Midgley and Illingworth exit county cup

Football - County Cup - Midgley United v Pool. Gary Hodgson for Midgley.

Football - County Cup - Midgley United v Pool. Gary Hodgson for Midgley.

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Midgley United and Illingworth St Mary’s battled hard but bowed out of the West Riding Challenge Cup at the third round stage on Saturday.

Midgley lost 4-1 at home to Pool while Illingworth went down 5-1 at Beeston St Anthony but both Halifax AFL sides played better than the scorelines suggest.

Conditions were “wild but playable” at Midgley Rec, according to home boss Craig Gee. Strangely, all five goals were scored playing against the strong wind.

Midgley played well in the first half. A Liam Brompton strike gave them the lead after 20 minutes and Ryan Jeffries should have made it 2-0 but blasted wide.

Midgley looked comfortable until around the 65-minute mark.

Rob Stansfield had sustained a cut near an eye and the referee told him to go off for attention.

While Stansfield was being patched up, Pool scored twice in quick succession.

Midgley pushed forward after that and the visitors picked them off to finish comfortable winners.

Gee added: “Pool played very in the last half hour.

“I wasn’t totally unhappy with our performance.”

Illingworth were also up against opponents from the West Yorkshire League’s top flight - in their case the leaders.

The wind again playing a big part.

The game started at a high tempo with Beeston applying pressure and testing stand-in keeper Southwell.

Beeston took the lead on 20 minutes. Centre back Andrew Disney lost possession, resulting in a tap in at the back post.

Skipper Phil Livsey levelled with the help of a huge deflection.

Illingworth pressed but got caught on the break, resulting in John Booth diving in for a challenge and conceding a penalty. Beeston hit the post and the half ended 1-1.

As conditions worsened, Illingworth defended well and could have taken the lead through Luke Prosser on the hour, the winger putting the ball wide when it seemed easier to score.

Fitness proved decisive with Beeston scoring four times in the last 10 minutes.