Sunday League: Hammers keep the pressure on at the top of the table

Sunday Football - Ryburn Utd v Lee Mount. Tom Sanderson for Ryburn and Denis Hrodek for Lee Mount.
Sunday Football - Ryburn Utd v Lee Mount. Tom Sanderson for Ryburn and Denis Hrodek for Lee Mount.

Halifax Hammers moved to within three points of Premier Division leaders Waiters Arms with a 7-0 thrashing of Ryburn Valley.

Hammers started well and forced Ryburn keeper Matty Hirst into five outstanding saves in the first half-hour.

The deadlock was broken on 31 minutes when a good move on right hand side saw Ahsan Farooq play in Lamin Gitteh, who fired a well placed low shot into the far corner.

A few minutes later a spectacular effort from 30 yards by Khurram Shazad was fumbled by Hirst and Waleed Raja scored from close range to make it 2-0.

Hirst could only prevent the floodgates opening for so long though, and on 55 minutes, Mohammed Ozair scored a good solo goal, going on mazy run and smashing the ball into the top corner to make it 3-0.

On the hour mark, Hammers added a fourth as Khurram Shazad set-up Gitteh, who lobbed Hirst cleverly.

Were it not for Hirst, the scoreline would have been more severe, although it did get worse for the visitors as Scott Hibbert missed an open goal before Ozair found Raja, who tapped in from close range to make it 5-0.

Khurram Shazad then found Mazn Amhamed unmarked on the right, who struck a thunderbolt of a shot into the top corner to make it 6-0, before Raja completed his hat-trick a minute from the end.

Hollins Holme boosted their chances of a likely fourth place finish in the Premier Division with a 3-2 win away to Feathers at Shroggs Park in a contest which came to an exciting climax.

They turned in a lacklustre first half display against the King Cross pub side, who played at White Lee Rec last season.

Feathers scored in the first minute with a shot into the bottom corner of the net from Joel Cleary.

The hosts had more chances and although Hollins improved a little, visiting boss Steve Parker was relieved to reach half time only one goal down.

He said “a few home truths” had helped to solve the problems and Hollins scored twice in 10 minutes through strike pair Joe Gibson and Chris Garbutt to hit the front.

It looked set to finish 2-1 until Feathers’ Jack Rice scored with a stunning 89th minute strike.

However, Hollins went up the other end and when Nathan Cleary fouled Rick Laycock, Andrew Butterworth scored form the spot to give the visitors all three points.

Elsewhere in the Premier Division, Lee Mount beat bottom club Ryburn United 5-1.

In Division One, Siddal Place made it 12 wins from 12 with a convincing performance in their 7-1 win over Halifax Hammers Reserves.

Siddal started brightly and opened the scoring through Wayne Crossley after good work from Anthony McDonald on the right.

However a defensive error gave the away side a glimmer of hope as they found an equaliser.

Siddal regained the lead through centre half David Oakes’ powerful header from a Damon Nicholls corner.

Oakes then made it 3-1 from another set piece goal. With half time approaching Crossley continued his excellent free kick form by making it five goals from his last five free kicks.

The second half started much the same as the first with yet another set piece goal being scored by Siddal’s young Centre half Liam Senior.

Siddal skipper Matthew Burns then made it 6-1 before a superb Siddal counter attack was finished off with top scorer Jake Thompson rounding the Hammers’ keeper.

Second-placed Bradshaw kept the pressure on Siddal with a 3-0 win at North Bridge.

Ian King picked up a goal and man of the match for the visitors, whilst Jordan Coduri popped up with a brace for the visiting side who won despite playing with ten men throughout.

Third-placed Cock and Bottle won 5-0 at home to Thrum Hall, Halifax Amateurs won 5-2 at Triangle and Old Pond made it four wins from five in 2018, as they bounced back from honourable defeat against league leaders Siddal Place last time out, by keeping a clean sheet in a 3-0 victory over bottom-placed Barum Top.

The league is searching for a new secretary for the 2018-19 season, as Mike Sharman has stepped down after several distinguished years of service.

The role is being filled temporarily by chairman Ivan Davies for the remainder of the 2017-18 season.

The ideal candidate would have some sporting administrative skills, a love of football and have a good eye for detail.

For more information call Ivan Davies on 07785 388601.

The league is also welcoming enquiries from potential new clubs to join the competition for the 2018-19 season.

Having lost a few teams since the start of this season, they have vacancies for new clubs to take their place. There are incentives such as Grow the Game grants through the Football Foundation which help new clubs with start-up costs. Again, any interested parties can contact Ivan.