Topham hat-trick for champs

Football - Northowram v Calder 76
Football - Northowram v Calder 76

Champions Calder ‘76 got back the three points they lost after Mixenden folded last week with a 3-1 win at Northowram in the Halifax AFL.

The Rams, who had won their previous two Premier games this season, got a goal after four minutes courtesy of Matt Calland’s header following Chris Conroy’s corner.

The visitors drew level eight minutes later when Karl Wooliscroft’s hanging cross was finished by Ricky Topham.

Lewis Oldridge, with his direct running and close control, was behind much of the Rams’ best work but the game became scrappy and most of the goalmouth action came in the final 15 minutes of the half.

Steven Hope’s excellent fingertip save kept out Conroy’s curling shot bound for the top corner and he saved well at Oldridge’s feet.

Oldridge’s low shot momentarily eluded Hope’s grasp but the whole of the ball failed to cross the line and close to the break Topham volleyed over a rare chance for the visitors.

Playing up the slope in the second half, the Rams continued to have the better of the play and Oldridge was inches wide with a low diagonal effort after another good run.

The best chance of the game fell to Calland on the hour but he pulled a muscle before he could prod the ball home and crumpled to the ground, playing no further part in the game.

Calder, with Remi Allan showing some deft touches, were never less than fully committed and took the lead after 72 minutes.

Archie Griffiths and Archie Birchall went for the same high ball leaving Topham, after Allan’s neat lay-off, to hammer in his second. Five minutes later a long ball sent Topham clear to complete his hat-trick.

Corey Henderson was the hero for Sowerby United as they recorded their first Premier win of the season with a 4-2 win over injury-hit Greetland.

After a bright start from Sowerby they were knocked back when Karl Jowett raced clear to put Greetland ahead.

Sowerby continued to press and levelled in the last minute of the first half with a stunning 25-yard free kick from Henderson.

Greetland went ahead again when George Bainbridge got free to finish in fine style.

Henderson showed his class again with an unstoppable 20-yarder into the top corner which left the keeper rooted to the spot.

He completed his hat trick with another screamer from a free kick and Sowerby made the safe when Matthew Whitworth set up Dan Boyd to head home.

Charlie Cliffe was best for Greetland and James Clegg the driving force for Sowerby.

Illingworth St Mary’s took advantage of Ryburn United’s inactivity to go top of the Premier after a 3-0 win away to bottom side Copley United.

Ben Field, Damien Randall and an own goal accounted for their tally.

Warley Rangers ended Hebden Royd Red Star’s unbeaten start to their league programme with an emphatic 5-0 away win.

Carlton Balmer struck twice and Brandon Gilling, Connor Bell and Mark Kelsey were also on target for the third-placed side.

Midgley United maintained their good start to the season with a 4-1 win away to Shelf United at Lightcliffe Academy.

The fourth-placed side were in dominant form, Ryan Jeffries going through one-on-one with the ‘keeper to finish well after 15 minutes.

Andrew Butterworth doubled the lead, drilling a free kick into the bottom corner of the net, to give Midgley a 2-0 interval advantage.

The visitors had a shaky 10 minutes before Jeffries cut in from the left and curled a shot into the top corner.

When Liam Brompton and Butterworth set up George Bamford to score a fourth from close range it was game over.

Shelf were denied when Tom Rawnsley cleared off the line but Marcus Hadfield gave the hosts something to show for their efforts with five minutes left.

Sowerby Bridge and Shelf FC have already opened up an eight-point lead over the rest in Division One.

They retained their 100 per cent records with runaway wins, Bridge beating bottom side Midgley Reserves 7-0 away with the help of three games from Sam Hiley and two from Oliver Coates.

Shelf did even better, hammering visitors AFC Crossleys 11-1.

Ryburn Reserves are best of the rest, after a 3-1 win at home to Salem, and there were away wins by the same score for Denholme United against Elland Allstars and Brighouse Sports against Greetland Reserves.

Illingworth St Mary’s Reserves maintained their unbeaten start in Division Two with a hard fought 6-1 win over Northowram Reserves.

Bailey Naylor got Saints off to a great start when he finished well but Northowram dominated the early stages and deservedly pulled level through Paul Glew, after good wing play by Alex Abson.

Naylor again put Saints in front from the penalty spot after Tom Holroyd was brought down and Holroyd made it 3-1 at the break with a neat finish.

Illingworth pulled clear with a second goal for man of the match Holroyde and substitute Josh Langan hammered the ball into the top corner.

Robbie Sinclair got his fourth goal in four games when his cross sailed over the keeper.

Northowram battled throughout with young Sam Gee their stand out player.

Saints remain two points behind Ivy House, who notched their eighth straight success with a 4-0 home win against Shelf United Reserves.

Junction Inn made it seven league wins from seven with a 6-1 victory away at Sowerby Bridge Reserves.

They made the perfect start when Jamie Price scored from close range. The lead was doubled when Bryan Barkham dribbled though the home defence and finished neatly.

Bridge grabbed one back when the ball went loose in the box from a corner but Price and Fran Lax made it 4-1 at the break.

Junction maintained the pressure in the second half and added to their tally through Steven Kelly and Michael Hirst late on.

Plummet Line are fourth after a 7-1 rout of Hebden Royd Red Star Reserves while Sowerby United Reserves made it back to back away wins with a 3-1 victory against Crossleys Reserves at Mason Green.