Halifax surge to top before key contest

Halifax L:adies v Otliensians. Emma Crawford.
Halifax L:adies v Otliensians. Emma Crawford.

Halifax Ladies 4 Otliensians 2: HALIFAX warmed up for their crunch match away to Yorkshire One title rivals Bingley Bees next weekend with a comfortable success.

Two goals from Emma Bedford and one each from Jo Love and Kate Walsh helped them beat their mid-table rivals and move into pole position above Bees, whose match at Leeds Adel Carnegie was postponed.

Halifax paid the price for some sloppy defending in the early stages of Saturday’s game at Park Lane High and fell a goal behind.

However, they took control with Zoe Hartley distributing well in midfield and Alison McManus composed at the back.

They went into a 2-1 interval lead and took two more of their numerous chances before Otliensians got a second.

It was a 10th win in 11 outings for Halifax, their only defeat coming at the hands of Bees in the earlier home meeting.

Halifax Ladies III 5

Pudsey 1 2

Halifax were determined to put the previous week’s Yorkshire Four defeat behind them and made their intentions clear right from the push back.

Midfielders Hannah James, Steph Jones and Katie Shannon allowed few balls through to the defence and forwards Danielle Parker, Kate Wright and Rachel Hoyle were running rings round the Pudsey defence.

Their hard work was soon rewarded when Shannon stuck a magnificent side line ball from near the half way line straight into the D for youngster Rachel Hoyle to sneak behind the defence and slot home.

Defenders April Hendy, Amy Campsell and Sharon Jones easily resisted Pudsey attacks until a shot from outside the area was parried straight to an attacker, who beat keeper Annie Staples for an undeserved equaliser.

Halifax kept their heads up and after several good saves from the Pudsey keeper Katie Shannon put another ball into the area for Marie Whitehouse to score.

The home side continued to have the upper hand with Alice Young and player of the match Steph Jones distributing nicely but Pudsey still managed to equalise shortly before half time.

Halifax changed nothing, knowing they were the better team, and the speed of Dani Parker and Steph Jones, allied to some accurate passing, enabled James to score twice in quick succession.

Hoyle found some excellent positions in the area and was unlucky not to score a second while Jo Hardingham dropped into defence when captain Hendy left the field.

Continued pressure led to Pudsey losing their discipline and Parker rounded off a fine team display with the fifth goal.