NATHAN ADDY’S double strike maintained Meltham’s challenge at the top end of Division I as they beat basement club Lepton Highlanders 2-0.
Their latest success leaves them in third place with three wins, a draw and defeat from five games.
Against Lepton they got off to a super start, scoring after only three minutes when Addy got on the end of a deep cross from Jim Hamby to score.
Meltham dominated the half from that point on and should probably have been more than one goal to the good at half time.
The visitors to Broadlands recreation ground hit back strongly in the second half and but for some poor finishing and an excellent display by home keeper Brett Thornton, Lepton would surely have got something from the game.
But Addy’s second goal after 75 minutes settled the issue and left Meltham on 10 points with Heywood Irish Centre and champions Newsome WMC, two points behind leaders Uppermill, who have four wins from five games, their latest being a 3-0 success over Slaithwaite United at Linthwaite recreation ground, with goals from Moores, Jacombs and Ventris.
Lepton are struggling at the moment, both for goals and points. They have failed to gain a win or draw and in the goal stakes have netted only four in their five games.
In Division II, Netherton gained a hard-fought 2-1 win over Berry Brow Liberal to leap-frog over their rivals into fourth spot.
Netherton had the better of the opening exchanges but squandered several chances to score.
But the Lightenfield recreation ground side were rocked when the visitors took the lead against the run of play.
A hopeful punt through the centre caught the Netherton defence out and then goalkeeper Konyk slipped at the edge of the box to leave several Brow forwards with the chance to score and it was Simon Davies who took advantage with a soft goal.
Netherton then had to absorb Brow’s sustained second-half assault with the home side being restricted to the occasional breakaway.
And it was from one of these that the equaliser came.
A Brow defender was penalised for a push at a corner and Paul Hamer confidently struck home the spot kick.
And the same player netted the winner in the last minute.
Hamer blasted a clearance from just inside the Brow half and his powerful half-volley caught the visitors’ keeper off his line and he was unable to scramble back to stop the shot.
With teams having played only four, five or six games, depending on whether they have been involved in Cup matches, it is unusual to find only one with a 100% record.
That is in Reserve Division II, where Netherton are riding high with five wins from five played.
And if a good defence makes for a good team then the Big Valley side should do well this time as they have let in only two goals in their five games while scoring 19.
Westend Reserves are the high scorers in the League, having notched 32 goals in six games as they share the lead with Kirkheaton Rovers in Division III.
And, coincidentally, the worst defensive record is Cartworth Moor Reserves, who have let in – yes 32!
The championship of Division IV could be a close-run thing judging by the early-season tables.
Four teams, Cartworth Moor, Dalton Crusaders, Flockton and YMCA have got 12 points and Brook’s have 10 – battle on!