Calder and Midgley on song prior to derby date
CALDER ‘76 and Midgley United go into tomorrow’s Premier Division derby boosted by fine opening performances in the Halifax AFL.
Calder blew away Sowerby United by 7-1 at Luddenden Foot while last year’s Division One champions Midgley opened with a highly-satisfactory 4-4 draw away to last year’s Premier Division runners-up Warley Rangers.
Calder were a goal up after 20 minutes when the impressive Remi Allen poked the ball home after a scramble in the box.
Defensive mistakes gifted Calder goals from Allen and Ben Clayton with a Joe Swallow free kick for Sowerby in between.
The home side produced some fine football in the second half. Clayton bagged his second, substitute Scott Carney grabbed a brace as Calder found gaps at will and Gavin Fleming rounded off the scoring.
Midgley surged into a 3-0 lead after 30 minutes at King Cross Sports Club. George Bamford squared for Darren nelson to slot the opener and then scored the second himself after being set up by Jason Cartlidge.
A long pass from ‘keeper Steve Butterworth paved the way for Ryan Jeffries to add to the tally but Craig Bodkin scrambled a goal back.
The hosts then brought on Ovenden West Riding’s John Booth, who made all the difference for the hosts.
Sheldon reduced the deficit with a cracking shot before the outstanding Butterworth saved a Booth penalty.
The pressure was mounting, however, and Booth produced two excellent finishes to leave Midgley up against it at 3-4.
However, Craig Gee’s men were not to be denied and Bamford, after hitting the wordwork and then being denied by a good save, won a penalty with four minutes to go and Andy Butterworth levelled it up.
Midgley will have star striker Tom Booth back for the Calder match and Gee said: “It will be a tough match because Calder are a decent side but we are encouraged by Friday’s performance.”
Relegated Hebden Royd Red Star started their bid to regain Premier Division status with a 1-0 derby win away to Wadsworth United.
A second half header from James Chadwick did the trick for Red Star away to last season’s Division Two champions and derby rivals Wadsworth United in a game played at breakneck pace.
Wadsworth left back Sam Cartwright went closest in the first half while Red Star ‘keeper Glynn Claxton made the save of the game from Jonny Gibson.
Central midfield trio Jack Earle, Daniel Lumb and Chadwick helped Red Star gain the upper hand and there was one moment of controversy when the visitors claimed Lumb’s goalbound effort was cleared off the line by the Wadsworth manager standing next to the post.
However, their sense of injustice did not last long as man of the match Chadwick rose highest in the six yard area to nod home one of Earle’s long throws.
Gibson had a header brilliantly cleared off the line by Jordan Dean and in the last minute Wadsworth captain Kieron Sim crashed a 20 yard effort against a post.
OTHER RESULTS - Saturday, Division Two: Halifax Athletic 4 Midgley United Res 2; Hebden Royd Red Star Res 0, Warley Rangers Res 1. Division Three: Calder 76 Res 3 (D.Mitchell J.Jackson 2), Shelf 1 (A.Conroy).
FIXTURES - Friday, Premier Division: Midgley United v Calder 76 (R.Walker).
Division One: Hebden Royd Red Star v Volunteer Arms (M.Sharman).
Saturday, Division One: Wadsworth United v Ryburn United Res (G.Porter).
Division Two: Midgley United Res v Greetland AFC Res (M.Beard).
Division Three: Calder 76 Res v Denholme United Res (S.Dennis).