Richardson hits hat-trick as Old Boys cruise into last eight

Kim Farrand, Brighouse Old Boys
Kim Farrand, Brighouse Old Boys

BRIGHOUSE OLD BOYS moved confidently into the quarter-finals after overcoming spirited early resistance from a side operating in the division below them.

Old Centralians were playing their first game since November 28 due to a succession of postponements.

Their spell of inactivity did not show, however, because after 20 minutes the scores were level at 1-1.

With both teams playing well, it looked like being a classic closely-fought cup tie, but once the Old Boys scored their second, there was only ever going to be one winner.

Old Centralians started the stronger, playing the ball well through the middle and looking well-organised at the back.

However, somewhat against the run of play, the Old Boys went ahead.

From a free-kick on the halfway line, Joe Nalson hit a pinpoint diagonal ball into the penalty area where Tom Wright headed home.

Within five minutes, though, Centralians deservedly equalised when, following a corner that was only half-cleared, their left-sided midfielder fired in an unstoppable shot from 20 yards out.

Five minutes later, an in-swinging corner from Chris Wdowzck found Matt Richardson, who comfortably headed home for the Old Boys to regain the lead.

Shortly afterwards, the home side made it three when Pete Kulezko’s cross from the right found Richardson, who expertly turned his man an slotted the ball home for his second.

As half-time approached, the Old Boys effectively killed the game when, after a strong run down the left, Michael Barlow hit a through ball to Jake Broadbent, who instantly controlled, turned and elegantly shot the ball into the far bottom corner of the net. The half ended at 4-1.

Old Centralians did come out in determined mood for the second half, but they never really put the Old Boys back five of goalkeeper Jason Hibbert, Nalson, Ian Brock, Lee Williams and Barlow under any sustained pressure.

After five minutes, Richardson bagged his hat-trick with another goal from a cross.

Old Boys manager Kim Farrand then introduced substitutes Jimmy Cummings, Connor Stoner and Calvin Lee into the game and the goals continued to flow.

Richardson bagged his fourth with a shot from the edge of the area; Stoner slotted in from close range from a free-kick by Cummings; Lee scored with a stunning lob-volley and Richard Heins scored the ninth goal when Richardson squared the ball to leave him an easy tap-in.

The Old Boys now face an away tie, likely to take place in February, in the last eight against Otley Town.

On Saturday, the first team are away to Oxenhope Recreation in the league (2pm) and the reserves have a derby match at home to Wyke Reserves (2pm).