Midgley are sitting pretty

Football - County Cup - Midgley United v Pool. Ryan Jeffries for Midgley and Tom Bull for Pool.
Football - County Cup - Midgley United v Pool. Ryan Jeffries for Midgley and Tom Bull for Pool.

Midgley United are the early pace-setters in the Haslem Sheppard Halifax AFL’s top flight after following up their opening derby win over Hebden Royd Red Star with a 4-2 success away to Sowerby United on Friday.

Craig Gee’s side came unstuck in the corresponding fixture early last season and Sowerby had by far the better of the first 30 minutes but eventually fell behind to a Ryan Jeffries header.

Sowerby, with Dan Crosland to the fore, quickly drew level but Andrew Butterworth restored the visitors’ lead from the penalty spot just before half time after Tom Hosker had been brought down.

The visitors played well for half an hour after the break to make the points safe.

Rob Stansfield scored from close range following a corner and added a great header from Tom Rawnsley’s deep cross to make it 4-1.

Sowerby applied some late pressure and were rewarded with their second goal.

Champions Shelf FC launched their title defence in impressive fashion with a 6-1 home win over Ryburn United (see earlier report) while Hebden Royd Red Star got off the mark at the second attempt in a 5-2 home win over Calder ‘76.

Manager Rob Kenworthy fielded what he thought was the strongest Calder side since they won the league in 2015-16 but said that a makeshift Red Star side had richly deserved their success with striker Lewis Cockroft and keeper

Richard Roberts outstanding.

Star were two goals up inside 10 minutes with some good football. Max Crossley got one back from a Steve Jones delivery after hour an hour, with Star appealing in vain for a hand-ball, but a third home goal just before the break left Calder deflated.

Cockroft made it 4-1 with his second goal five minutes after the break and a fifth goal on the hour, with Foysol Ahmed beating the visiting keeper at the near post, left Star cock-a-hoop.

Calder’s Remi Allen put a penalty over the bar but then tapped home a cross with five minutes left.

Will Chadwick and Dan Lumb were the home side’s other scorers.

Sowerby Bridge had drawn at Calder in their opener and they shared the spoils again in a 4-4 draw at Walton Street.

Greetland hit the front after 15 minutes when Bailey Dunne created space and sent a swerving shot into the bottom corner.

Bridge drew level when skipper Lee Wood broke away from the defence and slotted past the on-rushing goalkeeper. It was 2-1 to the home side shortly after when Damo Watkins reacted quickest from a corner kick to head home.

Bridge looked to be cruising when Tom Hiley scored the goal of the game to make it 3-1. He picked up the ball in midfield and drove at the defence before unleashing a rocket of a shot into the top corner.

Two minutes before the break the evergreen Karl Jowett gave Greetland a lifeline when his cross cum shot found its way into the top corner.

In the second half Bridge had many chances to kill the game but their failure to convert looked to have come back to haunt them as a bullet header from Charlie Cliffe and a second goal from Dunne with two minutes remaining gave Greetland the lead. However, there was one final twist. Bridge won a corner and Joel Cleary’s powerful header from Adam Barlow’s pin point cross rescued a point for Bridge.