Cup kings Ovenden win it again

Ovenden after last night's win
Ovenden after last night's win

The Halifax FA Saturday Cup was back in familiar hands last night.

Treble-bidding Ovenden WR lifted the Albert Crabtree Cup for the seventh time in eight seasons after a 4-0 win over Shelf United at Brighouse Town AFC.

The West Riding County Amateur League title favourites, who are also in the last eight of their league cup, outclassed battling Shelf, who have finished runners-up in the Halifax AFL’s first division.

However, they needed Steve Fullard (two) and Chris Woodhouse to come on and show their teammates how to finish as they finally registered a scoreline which reflected their superiority.

Shelf, who had shocked holders Brighouse Old Boys earlier in the competition, gave it their best shot and were disappointed to concede twice in the last three minutes.

A game switched from the Shay due to the Conference play-offs started in a downpour and Ovenden were soon raining efforts on the Shelf goal.

Their fast, attractive play down the flanks produced numerous openings. Robbie Graham with a free-kick, Matt Jones and Andy Bailey all had efforts wide in the opening quarter while solid Shelf ‘keeper Danny Gill blocked a firm shot from the lively Jordan Corduri.

Full back Coduri had also shown his worth at the other end, hooking the ball away from close to his own line after Joe Griffin’s through ball to Mark Hindle had meant a rare moment of panic in the Ovenden defence.

Carlton Pownall missed a golden chance from a wayward back pass on 24 minutes but the front runner gave Ovenden the lead six minutes later, bundling the ball home from Jones’s low cross into the six yard box.

Coduri and Jay Carney combined on another dangerous raid and Gill spread himself well to save from a corner.

Shelf had a better spell at the end of the half in spite of losing midfield anchor man Lee Riley through injury and danger man Griffin making little impact.

In an open start to the second period Pownall had a strong shot beaten away by Gill, who then blocked an effort from Andy Bailey.

Jones flashed a header wide from a corner as it continued to be mainly one-way traffic.

Ovenden sent on Fullard for Pownall on 56 minutes and the front man, who has an impressive record of scoring on the big stage, took only two minutes to move the ball onto his left foot and hammer home his side’s second goal from just inside the box.

Hindle warmed Ovenden keeper Chris Moroney’s hands after Elliott Parkinson’s fine run down the left and Adie Balding got away with a push on a defender before spurning Shelf’s best chance.

Parkinson’s free-kick just over the bar, which Moroney appeared to have covered, was further evidence that Shelf were unwilling to throw in the towel.

Paul Dixon, James Goodwin and Jonathan Farrell had all made desperate but vital tackles to keep their side in it but the dam finally burst in the closing stages.

After so much attractive approach play, route one provided Ovenden’s third goal. Robbie Graham’s punt down the middle led to Woodhouse finishing across Gill with his left foot.

Fullard then had the final say when the ball dropped to him following Coduri’s free kick wide on the left.

Ovenden WR: C.Moroney, J.Carney, J.Corduri, K.Megson, M.Devlin, M.Jones, J.Booth, R.Graham, C.Pownall, A.Bailey, D.Randall. Subs: A.Gregory, M.Woodhouse, C.Woodhouse, S.Fullard, D.Taylor.

Shelf United: D.Gill, J.Goodwin, E.Parkinson, J.Farrell, P.Dixon, R.Hurtley, D.Thornton, L.Riley, L.Prosser, J.Griffin, M.Hindle. Subs: J.Lister, A.Balding, J.Green, D.Marsden, L.Knagg.

Referee: W.Cotton.