H & D LEAGUE: Rangers sink Saints to stay top of the pile
Kirk Deighton Rangers maintained their two-point advantage at the top of the Harrogate and District Football League Premier Division when they overcame Beckwithshaw Saints by a 3-1 scoreline.
Rob Holliday moved Rangers ahead but Luke Watson hit back for the Saints to send the teams in level at the break.
Holliday restored his side’s advantage when he converted a spot-kick after Josh Barden had been fouled, before Barden himself made sure of the points when he added Kirk Deighton’s third.
Reflecting on his side’s triumph, manager Daniel Marshall said: “I’m very pleased with the result, although this wasn’t our greatest performance, especially in the first half when Beckwithshaw were the better side.
“We had words at half-time and the boys came out in the second half and did what we asked them to do.
“All in all, after not playing for three weeks, and up against the side that are third in the league, I’m happy with the outcome.”
Knaresborough Celtic kept pace with the league leaders when they edged past Harlow Hill courtesy of a goal scored with almost the last kick of the game.
Hill took the lead when they converted their only chance of the first half, but James McGlinchey got the Celts back on terms.
Matt Adamson looked to have won the match for Knaresborough when he scored with 10 minutes to go, but the home side responded almost immediately to level things at 2-2.
With just seconds remaining, Amery Lewis clinched a 3-2 success for Brian Davey’s side, for whom goalkeeper Thomas Bland was in fine form.
“I told the players that if we want to win the league then this is a game that we have to win,” Davey said.
“In the end, I think that we wanted it a bit more than them, and this could prove to be a crucial result in our season.”
Elsewhere in the top flight, Hampsthwaite United climbed up to fourth place with a 3-1 victory over struggling Burley Trojans.
A Jamie Hogg strike two minutes into added time earned Addingham a point and denied Boroughbridge A a first win of 2016/17, in Division One.
The basement boys looked like they had finally earned themselves three points, at the tenth time of asking, when Niki Westbury found the net in the 89th minute.
But with stoppage time almost up, substitute Hogg broke the visitors’ hearts, tying things up at 1-1 in dramatic fashion.
Beckwithshaw Saints Reserves were another side to leave it late to grab a share of the spoils when they fought back from 2-0 behind at home to Helperby United.
Steve Ferguson and Chris Simpson both registered in the opening period to put United in the driving seat before James Ford pulled one back.
The away side held their lead until five minutes from time when Ben Parker restored parity.
James Metcalfe hit a hat-trick as Hampsthwaite FC triumphed 4-1 over Dalton Athletic on home soil.
Sam Cross was also on target, while Nigel Binks registered a consolation for Athletic.
Thirsk Falcons remain in pole position following a comfortable 7-3 win at Knaresborough Celtic Reserves, while Bramhope move up a place to seventh after beating Bardsey 3-2.