HEPWORTH United scored a 2-1 win over rivals Honley in Division I of the RCD League Under 15 section.

A light frosting covered the surface at Hepworth’s Little Wembley pitch as Honley arrived for their first game since the middle of November.

But there was no sign either side were suffering any after effects from the long lay-off or Christmas pudding as two of the top Under 15 sides turned on a highly entertaining game to keep the spectators warm.

With both sides desperate for the points to keep in touch with the leaders, Hepworth enjoyed slightly more possession in a frantic first half where, although shots on target were rare, there was no shortage of action.

George Richardson got in the first shot of the game after five minutes, but the ball rolled just wide of the target before Joe Stephenson fired a superb angled shot toward the top corner only to see keeper Chris Melotte fingertip the ball onto the bar with the save of the game.

The home side had thrown everything at Honley but Spencer Mallinson, Elliot Kilner, Sam Bellas, Ben Castledine and Sam Ratcliffe formed a last line of defence which the home side found difficult to break through.

Inevitably Hepworth’s initial enthusiasm began to wane and, when it did, so Honley started to see more of their opponents’ half but, although Josh Hoyle and Robbie Peto were giving as much as they got in midfield, the game remained goalless at half time.

Hepworth, led by Joe Stephenson, Huw Thatcher and Sam Thompson, spent most of the first half playing a lovely one-touch passing game, but it took a moment of fortune to finally break the deadlock.

Richardson launched a speculative shot from 20 yards which left keeper Melotte with no chance as it dipped under the Honley bar.

The goal ignited the game and Tashan Samuel, Peto and Lee Hallas were unlucky not to find an equaliser as Honley’s search looked certain to pay dividends, but a mixture of good defending from Sean Hannon, Will Bowers, Sean Brennan and Pete Franklin, together with some top-class saves from keeper Will Clowse kept the Honley threat at bay and, as the visitors pressed harder and harder, they left more and more space for Hepworth to exploit on the counter attack.

And, when a clearance fell to Richardson, the striker’s first touch took him past last defender Castledine, where he could easily slide a low shot past helpless keeper Melotte.

With only 10 minutes remaining, Honley might easily have given up but, to their credit, they saved the best until last.

There was little apparent danger when Honley were awarded a free kick 35 yards out, but Sam Bellas had other ideas and the defender floated a “shot” into the top corner to set up a nerve-jangling finale.

Honley continued to pile on the pressure in the closing minutes and were unlucky when a deflected shot fell at Tashan Samuel’s feet but, with the goal at his mercy, the otherwise excellent striker scuffed a hurried shot just wide.

On the balance of play, Hepworth just about deserved their victory, but they couldn’t have complained if the result had gone the other way as there was very little to choose between the teams.

Hepworth got the full set of points to stay third in the league but, on this display, fourth-placed Honley will still be in the mix at the end of the season.