HALIFAX FIRSTS 8 GOODRICKE THIRDS 0
Halifax opened up their college cup account in style after handing out a lesson to lowly Goodricke thirds, inspired by a double for Joe Brennan and a man of the match performance from midfield linchpin Ash Daly.
If there were any doubts Halifax were getting complacent before this match, the arrival for their warm-up a good 40 minutes before the game dispelled any fears that they might slip up. With captain Mark Lund electing to start Conor Brennan on the left side with Tom Ragan getting the nod down the middle, Halifax were clearly testing out their options against much weaker opposition, yet their dominance was imprinted almost from the very first kick of the game; the match effectively ended after ten minutes.
A fumbled shot allowed Joe Brennan to poke home after just five minutes, and Tom Ragan outpaced the Goodricke defence to slide the ball past John Cook four minutes later. Halifax would make it four within twenty minutes, Alex Tringham tapping home and Joe Brennan grabbing his second with a low right foot finish after a glorious ball from Ian Mckellow.
Despite the mauling they were enduring, Goodricke were, if only fleetingly, causing problems to the ‘Fax backline. Frontman Matt Burke, playing on the shoulder of the last defender, was unlucky not to get a ball break his way despite some excellent build-up and the striker had a big case for a penalty shout just before the half time whistle. Expertly manipulating the offside trap, the striker’s shot appeared to strike the hand of last-man back Lund, yet referee Udy Onwudike waved away the appeals in spite of protests from the boisterous Goodricke support. The controversy would haunt Goodricke further, Lund appearing to get the faintest of touches to latch on to an Daly free kick from the left, the debate to whether he should even be on the pitch raging on.
A calamitous own goal from George Dyke, heading into his net, followed by a much deserved goal for Daly – expertly hitting a shot on the half-volley into the top right corner- made it a magnificent seven. The depth of attacking options for Halfiax were personified in tricky substitute Alex Reid, who should have done better after being played in again by Mckellow, spraying his shot way over the bar from ten yards.
Despite Tom Ragan inexplicably putting the ball wide from three yards out, the final Halifax blow did arrive and it would be a moment of magic between Mckellow and Conor Brennan, the former twisting past two defenders on the left before putting the ball on a plate for Brennan at the back post to tap home. While Lund was heard stating he wanted double figures, Halifax can have no complaints in making this an entertaining, if incredibly one sided, encounter and have more than justified their tag as favourites for the cup. DA
Halifax Firsts: Jake Mundy, Mark Lund (c), Dom Petschak, Tommy Smith, Alex Tringham, Ash Daly, Joe Brennan, Ian McKellow, Jack Beadle, Tom Ragan, Conor Brennan
Substitutes used: Alex Reid, Eamonn Geoghegan
Nouse Fantasy Football Man of the Match: Ash Daly
Goodricke Thirds: John Cook, Dave Driver, George Dyke, Tom Elliot, Harry Shaw, Josh Savage, Luke Hurst, Greg Kearney, Matt Burke, Tim Marshall, Tim Bourlet
Substitutes used: Nacho Hernando, Fred Groom, Jamie Harbour
Nouse Fantasy Football Man of the Match: Matt Burke
LANGWITH SECONDS 2 JAMES SECONDS 1
A buoyant Langwith seconds overcame a disappointing James seconds side in the second of today’s group B fixtures on the JLD. Having watched Halifax firsts open their campaign in imperious style, both sides would have been keen to get early points on the board in what looks to be a difficult group, and it was Langwith who came out with the spoils. Early chances were few and far between; only a speculative Richard Baxter effort could force a save from stand-in Langwith keeper Tom Lambert. However the dull opening half was brought to life out of nowhere when a seemingly innocuous ball forward caused confusion between James goalkeeper Sam Clitheroe and his defence, the ball eventually ricocheting in off Langwith winger Duncan Sills as the chaotic defence attempted to clear.
The goal proved to be the spark the game desperately needed and James were soon level through a brilliant Sam Mellor goal. Jody Rolfe’s long ball forward evaded the Langwith defence, and with a deft first touch Mellor rounded a stranded Lambert and finished with ease. Moments later Mellor had the ball in the back of the net once again, but the whilstle had already been blown for offside. Angus O’Brien’s celebrations were also cut short as half-time approached, again the official ruling the striker had strayed offside before finishing. Neither of the decisions drew particularly vociferous objections and the sides entered the mid-way point deservedly level.
Langwith started the second half the brighter and it wasn’t long before they regained the lead following another defensive error. Bruce Starkey latched onto Johnny Hyde’s wayward back-header, poked the ball through the legs of the advancing Clitheroe and slotted into an empty net. The goal stunned James into action and they spent the rest of the match on the offensive. However the impressive Lambert refused to be beaten – first tipping over a long range Jody Rolfe effort in spectacular fashion, then pouncing on a loose ball in a hectic goal-mouth scramble. James brought on both Andy Yates and Dave Williams with little over ten minutes of the game remaining, in a last ditch attempt to boost their attacking options; Williams volleying narrowly over almost immediately. With the last touch of the game, Alex Collins had a glorious chance to equalise having beaten the offside trap, but his prodded effort somehow flew wide and Langwith could celebrate a rare victory over a James side filled with UYAFC regulars. ABLG
Langwith seconds: Tom Lambert, Matt Wilcox (C), Michael Palmer, Chris Cooney, Mike Newton, Patrick Khosravi, Liam Condron, Mike Grimes, Duncan Sills, Bruce Starkey, Matt Perry.
Substitutes used: Cameron Craig, Andy Heppel
Nouse Fantasy Football Man of the Match: Michael Palmer
James seconds: Sam Clitheroe, James Worthington (c), Sam Gibb, Nick St. George, Johnny Hyde, Jody Rolfe, Tom Prifti, Richard Baxter, Sam Mellor, Alex Collins, Angus O’Brien.
Substitutes used: Andy Yates, Dave Williams
Nouse Fantasy Football Man of the Match: Sam Mellor