Delaney at the double as Oaks go top

Keighley Oaks 6
Brighouse 2
Keighley put on an excellent display of football today against Brighouse in the West Riding County Women’s League as goals from Kirsty Delaney 2, Nicole Turner, Rebecca Granger, Fatima Khatun and Melissa Houldsworth put them top of the table.
Keighley came out off the traps right from the kick off with several chances going begging.
Brighouse desperately tried to soak up the immense pressure Keighley were throwing at them but something had to give and a superb run down the left wing by Kirsty Delaney saw her drive the ball across Brighouse’s 18-yard box for Fatima Khatun to slot home the ball.
Keighley continued the pressure and could have gone further ahead with shots from Frances Nichol just going wide of the goal and Rebecca Granger beating the keeper with a long range lob only to see the ball bounce off the crossbar.
Brighouse crept back into the game, levelling the score in the 22nd minute with a quick counter attack and a shot deflecting off a post and trickling over the line.

Two goals: Kirsty Delaney

Keighley replied five minutes later when Delaney’s well-taken corner kick fell to Granger in the six-yard box and she cleverly tapped the ball past the keeper to edge her team back in front.
Brighouse fought back but were denied any glory as excellent defensive work from stand-in keeper Mollie McMahon and the back four of Jodie Elliott, Hannah Nichol, Sophie Gaines and Amy Phelen.
Keighley went further ahead just before the break with a clever back heel from Khatun to teammate Melissa Houldsworth, who picked her spot and blasted the ball beyond the keeper’s reach.
Brighouse came out for the second half a different side, hitting Keighley within two minutes with a long range pass and a superb strike into the left of the net.
Keighley again replied within minutes when a shot from Granger was deflected and fell for Nicole Turner, who rocketed the ball past the defensive wall to put her team further ahead.
Brighouse stepped up a gear looking to get back in the game with some heavy transitions of play but Keighley came out on top, scoring again in the 58th minute when Houldsworth’s excellent long range pass set up Delaney, making a fiery run down the flank and blasting the ball into the net away from the diving keeper.
Brighouse looked a little rattled but, eager to make amends, pressed Keighley hard but to no avail as the hosts stood fast with some excellent play from keeper McMahon.
Keighley made some changes (off Turner, Phelen) (on Emma Firth, Beth Nixon).
Fresh legs seemed to do the trick as Keighley winger Delaney hit the crossbar and striker Houldsworth picked up the rebound but also hit the bar.
Khatun nearly finishing with a well timed header but was denied by the keeper.

Match point: Nicole Turner

But Keighley had one more ace to play when Delaney who latched on to a clever pass from Nichol to drive the ball a good 30 yards into the top corner of the net.
The match point went to Nicole Turner.
A 4-1 defeat for second-placed Brayton against Bradford Park Avenue and a postponement for pre-match leaders Harrogate Railway means Oaks move up into top place in the Premier Division table.
Next week they are at home to Railway, who they lead on goal difference from the same number of games. Kick-off at Bronte Playing Fields, Oakworth, is 1.30pm.

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