OLD POND picked up their first victory of the season at the ninth time of asking in the Briggs Priestley Senior Cup but required extra-time to see off Oddfellows in a frenetic tie.
Richard Dawson’s side had a dream start, dominating the early exchanges.
Sean Suttle, whose crossing was excellent throughout, delivered from the left flank with just four minutes on the clock and Wayne Allert was on hand to bundle the ball home.
This stirred Adrian Quick’s visiting side into life and they created a host of chances but were thwarted by last-gasp defending, some excellent goalkeeping and a degree of profligacy.
Pond goalkeeper Dan Barnes twice denied Oddfellows with one-on-one saves, a gilt-edged chance was fired over the crossbar and the visitors’ man of the match, Jack Rice, struck the post as his side pressed.
The sucker-punch came at the other end with just a minute of the first half remaining. A well-rehearsed short corner was worked between Paul Taylor and Luke Sherry culminating in player-manager Dawson stealing in to tap home to make it 2-0.
The second half saw the visitors shake off their inaccuracies in front of the net as they stormed back into contention with a brace of goals.
Firstly, Adrian Parkinson burst clear and finished well and then substitute Luke Oldridge got on the end of a cross to restore parity.
Both sides had chances to avoid the unwelcome prospect of extra-time, but Barnes produced a fantastic tip over from a dipping shot from Scott Parkinson and Oddfellows goalkeeper Aron Jackson denied Taylor when through on goal.
The visitors wasted no time in extra-time in taking the lead for the first time in the match. Daniel Merrick powered home from within the penalty area to put his side in the driving seat.
Both sides were now carrying passengers to injury, and when Oddfellows were forced down to 10 men Pond mercilessly made numerical advantage count.
A goalmouth scramble saw Suttle hit the bar, but Allert was on hand to equalise with his second from close range.
The winning goal followed in the second period. Frank Cullen, off the bench to make a welcome return in his first outing of the campaign, found Sherry out wide and his accurate cross was turned home by the head of Taylor to secure progression.
Top Club faced the unenviable task of beating Carrington in their first round tie in the same competition and gave a good account of themselves at Carr Green.
With the Rastrick side’s goalkeeper in fine form, they remained well in the match at the interval, but as in the club’s recent league meeting Carrington had the stamina to pull away and record a 5-1 victory.
In The Ziggys Metro Cars League, Division One side Barge FC lost ground against Feathers FC at the top of the standings, having been held by former long-standing Brighouse Sunday League stalwarts Triangle.
Matthew Bagshaw’s side shared six goals against their bottom half opponents to drop points again, having started the season so emphatically.
In Division Two, Top Club Reserves were disappointed to come away with a 3-0 defeat against St Columbas on Savile Park, their opponents opening a five point gap above them in the league standings.
Sunday, (11am unless stated), Ziggys Metro Cars Halifax Sunday League, Division 1: Top Club v Halifax Hammers (Carr Green Rec). Division 2: North Bridge Reserves v Crown FC (Savile Park).