Oxenhope blown off course by title holders

Oxenhope Rec logoBardsey 3
Oxenhope Rec 1

Oxenhope travelled to the reigning West Yorkshire League champions and for the first half hour looked the better side, despite a strong wind that spoiled the game.
Leon Smith’s pace caused Bardsey all sorts of problems and from one of his runs Craig Morris headed agonisingly over and Sean Quinlan’s corner was met by Leroy Hickman at the far post but his strike went wide.
The hosts gradually started to come more into the game and just before the break they took the lead when the Oxenhope defence switched off and were punished.
In the second half, and with the wind in their favour, Bardsey started to dominate.
Oxenhope keeper Sam Lee made a superb double save to keep them out and their strikers were guilty of some wayward finishing.
Oxenhope were reduced to hitting them on the break a cross from Quinlan was met by a header from Michael Garnett but the keeper saved.
Just past the hour the home side were awarded a soft penalty when Jason Walton was adjudged to have fouled their front man and the spot kick was duly despatched.
Oxenhope were then reduced to 10 men when Ben White had to leave the field with a re-occurrence of a knee injury and all three subs had been used.
Matters were made worse when Bardsey fluked a wind assisted third goal with a free-kick from inside their own half that sailed into the top corner.
Oxenhope continued to battle and Dan Moriarty’s free-kick hit the crossbar before their efforts were eventually rewarded when, from a corner, the ball came to Garnett, his effort was blocked and Liam McNicol tucked away the rebound.
Oxenhope will need to be in far better form on Thursday when they travel to West Riding County headquarters at Woodlesford for their County Challenge Cup semi-final clash with Salts (7.30pm).
Oxenhope: Lee, Wells, McNicol, Metcalfe, Walton, Kaine, Morris (Garnett), Quinlan (White), Smith, Hickman (Moriarty), Marshall

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