Boroughbridge 2

Oxenhope 4

OXENHOPE produced their best performance of the season to beat West Yorkshire League Division One leaders Boroughbridge.

They grabbed the lead after just five minutes, a long ball downfield from goalkeeper Ricky Driver was latched onto by Tom Marshall. He dribbled his way to the edge of the area, put a measured cross into Lee Reilly, who powered his strike beyond the Boroughbridge keeper.

This stirred the home side and straight from the re-start they drove downfield, resulting in a powerful strike from the edge of the box which brought an excellent reaction save from keeper Driver to touch the ball over the bar.

The game now swung from end to end with both teams playing some entertaining passing football.

Marshall tested the home keeper with a shot that the custodian turned around the post. From the resulting corner Luke Scott’s powerful header hit the crossbar.

On the quarter, Oxenhope doubled their advantage the ball was collected by James Bailey on the edge of the area. He hit a thunderous goal bound shot that found the net via a defender.

Back came the home side and reduced the lead on the half hour from a move down the wing and a cross into the box was put away.

They now started to apply the pressure but Oxenhope’s back four marshalled by Mark Bentham held their own to maintain their single goal advantage at the break.

Early in the second half a Dan Moriarty free-kick found the head of the hard-working Scott Nelson but his effort was turned just round the post by the athletic Boroughbridge keeper.

On the hour Oxenhope regained their two-goal cushion, Reilly collected the ball in the channel, twisted and turned his way to the edge of the area before putting in an inviting cross to the far of the edge of the box. This was met with a first-time powerful volley from Bailey that was fired into the back of the net.

Only for five minutes later the home side to hit back, another break and their striker found himself one-on-one and made no mistake with his strike beyond Driver.

The game continued to swing from end to end with the pace of Marshall and the overlapping Owen Williamson creating panic down the left side for the Boroughbridge defence.

Oxenhope scored their fourth on 80 minutes. A Moriarty free-kick was touched onto the bar by the home keeper but man of the match Nelson was on hand to put it away.

The visitors now tried to see the game out but not before a corner produced a hectic, mad scramble on their goal line as players threw their bodies at the ball to see off the threat.

A tremendous all-round team performance got the result their efforts deserved against the league leaders and previously unbeaten at home this season, plus the three points moves Oxenhope comfortably into the top half of the table, on Saturday they entertain Pool (2pm).

Oxenhope: Driver, Scott L, Williamson, Scott D, Bentham, White (Quinlan), Bailey (Brooksbank), Moriarty, Reilly, Nelson, Marshall.

Meanwhile, Oxenhope’s young second string gained a very commendable 2-2 draw at Huddersfield Amateurs Reserves, who sit 11 places above them in the top flight of the West Yorkshire League Alliance Division One.

Goals from Liam Bonner and Joe Jalil secured the point. On Saturday, the reserves travel to Ilkley Reserves in the League Trophy (2pm).

Both Oxenhope teams held a minute's silence before their games in memory of Norman Bairstow, a former player, committee man and life member of the club, who died last week.