West Yorkshire League Division One: Oxenhope Rec 3 Featherstone 2

AFTER two consecutive league defeats Oxenhope got back to winning ways in a hard-fought game with Featherstone.

In a scrappy encounter that was not helped by the weather or conditions under foot, the game swung one way and then the other.

After soaking up the early pressure, the home side took the lead on ten minutes. Owen Williamson surged down the left and linked up with Tom Marshall, whose strike was blocked by the keeper but Scott Nelson powered the ball past the keeper.

Featherstone applied more pressure in search of an equaliser with Oxenhope keeper Ricky Driver pulling off a couple of top-drawer saves and then bravely blocking at the feet of their striker.

Gradually Oxenhope started to create their own threat with Dan Moriarty, Marshall and then Nelson testing the away keeper.

Five minutes after the restart Featherstone were awarded a controversial penalty, the referee judging Luke Scott had unfairly brought down the opposition player and the resulting spot kick was dispatched.

This saw a resurgence from the visitors, with Dan Scott putting in a well-timed last-ditch tackle to halt a certain Featherstone second.

The game swung back in the home team's favour with Marshall and Williamson creating chances down the left flank.

Then on the hour, Moriarty surged down the right, turned his marker on the dead-ball line and drove the ball across the face of the Featherstone goal.

Just when it appeared that the ball had eluded both strikers and defenders, Williamson steamed in at the back post to guide the ball home from the tightest of angles.

Back came the visitors and on 70 minutes a free-kick from outside the box was driven towards the target, but, in an attempt to head the ball clear, sub Sam Finnegan floated the ball into the top corner for an own goal.

Both teams were now tiring as the heavy pitch took its toll but they both summoned up more energy.

Keeper Driver pulled off a diving, finger-tip save to to deny the visitors. Then with just minutes remaining on the clock, man of the match Scott Nelson used his strength to muscle his way past his marker.

His first strike was parried by the Featherstone keeper but his persistence was rewarded as the custodian could do nothing to stop Nelson's follow up. Oxenhope saw out the remaining minutes to take the three points which moves them comfortably into mid-table.

This Saturday they travel to unbeaten Craven League Premier Division leaders Silsden White Star in a semi-final of this season's Keighley Cup (1.30pm).

Oxenhope: Driver, Hopkinson, Williamson, Scott L, Scott D, White (Finnegan), Bailey, Moriarty, Nelson, Quinlan, Marshall.

Alliance Division One: Aberford Reserves 4 Oxenhope Reserves 2

Oxenhope's young second string put in another brave performance away to a more experienced Aberford Reserves, taking the lead twice through Luke Brooksbank and Liam Bonner but eventually going down 4-2. This Saturday they entertain Leeds Modernians Reserves (2.30pm).