ISN’T it amazing how Cup form can differ from League form?
Division I team Moldgreen were knocked out of the District FA Challenge Cup by Second Division Kirkheaton, but Moldgreen didn’t suffer a hangover when they travelled to League leaders and last season’s champions Hepworth United.
The home side played down the slope in the first half and led with a goal from player-manager Michael Tunnacliffe.
He felt they had enough chances to be leading by more but that was the only goal of the first half.
When they turned round, it was Moldgreen who had the upper hand. Ryan Hall equalised with a 20-yard shot and, following a scramble, Paul Stead made it 2-1 to the visitors.
Following a corner, Moldgreen had several attempts blocked both by keeper and defence but it was eventually Stead who forced home from close range.
Chances were now coming Moldgreen’s way but, like their opponents, they failed to add to their score and paid the price four minutes from time when Max Morley made it 2-2.
This draw stretches Hepworth’s unbeaten run to eight League games.
Berry Brow took advantage and closed to within two points of the leaders with a 4-3 win over Holmbridge.
The side that beat Moldgreen in the Cup, Kirkheaton Rovers, returned to Division II action and lost their 100% record when they went down 2-1 at home to Meltham Athletic.
Kirkheaton took the lead in the first half when a long throw was not cleared by the Meltham defence and Sykes stole in to score. Early in the second half Alex Gee put Meltham level when he headed home a Nick Whiteley cross and, shortly after, 17-year-old Callum Midgley put the away side in front.
Kirkheaton fought hard to keep their record but matters conspired against them. They were reduced to 10 men and Meltham keeper Sam Philpot saved a penalty, but they still went looking for an equaliser which never came.
Meltham, relegated from Division I last season, are playing at their lowest level for over 10 years but there are signs of a recovery.
In the early weeks of the season, the team was not settled and they picked up only one win and two draws from their first five games, but of late they are much improved as last week’s win proves. They have not given up on promotion yet even though they are seven points away from a promotion spot. Š
The future of the club as a whole is looking promising. Nearly all their players have come through the junior section and the average age of the players over all four teams is in the very low twenties.
This season the A team and B team are also challenging for promotion.
Another Division II team also lost their 100% record – and this following on from their heroic performance against Golcar in the Cup. Royal Dolphins dropped a point against ninth-placed Scissett.
The game started well for the Dolphins when they were awarded a penalty after 10 minutes and Shooter sent the keeper the wrong way. In the 25th minute, a solo goal from Leigh Carter levelled matters. From way out, he spotted the Dolphins keeper off his line, and his effort found the top corner.
Scissett then surprised their higher-placed opponents just before the break when right winger Anthony Sterling crossed for Carter to score his second and put Scissett ahead.
In the second half, both sides could have added to their tally but Scissett’s hopes of a surprise win took a knock when influential midfielder Jordan Thackray had to go off injured.Š
Dolphins eventually saved their unbeaten League record when Haigh netted an equaliser near the end.
Last season the clubhouse at Scissett suffered a leak and was out of commission. The team spirit took a knock and some first team players left. The new players have taken time to settle but with the clubhouse back in order, the club hope that the newly-refurbished facility will help morale and may attract some new players in the future.
In Division III, the top two met and two goals from Dalton Crusaders Franklyn earned his side three points against rivals AFC Waterloo. Dalton are now level at the top but have played two fewer games. Upperthong had a narrow 1-0 win over Savile Town to take fourth spot but both Holmfirth Town and Brook Motors dropped points.
Division IV now has the only club in the top section with an unblemished record, Dewsbury Town OB. The three contenders for the top spot are Moldgreen Con, Waggon & Horses and Flockton. ŠŠŠŠŠŠŠ