West Riding County FA Challenge Cup first round: Oxenhope Rec 3 Lepton Highlanders 1 (game abandoned after 72 minutes)

OXENHOPE’S first-round County Cup tie ended early in controversy as Lepton Highlanders left the field and refused to continue following an on-the-pitch incident.

Rec were leading 3-1 when a heavy tackle and an ensuing melee saw an early finish and the outcome is now in the hands of the County FA.

The visitors from the Premier Division of the West Riding County Amateur League started strongly but lacked a final finish.

Oxenhope found their rhythm, James Gill flicking the ball over Lepton’s defence for striker Lee Reilly to go one-on-one with the keeper, who produced a solid block.

On the quarter-hour, Oxenhope took the lead when Reilly unselfishly set up Owen Williamson to hit firmly into the roof of the net. Ten minutes later the County Cup holders of two years ago found themselves two up in a reverse of the previous goal, Williamson dribbling the ball down the left before a measured cross saw Reilly sweep home.

Jacob Polignone then tried his luck but the keeper pulled off a smart save. Young Williamson was a constant threat but on 40 minutes the home side gifted Lepton a goal when a sloppy pass was punished.

Oxenhope finished the half well with Williamson and Reilly linking up to create chances, Dan Scott heading over from a James Bailey corner and then a rasping free-kick by Bailey being touched over.

The visitors started the second period strongly but Oxenhope’s defence stood firm with Dayne Ward, Dan Scott, Scott Nelson and under-18s player Ewan Bailey in uncompromising form.

Man of the match Williamson produced a magnificent solo effort to restore the home side’s two-goal advantage. Collecting the ball in his own half, he produced a storming run down the left, weaving his way past several defenders, before he cut into the box and produced a measured strike to beat the keeper.

This Saturday Oxenhope entertain Aberford in the league (2.30pm).

Oxenhope: Devlin, Bailey E (Driver), Ward, Scott, Nelson, White, Bailey J, Polignone, Reilly, Gill, Williamson.

West Yorkshire League Alliance Division One: Beeston Reserves 3 Oxenhope Reserves 2

Oxenhope faced leaders Beeston with 11 enforced changes from the previous week but started on the front foot as Luke Snowden and Andy Fox forced two good saves.

Continued pressure saw Fox and Connor Pepper hit the woodwork but, on the half-hour, all the hard work was undone as a Beeston free-kick spun into the top corner.

Oxenhope continued to press forward with skipper Will Lee and man of the match Matty Hardy dominating the midfield.

Beeston went two up on the hour when a long ball was misjudged and, following a neat one-two, keeper Ricky Driver was beaten.

Minutes later Beeston scored their third after their striker won a 50-50 and flicked the ball past Driver.

Oxenhope brought on under-18 player Jacob Dowden for his debut and he gave an immediate injection of pace and energy. On 80 minutes the visitors pulled a goal back, Lee playing the ball into the box for Pepper to collect and curl into the top corner.

Minutes later they scored their second when Lee lashed in from 20 yards. Oxenhope now pressed for the equaliser but the leaders held out.

This was a spirited performance by a much-changed second string but they paid the price for early missed chances.

This Saturday they travel to Hunslet Reserves (2.30pm).