THERE were important wins for both Brighouse sides in Division One of the Ziggy’s A Star Cars Halifax Sunday League, as Old Pond and Sun Inn picked up three points at the weekend.
Pond went into their encounter with bottom placed club Halifax Rangers a little wary after the strugglers picked up a surprise win against Sun the week prior but started brightly at Lane Head.
Chris Payne saw a close range effort well parried by young Rangers keeper Aiden Ozanne, whilst Richard Dawson fired over the bar as the home side dominated possession.
It was Pond captain Paul Taylor who finally found the killer pass to break down a stubborn defence, his cultured centre finding Payne at the back post who duly gave his side the lead.
A rare foray from the visitors at the other end saw them provided with a gilt edged chance to steal an equaliser. Darrell Holdsworth was unlucky as the ball rolled against his arm in a penalty box challenge but Ben Briggs made an excellent save from the ensuing spot kick, the keeper further enhancing his penalty saving acumen.
Pond’s two wide men combined as the home side doubled their advantage midway through the first half. Ryan Turton showed determination down the right, switched play to the left and Ryan Richardson crossed to Taylor who made no mistake with the finish.
Michael Martin had a great game in central midfield for Pond, constantly harrying his opposite number and he was involved as the Hove Edge side made it three. He flicked on to Taylor, who in turn found Richardson and the winger struck home his third of the campaign.
A 4-0 half time lead was secured just before the interval as the presence of Dan Reddy, returning after a lengthy injury lay off, drew defenders clear of Payne whose chipped finish was sublime.
The second half saw Pond drop the down the gears a little too far and Rangers came back without ever really looking like netting the required four to take a point.
Ben Chadwick made the most of his side’s opportunities however and the Rangers front man scored twice on the breakaway to give some hope.
In a generally turgid 45 minutes a couple of penalties livened up the climax of the match, both awarded to Pond. Ozanne made a terrific save to deny Taylor, before Payne assumed responsibilities with the second and grabbed his hat-trick to leave a final score of 5-2.
Sun Inn needed to bounce back following last weekend’s shock defeat and did just that against Queens Head at Carr Green.
The returning Adrian Kelly provided a boost for the Rastrickians and the prolific front man netted twice in a 4-3 victory.
Aaron Brook and David Hemmings were also on the scoresheet as Sun climbed above their opponents on the day to eighth place in the standings.
In Division Two Thornhill Briggs kept up the pressure on nearest rivals Lee Mount, by picking up three points in the potentially difficult trip to Mytholmroyd to face Royd Club FC.
Glen Hall produced a man of the match display including two goals to put the home side to the sword. His second, a top drawer free kick into the top corner of the net, a highlight of the victory. Rob Goode was also on the scoresheet in a 3-1 outcome that keeps Briggs three points clear of Mount, but having played three games more at the pinnacle of the standings.
Rastrick C & AC boss Kevin O’Brien was slightly disappointed with his team’s narrow 2-1 defeat to Elland Sports Reserves but also concluded that they could still have got something from a tight encounter.
The return of talisman Michael Drennan from injury and a solid performance again from Daz Allen saw Rastrick always in with a shout, whilst Arron Burnside continued his good form up front.
Ultimately an early goal at the start of both the first and second halves cost the Rastrickians however as they remain comfortably in mid table.
Top Club thumped wooden spoon certainties Halifax Rangers Reserves 7-0 on Savile Park to leave their opponents with a -100 goal difference after just 12 outings, whilst Triangle couldn’t match their recent cup exploits with league performances as they lost 3-0 to Hebden Bridge AFC.
Fixtures for Sunday (11am), Ziggys A Star Cars Halifax Division One: FC Champs v Old Pond (Greetland Community Centre), Sun Inn v Hollins Holme (Carr Green Rec).
Division Two: Thornhill Briggs v Rastrick C & AC (Hipp & Light. Sch), Top Club v Elland Sports Res (Lane Head 2).
For more sporting news from the Brighouse area see this week’s edition