THREE Second Division clubs were involved in the West Riding Trophy and they all progressed through to the last 16.
Kirkheaton’s League form has dropped off a little of late, partly due to a number of injuries. Still without four of their first team squad, they were at home to Rawdon OB.
Kirkheaton’s Ben Sykes scored the first following a goalmouth scramble and Tom Buckley’s far-post header made it 2-0.
Oliver Storrie was brought down in the box but, before the referee could award a penalty, he stuck out a foot and gave Kirkheaton a 3-0 half time lead.
With 20 minutes to go, Rawdon netted a penalty to give the visitors some hope. It didn’t last long, though, as Storrie’s left-foot strike found the top corner to conclude the scoring with Kirkheaton winning 4-1.
Heywood Irish are through after beating Fairbank United 3-2, but they needed a comeback after going 2-0 down.
That scoreline puzzled the Heywood players and supporters as the District League team had the bulk of the possession.
Billy Callaghan had a header turned onto the bar and Matt Roberts turned brilliantly but placed his shot wide. Fairbank had taken the lead with a speculative shot and within two minutes of the restart, it was 2-0.
Chances went begging when substitute Mick Brook missed an opportunity, but he redeemed himself minutes later when he opened the scoring for Heywoods.
Five minutes later, it was all square, as full back Tom Maher crashed a volley past the opposing keeper. With just two minutes left on the clock, a Callaghan corner was contested by centre back Matt Turner who took a blow to the head, but the ball fell for his centre back partner, Tom Brennan, to hook home the winner.
Royal Dolphins are the third team through. After an even first 15 minutes against Ossett Common Rovers, the Dolphins picked up with some neat interplay between Wayne Shooter and Liam King, which resulted in the first corner of the match.
This was played into the box by Chris Dolan and was met powerfully by the head of John McAliskey. The lead lasted 15 minutes when Ossett scrambled home an equaliser. Goals were now coming thick and fast.
Shaun Quinn combined with Shooter who beat three men and placed the ball into the bottom corner, but again the lead didn’t last long and it was 2-2 at the break.
An injury forced the Dolphins to reshuffle, but it didn’t blunt them as an attacking force and it was no surprise when they went 3-2 in front. Tom Milner played a through ball for substitute Jason Proctor, who beat his marker, rounded the keeper and teed up Shooter for his second.
The Dolphins then had keeper James Allen to thank for maintaining the one-goal lead. In a one-on-one situation, he stood strong as he saved with his left foot to put the ball out for a corner.
With 20 minutes to go, Johnny Martin played a cross-field pass to Liam King, who beat his man before placing his shot wide of the keeper. Ossett narrowed it to 4-3 in the closing minutes when they converted a penalty, but Dolphins easily held on.
All three of Huddersfield’s winners have been drawn away in the next round. Kirkheaton have the shortest journey as they travel to Laund Hill to face Huddersfield YMCA. Heywood Irish go to Featherstone Colliery and Royal Dolphins are at Seacroft WMC. The ties are scheduled for January 7.
A few games were off due to wet conditions, but did they also contribute to some surprising results?
The biggest was in Division Four. New club Crowchester United had a record of two wins from 13 games and at Bradley Park, they faced Dewsbury Town OB, whose record was nine wins from 10 – surely a formality.
Crowchester took a two-goal advantage, however, into the break. A Sam McDermott free-kick struck the underside of the bar before being bundled into the back of the net by Jonny Bray.
For the second, it was a Kevin Leathwood through ball that sent Paul Roper clear and he lifted the ball over the advancing keeper.
Dewsbury pushed forward but it was 3-0 after 60 minutes when an unmarked Bray finished from eight yards.
The visitors were eventually rewarded when they pulled it back to 3-1 but CrowchesterŠ were always dangerous on the break,ŠMcDermott making it 4-1.
In the 70th minute Dewsbury were reduced to 10 men, but this seemed to fire them into life and they scored twice. This made the last 10 minutes tense for the home side but they hung on to complete a morale-boosting victory.
There were two surprise results in Division One.
With the top two inactive due to postponements, Newsome played their game in hand but they failed to take advantage when they travelled to Shepley.
The game was as good as over after 45 minutes. Shepley, playing up the slope, led 3-0.
Danny Ingham Šcapitalised on a throw from the Newsome keeper. He carried the ball to edge of the box and drove home a fine shot.
Jon Lockwood and Gary Bradley added one each to give Shepley that comfortable lead and, within four minutes of the restart, Liam Gill side-footed the fourth and earn Shepley the points.
Second-bottom Slaithwaite provided the other surprise in this division. Oakes gave the home side Berry Brow a 1-0 lead but it was 1-1 at the break as Ashley Beardsall equalised.
A Dale Bain goal meant it was Slaithwaite who took the points home. These could well be vital in their fight to avoid relegation.
They were promoted last season along with Holmbridge and the pair occupy two of the bottom three positions, but Slaithwaite have games in hand. ŠŠŠŠ