Oxenhope 2

Howden Clough 1

AFTER two defeats, Oxenhope got back to winning ways in West Yorkshire League in a hard-fought game against Howden Clough winning 2-1, which condemned the visitors to relegation to Division Two.

Oxenhope had five players missing from their squad through injury and unavailability and were put under early pressure by Howden, who needed to win to stand any chance of avoiding the drop.

The visitors had the first sight of goal, hitting the crossbar but gradually the home side started to gain the upper hand.

From a Danny Driver corner Rob Andrew fired in a shot, but this time it was Oxenhope’s turn to hit the woodwork.

On 40 minutes the home side took the lead. Ben White won the ball, he played in Lee Reilly, who passed it on to Joe Brady and his shot found the net via a deflection.

Early in the second half Brady nearly bagged a second with an audacious overhead kick, but the Howden goalkeeper was in the right position to save.

A long ball by Luke Scott was run onto Owen Williamson, who surged forwards into the box but his strike went over.

Oxenhope carried the greater threat but Howden were always dangerous on the break. The home side were indebted to goalkeeper Ricky Driver when he pulled off a full-length save to tip a goalbound header round the post.

On 70 minutes another break by the visitors down the right produced a cross into the box and the Howden striker clipped the ball in for the equaliser.

Oxenhope upped their efforts, Brady saw a header saved, Reilly fired over and Driver went close.

On 80 minutes the pressure told. Reilly collected the ball, weaved his way past two defenders before firing the ball beyond the keeper for the winner.

This Saturday Oxenhope travel to Silsden Whitestar in the semi-final of the Keighley Cup (1.30pm).

Oxenhope: R Driver, Ward, Williamson, Scott, Andrew, White, D Driver, Moriarty, Reilly, Brady, Makinson.

Meanwhile, Oxenhope’s young reserves’ side purple patch of form continued with a 1-0 victory over Hall Green Reserves in West Yorkshire League Alliance Division One. In a tight game a header from Leon Drake taking the points.

Oxenhope’s Under-18s produced two outstanding performances during the week.

They defeated Silsden u18s in the league 4-0 with a brace from Macaulay Smith, plus goals from Liam Brooksbank and Pat Blacker.

In so doing they secured runners-up spot in the Craven Under-18s League, narrowly missing out on the title to Ventus.

Then on Sunday in the League Cup handing out a 9-2 drubbing to Bingley u18s, with Brooksbank scoring a hat-trick, plus strikes from Joe Bairstow, Jake Dowden, Alfie Baxter, Josh Rule and two direct free-kicks from Keenan Potts.