Brighouse progressed to the second round of the West Riding County Cup with a hard-earned victory over local rivals Ovenden WR.
On the balance of chances created Brighouse should have wound this up in normal time but the game went to penalties and despite some initial jitters the goalkeeping heroics of Harry Stead proved the difference.
The opening exchanges saw, as expected, the more experienced visitors attempting to stamp their authority on the game with Brighouse trying to keep the ball moving quickly to take advantage of a slick playing surface and better fitness levels. Brighouse had the majority of possession in the early exchanges but were guilty of squandering that.
The back four of Macaulay Peacock, Tim Wallace, Jean Khasa and Matt Stor, along with goalkeeper Stead were all very assured in their defensive performances and restricted Ovenden to speculative attempts from distance.
Tobias Rawcliffe and Calum Lewis were dominating in midfield and prompted and created opportunities for the front pairing of Sheiden Rodgers and Craig Billington. However, at least three clear chances were squandered in the first half and the two teams went in level at the break. .
Brighouse upped their game and the second half was very much one-way traffic with some slick passing, great interplay and more accurate control of the football. But again the chances that were created, and there plenty, were not taken and the Ovenden goalkeeper made a number of top-class stops to deny the Brighouse forwards. Very much against the run of play Ovenden almost snatched the win when their substitute clipped a speculative cross that shaved the outside of the post with Stead beaten.
The game went straight to spot-kicks and Brighouse looked in trouble when they missed two of their first three penalties.
Ovenden had a chance to take a 3-1 lead but Stead saved brilliantly and then again saved the fourth Ovenden penalty to mean the scores were level at 2-2.
The next few players all scored leaving the tie level at 6-6. Peacock stepped up and finished confidently and then the Ovenden captain ballooned his effort over the bar to prompt respectful celebrations from the Brighouse players.
This was another pulsating game between two close rivals with Brighouse getting a little revenge for the Halifax Challenge Cup defeat last season, but credit must go to both teams who played with an intensity and passion that such a competition deserves without letting the emotions on the day go overboard. Brighouse now travel to West Yorkshire League club Pool in the next round on November 7.