Roy on target twice as Old Boys stun Ovenden to claim final spot

Brighouse OB v Ovenden WR'Image04 ' Old Boys' Michael Pearson and Chris Wdowczyk crowding out Ovenden's Martin Ayscough
Brighouse OB v Ovenden WR'Image04 ' Old Boys' Michael Pearson and Chris Wdowczyk crowding out Ovenden's Martin Ayscough

As expected, this eagerly awaited clash was a tightly fought, competitive affair in front of a sizeable crowd at the Old Boys’ home ground.

Ovenden started the brighter, immediately putting pressure on the Old Boys defence with searching long balls to forwards Steve Fullard and Carlton Pownall.

However, home centre backs Andy Hall and Ian Brock held firm and gradually the Old Boys began to get their passing game together.

After 15 minutes, Old Boys’ top scorer Rob Kenny had to come off with a recurrence of a hamstring injury and was replaced by Matty Roy.

Left footed Roy immediately started to cause Ovenden problems down the right and on 25 minutes he was brought down five yards outside the box. Roy proceeded to put his side ahead from the resulting free kick with a stunning, swerving shot into the top right corner of the net.

This seemed to spur Ovenden and they began to move the ball at pace, bringing wide men John Booth and Damian Randall into the game,

But the Old Boys centre backs, along with fullbacks Joe Nalson and Luke Johnson, held firm as Old Boys maintained their slender lead at the break.

In the second half, Old Boys began to gradually become more dominant with midfielders Tom Gorringe and Jimmy Cummings in particular having a greater influence.

Lee Burgess was holding the ball up well, giving fellow striker Mike Pearson more space to exploit his pace.

Chris Wdowczyk was then replaced by veteran Damian Place and one move down the left, which included a neat passing interchange between Place, Gorringe and Burgess, led to the latter delivering an inch perfect cross to Pearson, but he lost his footing and the chance was gone.

Shortly afterwards, a free kick taken by Cummings seemed goalbound but Ovenden ‘keeper Chris Moroney made a superb save, tipping the ball past the post.

It was then Ovenden’s turn to put the pressure on. They began to launch balls into the Old Boys’ penalty box from all angles and from a long throw by centre back Graham Hall, younger brother of Old Boys’ captain Andy Hall, a poor clearance led to a goalmouth scramble.

A pin-point shot from inside the box gave Old Boys ‘keeper Jason Bates no chance and the game was level with 20 minutes left.

The game was now nip-and-tuck with both teams going for the win.

Old Boys made their final substitution with Alex Tait replacing Mike Pearson.

With 15 minutes left to play and extra time looming, Brighouse Old Boys scored what proved to be the winning goal.

Burgess put the tireless Gorringe through on goal and he was brought down just outside the penalty box. Ovenden formed an eight man wall, but up stepped Roy once again, his shot going over the wall before dipping into the net.

Ovenden almost equalised when Booth was put through, but a last ditch tackle from Brock kept his team ahead and they were then able to see out the closing stages to book their final date with Halifax Premier League team Calder ’76 in the other semi-final.

Brighouse Old Boys 2

Ovenden West Riding 1

Halifax & District FA Albert Crabtree Cup semi final.