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Misses come back to haunt Oxenhope
Buy this photo Oxenhope's Will Lee battles for possession against Honley
Oxenhope Rec Reserves 3 Honley 3 (aet, Honley won 3-0 on penalties)
Oxenhope Reserves produced a below-par performance as they bowed out of the County Trophy on penalties in what was their first defeat of the season.
Just before the break, it looked as if they were on their way to a semi-final slot at county head-quarters in Woodlesford as they went 2-0 up against Honley’s first team.
They were dominating play and also missed numerous opportunities during the first half to put the tie well beyond their Huddersfield League opponents.
The hosts took the lead on 20 minutes when Leroy Hickman chased down the keeper and slid the ball into an empty net.
The advantage was extended soon after when Leon Smith scored a bullet header via a perfectly-flighted free-kick from Will Lee.
However, in the final minute of the half, Honley pulled a goal back with their first real shot on goal.
Oxenhope were caught half asleep soon after the break when the visitors equalised following a quick break downfield, which was assisted by some lacklustre defending.
The game was now much more even, with both sides looking dangerous on the counter-attack, but it was the home side that were again guilty of wasting numerous opportunities to restore their ad-vantage.
Honley, however, did miss a golden chance themselves late on as their midfield livewire went through with only keeper Nick Hudson to beat but drew his shot wide.
Harsh words were spoken at full-time by Rec manager Rick Cummins as the team knew they were underperforming.
It appeared to have worked when they restored their lead. In the first period of extra-time, Jason Walton headed back across goal from a corner and Hickman bundled the ball over the line.
Going into the second period, it appeared Oxenhope had done enough to take the tie but, in unfortunate and calamitous fashion, a Rec player cleared the ball against a colleague and it looped into the corner of the net.
The score remained at 3-3 and the tie went to a penalty shoot-out.
Honley scored all of their three, whereas the home side’s efforts drew a blank.
The reserves will need to bounce back from this disappointment when they travel to Alliance League leaders Hunslet Reserves on Saturday in another quarter-final tie, this time in the West Yorkshire League Trophy (2pm).
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