Top Club rise above the tide to put belated victory on the board

Aaron Barkham gets in a header for  Top Club  Reserves in the win over St Columbus at Savile Park.
Aaron Barkham gets in a header for Top Club Reserves in the win over St Columbus at Savile Park.

For the second weekend running only one Brighouse side took to the field in the Ziggy’s Metro Cars Halifax Sunday League, but after two months without a game Top Club 
Reserves returned with a win.

They beat a young StColumbus side 2-1 at Carr Green, Rastrick, to open up a three-point lead over the bottom two in the second division.

The opening to the match on an expectedly heavy pitch was cat and mouse with few openings, and it wasn’t until a speculative effort from Top Club’s Thomas Stead zipped over the bar on the quarter hour mark that either goal was troubled.

Ten minutes later and an end-to-end period of chances brought the game to the life; Saints front man Jordan Winter whipping a telling ball into the penalty area that somehow evaded everyone 
before narrowly shaving the far post, before at the other end Aaron Barkham went close to putting Top Club in front but was thwarted by a good double save from Jakub Fornal.

Barkham’s forward incursions may have been thwarted on this occasion, but it wasn’t long before he squeezed his side in front.

A right-wing cross evaded the St Columbus defence and despite a good attempted block from Fornal this time the ball trickled over the line for the opener.

The lead lasted only three minutes however, as a fine goal brought the visitors 

Tom Howse hit the woodwork but Winter was on hand to pounce and curl home the goal of the game from outside the box to draw his side level from the rebound.

Both club’s goalscorers had further efforts to give their side’s a half-time lead, but were thwarted by good saves approaching the interval.

What turned out to be the winning goal was rifled home by Top Club front man Jonny Handley 10 minutes into the second period.

He latched onto a weak clearance and slotted 
home well to put his side in front.

A St Columbus side with an average age in the teens fought hard to get back into the match, but with the heavy pitch sapping energy it was the more experienced Top Club who looked more likely to add to their total.

Fornal made further good saves tipping over and then wide from a one on one, before Gary Nicholson saw a headed effort sail wide and then skewed a shot when well placed after Jake Gibson had won the ball back tenaciously and put him through on 

At the other end the Top Club keeper made a decent double save from a St 
Columbus substitute, before Connor Bottomley hit a tame shot but Top Club held out to pick up their first win since October.

Fixtures: Sunday, January 17, 2016 (all kick off’s 11:00 unless stated).

Ziggys Metro Cars Halifax Sunday League Premier Division: Old Pond v Ryburn United (Lane Head).

Division Two: Crown FC v King Cross Park (Rastrick High School), Halifax Hammers Res v Top Club Reserves (Calderdale College).