Brighouse Town 1
DARRYL Leach bundled home a 90th minute derby winner as Liversedge claimed three priceless points in their quest to avoid relegation from the Northern Counties East League Premier Division.
Leach had a hand in all three goals in Tuesday’s dramatic clash, setting up Sedge’s opener, then powerfully headed into his own net for Brighouse’s second half equaliser before sparking jubilant scenes by grabbing the last minute winner.
Leach was one of four ex-Brighouse men in Liversedge’s starting line-up, while Town had ex-Clayborn defender Simon Wood as captain and also included Matthew Sparkes, Wayne Crossley and Danny Toronczak on the bench.
Leach had early involvement when he headed wide after seven minutes, before Nathan Cartman shot just over at the other end. Andy Shuttleworth has been in excellent form since returning to the club from Brighouse and he had another impressive game.
Shuttleworth’s curling shot from the edge of the area was heading for the top corner but the Town goalkeeper flung himself to make an excellent save.
Liversedge took a 27th minute lead as Rob Bordman’s deep corner was headed back across goal by Leach and Jamie Wasley headed in on the goalline.
Liversedge held their advantage up to half-time but just three minutes after the break, Brighouse levelled when a free-kick into the area caused confusion and Leach headed powerfully beyond goalkeeper Lee Ashforth when trying to clear.
Liversedge upped the tempo and Shuttleworth’s curling shot from the edge of the area hit the foot of a post.
Shuttleworth fed a pass through to James Hurtley but he shot wide before Ashforth produced a fine diving save to deny Lee Burgess at the other end.
Andy Philp sent Cory Larkin clear but he curled wide before Philp fed substitute Adam Hill but he was denied by a good save.
Leach was involved again when his header was saved from a Bordman free-kick before the game had a final dramatic twist. Bordman and Philp played a short corner before the former swung the ball into the penalty area.
Shuttleworth received the ball and played it back across goal to Leach, who bundled it over the line before wheeling away in wild celebration.
Victory leaves Liversedge fourth-bottom in the Premier Division table, four points clear of Arnold Town, who have three games in hand.
Crucially, Billy Miller’s men are six clear of second-bottom Dinnington Town, with a game in hand, and they also have a far superior goal difference, while they are nine ahead of bottom side Hallam but have played for games more.
Liversedge: Ashforth, Hewitt, Saville, Larkin, Leach, Fletcher (Hill 62), Bordman, Shuttleworth, Philp, Hurtley, Wasley. Subs (not used): Whittaker, Bojang, Knight (gk).
NCE LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION BOTTOM SIX
P W D L F A Pt
Long Eaton 25 7 8 10 32 50 29
Hall Road 24 7 2 15 36 56 23
Liversedge 26 4 8 14 35 56 19
Arnold 23 2 9 12 37 62 15
Dinnington 27 3 4 20 25 76 13
Hallam 22 2 4 16 24 62 10