Midgley take the early bragging rights with 4-0 win

George Bamford scored twice in Midgley's 4-0 win over Hebden Royd
George Bamford scored twice in Midgley's 4-0 win over Hebden Royd

Midgley United made a flying start to the Haslem Sheppard Halifax AFL campaign with a 4-0 success away to Calder Valley rivals Hebden Royd Red Star last Friday.

The sides had drawn 2-2 in the same opening fixture last season so United boss Craig Gee could afford to be pleased as his side bid to regain the crown.

After an even first quartet, two goals in five minutes put Midgley in the ascendancy.

George Bamford made the breakthrough, cashing in when Red Star failed to clear. He wrapped his boot around the ball and scored from an acute angle.

Bamford won a penalty five minutes later and Andrew Butterworth scored to turn the game firmly the visitors’ way.

Defender Calum Rodgers left Red Star with a mountain to climb with Midgley’s third five minutes before half time, applying a smart finish from a narrow angle after taking the ball past the ‘keeper.

Red Star tried hard to respond but their sole frontrunner Lewis Cockroft was isolated on occasions and Midgley dealt comfortably with any pressure, Bamford adding to the scoreline with a fine header from Joe Gibson’s free-kick on 70 minutes.

Rob Stansfield and Bamford played well up front for Midgley while the back four were solid after a nervy start.

Red Star only just beat the drop last season but Gee said: “If they played that side every week they wouldn’t have an issue.”

Marc Walters scored the only goal as Calder ‘76 Reserves beat Midgley Reserves in Division One last Wednesday.

Calder have since lost 6-3 away to Crossleys with Gav Martin, Joe Gibson and John Moynes their scorers.

Also last Saturday, Simon Kavanagh struck twice but Midgley Reserves lost 6-2 at Denholme United.

Red Star Reserves lost 4-2 away to Shelf United Reserves in Division Two. William Chadwick and George Oliver were their scorers.

Last season’s Halifax Sunday League Division One champions Hollins Holme were beaten in their first match in the top flight.

Joel Booth’s side lost 2-0 at Lee Mount but have two chances in four days to get points on the board.

They were hosting a useful Bowling Green side at Calder Holmes last night and then face the team they beat in the cup final, Halifax Hammers, at Northowram Rec on Sunday.

Royd Club made an excellent start to their Division One programme on Tuesday with a 5-2 home win over Top Club.

They play North Bridge at Savile Park on Sunday.