Town are ready for big Bay test

BRIGHOUSE Town Reserves will travel to play title-gunning Bay Athletic tomorrow in good heart after a 3-0 home win over Marsden in the Premier Division on Saturday.

Boss Rick Addy was delighted with the display and hopes to field an unchanged team, which will include several of the club’s under 19 side, for the Huddersfield trip.

Town had to play Paul Brown in goal with dislocated fingers but he had an experienced defence in front of him and had a quiet afternoon.

Joe Swallow’s 18-yard shot across the keeper divided the teams at half time and two more teenagers, James Coates and Dale Feather, were on target in the second half.

Ovenden West Riding’s topsy turvy season continued with a 3-1 home Premier Division defeat at the hands of a mediocre Lower Hopton side.

Ovenden struggled to find cohesion and on 10 minutes an uncertain back four failed to deal with a free kick and Mark Hydes scrambled the ball home.

Gareth Jones hit the bar and then an upright, Hopton ‘keeper Jeremy Travers somehow keeping out a Mick Palethorpe header. However, Hopton doubled their lead when Hydes punished a Nathan Wood slip.

John Brame cleared off the line from another Jones effort and repeated the feat from Palethorpe, John Booth hitting the woodwork for the hosts in between.

Elliot Webster took advantage of indecision at the heart of the West Riding defence to make it 3-0 on 75 minutes and Ovenden eventually replied when a superb Damon Nicholls cross was converted by Jones.

Halifax Irish were 2-0 winners away to next-to-bottom Dudley Hill Rangers in Division Two.

Manager Nick McConnell had some juggling to do with three key players out. He played the consistent Mikey Gregory alongside Dan Pullan up front and that paid off when quick passing between the pair led to Ashley Barron out-jumping Dudley’s centre half and the home keeper spilling his header for Luke Holmes to score.

Dudley found it hard to get out of their half but almost sneaked a goal on the break just before half time.

Hill bossed possession for the next 15 minutes but Gregory and Pullen helped the visitors regain control and Hamilton and Holmes should have doubled Irish’s lead.

On 68 minutes, Pullen broke free of his marker and Hamilton flicked on for Gregory to finish superbly.

Hill continued to work hard and when a penalty was awarded against Jake Travis in added time, Irish keeper Matt Townsend got down to his left to save the well struck effort.

McConnell said: “The guys were down after the previous week’s loss, as they were the better side, so they showed great character and got what they deserved.”

Ovenden West Riding Reserves went down 5-3 at Lepton Highlanders in Division Two, conceding three goals in 20 minutes after a bright start in which Andy Parker’s header was cleared off the line.

Jason Smith was beaten by a 25-yarder, a free kick from 18 yards out and then another long distance strike to leave the visitors with a mountain to climb.

Chris Woodhouse got one back from the penalty spot on 42 minutes but Lepton got their fourth soon after the break.

Ovenden hit back to 4-3 when Michael Gracey’s excellent through ball put Woodhouse clear and then Gracey mopped up a rebound from a Woodhouse effort.

Ovenden lost Lee Kershaw to a rash challenge and subsequent foul language and Richard Hartley was denied by a goalline clearance.

Lepton made the game safe after a delightful move but Ovenden could take heart from an improved second half showing ahead of next weekend’s home league cup semi-final against the same opponents.