Red letter day for Star’s new boss

Off the mark: Chris Garbutt got his first win at Sowerby
Off the mark: Chris Garbutt got his first win at Sowerby

New Hebden Royd Red Star boss Chris Garbutt has got a first win as manager under his belt - after cracking the whip.

Red Star shook off the disappointment of a 4-0 opening night derby defeat to Midgley by winning 3-1 at Sowerby United in the Premier Division of the Halifax AFL last Friday.

“We needed it. It was a much better performance all-round,” said Garbutt, who admitted he was having to make tough decisions over teammates who were also friends.

“I dropped a few people after the first match. The players have to know we are all competing for places,” he said.

Garbutt’s appointment is part of a changing of the guard at the Calder Valley club, who only just avoided relegation last season.

Dave Whitehouse stepped down as boss and long-serving Peter Kennedy as chairman.

Garbutt, a teacher, has also taken on the role of club secretary while Adam Watts will attend the league meetings. Simon Kendall has replaced Kennedy, who is still actively involved with the club.

Red Star have another big derby date on Friday when they are away to Calder ‘76, who will be smarting from a 1-0 defeat at Midgley last week.

“It should be a good game - we have a good squad if everyone is available,” said Garbutt.

Looking back on the action so far, Garbutt thought his men had much the better of the opening stages against Midgley, only to have their hopes dashed when they conceded three goals in the run up to half time.

He was pleased they had put things right against Sowerby at Ryburn School, while admitting that the hosts had lost players since last season.

A Ben Norman header from a long throw and a Patrick Thomas tap-in gave Star a two-goal cushion but Dan Boyd replied before the break.

Garbutt brought on youngster George Oliver, who was taken out by the home side’s stand-in ‘keeper Garry Boyd and Lewis Cockroft scored from the spot to make the game safe.

P W D L F A Pts

Midgley Utd 2 2 0 0 5 0 6

Stump Cross 2 2 0 0 8 5 6

Shelf Utd 1 1 0 0 4 2 3

Copley Utd 2 1 0 1 10 9 3

Warley Rangers 1 1 0 0 4 3 3

Elland Utd 2 1 0 1 6 7 3

Hebden Royd RS 2 1 0 1 3 5 3

Greetland AFC 2 0 1 1 5 6 1

Ryburn Utd 2 0 1 1 5 7 1

Calder 76 1 0 0 1 0 1 0

Northowram 1 0 0 1 5 7 0

Sowerby Utd 2 0 0 2 3 6 0