THORNHILL Briggs conjured up what was undoubtedly the game of the weekend in the Bridge Balti Halifax Sunday League Division One as the advantage regularly swapped hands before the points were eventually shared against Cock & Bottle, writes Andy Dawson.
Player-manager Glen Hall’s side held a 3-1 lead against their Southowram visitors, Jamie Marshall once more amongst the goals with two in the encounter.
With 15 minutes left the tide had turned however and the visitors had roared back to take a 4-3 lead. The goals continued to flow at ridiculous regularity and after just five more minutes Hall’s outfit were back in the lead at 6-4, Hall himself, Anthony Todd and Lee Shepherd completing the Brighouse side’s goal rosta.
A contentious call of hand-ball allowed Cock & Bottle back to within one from the spot, before with three minutes left on the clock they plundered another to conclude an incident packed match at six apiece. Rob Goode had a glorious chance to steal an unassailable lead with almost the last kick but couldn’t convert and leaving Hall to muse over ‘a fair result’ after such drama.
Briggs are firmly lodged in mid-table, but Sun Inn continued their ever burgeoning aspirations of picking up honours and beating league leaders Oddfellows at the weekend was a pretty good sign of their progression.
Player Manager Lee Nicholson was amongst Sun’s goalscorers in a 5-2 victory against the divisional leaders, but Rob Malone’s seemingly weekly feat of scoring a hat-trick continued to help his side towards the top. Wayne Collins was also on the scoresheet as the Rastrick side now find themselves four points off the top of the table with two games in hand.
Richard Dawson made it a hat-trick of Division One player-managers on the scoresheet after netting for his Old Pond outfit, but his side failed to build on the momentum of an impressive performance and point off Oddy’s last week as they lost at Waiters Arm’s.
Joe Shaw headed the Hove Edge side into a lead having defended some early Waiters pressure, but Chris Doyle netted from a corner to level things up at the interval.
Dom Wilson made the first breakthrough of the second half, firing home after a corner to put the Sowerby Bridge outfit ahead, but Dawson scored a spectacular equaliser to draw Pond level. The centre half started and finished a move culminating in a diving header from a Ryan Richardson cross.
Waiters gambled on men forward in the latter stages however and got rewards as they ran out 4-2 victors. Andy Pearson smashed home from an acute angle, before another corner culminated in Rajko Jovanovic putting the icing on the cake with his head.
In Division Two, Rastrick Bowling Club got back to winning ways after cup defeat last time out in defeating King Cross CB & AC Reserves.
Kevin O’Brien admitted to being concerned at a number of first half missed chances, but at least they had a cool finish from Tom Mellor to settle any early nerves.
Suttle, Robertshaw and Mellor himself failed to convert the Rastrickians dominance into goals as they held a slender 1-0 half time advantage.
The introduction of Arran Burnside seemed to give Rastrick the lift they needed and it was the lively substitute who netted the second latching onto a through ball before finishing with aplomb.
Burnside and Suttle combined as the tie was put to bed, Frank Cullen the recipient of a good cut back and slotting home to seal the points. King Cross did grab a late consolation, which at least only served as a frustration to Danny Barnes in goal not gleaning his first clean sheet of the season.
The result brings Rastrick closer to former Brighouse SFL rivals Triangle who held onto third spot by virtue of goal difference only from O’Brien’s charges having been beaten by league leaders Stallions FC.
Top Club continued to maintain clear daylight between themselves and the bottom three, as they won 3-2 at Hebden Bridge AFC.
Forthcoming fixtures, Sunday, November 20, (11am), Eddie Hebblethwaite Halifax District FA Cup – Round 3: King Cross CB & AC v Old Pond (King Cross CB & AC), Carrington Rangers v Triangle (Beechwood Park).
Bridge Balti Halifax Sunday League – Division One (11am kick-off): FC Champs v Sun Inn (Greetland Comm. Centre), Thornhill Briggs v Oddfellows (Hipp & Light HS).
Division Two: Rastrick Bowling Club v Top Club (Carr Green Rec)