Sunday League: FC Panda and Feathers setting the pace after wins

Actions from Pond v Cock and Bottle, at Hove Edge. Pictured is Damien Randall
Actions from Pond v Cock and Bottle, at Hove Edge. Pictured is Damien Randall

Hollins Holme boss Steve Parker said he was “absolutely livid” with some players who failed to turn up as his side lost 6-1 at home to champions FC Panda on Sunday.

Parker had fancied his side’s chances of turning over the visitors, who won the title under the Halifax Hammers banner, after his side had won their opening two Premier Division games this season in the Halifax Sunday League.

Hollins had also beaten Hammers on their way to Halifax FA Sunday Cup glory last season but home hopes nosedived even before the kick-off.

“Four players who said they were coming didn’t, which meant we had to play players out of position,” said Parker, who also felt his players hadn’t been given adequate protection by the referee.

Panda dominated possession in the early stages at Calder Holmes. Hollins then had a decent spell themselves before the visitors struck twice with clinical front man Khurram Shazad getting the first of his two goals.

Lewis Cockroft pulled one back with a diving header at the near post from Greg Spink’s cross and it remained 2-1 at half time.

An injury to Spink hit Hollins in the second half and although Joe Gibson, Andy Butterworth, Sam Tattersall and Rob Stansfield did their best, Panda ran away with the game.

Parker said he didn’t expect players to stay in on a Saturday night and half of those who had been out turned up and gave their all at the weekend.

“I was proud of those that were there,” said Parker.

Feathers are top of the Premier Division after a 3-0 away win at winless Ryburn United.

Woodhouse are celebrating their first ever Halifax Sunday League win in the First Division, by 4-3 in a match against King Cross which featured two bizarre goals in quick succession.

The Todmorden side had been involved in two draws and a defeat since switching from the Rochdale Sunday League and their prospects of getting off the mark at Elland Cricket Club didn’t look bright when they trailed 2-1 at half-time.

Joe Connor tied things up at 2-2 but a hint of farce came to proceedings when King Cross, in attempting to give the ball back to their visitors after a foul, only succeeded in scoring.

After much debate between players from the two teams and the referee. Woodhouse were given free rein to score and Jordan Walker dribbled the ball from half-way for a tap in.

With everything to play for in the last 10 minutes, Woodhouse pressed and were awarded another penalty for a foul on Connor. Walker coolly stepped up to win the match for the viitors.

Woodhouse spokesman Joe Connor said: “It was fantastic to get three points on the board against a very organised side and either team could have won.

“I think we are starting to find our feet in the Halifax League now.”

Woodhouse started slowly in their latest Division One game and were on the back foot for the opening 20 minutes.

The returning Gavin Higgins gave a penalty away and fell behind.

Woodhouse still hadn’t woken up and were caught out by a diagonal ball to trail 2-0.

The visitors then burst into life and a Connor cross was met by Jack Jacques, who had an excellent match, and he was felled in the box. Jordan Walker stepped up and coolly converted.

Woodhouse rang the changes at half time with the introduction of man of the match Adam Gray and Jonny Sutcliffe.

When Walker caused problems, the ball fell to Connor who smashed home on the half volley from 25 yards out.

The sides then traded comic-cuts goals before Walker had the decisive say.

Woodhouse, who climbed to fifth, now turn their attentions to Sunday’s West Riding Cup match.

Halifax Rangers inflicted Thrum Hall’s first defeat of the season by beating them 3-2.

Thrum hall went 1-0 up through Jonathon Gibson, but Rangers fought back to lead 3-1, including a goal from Adam Cheshire, before Gibson pulled one back.

Both sides were then reduced to 10-men when Rangers’ Jordan Owens was sent off for foul and abusive language and Gibson was then dismissed for throwing a punch.

Old Pond fell to their first defeat of the season, as one of the title favourites Cock & Bottle eventually opened up a comfortable 7-2 victory at Lane Head.

The home side, with assistant manager Jason Kirby at the helm in the absence of Paul Taylor, made a dream start. With two minutes on the clock a Greg Roper ball found Ben Ireland on the edge of the penalty area and he curled home over Matty Berry in the Southowram visitors net.

Just five minutes in and it was all level; Ireland was Pond’s best player on the day but his one blemish was to slice into his own net from a dangerous delivery into the penalty area.

Dan Barnes made two outstanding saves in the Pond net, before the visitors went ahead via a through ball slid home on the half hour mark.

Pond were able to strike back just before the interval however; a push in the penalty area allowed captain Hayden Lewis to level from 12 yards.

It was Cock & Bottle’s impressive bench that assisted them to stretch clear in the second half; Zak Waddington’s introduction in particular along with Sam Hillhouse and Gareth Sherwood swung the tie in the visitor’s favour.

Waddington took only minutes to covert impressively from a right-wing cross.

Pond remained in the game until the last 20 minutes when legs tired and the visitors made hay. Waddington ended up with a hat-trick, whilst Joe Grimley, Robbie Graham and Damien Randall were also on the scoresheet.

Elsewhere in Division One, FC Panda Reserves maintained their 100 per cent record with a 5-2 win over Triangle.

The draw for the preliminary round of the revamped Halifax Sunday League Cup competitions has been made.

This years new format sees a seeded preliminary round where Premier Division teams were drawn against Division One opponents.

The draw is:

King Cross Park v Hollins Holme

Bradshaw v Cock & Bottle

Feathers v FC Panda Reserves

Old Pond v Waiters Arms

Ryburn Valley v Woodhouse

FC Panda v Triangle

Siddal Place v Barum Top

Halifax Rangers v Lee Mount

Thrum Hall v Ryburn United

The winners of all ties will then contest the Outdoor World Direct Senior Cup, whilst the beaten sides will drop down into the Carpet Direct Brighouse League