Glen Hall admitted he was proud but disappointed after Thornhill Briggs had pushed Carrington FC hard in the semi final of the Halifax District Cup, writes Andy Dawson.
Division One side Briggs were clear underdogs, but it took extra time to separate them and the Brighouse side were four minutes away from victory approaching 90 minutes.
They eventually went down 5-3 after extra time.
It was the lower ranked side who took the lead. Richard Heins put a peach of a cross into the path of the on-rushing Matty Whiteley, who rose impressively to power home a bullet header with the Carrington ‘keeper rooted to the spot.
The first half was compelling despite a lack of clear cut chances, but Matty Horsfall provided the equaliser for Dick Hartley, who gave Sean Robinson no chance.
The second half was much more open with Carrington pushing men forward, but it was Briggs who had the best chances.
James Buckley hit a 30 yard strike against the inside of the post before Alex Hallam, who had worked so hard at the pinnacle of a 4-3-2-1 formation, was whiskers away, his effort hitting the bar and bouncing clear.
With time running out it looked like the next goal would seal victory.
Jordan Parnell floated a pass into Hallam, who slipped in Matty Roy to fire the goal of the game into the bottom corner to restore Briggs’ lead.
With just minutes remaining Carrington striker Damien Randall forced extra time with a blistering strike, having latched onto the ball outside the area.
From then on a tiring Briggs struggled with the pace, having exerted so much energy in normal time.
It was Jordan Coduri who did the damage in extra time, grabbing a timely hat-trick to put Carrington into the final at The Dual Seal Stadium against FC Bowling Green.
Briggs’ spirit was still in evidence as Roy fired a goal back but the Premier Division side progressed to the final having been given a real scare.
In the Premier League, Sun Inn lost a vital six-pointer against fellow relegation-haunted side The Vine.
Lee Nicholson’s men scored twice but shipped in six against the Sowerby Bridge outfit and now find themselves five points clear of safety.
There wasn’t much cheer in Division One either, where Old Pond’s recent dip in form continued as they lost 7-2 at Bradshaw.
Lee Williams for Pond and Wayne Camplin in the Bradshaw net made key saves in the first half.
Tom Boyle’s finishing for the home side proved the difference. His first effort was the reward of tenacity, but a first half hat-trick was delivered after he also struck two sweet finishes.
Pond were left to rue a disallowed goal after Chris Marsh side-footed home Michael Barlow’s cut back, the referee adjudging an off side.
The visitors badly needed the first goal in the second period to put the home side on the back foot, but youngster Brandon Field fired home a fourth to put Bradshaw well in the ascendency.
Tenacious front runner Jamie Millar added two more as Pond struggled, but they did manage a comeback of sorts after debutant Andy Burton fed Marsh, who slotted home.
An own goal aided the Hove Edge side’s cause but Isaac Nichols’ fine shot gave Bradshaw a deserved 7-2 victory.
Triangle had beaten Bradshaw the week prior to enhance their survival hopes, but found Elland Sports Reserves a tougher task as they fell to a 4-0 reversal.
In Division Two Rastrick Bowling Club saw their match against King Cross Sports postponed due to a waterlogged surface, but Top Club got back to winning ways against King Cross Park with a 6-2 victory.
Bridge Balti League Cup , semi finals: Thornhill Briggs v RastrickBC (Hipp & Light HS), Acton Athletic v Triangle (Savile Park).
Division One: Hollins Holme v Old Pond (Calder Holmes Pk, Hebden Bridge).
Division Two: Top Club v Beehive & Crosskeys FC (Lane Head).