Ryan hat-trick in Midgley win

Football - Northowram v Midgley. Ryan Jeffries for Midgley.
Football - Northowram v Midgley. Ryan Jeffries for Midgley.

Midgley United climbed to third in the Halifax AFL’s Premier Division and increased Northowram’s relegation fears with a comprehensive 5-0 win at Northowram Rec.

Ryan Jeffrey slotted a hat-trick inside 50 minutes and a Greg Spink penalty and a late Sam Tattersall goal sent the visitors home happy.

It was one of only five games to be played in the whole league with early morning rain leaving some pitches waterlogged. The postponements mean additions to an already sizeable backlog of fixtures.

A long hopeful ball downfield after seven minutes brought Midgley the opening goal with ‘keeper James Bunn a little slow to come off his line and Jeffrey slotted home.

The keeper made amends not long after with a fine save as Midgley, stronger and quicker to the ball, had much the better of the play.

It was only in the closing stages of the half that Northowram came into the game. Josh Baines and Billy Farrell missed good chances and Matt Calland went close but Midgley also squandered a good opportunity before chasing a ball which looked likely go out of play and Jeffrey’s neat side-foot volley from the cross put his side two ahead.

Jeffrey completed his hat-trick three minutes into the second half with a measured finish and whilst the second half was more evenly contested, the visitors always seemed to have things under control.

The Rams were denied by a couple of good saves but a foul by Bunn gave Greg Spink, who was behind much of the visitors’ best work, the chance to drill home the penalty.

Bunn saved well when George Standring was left one-on-one and Sam Tattersall’s snap shot five minutes from time produced Midgley’s fifth.

The only other game in the Premier took place on the 3G at Trinity Academy, where bottom side Illingworth St Mary’s drew level on points with Northowram after drawing 4-4 with Greetland.

The visitors’ defending was awful in the first 20 minutes and they went 2-0 down.

Greetland pulled one back but Illingworth went 4-1 up and looked home and dry.

However, the visitors rallied and levelled with a penalty in the last few minutes of a very good second half.

Luke Prosser and Jon Ashworth scored twice each for Saints while Aaron Dorward bagged a brace for Greetland, with a goal from Daniel Dorward in between. Substitute Jordan Winter scored the equaliser from the spot.

One point now separates five teams at the bottom of the Premier with one side likely to go down.

The Ivy House beat AFC Crossley’s 5-1 in the only first division contest to be played.

It enabled the Holmfield side to open up a seven point over bottom two Crossley’s and Calder ‘76 Reserves.

Sean Byrne hit the target for the Mason Green hosts but that proved only a consolation as Josh Brown (2), Arley Byrne (2) and James Smith struck for Ivy House.

St Columba’s kept the Division Two title race alive with a comfortable 3-0 victory away at table-topping Plummet Line in Division Two.

Saints took the lead after a quiet first 20 minutes when in-form striker Frank Odion tucked away a low cross from Vinny O’Shea.

Odion doubled the advantage with a diving header after good work by Andy Sandells.

Plummet were second best and restricted to half chances with strikers Liam Calvert and Josh Hunt well marshalled.

Kutubo Touray finished the game as a contest midway through the second half when he side footed home O’Shea’s cross after Saints had broken down the left.

Plummet hit the woodwork twice through Rory Youell and Hunt, but Saints saw out the game to close the gap at the top to two points.

Junction Inn remain third after a 6-4 win away to Shelf United Reserves at Trinity Academy.

Ross Broadley (two), Josh Norcliffe and sub Bradley Etheridge scored Shelf’s goals.