Volunteer cross Bridge with late show

Adam Gaze for Salem and Sam Cartwright (green) for Wadsworth on Saturday
Adam Gaze for Salem and Sam Cartwright (green) for Wadsworth on Saturday

Volunteer Arms struck twice in the last five minutes to stun division-higher hosts Sowerby Bridge 4-3 in the first round of the Challenge Cup.

They were deserved winners according to Bridge boss Mick Ellis who described his side’s performance as “lacklustre”.

It took Premier Division side Bridge until the 40th minute to get in a shot on the Volunteer goal, by which time the visitors were two goals up.

Bridge replied on the stroke of half time when James Whitworth pounced from six yards after a rare corner.

Matthew Whitworth replaced his elder brother at half time to give the hosts more pace and the plan worked when he raced clear to make it 2-2.

Soon after Bridge were awarded a penalty after Oliver Coates was brought down and he fired home the spot kick to put Bridge ahead.

However, Volunteers put in a big finish and after equalising got the winner with a great volley from 20 yards.

Scorers for Arms were Jason Varley, Jamie Whitehead, Luke Oldridge and Dave Neal while Bridge have now surrendered leads in the last five minutes off all their five games this season.

Keeper Paul Barker was the hero as Sowerby United averted a Challenge Cup upset at home to Halifax Irish Centre, who are 18 places below them, in the Halifax AFL.

The sides were locked together at 2-2 after extra time and Sowerby then trailed 2-1 in the penalty shoot-out, having missed two spot kicks.

Irish missed one and then Sowerby netted two as Barker produced two stunning saves to send his side through.

Earlier, Premier Division side Sowerby had been well on top in the first half. They went ahead when Harvey Walsh’s rasping drive was parried by the Irish ‘keeper and John Wilkinson reacted quickest.

Five minutes later the Irish were level when a superb 25 yard volley from Reece Sykes found the net.

Sowerby went ahead again when the lively Corey Henderson scored but once again the Irish hit back through Chris Green.

The Irish missed a golden chance in the last minute of normal time and neither side was able to break the deadlock in the extra half hour.

Holmfield won 5-4 on penalties away to fellow Premier Division side Calder ‘76, who had John Moynes sent off for a second bad tackle on 75 minutes.

The visitors slotted all their spot kicks while Calder’s second spot kick, taken by Gavin Fleming, was saved by Craig Lobley.

Moynes was a constant threat down the right for Calder and he and Jonathan Gibson gave the home side a deserved 2-0 interval lead.

The unmarked Gareth Gaukroger pulled one back with a header from a corner but Calder, with Ricky Topham deputising well for Scott Dawson in the centre of defence, looked comfortable.

However, Moynes’ dismissal left Calder with their backs to the wall and Holmfield made it 2-2 in the closing stages when Mick Palethorpe beat the offside trap and headed over advancing ‘keeper Warren Clayton.

Gaukroger gave Holmfield the lead in extra time with an overhead kick, the ball looping in off his shin.

However, the impressive Gibson levelled with a deflected shot and also hit the bar, while Jamie Casey missed an open goal.

Champions Midgley United swept aside Elland Allstars 9-0 with the help of hat-tricks from George Bamford and Andrew Butterworth.

Elland, who had lost heavily away to Midgley’s neighbours Red Star in the district cup the previous week, trailed to goals from Bamford, Ian Hudson and Tom Booth in the first half.

The fourth goal, from Butterworth, disheartened Allstars and Midgley ran away with the contest from that point, aided by some good passing football.

Bamford made it 5-0 and Butterworth finished off the best move of the game with a left foot shot from the edge of area.

Butterworth, now playing in midfield rather than his usual central defensive role, completed his hat-trick with a header and Tom Rawsley made the most of a Rob Stansfield through ball before Bamford back-heeled Midgley’s ninth.

Injury-hit Greetland were grateful to have Asa Lumb and skipper Matty Oldfield back and they progressed 2-0 at home to a well organised Shelf United side.

The two combined early on to give Scott McHale a chance and his shot was well stopped from the Shelf ‘keeper.

Shelf shaded the opening exchanges and Greetland needed a couple of great saves from Craig Taylor and a clearance off the line from Danny Brooks from Mark Hindle, who was playing against his former club.

Greetland’s midfield of Dave Woffenden, Matty Oldfield and Carl Ainley began to get the upper hand and Ainley broke the deadlock with a free kick after Scott McHale had been fouled 30 yards out.

Tom Wall and Danny Dorward went close and just before half time Paul Gee’ broke and found Woffenden, whose pin-point pass set McHale free to round the ‘keeper and put Greetland in control.

Greetland refused to let Shelf into the game, due mainly to excellent defending from Mickey Conroy and Asa Lumb and good late work from Taylor. Ainley and Wall hit the woodwork at the other end.

Gary Ash’s hat-trick ensured Copley United justified their division-higher status against Northowram, who were beaten 4-2.

Free-scoring Nick Green was another player to bag three goals as Salem followed up a recent league win over Wadsworth United with a 5-1 cup success. Adam Gaze got their other two goals.

It was a good day for King Cross Warley whose two sides hit their opponents for six.

The firsts won 6-2 away to Elland United with the help of three goals from Craig Davidson and two from Tom Hiley while the reserves progressed in the Invitation Cup with a 6-4 home win over division-higher Sowerby Bridge Reserves. Andrew Bottomley bagged three and Brandon Gilling two.

Hebden Royd Red Star Reserves are also through to the second round of the Invitation Cup after beating visitors Salem Reserves 6-1.

Keir Watkinson bagged four goals for the hosts, who played very well in the second half after holding a slender 2-1 lead.

Ryburn United beat Stump Cross 3-2 in a battle of heavyweights in the only Halifax AFL Premier Division game of the day.

The match lived up to expectations with some attractive football and strong challenges.

Ryburn, who went third in the table, played Ash Raynor in the middle of the park and his replacement in goal, Craig Gee, set up the first goal with a long clearance which eluded two defenders and Christian Silkstone cashed in.

Dan Crosland equalised five minutes later at the back post after a corner had only been half cleared and Ryburn had to defend solidly to repel the visitors.

The home side regained the lead through teenager Alex Coburn from Silkstone’s cross to make it 2-1 at half time.

Silkstone put more daylight between the sides with a header from Reece Uttley’s inswinging corner and Damian Watkins put a header wide for Stump before Crosland got his second with five minutes left.

Denholme United made it two wins out of two in Division One with a 5-1 home success against Greetland Reserves.

Denholme charged into a 3-0 lead in 35 minutes down the slope. Peter Wright and Matty Waring combined to set up Neil Roberts; Danny Moralee scored from Paul Armitage’s defence-splitting pass; and Peter Wright cut inside from wide on the left and beat two players before firing in.

Max Lister pulled one back before the break and Greetland had a good 20 minutes after the break when they hit the woodwork twice.

However, their hopes of getting back into were dashed when their ‘keeper was injured in a collision with a defender as the pair attempted in vain to stop Denholme’s fourth goal, scored by Danny Moralee after a run from near the corner flag.

An own goal, as Waring applied pressure, completed the scoring.

Honours were even in the other game in the section, Jay Clissitt scoring for Ryburn United Reserves at Stainland, who benefitted from an own goal.

AFC Crossleys made it four wins out of five at the top of Division Two with a 5-1 home win over Sowerby United, three-goal Tom Boyle showing the way.

Mixenden United have a maximum nine points following relegation with a 4-0 home success over Shelf United Reserves their latest step forward, Ash bailey getting two of the goals.

There was a remarkable turnaround at West Vale where Denholme United Reserves hit back from 4-0 down at half time to beat their Halifax Irish Centre counterparts 7-5.

Denholme were so bad in the first 45 minutes that joint bosses Paul Greenwood and Dennis Sharp would reputedly had exchanged all 11 players had they been allowed that may substitutes.

However, the visitors got their act together after the break, aided by two goals each for Guy Flanagan and Ben Burkill.

Shelf FC are up to third in Division Three after winning Saturday’s only game in the section by 2-0 at St Columbas. Gary Boldy and Ben Burns were on target.