West Yorkshire League Division One: Oxenhope Rec 6 Altofts 1

OXENHOPE bounced back from their previous defeat at Aberford with a resounding defeat of Altofts to ease away from the relegation battle.

The visitors had the better of the early exchanges with stand-in keeper Ricky Driver diving to his left to turn a stinging shot round the post.

But Oxenhope gained the upper hand, a James Bailey free-kick being headed over the bar by Lewis Hopkinson and then Hopkinson putting a through ball to Bailey, whose cross was headed over by Owen Williamson.

Bailey then fed Lee Reilly, who twisted and turned through the defence but put his final shot wide. Reilly then turned provider, only for Tom Marshall to head over.

On 25 minutes the home side’s pressure was rewarded. Bailey put in a powerful corner to the far post and Keann Shaw put it away with a brave stooping header.

Altofts came back strongly. With keeper Driver beaten, defender Dan Scott cleared off the line but, with their very next attack, the visitors equalised when hesitation by Driver was punished.

Minutes later Oxenhope regained the lead. A Bailey corner was headed across goal at the near post by Scott and an Altofts defender, trying to clear his lines, put the ball into his own net.

Altofts were unlucky when a strike from distance rattled the bar but two goals just before the break turned the game.

A corner by Bailey was hammered in by the advancing Danny Driver, followed shortly after by the goal of the game. Marshall, a constant threat down both flanks, got to the dead-ball line and played the ball into Reilly, who showed his quality as he weaved his way past defenders before finishing with a stunning strike to take his tally to 21 from 16 games.

The second half proved to be one-way traffic as Oxenhope turned on the style.

A Bailey cross was headed over by the on-rushing Hopkinson, Danny Driver then drove down the right and hit a powerful strike from distance that hit the inside of the far post and bounced out.

Skipper Ben White, who led by example, played in sub Dan Moriarty but his strike went just over.

On 70 minutes a pin-point corner by Moriarty was met by Danny Driver, who made no mistake with a powerful shot to make it five.

Defender Scott Nelson also got on to the scoresheet when he headed in from a Bailey corner. Altofts rallied but keeper Driver got the best of a one-on-one and also made a brave block at the feet of a striker as he bore in on goal.

The three points takes Oxenhope clear of the bottom five and with a far superior goal difference.

On Saturday the Division One side have a difficult tie when they entertain Robin Hood from the Premier Division in the third round of the League Cup (2.30pm).

Oxenhope: Diver R, Driver D, Williamson, Nelson, Scott D, White, Shaw (Scott L), Hopkinson (Moriarty), Reilly, Bailey (Potts), Marshall.