It’s no slip-ups to bogey side

football - round one of the Halifax Challenge Cup - Friendly v Brighouse Old Boys at Luddendenfoot park'Lee Perry for Friendly and Rob Kenny for Brighouse OB
football - round one of the Halifax Challenge Cup - Friendly v Brighouse Old Boys at Luddendenfoot park'Lee Perry for Friendly and Rob Kenny for Brighouse OB

THIS match, the first Brighouse Old Boys after the winter break, could have been a banana skin moment for the away team as their record away to Swillington has not been good.

Swillington adopted their traditional formation, five, four one, a shape difficult to break down and, as in previous encounters, set up for a quick counter attack, hopefully catching the opposition on the back foot, scoring a goal, late on to claim victory.

Old Boys did start lazily. Their usual high tempo passing game was a distant memory.

They allowed too much time for Swillington to retain possession and exploit gaps in the defence.

Then Swillington scored. A corner from the right which was heading towards the competent hands of Jason Hibbert in the away goal.

But he was impeded and the ball fell to a home team player to complete an easy finish into the back of the net.

In previous years Old Boys might have folded but, this season, there seems to be an inner belief and no panic.

Captain James Fletcher, midfielder Jimmy Cummings and the neat assured play of the cultured Damien Place created an inventive platform in midfield, which allowed the wing play of Peter Kuleczko and Martin Newholm to attack the home defence.

Just back from injury, Rob Kenny started finding the gaps and Swillington’s back four found it difficult to cope.

The equaliser came from a somewhat bizarre incident when a good move by Johnson on the left allowed Kenny to poke the ball home from just a couple of yards.

On the way, a Swillington defender handled the ball and the referee gave a penalty.

The goal was disallowed and Kenny, to everyone’s relief, placed the ball into the net.

Old Boys’ second came from an expertly placed free kick from Fletcher, curling the ball in from the edge of the area with the Swillington keeper rooted to the spot.

It was one way traffic although, Swillington attempted to catch their visitors on the counter-attack, but these were mopped up by man of the match Andy Hall and Reece Bray.

Fullbacks Luke Johnson and Joe Nelson found space and were adding to the attacking options.

Just before half time Cummings increased his side’s lead, intercepting the ball on the left hand side of the penalty area and skilfully placing it past the Swillington keeper with a powerful side-footed shot into the bottom right corner of the net.

Swillington, 3 - 1 down at the break, came out of their shell, leaving gaps that Old Boys could hopefully exploit,

Swillington increased their presence up front and for the first 15 minutes threatened the Brighouse defence but, attacks never really got past Hall and Bray.

However, fresh legs were needed and Calvin Lee and Lee Williams replaced Kuleczko and Newholm to add extra impetus to the visitors’ tactics.

With virtually the first touch of the ball, Lee sprinted through the Swillington defence and was brought down by the opposing centre half.

Kenny once again stepped up to the mark and placed the ball past the home team keeper to make it 4-1.

Other than a chance which hit the bar from Fletcher this was the final incident in the match and Old Boys ran out the game to record a well deserved victory.