Sunday best as Carrington retain cup

Jay Carney of Carrington FC leads the attack against FC Bowling Green
Jay Carney of Carrington FC leads the attack against FC Bowling Green

Carrington FC retained the Eddie Hebblethwaite Halifax FA Sunday Cup following a 3-1 victory over FC Bowling Green at St Giles Road.

The game was marred by a serious second half injury to Bowling Green’s Tom Holroyde who suffered torn ligaments and a ruptured Achilles after being caught in a challenge and was taken to hospital.

The game started scrappily with Carrington conceding a number of corners and free-kicks which allowed Bowling Green to build up some early pressure. Carrington eventually started to win some good possession and took the lead with their first meaningful attack of the game.

A clearance from a Bowling Green defender fell to the feet of Liam Brook and his first time pass sent Jordan Coduri clear and he finished in style.

Carrington almost doubled their lead immediately after, Jay Carney turning a defender inside out in the box before forcing a good save from Paul Barker.

Carrington were starting to dominate and Robbie Graham and Damien Randall both went close with long range efforts.

Their second came from a set piece, Matty Jones whipped in a pin-point cross which was headed home emphatically by captain Danny Alexander.

The two-goal lead was the least they deserved for their first half performance but Bowling Green should have got themselves back into it just before the break when, from a set piece, a forward blazed over when it seemed easier to score.

Bowling Green made a change at half-time in a bid to get a foothold in the match but their plans were undone early in the second-half when they conceded a free-kick 25 yards out.

Coduri stepped up and his blistering, curling strike found the top corner of the net giving the keeper no chance.

Bowling Green threw on another striker and started to build up some momentum but Carrington were looking just as dangerous on the break.

Paul Barker twice saved well from Carney and Jones before Bowling Green pulled one back from the edge of the box through Gary Ash.

That prompted a 10 minute spell of good pressure for Bowling Green, with Craig Turnbull having to pull off a couple of good saves, but Carrington’s defence held strong and they almost got a fourth before the end when Barker denied Randall after a superb counter-attack.

Elland Sports increased their lead at the top of the Premier Division to five points following their 4-0 success over FC Champs.

Second-placed Carrington have two games in hand - and their next two fixtures are against bottom two Sun Inn and The Vine on Tuesday evening and next Sunday respectively.

FC Bowling Green are two points behind Carrington in third, but have played a game more. They will be looking to win their remaining three games and hope the top two slip up if they are to retain their crown.

It was a scrappy, fiesty affair between Elland and Champs with a number of niggling challenges spoiling the flow of the game.

James Greenwood stabbed home the only goal of the first half and it was more of the same after the break until Elland pushed their noses further in front.

Mark Heppenstall’s shot came back off the woodwork and went in off the Champs ‘keeper for an own goal before Jacob Driver controlled the ball on the penalty spot and volleyed into the top corner for 3-0.

It was left to right back Dom Finn to add the fourth with his first goal of the season.

“At the end of the day we got the three points which is all I can ask for,” said Elland boss Nigel Dare.

The Division One title race also looks like going down to the wire.

Halifax Hammers remain in pole position following their 5-3 win at Queens Head while Thornhill Briggs put a big dent in Waiters Arms’ hopes by beating them 4-1.

Adam Fenton’s Waiters side are still second, one point behind Hamnmers having played a game less with Briggs lurking menacingly three points adrift in third but with five games still to fit in before the end of the season.

Matty Roy gave Briggs the lead against Waiters only for Fenton to pull his side level before the break.

There was little to choose between the two sides in the second half until Briggs produced a late spurt which yielded goals for Alex Hallam and a Richard Heins brace.

Briggs now face a hectic week with league games against Elland Sports Reserves and Triangle on the horizon before they face Acton Athletic in the Bridge Balti League Cup final on Sunday.

Hammers manager Saqaf Hussain lost four of his players to injury on Saturday so changes had to be made before they could face Queens Head.

Matty Waller was a constant threat and scored to give his side the lead after which and Mohammed Ozair made it 2-0.

Queens head hit back through a penalty and then made it 2-2.

Hammers continued to press and hit the bar and had efforts cleared off the line.

The second half saw Queens Head catch Hammers off guard with a good headed goal after which Hussain made a few changes and Hans equalised.

Matty Waller made it 4-3 from the spot and substitute Bilal Sheraz scored to seal the points.

Bottom club Stallions were beaten 3-2 by Trinagle and although second bottom Royd Club picked up three points from a 2-1 home win over Oddfellows they cannot catch Bradshaw who are immediately above them.

Ryburn United had already been crowned Division Two champions as they and long-time rivals Rastrick Bowling Club battled out a 3-3 draw.

Some of the Ryburn players may have had half an eye on their planned celebrations after the game as they let a 3-1 lead slip, allowing Rastrick to score twice in the final five minutes to snatch the point.

“Rastrick are a good side and I think a draw was the right result,” said United manager Richard Swales who had Lewis Cockroft, Tom Brighton and Gaz Robertshaw on target.

Greetland Goldstars are still handily-placed in third and boosted their hopes of promotion with a 3-2 success at Hen’s Face while Hebdeen Bridge won’t rule themselves out of the promotion picture following their 6-1 success at Stubbing Wharf.