DEWSBURY handed Uppermill a bonus on Friday by defeating second placed Thackley in the Under 17 section Division II, but any hopes of repeating the feat against the league leaders disappeared as they were beaten 3-0 by Uppermill at Wakefield Road.

Luke Butler gave Uppermill a dream start in the 10th minute when he headed home a long throw at the near post but, for the rest of the first half, Dewsbury were the dominant side and the visitors could count themselves lucky that the score remained unchanged at half time as Dewsbury’s top scorer, James Colbourne, couldn’t find the target.

Dewsbury persevered and Colbourne almost levelled the scores, but his well weighted chip over the on-rushing Osman Bushara bounced just the wrong side of the post.

Within minutes, Colbourne was again faced with an identical opportunity but, with just Bushara to beat, the striker had to watch in anguish as his chip again bounced wide of the mark.

With Uppermill defenders Danny Ireson, Callum McDermott, Joe Francis and Callum Knight struggling to cope with Dewsbury’s pace, Colbourne carved out a third chance in not many more minutes but it simply wasn’t his day and his left foot shot followed the same path as his previous efforts.

Had Colbourne’s efforts found the target, the visitors would undoubtedly have struggled to get anything from the game but, the half time break came to Uppermill’s rescue, after which the game was an evenly matched affair.

Bushara was called into action early in the second half as Dewsbury looked like carrying on where they left off but Danny Sheard’s shot lacked power and the keeper gathered comfortably.

Dewsbury’s failure to capitalise on their chances ultimately proved costly and their hopes of upsetting the league leaders took a serious setback when a right wing cross found Elliot Fielding and the Uppermill midfielder turned the ball past keeper Joe Allerton to leave Dewsbury with an uphill task.

With the game now swinging from end to end, both goalkeepers were called upon to show their talents.

Uppermill’s Bushara needed to move quickly to stop a Brad Kilner shot which was heading for the bottom corner and at the other end, Joe Allerton was forced into a full length diving save to turn Ricky Hall’s long range shot around the post.

Although Uppermill were never allowed to sit comfortably on their lead, they never looked like losing it as midfielders Danny Mills, Alex Kelly, Rob Shaw and James Jowle were now in control and Dewsbury were restricted to long range shots.

With the game now just 10 minutes from the final whistle, Danny Squire, Claude Dawkins and Danny Sheard regained the initiative as Dewsbury again began to threaten but they were unable to convert a series of half chances, the best being a Sheard volley which flew just over the bar.

Jowle had an opportunity to wrap up the points for Uppermill when Hall nodded down a corner but the ball bounced high off the hard surface and when Hall stuck out a leg the ball hit his knee and cleared the bar from four yards.

With Dewsbury now fully committed to attack, Hall finally ended any doubts about the result when he raced through to place a perfectly weighted chip over Allerton’s head to seal the points for Uppermill.

Uppermill need four points from their remaining two games to be certain of the title but, even though the matches are against the bottom two teams, any kind of slip up could prove extremely costly.