DIVISON One of The Bridge Balti Halifax Sunday League saw a top versus bottom clash and Sun Inn’s centre forward Rob Malone dished out a master-class in a 18-1 demolition of perennial strugglers Halifax Rangers, writes Andy Dawson.
The league’s leading marksman made sure nobody will catch him in the goalscoring charts as he netted 10 times against a hapless Rangers defence.
It saw the record books being investigated, but it failed to beat Adrian Kelly’s 2005 11 goals against a Westgate side doomed to last very little time in the former Brighouse SFL.
The history books are of little importance to Lee Nicholson’s Sun side, who were just glad that they managed to rack up not just the expected three points but a phenomenal goal difference advantage over near rivals Oddfellows and FC Champs who both lost at the weekend.
Rangers’ hopes of pulling off a shock victory went down the pan early, as they found themselves down to 10 men.
Having already hauled Malone down when through on goal once and been offered a reprieve by the referee, their centre half again impeded him in a goal scoring position and got the red card.
As well as Malone’s weighty goal-haul, Ben Timson (3), Wayne Collins, Ryan Collins, Tom Gorringe, Michael Drennan and James Symonds helped demolish the division’s basement side.
Old Pond helped Sun’s title cause by defeating another of Division One’s high-fliers, FC Champs 4-3 at Greetland.
Richard Dawson’s side started brightly against strong opponents.
Shaw started a move in midfield, played the ball wide to Michael Barlow and he found Paul Taylor who delivered for Shaw to finish off the move.
Champs had Brighouse Town man Ryan Brook enjoying midfield possession and he sent Crosland through on goal to restore parity.
The home side looked like they had put the game out of reach approaching half-time after scoring twice more. Oliver Smith headed in a cross and Tom Robinson cracked home expertly with his left foot.
The last kick of the first half gave Pond a real fillip when Darrell Holdsworth, in place of the suspended Lee Potter, thumped home a left foot pile-driver.
It did not take long for the Hove Edge side to restore parity, Barlow was hacked down in the penalty area and Taylor drilled home from the spot.
Pond snatched a dramatic match winning goal. Barlow burst down the right flank and squared to Ryan Richardson he hit a right foot shot into the corner to help his side to all three points.
In Division Two, Top Club won a feisty encounter against a young Greetland Goldstars team.
Skipper Heffernan opened the scoring mid-way through the first half with a daisy-cutter into the bottom left corner.
The second half got off to a slow start, both teams gaining possession but giving the ball away too easily.
TC looked the more likely to add to their tally with the home defence keeping any Greetland chances to a minimum.
TC’s second goal came from a Greetland clearance which fell to Jamie Clay. The midfielder lobbed the ball over the keeper from 25 yards out.
Greetland had a chance in the dying seconds, with their keeper joining in the action at a corner, but nothing came of it.
Elsewhere there was an outstanding win for David Whiteley’s Triangle side, who thrashed mid-table Stubbing Wharf 12-0.
Alex Brown netted five with his brother and Ben scoring twice. There was also a brace from Damian Roberts and Damian Cook, with James Thompson also finding the net.
Rastrick Bowling Club had a rare off day away at Ryburn Valley as they dropped points allowing the top two to pull further away, though they still have games in hand.
They shared a goal apiece on their travels but hope to pick up maximum points at lowly Hebden Bridge this weekend.
Fixtures: (all 11am kick-off) Bridge Balti League Cup Quarter Final, Sun Inn v Cock & Bottle (Carr Green)
Division One: Old Pond v Hollins Holme (Lane Head), Thornhill Briggs v Halifax Rangers (Hipperholme & Lightcliffe HS).
Division Two: Hebden Bridge AFC v Rastrick Bowling Club (Holmes Pk, Luddenden Foot), The Vine Reserves v Top Club (Savile Park), Triangle v Ryburn Valley (Savile Park).