Red Star without Lewis for the visit of title favourites

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Hebden Royd Red Star host Halifax AFL title favourites Stump Cross on Saturday without star striker Lewis Cockroft.

The marksman is away in Birmingham and that is bad news for Star, who have climbed to third in the Premier Division on the back of a four-match winning run which has also included a cup success over Sowerby Bridge.

“It will be a hard match and he is our best player and top scorer,” said player-manager Chris Garbutt.

“Someone else will have to step up to the mark.”

Stump have won all of their six league games so far in their bid to step up on last year’s near title miss behind Ryburn but Star are in good heart after last week’s 5-3 home win over Copley United.

Garbutt thought Star had played their best football of the season in the first half but they missed a hatful of chances and turned round 1-0 down.

Pat Thomas’s long throw then set up an equaliser from Cockroft and Thomas gave Star the lead.

However, Copley equalised and then went 3-2 up after Richard Laycock conceded a penalty, Brendan Barclay getting a hand to the spot kick but failing to keep the ball out of the net.

The flurry of scoring activity continued when Dan Lumb made it 3-3.

Red Star scored twice in the last 15 minutes to take the spoils with Cockroft and Norman on target.

Norman’s was something of a fluke - an intended cross from 40 yards out on the touchline with the ball curling into the top corner.

Goals from Cowans, Paul Clayton and Jake Grannan were in vain as Hebden Royd Red Star Reserves lost 5-3 away to AFC Crossleys Reserves in Division Two.

Saturday - Premier Division: Greetland AFC v Sowerby United (ref R.Smith), Hebden Royd Red Star v Stump Cross (M.Beard).

Division One: Halifax Irish v Ryburn Utd Res (P.Bowe), Sowerby Bridge v Calder 76 Res (J.Hallos), Stainland Utd v Greetland Res (D.Bartley), Volunteer v Salem (L.Dawson).

Division Two: Denholme Res v West Central (C.Salmons), Northowram Res v Shelf Utd Res (W.Cotton), Salem Res v Illingworth SM (I.Childs), Sowerby Utd Res v Sowerby Bridge Res (P.Higgins),

Challenge Cup, second round: AFC Crossleys v Northowram (P.Crabtree), Elland Allstars v Denholme United (D.Sutcliffe). Third round: Calder 76 v Midgley United (R.Varley), Copley United v Shelf United (S.Hoyle), Ryburn United v Warley Rangers Halifax (D.Cartwright).

Invitation Cup semi-final: Midgley Res v St Columbas at Mixenden United (Ref A.Gee).

Hebden Royd Red Star have drawn the short straw in the quarter finals of the Halifax FA Saturday Cup.

They will be away to holders Ovenden West Riding on Saturday, December 20 (1.45).

Calder ‘76 have a reasonable chance of success at home to Warley Rangers after their fine success away to Yorkshire Amateur League leaders Huddersfield Amateurs in the last round.

Halifax FA.Albert Crabtree Cup, third round: Calder 76 v Warley Rangers Halifax, Illingworth St Marys v Mixenden United, Ovenden WR v Hebden Royd Red Star, Stump Cross v Brighouse Town.