PLAYING top of the league Bardsey, runners up the previous year, league winners the two before that was always going to be a test and a game where Brighouse Old Boys could prove that their early season potential could be realised.
A slightly late kick off, Bardsey having forgotten their kit, didn’t upset the Old Boys who started on the front foot, their neat football and competitive edge more than a match for their experienced opponents.
Chances went begging and against the run of play Bardsey took an early lead. A long cross from the right eluded the home defence and Bardsey’s left winger controlled the ball and tucked it under Jason Hibbert.
Old Boys soon got back into the game. A piercing though ball by captain James Fletcher left Kenny to net with a well placed side footed shot into the bottom corner. Lee then had to be replaced just before halftime due to injury, Will Tolley coming on on the left for him.
With Fletcher and the strong running of Cummings in the middle of midfield, Old Boys were taking charge, Tolley and Alex O’Keefe making inroads into the heart of the oppositions defence.
Tackles were flying in and from one high challenge Bardsey’s number eight Stevenson was given his marching orders for a second yellow card.
The resulting free kick was looped into the area and was met by a diving header from Fletcher giving the home team the lead.
Bardsey started to look dangerous, their front two causing central defenders Ian Brock and Andy Hall problems with their pace and aerial presence.
Luke Johnson in the left back position, and Joe Nelson on the right had to stifle their normal attacking wing back play to cope with a series of attacks mounted by their increasingly desperate opposition.
Unfortunately, Hall had to go off injured leaving Old Boys down to 10 men and Bardsey equalised when a corner was partially cleared and a powerful shot from the edge of the area flew over Hibbert and into the top corner.
Old Boys forced Bardsey onto the back foot and substitute Matty Roy started to cause havoc in the Bardsey defence and when he was scythed down in the box, the resulting penalty was coolly put away by Fletcher.
Bardsey were bound to leave gaps that Brighouse could exploit and this proved to be the case when a teasing low cross from Kenny on the left was turned into his own goal by a defender.
The tiring O’Keefe was replaced by Mike Pearson and his fresh legs cut down the space in the Bardsey defence.
Will Tolley was also creating havoc and a fifth goalseemed inevitable.
This proved to be the case when an accurate through ball from Cummings found Kenny again cutting in from the left and his accurate side footed shot beat the keeper.
Brighouse Old Boys 5
West Yorkshire League Premier Division
Old Headingley Res 2
Brighouse Old Boys Res 1
West Yorkshire League Alliance Division One
IN yet another hard fought game Brighouse Old Boys were again desperately unlucky not to come away with at least a point.
The first half was a close affair, both sides working hard to gain supremacy.
The first chance went to Old Boys after a powerful run and cross from Pete Kuleczko found Andy Burton, but his shot was well saved by ‘keeper Tom Long.
Next it was the turn of the home side when a ball over the top released the home forward but debutant ‘keeper Richie Roberts was on hand to smother the shot.
The home side took the lead when a ball over the top caught the visitors defence out and released forward Mark Lucas whose shot was well saved by Roberts but the rebound was headed home by Adrian Shield.
Old Boys equalised on the half hour mark when Adam William’s corner was powerfully headed home by Steve Ashford.
Old Boys began the second half with real determination but a rare attack saw Old Headingley win a corner, and from the resulting cross as Wagstaffe challenged for the ball it glanced off his head into the net giving Roberts no chance.