Midgley United are back on top of the Haslem Sheppard Halifax AFL’s Premier Division after a hard-fought 1-0 win away to Warley Rangers.
Liam Brompton’s 25-yard free kick into the top corner of the net after half an hour proved decisive as Craig Gee’s visitors to Carr Green confirmed their superiority over opponents they beat in last year’s Challenge Cup final.
The visitors were without injured quartet Ian Hudson, Rob Stansfield, Joe Gibson and Greg Spink, plus the unavailable Ryan Jeffries, but boss Craig Gee reckons they have a stronger squad this year.
Warley had plenty of possession with Dean Lawrence and Carlton Balmer catching they eye.
They brought one good save out of James Brooks during the first half but otherwise struggled to break down a resolute Midgley defence in which Andrew Butterworth was outstanding.
Midgley took over the leadership from Calder ‘76, who came a cropper when beaten 5-1 at home to a Ryburn United side advertising their title credentials.
Calder went into the game on the back of an unbeaten run dating back almost to the start of the year.
However, Ryburn showed their determination to regain a crown which just eluded them last year by powering clear in the final quarter.
The visitors had the upper hand for much of the contest and went in at the break 2-0 up thanks to goals from Si Carter and strike ace Christian Silkstone.
Johnny Gibson got one back during the home side’s only spell of dominance but Adam Barlow nipped Calder’s comeback hopes in the bud.
George Turner rubbed salt into’s Calder’s wounds with two goals as the home side chased the game in the final 10 minutes and left themselves open at the back.
Shelf United made it three wins out of four with the help of two goals from Billy Grogan in a 3-2 home win over Copley United.
Promoted Mixenden United are just behind, Chris Woodhouse scoring the only goal of an even game at home to Northowram in the last 10 minutes.
The Rams, who are looking short of fire power, are now bottom.
Hebden Royd Red Star got off the mark at the fourth attempt with a 2-1 win at Greetland, Mark Bradbury and Dan Pugh getting their goals with Tom Wall the home scorer.
A miserable week for Elland United was completed by a 3-2 home defeat at the hands of Brighouse Sports in Division One.
Two goals for Ashley Johnson helped tip the scales the way of Sports, who were making in three wins out of four following promotion.
At the previous Monday’s league meeting Elland had lost the points from their 4-1 win over Elland Allstars on August 28.
Allstars got those points and Sowerby Bridge picked up three from the fixture with United on September 4 which failed to go ahead.
In both cases it was because Elland United had not affiliated with the West Riding County FA.
Illingworth St Mary’s are the new leaders after hat-tricks from John Booth and Luke Prosser helped them win 9-4 at Sowerby Bridge.
Connor Bell scored four in Elland Allstars 6-1 win away to Halifax Irish while there were hat-tricks for Denholme United’s Michael Midgley and Ryburn Reserves’ Bradley Tynan in easy wins for their sides.
All Denholme’s goals away to Midgley Reserves came in the second half following an injury to home ‘keeper Matthew Tidswell.
Sowerby United’s home game with Calder ‘76 Reserves was postponed due to a serious family illness affecting the referee.
St Columbas’ perfect start in Division Two was ended by visitors Sowerby Bridge Reserves, who won 1-0.
Saints were unable to turn possession into goals as experienced centre backs Lee Thomas and Si Whitton stood firm.
Bridge shuffled things around at half time and moved Neil Davies back to help combat the Saints midfield three.
This freed up some of Bridges quick young players and the decisive goal came when Keegan Noble followed in a shot that was parried by the ‘keeper to nod in from close range.
Northowram reserves are second after fighting back from 5-1 down away to Shelf FC to drew 5-5. Kyle Peel scored a hat-trick for the hosts.
A brace from man of the match Alex Haggerty in the opening 20 minutes set Sowerby United Reserves on the way to a 5-3 win away to Hebden Royd Red Star Reserves.
Jack Leonard dealt well the high balls pumped into the Sowerby box but Red Star’s confidence grew when James Cowans scored and Adam Watts made it 2-2.
Veteran striker Watts then rolled back the years with a superb strike to put Red Star ahead.
James Crossfield’s brave header drew Sowerby level and a scorching shot from Ryan Allen regained the lead for the visitors.
Haggerty sealed victory and completed his hat trick when he deflected an effort into the net.
Salem Reserves beat Shelf United Reserves 5-2 in a game which had three goals in the first 10 minutes.
Shelf nudged ahead when Paul Jack’s glancing header crept in. Salem hit back when Paul Manning met Dave Holcroft’s corner with a bullet header but Jack put Shelf back in front after catching home keeper Jack Watson in possession on the edge of the box.
The score stayed the same until the interval but Salem, with captain Richard Boyle prominent, then hit four goals without reply.
They were helped on their way by three penalties. Scott Fieldhouse put away the first but his weak second was saved and his follow up will go down as the miss of the season. Ricky Beaumont smashed the third penalty in.
Fieldhouse went some way to making amends with a fine individual effort and Holcroft made the game safe when his devilish corner flew straight in.
Crossley’s Reserves won 6-1 away to their Denholme counterparts with the help of a three-goal boost from Andrew Brunning.