Evo-Stik NPL play-offs: Brighouse win final in style

Pontefract Collieries v Brighouse Town'Evo-Stik NPL East promotion play-off final'Brighouse celebrate after their 3-0 win
Pontefract Collieries v Brighouse Town'Evo-Stik NPL East promotion play-off final'Brighouse celebrate after their 3-0 win

Brighouse Town are optimistic that their promotion to the Evo-Stik NPL’s Premier Division will be honoured after their success in the play-offs yesterday.

Vill Powell’s men were emphatic 3-0 winners away to Pontefract Collieries in the East section play-off final with goals from Aaron Martin, Iwan Heeley and Gabriel Johnson.

However, there is no guarantee of them going up with seven teams due for promotion to Step 4 of the pyramid via the play-offs and seemingly only five places up for grabs in the Premier.

Those places are likely to go to the teams who picked up most points during the regulation season and Brighouse could miss out on that basis, unless a club or two in financial trouble higher up the pyramid drops down or folds.

Secretary Dave Parker said: “We will have to wait and see but we remain positive.”

Vill Powell’s side have hit top form in the play-offs and might have won by a much wider margin against a Colls side which had finished just above them in second place behind champions Morpeth Town.

Town keeper Jordan Porter had only a couple of efforts to deal with while Martin, the East section’s leading scorer, missed three good chances and substitute Zeph Thomas two.

It mattered little, however, as Powell’s side followed up their 3-1 home win over Sheffield FC in the semi-final on Tuesday.

After an even opening, Brighouse were soon on top with tough-tackling Heeley helping to snuff out the threat from danger man Michael Dunn.

Keeper Ryan Musselwhite kept the visitors out for a while but he was beaten on 32 minutes when great work between Heeley and Johnson paved the way for Martin to drop his shoulder and side-foot the ball home.

Town doubled their advantage 90 seconds into the second half following a throw-in. Heeley’s first effort was blocked but he got on top of the bouncing ball well to score from the rebound.

When great work down the right from Tyler Williams set up Johnson to find the bottom corner of the net on 57 minutes, the tie was just about won.

The 300 Brighouse fans in a crowd of 836 had a comfortable last half hour and the only surprise was that their team didn’t add to their tally.

A jubilant Powell said: “We work hard and we are going to party hard. We’ve won and that is all that matters.”

Parker added that Brighouse would be requesting a Civic reception not only for the men’s team but also for the women, who won the West Riding Cup last Tuesday with a 3-2 win over higher-ranked Guiseley Vixens at Woodlesford in Leeds.