Top Club stun Elland - but may face player probe

Rowan Ford  of Lee Mount in action against Carrington.
Rowan Ford of Lee Mount in action against Carrington.

Divison Two side Top Club pulled off the shock of this season’s Eddie Hebblethwaite Halifax FA Sunday Cup following their 3-2 quarter-final victory at Premier Division side Elland Sports.

However, it could all have been in vain after one of their players admitted he wasn’t registered and that is likely to come under investigation by the cup committee.

Top Club player/secretary Matthew Spink admitted that his side had taken a chance and that they had mentioned it to Elland before kick-off.

“We only had nine players so our manager said he would play to take us up to 10,” said Spink.

“It wasn’t as though we put on a young whipper-snapper - our manager is in his 50s - but we just wanted to make a game of it.”

Elland spokesperson Nigel Dare said he wasn’t sure what would happen next but added that Top Club deserved to go through while Elland definitely did not.

“I think some players just thought they had to turn up and get the result,” said Dare. “But hats off to Top Club. They played with the right attitude and fully deserved to win.

“They are in mid-table in Division Two but certainly didn’t play like that on Sunday.”

Elland adopted an unfamilair 3-5-2 tactic and struggled to create much in the way of chances. Top Club, on the other hand, played above their lowly position and were unlucky not to go in at half-time ahead.

Elland came out for the second half with some purpose and after reverting back to 4-4-2, they took the lead when Glyn Haley’s header came back to him off the keeper and he tucked away the rebound.

Top Club gained their rewards with the first of their three goals - all of which came via long balls over the Elland defence, Ryan Barkham the beneficiary.

The same tactic brought their second through Jamie Rice after which Elland restored parity with an excellent Jacob Driver header into the top corner.

It was all one way traffic after that - in the direction of the Elland goal - and with a minute to go Top Club again by-passed the Elland defence with Rice netting the winner.

Top Club’s reward is a semi-final clash with Premier Division title hopefuls FC Bowling Green after they saw off the threat from Division One side Oddfellows 5-0.

The conditions proved difficult for both teams early on with Green wasteful in front of goal, while Oddfellows dug deep in an effort to keep pace with their higher-ranked opponents.

Green could only manage one goal before the break with Tom Holroyde following up after Mikey Pearson’s initial shot had been spilled by the Oddfellows keeper.

The game was finally put to bed in the second half with two goals in quick succession.

Firstly Gregg Porter volleyed home from a Chris Dennison corner after which Joe Swallow finished well after being put through by Sam Clark.

Swallow then turned provider for Ben Helliwell to make it 4-0 and the scoring was completed five minutes from time when Andrew Sutcliffe poked the ball home following a goalmouth scramble.

The tie at Shroggs Park was a meeting between last season’s finalists and it was Carrington who again came out on top, beating Lee Mount 8-0.

The venue had been switched due to Beechwood Park being unplayable but losing home advantage did little to hinder Carrington who racked up six goals before half-time.

Mount started brightly and had a good spell of early pressure but Carrington hit them on the break and Jay Carney finished well from just outside the box.

Another good counter attack opened up the chance for Jordan Coduri who cleverly dinked the ball over the on-rushing keeper.

Mount continued to battle well and enjoyed some decent possession but Carrington were much more clinical with the ball and Damo Randall soon added to the scoreline with a terrific run and finish.

That goal changed the game and, with Carrington now dominating for large spells, Carney, Coduri and Randall all scored again before the break to finish the game as a contest.

The second-half was a non-event as the game became scrappy but Carney eventually secured his hat-trick, finishing emphatically after another good team move.

The final goal of the game was arguably the best, Carney did well evading two defenders on the dead ball line before lifting the ball to the edge of the box to Liam Brook who almost burst the roof of the net with a blistering volley.

Queens Head joint coach Ian Pickard said his players “never turned up” as Division One’s bottom club were sent spinning out 10-1 at the hands of Division Two leaders Rastrick Bowling Club.

Queens were already 3-0 down when Richard Battye gave them hope and they went on to enjoy a decent spell.

However, sloppy goals also cost them dearly, as did the the sending off of Luke Eastwood after complaining too vehermently when denided a penalty at 6-1.

“They fully deserved to go through - and good luck to them,” added Pickard. “Our heads dropped and to be honest the longer the game went on our interest just disappeared.”