Old Pond secured a vital victory against Bridge Balti Halifax Sunday League Division One bottom side Royd Club, in a match that had all the hallmarks of a banana skin for the leaders.
The home side’s Mytholmroyd pitch was partially under water and the game could only go ahead after hard work from club officials which saw the dimensions of the pitch narrowed to remove the boggiest areas.
Pond started with Lee Potter and player manager Richard Dawson returning after a metatarsal injury in a makeshift central defensive partnership and they had to be on their toes against a spirited opponent.
Royd pressed aplenty early on but it was Glen Lee who gave the Hove Edge side the lead. He calmly stroked home after good play in the build up from Jamie O’Callaghan who was superb in his first start for some time on the right flank.
The visitors couldn’t begrudge Royd an equaliser however – and the ball fell invitingly to Paul Fairburn who rifled home to restore parity.
It was Lee again who put Pond back into the ascendency however his finish following an Andy Kelly though ball nicely timed with the last kick of the first half.
The second set-back didn’t seem to dent the enthusiasm of a home side adrift at the bottom of the league and Ben Briggs in the Pond net made four excellent one on one saves during the encounter.
It took a spirited display for the visitors to go home with the points and Joe Shaw put in a barn-storming show in the middle of the park – and it was no surprise when it was the Pond captain who led by example to give his side a valuable two goal cushion.
Kelly claimed the assist in central midfield, but his central partner rode a number of challengers before smashing home a top drawer individual effort.
Wayne Allert came on to produce another fine cameo from the bench as he harried the Royd defensive line – but looked destined to miss out when his goalbound effort was handled on the line by a defender.
There was no stopping the front man from wrestling the penalty duties from his compatriots however – and his spot kick was as emphatic as his determination to assume responsibility from twelve yards.
Elsewhere in Division One, Rastrick Bowling Club lost out to Queens Head but it was a memorable day for goalkeeper Dan Barnes who during a cameo up front managed to find the net in a 3-1 defeat. Martin Cannon, Luke Eastwood and Jordan Jaber all netted for Queens who all but relegated the Rastrick side back to Division Two after just one season in the middle division.
They will be replaced in Division One by their near neighbours Top Club however – who are secured a promotion and celebrated by defeating Beehive & Crosskeys 4-1 on Sunday. A victory in their final league game away in Hebden Bridge on March 30th would also secure the local side their ultimate goal of lifting the title.
In the Premier Division FC Barge inflicted defeat on Shoulder FC Northowram by five goals to two at the Dual Seal Stadium to consolidate their third placed position.
Bridge Balti Halifax Sunday League – Premier Division: FC Barge v Carrington FC (Dual Seal Stadium).
Division One: Royd Club v Rastrick Bowling Club (White Lee Rec, Mytholmroyd).