Star still in driving seat after draw with rivals

HEBDEN Royd Red Star missed a chance to go seven points clear at the top of Division One of the Halifax AFL after twice letting a lead slip at home to title rivals Sowerby Bridge in an entertaining 3-3 draw.

Neither side had played for several weeks and the visitors made the stronger start, opening the scoring inside the first 10 minutes.

There looked little danger as replacement ‘keeper Joe Western came out to collect an over-hit pass, but the ball squirmed from his grasp allowing Lee Wood to tap into an empty net.

Red Star responded well and the midfield pair of James Chadwick and Daniel Lumb began to dominate. For the remainder of the half, Red Star most of the running but too often the final ball to front pair Charles Marshall and Chris Garbutt was disappointing.

Star were grateful to Western for an excellent point blank save early in the second half and moments later Red Star got back on terms.

A free kick was headed on by Ryan Thomas and after a number of players challenged for the second ball, Chadwick climbed highest to nod home.

Star were buoyant and as the visitors appealed in vain for offside against Danny Willars, Thomas was left to run from deep unchallenged. After rounding the ‘keeper, he kept his cool to square for fellow substitute Willars to tap home and make it 2-1.

The hosts relaxed momentarily and Bridge equalised. Star failed to deal with a long throw, which was flicked to the back post and turned home from three yards by Danny Cook.

The parity did not last long, however, as the visiting ‘keeper hacked an attempted clearance straight at the feet of Thomas, who controlled nicely before tucking the ball home.

Again Star failed to hold onto their lead. A ball into their box ricocheted off a number of legs before Wood poked the ball into the top corner with five minutes remaining.