Crown FC made it four wins on the bounce in Division Two of the Ziggy’s Metro Cars Halifax Sunday League, but only after being given a tough match by St Columbas at Rastrick High School.
The encounter may have been low on goals, but wasn’t short on entertainment and some stand out performances.
Michael Drennan picked up man of the match for Crown and it was he who struck what turned out to be the only goal of the game from the penalty spot as the Brighouse side picked up a 1-0 victory.
Dave Phelan had already seen a spot kick saved by the Columbas keeper, but alongside central defensive partner Craig Gabbitas was another star performer as the back four defended stoically to keep out a pacey and younger opponent.
Crown keeper Clayton Smith also drew plaudits as he made a stunning save from the visitors’ best opportunity, but the last line of defence somehow tipping onto the crossbar from a shot that looked destined to earn Columbas a point.
Stoic defending was also the order of the day in the Premier League, where bottom of the pile Old Pond came close to holding out for an unlikely point against fourth placed Waiters Arms at Trinity Academy.
Waiters controlled possession for much of the match but looked destined not to break down a determined Pond rear-guard.
The nearest they came in a goalless first period was a shot clawed off the line by the outstanding Dan Barnes in the Pond net amidst protestations that the ball had crossed the line.
With Pond down to the bare bones, it was Waiters’ strength from the bench that ultimately ground down a tiring Pond defence. Dave Lawrence and Richard Dawson at centre half were both strong throughout alongside Andy Dawson and James Symonds in the Hove Edge side’s defence, but the breakthrough came with 15 minutes remaining.
A ball delivered from the right flank following a quickly-taken corner was deftly nudged past Barnes at the near post by substitute Lee Wood.
The pace of David Chappell was also a weapon available from the bench and when he broke clear and netted a second it looked done and dusted but Pond fired back with a good counter.
A fine ball from Sean Suttle was expertly taken down in the air by James Broadbent who matched his touch with a neat volleyed finish.
Pond were unable to complete a comeback and share the spoils, but manager Dawson was delighted that his side are starting to show a competitive edge in a tough division.
In Division One, Barge FC’s recent nose dive in form continued as they fell to a second defeat of the season against Ryburn Valley.
The home side picked up a 3-1 victory in a result that has left Matthew Bagshaw’s side still in second place but now a massive seven points adrift of early runaway leaders Feathers FC.
Feathers look well set for an immediate return to the Premier Division having suffered relegation last year.