Unexpected exit

Brighouse Old Boys (red and blue) against Horbury Town in the WY League Div 1. Old Boys won 2-0. 'Midfielder Reece Bray
Brighouse Old Boys (red and blue) against Horbury Town in the WY League Div 1. Old Boys won 2-0. 'Midfielder Reece Bray

THE 10-match winning run of First Division Brighouse Old Boys came to an unexpected end in this league cup-tie against Second Division opponents Stanley United.

Playing against a strong wind in the first half, the Old Boys began well-enough, taking the game to Stanley by holding most of the possession.

When their opponents did break, the back four of Joe Nelson, Andy Hall, Lee Williams and Luke Johnson stood firm and limited the hosts to mainly long-range shots that either went astray in the wind or were comfortably dealt with by ‘keeper Jason Hibbert.

As the half went on, the Old Boys began dominate the midfield, where Reece Bray and Damian Place were winning and distributing the ball well.

Both Rob Kenny and Jimmy Cummings had well-struck shots that forced good saves from the Stanley ‘keeper.

Bray also had a fine shot tipped over the bar and another that beat the ‘keeper but rebounded off the post.

However, the first half ended goalless.

The Old Boys, playing with the wind behind them, would have expected to go on and win the tie and within minutes of the re-start captain James Fletcher squandered a chance to put his team ahead when he blazed a volley over the bar from 10 yards out.

The home side, straight from the dead ball kick, moved forward and an innocuous diagonal ball caught the Old Boys defence asleep and left an easy tap in tap-in goal to put Stanley ahead.

Two minutes later the Old Boys equalised when a fine pass from Fletcher found Cummings unmarked on the edge of the box and he struck an unstoppable shot into the top corner of the net.

The Brighouse team should then have moved up a gear and dominated the game, but maybe through over-confidence or even fatigue, playing on a heavy pitch after a three week lay-off, their normally astute passing game began to let them down.

Credit, though, must be given to Stanley, who are, like the Old Boys, also gunning for promotion.

The home side literally dominated the rest of the game.

Their second goal came from a good move down their left flank and a pin-point pass left their centre-forward in the clear to blast his team into the lead.

Old Boys then lost Andy Hall through injury, Adam Williams replacing him and Bray moving back into defence.

The fresh legs of Williams, along with Matty Roy, who had gone on at half-time to replace Pete Kuletzko, did inject some spark for the away side, but when Stanley scored their third, again mainly through an unusually lax Old Boys defence, the game was virtually up.

Lee Williams was pushed forward, but still no real pressure was exerted on the Stanley defence and with five minutes left they scored their fourth.

Fletcher then scrambled in a goal for the Old Boys but by then it was way too late.

The Old boys, now out of all cup competitions, must instantly regroup and put everything into their remaining 11 league games for their push for promotion into the Premier division.