Now Hollins can think about promotion

Season's best: Jack Rodgers
Season's best: Jack Rodgers

Hollins Holme 2

Waiters Arms 0

Ziggy’s A Star Cars Sunday League Division One

Three straight league victories have propelled Hollins back into the promotion picture in Division One.

It had looked like their league campaign had all but ended a few weeks ago, but this victory gives them renewed hope.

The home win against Waiters Arms has left them only four points off the last promotion spot of third place with four games in hand on Waiters, who currently hold the desired position.

A victory this weekend against another promotion chasing side Bradshaw could see the Hebden Bridge side in an even better position to gain promotion at the first time of asking.

Last Sunday saw a larger than average crowd on Calder Holmes Park which may have been due to the cancellation of local fixtures on the Saturday.

They included founder members of the club Chris Wilby and John Hartley who set it up more than 40 years ago.

Former players Colin Greenwood and Andrew Carrington were also in attendance

Hollins good run of form has had one major factor that they were not doing previously.

They are now starting games well and they continued that into this game with two goals in the first 20 minutes of action.

Top scorer Tom Booth and strike partner Matthew Thompson got a goal each.

Booth scored the first slotting his effort low past the keeper before beating two men and unselfishly pulling the ball back from the by-line for Thompson to make it two adding to his goal in the previous week.

Booth then unfortunately pulled up with a hamstring injury and was replaced like for like by Danny Bailey.

Ben Norman had been moved from his usual left hand side position into an unfamiliar central midfield role to play alongside Andrew Smith, which meant that Hollins could push Jordan Dean and Simon Newbitt on the wings to support the attack.

Norman and Smith won header after header and battled throughout the first half to keep the visitors at bay.

They did it despite Waiters have three players in the middle of the park at times as their centre forward looked to come into midfield for the ball.

Waiters came at Hollins in the second half looking for that all important goal that would bring them back into the game.

Jack Rodgers at left back was having his game of the season and despite a tricky opponent against him throughout he managed to thwart him on many occasion.

Goalkeeper Steven Butterworth pulled off a fantastic one handed save midway through the second half to keep his team in the game and was full of praise for his defence of Martin Lucas, Jack Rodgers, Joe Gibson and his brother Andrew Butterworth.

He said: “It was a top effort on Sunday and another win.

“Keeping a clean sheet is very pleasing from a defensive point of view.”

Manager Joel Booth also praised his defence.

“Another great performance from the lads. Andrew Butterworth and Joe Gibson were solid at the back and Ben Norman ran the midfield.

“Another clean sheet is pleasing which puts our promotion push back on.

“With Injured defenders Vinny Samuels and Liam Barrett on the road to recovery the fight is going to be on for defensive starting spots soon but those playing at the moment are showing me exactly why they should be starting.”

Hollins failed to add any more goals to their tally late on as they caught the opposition on the counter attack.

The best opportunity fell to Newbitt who was played into the area by a fantastic threaded pass by Bailey.

He stretched right-footed to beat the on-rushing goalkeeper but his effort just went over the crossbar.

l The area’s other Sunday League teams, all in Division Two, had mixed fortunes.

There were wins for two of them while Stubbing Wharf went down 4 - 2 at home to Elland Sports Reserves.

Match winners were Hebden Bridge AFC who won 3 - 1 at Halifax Rangers Reserves and Royd Club FC, who also won by the same scoreline at Top Club.