ODDFELLOWS will be glad to see the back of Brighouse sides, as the Bridge Balti Halifax Sunday League Division One leaders have seen their title charge derailed in HD6 over the past few weeks, writes Andy Dawson.
With eight wins from eight the King Cross-based side were sitting pretty in top spot at the start of November but, following defeat to Thornhill Briggs on Sunday, have managed only one point from their matches with the three former Brighouse SFL outfits in Division One.
Glen Hall’s Briggs side had to show strength of character in their home tie with Oddy’s, as despite dominating the first half they found themselves a goal down at the interval.
In the end a concerted team effort saw Briggs make a successful comeback, with man of the match Jordan Parnell and prolific striker Jamie Marshall to the fore.
It was a fabulous touch and then shot from a quality cross that saw Marshall restore parity, before Parnell’s tireless work ethic provided the midfielder with a goal from four yards out after a typically lung busting burst into the penalty area.
Oddfellows pushed forward in numbers late on and the gamble failed to pay off, as Marshall revelled in the extra room afforded to himself to smash home from 10 yards to secure a 3-1 victory.
Also in the higher echelons of the league standings, Sun Inn had a rare off day against an FC Champs side that moved up to second in the table with a comprehensive 6-2 victory.
At a barely playable fog-bound Greetland venue, player-manager Lee Nicholson admitted his side had been off the boil and had no qualms about coming away empty handed.
David Hemmings and Tom Gorringe registered for the Rastrick outfit who, will be looking to bounce back strongly against Cock & Bottle on Sunday.
In Division Two, Kevin O’Brien’s Rastrick Bowling Club side affirmed themselves as genuine title contenders with a 5-2 derby victory over local rivals Top Club.
In a feisty clash, Rastrick dominated the first half hour and had a Frank Cullen penalty to show for their superiority.
Their near neighbours punished a drop in intensity of the Rastrick performance however and Top Club stormed back into a 2-1 interval lead with a scrappy equaliser, followed by an opportunist goal after a goalkeeping blunder.
O’Brien instructed his side to concentrate on their game more and pass the ball well in the second period and they duly regained control of the encounter with a brace from the ever lively Arran Burnside and another from the free scoring Cullen.
The fifth goal came from man of the match Tom Mellor, who ploughed the lone furrow up front admirably for 90 minutes and deserved his name on the scoresheet.
The result sets up a top of the table clash with league leaders Stallions at Carr Green Rec on Sunday, a match which the Rastrickians are quietly confident of winning to really open up the championship race.
There were only two former Brighouse SFL sides still in the Eddie Hebblethwaite Halifax District FA Cup, but both fell at the last 16 stage against tough Premier League opposition.
Old Pond started brightly against a recently resurgent King Cross CB & AC, with Michael Barlow firing over an early opportunity but two defensive errors were punished with maximum effect and the already difficult task of beating last season’s Premier Division Champions got a whole lot harder.
A close range header and fortuitous or outstanding long range effort, depending on the player’s actual intentions, left Pond four down at the break and realistically out of the tie.
Paul Meredith found Barlow at the back post from where his shot was well saved by Craig Clegg, as Pond at least showed good commitment and improved as the match wore on.
King Cross got two more to well and truly put the tie to bed, but Steve Galloway had a good effort shave the cross-bar and Meredith won a penalty as the Hove Edge side fought back.
The spot kick was well saved by Clegg to preserve his clean sheet however, and a seventh and final goal was plundered for the victors in the fog.
Triangle had continued their recent tradition of decent cup runs but also came unstuck against top flight opponents in Carrington Rangers.
The 6-1 scoreline reflected the 23 places between the two sides in the divisional hierarchy.
Forthcoming fixtures, Sunday, November 27, Bridge Balti Halifax Sunday League – Division One (11am kick off): Cock & Bottle v Sun Inn (Savile Pk 13), Old Pond v Lee Mount (Lane Head 1), Thornhill Briggs v Elland Sports Res (Hipp & Light H.S.).
Division Two (11am kick off): Halifax Rangers Res v Top Club (Savile Pk 3), Rastrick Bowling Club v Stallions FC (Carr Green Rec), Triangle v The Vine Res (Savile Pk 7)