Hollins Holme overcame nine weeks of inactivity to blow the Ziggys Metro Cars Halifax Sunday League title race wide open with a 6-0 win over leaders Lee Mount.
If more than two months without kicking a ball in anger wasn’t enough, boss Joel Booth also had to contend with the absence of five regular players, including both main strikers Rob Day and George Bamford.
Regular ‘keeper Chris Garbutt was employed as an emergency striker with Glynn Claxton pulling on the gloves.
Holme got off to the perfect start when the Mount ‘keeper misjudged a Jordan Dean through ball after five minutes and the ball went through his legs and into the net.
Jamie Gwilliam and Dean both hit the woodwork before Greg Spink doubled the advantage direct from a corner.
The second half was only five minutes old when Steve Senior added the third, mopping up after James Chadwick’s shot had been saved.
Gwilliam beat three defenders and rounded the ‘keeper for 4-0 before the player merry-go-round started again.
Claxton suffered a groin injury and Garbutt took up his usual place between the posts with Rhys Dean coming on for his ‘second debut’ having played for the club some 10 years ago.
Rhys Dean made his presence felt by flicking on for Gwilliam to add the fifth then blasted home the final goal from the edge of the area following good work from Jordan Dean and Chadwick.
“It’s been very hard to keep everybody motivated during the long spell away,” said Booth. “One or two weeks isn’t too bad as it gives time for a few niggles to clear up.
“We needed a good result going into next weekend’s Senior Cup quarter final against Carrington.
“There are seven league games left and it is all to play for.”
Late arrivals meant that Royd Club started their Division One home clash with Ryburn Valley with only nine men.
An error on the edge of the box from Ryburn saw the hosts take an early lead. Ryburn then took control and David Carter netted four times with Jonny Booth’s header completing a 5-1 success.
Royd Club have a chance to end their losing run against lowly Hens Face at Savile Park on Sunday while the winners of Hollins’ battle of the heavyweights against Carrington will be favourites to lift the Senior Cup.
Fixtures - Premier Division: Feathers FC v Old Pond, Halifax Hammers v Oddfellows.
Division One: Hens Face v Royd Club, Mount Tabor v Bradshaw , Rastrick Bowling Club v Triangle , Ryburn Valley v Ryburn United, Top Club v Queens Head.
Division Two: Halifax Hammers Reserves v Plummet Line, King Cross Park v Halifax Rangers, North Bridge FC Reserves v Beehive & Crosskeys, St Columbas v Brown Cow FC Halifax, Weavers FC v Old Pond Reserves.
Briggs Priestley Senior Cup - Quarter finals: FC Bowling Green v Waiters Arms, Hollins Holme v Carrington.