went above Denholme in fifth with the help of a 3-2 win away to Stainland United.

Chris Green (Stainland) and Luke Oldridge (Volunteers) each scored twice with Jamie Whitehead getting the important other goal for Volunteer.

It was a frustrating day for Division Two leaders AFC Crossleys.

Their game away to Denholme Reserves was the only AFL match postponed and chasing trio Mixenden United, Spring Hall Celtic and King Cross Warley Reserves all won handsomely.

Mixenden won 5-0 away to Shelf United Reserves after drawing a blank playing down the slope in the first half.

It all came right for them then with midfielder Danny Johnson and defender Adam Burke in good form.

Martin Woodhouse hit a hat-trick and goals from Billy Riley and Paul Kemp put further daylight between the sides.

Mixenden missed plenty of other chances but Shelf might have had a goal or two of their own, Anthony Fenwick making three fine saves in the second half.

Spring Hall Celtic’s Terriq Pervez is one of the section’s top marksmen and he bagged two more goals in his side’s 5-1 success away to Sowerby United Reserves.

Matty Waller, S.Ahmed and Atif Hussain got the others while Alex Haggerty replied for Sowerby.

King Cross Warley reserves were 6-2 victors at home to Hebden Royd Red Star, who were hit by late call-ups to the first team.

Andy Bottom;ley scored three times and Joe Gibbons twice for the winners.

Shelf FC cut Brighouse Sports’ lead at the top of Division Three to two points with a 2-1 win away to St Columbas. However, Shelf have now played a game more than the table toppers.