County Cup holders Oxenhope commenced their quest of retaining the trophy by defeating Ryburn United, of the Halifax League Premier Division, 5-2 in the first round of this season’s competition. The five goals were a bonus as the visitors started the tie with their two main strikers missing from their line up due to injury and suspension. Ryburn League Champions two seasons ago and only missing out on a second consecutive title last season due to goal difference started confidently. Ten minutes in they found themselves a goal down when a long ball out of defence was run onto by Oxenhope’s Leon Smith, his pace took him round the keeper and he finished with a simple tap in. Soon after the visitors doubled their advantage, Chris Day put the Ryburn central defender under pressure, his hasty pass back wrong footed the keeper and the ball rolled over the line. The cup holders now took total and started to stroke the ball around as they camped in the opposition’s half with the home side resorting to some strong and physical challenges. Five minutes before the break though Ryburn gave themselves hope when they hit Oxenhope on the counter attack, with a long ball and some sloppy defending they reduced the arrears.
In the second half Oxenhope got back on top with their central midfield trio of Sean Quinlan, Will Lee and young Lewis Hopkinson dominating play. On the hour a Quinlan free kick was played back to Ollie Metcalfe, he threaded the ball through a packed area to Tom Marshall, who stroked the ball across goal for Liam McNicol to force home. Minutes later a Smith cross to the far post was headed in by man of the match Hopkinson. Soon after Ryburn were reduced to ten men when they had a player sent off for a second bookable offence only then for Oxenhope to be also reduced to ten men when central defender Josh Kaine had to leave the field with a back injury following a collision with his own keeper Sam Lee and all three substitutes had been used. Ryburn scored a freak second goal when a long ball from out wide looped into the net at the far post. Marshall had a great opportunity to restore the three goal cushion but fired wide with an open target at his mercy but minutes later he redeemed himself when Quinlan threaded the ball through to him, he took the ball on before smashing the ball past the keeper from the edge of the box.
In the next round the holders will travel to Warley Town, another Halifax League Premier Division side. This Saturday Oxenhope return to West Yorkshire League fixtures when they face a stern test as they entertain Beeston who are third in the Premier Division (2.30pm) while the reserves travel to Otley Town (2.30pm).
Team: Lee S, Nelson (Wells), McNicol (Cox), Lee W, Metcalfe, Kaine, Smith, Quinlan, Day (Fox), Hopkinson, Marshall.
Craven, Aire & Wharfe Junior League
Bingley Town Under 18’s 0 Oxenhope Under 18’s 7
Oxenhope Under 18’s comfortably secured their first win of the season with an 8-0 rout away at Bingley Town. Sam Murphy opened the scoring with a well taken goal. Lewis Hopkinson then capitalised on a Bingley defensive error for Oxenhope’s second. Own Williamson then played in Callum Holmes who controlled the ball before firing home. Hopkinson then added number four from the penalty spot. Bingley rallied early in the second half before Kieran Henry used his pace to run onto a through ball and finish. Sam Murphy then inked up with Williamson for the latter to score the sixth. Finally Hopkinson cut the ball back for Callum Franklin to finish.
Oakworth Under 15’s 0 Oxenhope Under 15’s 2
Oxenhope’s newly formed Under 15’s claimed their third straight win of the season with a 2-0 victory in their local derby with Oakworth, Keenan Potts with a penalty and Josh Rule finding the target.
Report by Ray Broadbent