Shelf sink nine-man Bridge

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Shelf United inflicted a first league defeat of the season on Sowerby Bridge, who had two players red carded in a 3-1 defeat at Lightcliffe Academy on Saturday.

The game, played on the 3G pitch, was the only one in the Premier Division and one of only four in the league to go ahead.

David Chappell made it seven goals in two games for Shelf United this season with a hat-trick for the winners, who took second place off their visitors.

A fractious Bridge side were their own worst enemies. They had Tom Hiley sent off for a second bookable offence after 30 minutes and then Chris Punda for speaking out of turn to the referee in the closing minutes.

Shelf, whose title chances looked to have vanished with successive defeats against leaders Ryburn United and Calder ‘76, were on top in the first half.

Chappell, whose appearances are restricted by work commitments, uses his pace to get behind defences and he opened the scoring on 20 minutes with a nice finish past ‘keeper Jordan Bolton.

Hiley, booked after only two minutes for a bad tackle, saw red after a challenge from behind on the hard-working Billy Grogan.

Chappell doubled the lead eight minutes before half time when a free-kick was cleared and sent back into the danger area. The ball fell to Chappell, who finished from 10 yards.

Bridge improved in the second half but Chappell left them with a mountain to climb when he was played in down the right, beat the fullback for pace and slotted home.

The visitors missed a chance to reduce the arrears when Damo Watkins had a penalty saved by Ethan Daly, who had conceded the spot kick.

Bridge eventually opened their account with a free kick from their star man, central midfielder Luke Maguire, but Punda’s dismissal completed a day to forget for them.

Chappell, central midfielder Jonny Butterfield, Ben Grech and Grogan were all in good form for Shelf.

Nathan Sloane stole the show as Holmfield upset higher-placed Copley United by 5-3 in Division One at Shroggs Park.

Sloane bagged four of Holmfield’s goals with Ashley Ackroyd getting the visitors’ other and Gary Ash, Mason Butterfield and Tom Neville replying for Copley, who missed a chance to go second.

FC Ovenden were also 5-3 away winners, against Brighouse Sports Reserves at Lane Head in Division Three.

William Peterkin struck twice for Brighouse and Danny Hildred for Ovenden, who remain third in the table.

Flying Dutchman continued to breathe down Ovenden’s necks after a 3-1 home win over second-placed Stainland United, a result which makes Mixenden United even hotter favourites for the title.

Jamie Davison, Craig Moseley and Daniel Murgatroyd struck for the Boothtown pub side with James Murgatroyd getting what proved to be a consolation goal for Stainland.