Goal-crazy Liversedge break into top three

Goal-crazy Liversedge break into top three

LIVERSEDGE moved into the automatic promotion places with their fourth victory in a row, scoring four goals for the fourth time in succession to see off struggling Knaresborough.

Joe Walton scored a brace while Joe Kenny also netted in a spell of three goals in the space of five minutes in the first half, before Alfie Raw continued his fine goalscoring form to seal the win (2-4).

Hemsworth Miners Welfare’s defeat saw Sedge move into the top three in the league, level on points with second-placed Staveley and just two behind leaders Penistone Church with three games in hand.

Liversedge came into the game full of confidence but Knaresborough sent a warning shot in the very first seconds, attacking down the left from the kick-off and only just clearing the bar with a Phil Milsom break.

The hosts were defying their lowly position with a bright start and took the lead after six minutes as Daniel Thirkell got the slightest touch on a Jack Carr free-kick to divert it past Gary Stevens.

Sedge began to establish some control, playing some neat football which resulted in a quick blast of three goals, started by the 19th-minute equaliser when Walton slotted in following good work from Raw.

Just a few minutes later the game had been turned on its head, with a quick break down the left wing seeing Jack Hardacre overlap and cross the ball in for Kenny to nudge home.

Walton then struck again after brilliant build-up play involving Paul Walker, Raw and Kenny, which resulted in a cross rebounding off the far post with Walton the quickest man to react in the box.

There was good play from both sides as the first half went on, with Kenny slicing a great chance high and wide after fine play from Raw, before a dubious penalty was awarded for a foul on Colin Heath and Thirkell scored his second of the game from the penalty spot.

Liversedge made a fast start to the second half, hitting the post within a minute as Walton was a whisker away from blasting in for a hat-trick, and having a goal disallowed moments later as Kenny’s free-kick found its way into the net but the assistant referee had a flag raised.

At the other end, Colin Heath was given a free header nine yards out but somehow failed to punish the slack defence as he nodded wide after Carr and Milsom combined.

Defender Jack Steers failed to divert a Raw free-kick the right side of the post and Gary Stevens made a brilliant save one-on-one to deny Knaresborough’s Carr before the key moment of the second half.

Walton was played through in behind the defence and the home side’s captain, Will Lenehan, appeared to pull the striker back as he looked to race in for his treble. Lenehan was sent off to the dismay of his teammates, who pleaded that the contact was accidental, but the decision stood.

With the man advantage, Liversedge looked to put the game to bed and did so in the 74th minute as Raw scored his seventh goal in five matches, coolly slotting past Dominic Smith when sent through one-on-one with the home goalkeeper.

With the three points in the bag, there was time for a late debut cameo for Mark Simpson following his signing from Garforth Town last week, reminding the rest of the league of the remarkable striking prowess now at the club as they look to continue their promotion push.

Sedge return to Clayborn for two matches in the coming week. Tomorrow (Saturday, kick-off 3pm) they take on Handsworth, who are in the bottom half of the table, before entertaining Thackley, who go into the weekend in eighth place, on Tuesday night (January 28, kick-off 7.45pm).

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