Top Club took the spoils in a hugely entertaining Brighouse derby in the Ziggy’s Metro Cars Halifax Sunday League, as they completed an early league double over Old Pond at Lane Head.
Just over three weeks prior Top Club had smashed eleven past a beleaguered Pond; but with an ever improving side out on the pitch, Richard Dawson’s Hove Edge-based outfit were much more competitive second time round.
The best of the early chances fell to Matthew Spink’s Top Club charges, with Kris Gorringe’s effort tipped over by Dan Barnes, before James Lord headed over.
The home side went closer when Tom Gorringe smashed a dipping strike against the cross bar; before Pond rallied and enjoyed some possession of their own.
A James Symonds cross was headed just over the bar by Jamie O’Callaghan, before Wayne Allert’s close-range header was blocked by the Rastrick side’s keeper Michael Hickingbotham, although he knew little about it.
O’Callaghan was again involved as he found space in the penalty area, but his shot was held by Hickingbotham as the sides went into the interval scoreless.
The game started to have the look of the rarest of breeds; a Sunday League nil- nil draw until the home side finally broke the deadlock on the hour. A cross from the left fell into the path of Daniel Lax with a deflection wrong footing the Pond defence and he found the far corner of the net despite failing to make a clean connection.
Pond were enduring the sort of luck a side at the foot of the table gets in failing to get the ball into the back of the Top Club net.
Paul Taylor struck just over the bar and saw Hickingbotham once more in the right place at the right time as his close-range effort came back off the keeper.
With men pushed forward, Pond succumbed to the inevitable risk of the sucker punch and Adam Clayton made it 2-0 in the last moments to lift his side up to fourth in the table and leaving Pond still looking for the elusive first win.
In Division One, Matthew Bagshaw was delighted with his Barge FC side, as they won their top-of-the-table clash with Beehive & Crosskeys.
Just a solitary David Woffenden goal fired home after a sloppy kick out from the Beehive keeper was enough to seal a 1-0 triumph that took the Brighouse side above their nearest rivals. The Barge manager admitted that both sides had good chances going forward, but was delighted with his side’s defensive efforts again, especially stand-in keeper David Sutton.
In Division Two there was a comfortable victory for Top Club Reserves, but Crown FC went down to league leaders Halifax Rangers.
Top Club’s second team picked up a 7-2 win with a late brace from Jonny Handley.
Goals from Reece Rowley, Jake Gibson and Dominic McLeod had given the Rastrick visitors a 3-2 interval lead, but on top of Handley’s goals, Dan Thaxter and Gary Nicholson struck to give their side a second win.
Crown also have two wins under their belt in their inaugural campaign; but found leaders Rangers too hot to handle as the table-toppers secured a 3-1 win to retain top spot.