Steadily-improving Midgley United inflicted a first defeat of the season on Ryburn United with a 3-0 away win in the second round of the Jack Haymer Challenge Cup on Saturday.
The pivotal moments came at the end of an even first half, in which the visitors’ Joe Gibson was denied by a good save but there were few other efforts of note.
Carl Maguire prevented Tom Hosker from scoring by handling on the line and was dismissed. Greg Spink then scored from the spot kick.
AFL leaders Ryburn’s 10 men came at Midgley after the break but Gibson, Euan David and George Bamford were excellent and there was not too much to worry visiting keeper Gareth Swain.
Greg Spink doubled the lead with a low, hard free-kick approaching the mid-point of the second period and Hosker sealed victory, as Ryburn tired, after going through one on one with the keeper.
Visiting boss Craig Gee rated it his side’s best performance of the season and was delighted with a full 90-minute effort.
Ryburn were beaten in last season’s final by Shelf FC, who needed penalties to get through after a 5-5 draw away to Sowerby United in an excellent tie.
Shelf were ahead after two minutes through Josh Hans, but this brought Sowerby to life and after pressing hard the hosts drew level through Ash Shaw.
Dan Crosland put Sowerby ahead but despite them having the edge, Shelf conjured up an equaliser through Hans.
Both sides were playing fine football in tricky conditions and when Sowerby went 4-2 ahead with 15 minutes remaining they looked the likely winners.
Goals from Matt Hartley and another from Hans brought Shelf level. Dan Crosland then scored from the penalty spot but with just 30 seconds remaining Shelf levelled again through Ben Sharp.
Two missed penalties from Sowerby sealed their fate with Shelf winning 4-2 on spot kicks.
On away side successful on penalties were Brighouse Sports against division-higher Calder ‘76.
It was 3-3 after 90 minutes, with Dan Pummell, Connor Durkin and Louis Andre on target for the visitors before they won a marathon shoot-out 8-7.
Sowerby Bridge were the day’s biggest winners, beating visitors Salem 10-1, and it was much tighter at Greetland Community Centre where Elland Allstars squeezed past St Columba’s 2-1.
Saints took the lead midway through the second half with a bullet header from right winger Andy Sandells.
Allstars hit back within five minutes, Ben Attle smashing home after a nice turn on the edge of the box.
Two Saints players were left with an open goal but the ball squirmed wide and Allstars made Saints pay with what turned out to be the winner, some last ditch defending keeping the visitors out.
Hebden Royd Red Star have lost the two points they picked up in the 3-3 derby with Midgley recently, having been found to have fielded an unregistered player, and their fortunes didn’t improve when they lost 4-2 at home to Shelf United in the cup.
The key contribution came from David Chappell, who scored a hat-trick for the visitors.
Red Star couldn’t raise a reserve side to travel to play Illingworth St Mary’s Reserves in the Invitation Cup.
The second round of that competition featured thumping wins for FC Ovenden against Sowerby United Reserves and Shelf FC Reserves against AFC Crossley’s Reserves.
There were hat-tricks for Kaylum Paine and Danny Hildred in Ovenden’s 10-1 successess while Kyle Peel scored four times and Gary Boldy got three as Shelf FC, who are without a league point, had a 9-2 success.
Flying Dutchman’s Martin Redman completed a miserable day for the Ryburn club. He scored both goals in a 2-1 win over the Ripponden club’s reserve string, last season’s beaten finalists.
League chiefs are looking into the abandonment of the match between Mixenden United and Sowerby Bridge Reserves on Saturday.
Play was ended after 20 minutes with Mixenden leading through a goal from Liam Griffin.
League fixture secretary David Rattigan said there has been “an incident” and league officials were awaiting the referee’s report.