Penistone Church are four points clear in the Division One play-off places after two action-packed wins this week.
Oliver Fearon had a memorable debut – after moving across Barnsley from Worsbrough Bridge – as he netted twice in a 4-2 win on Saturday at home to Lincoln Moorlands Railway that also saw three missed penalties and two own goals. Fearon then made it four unsuccessful spot-kicks in five days on Wednesday night but Church still breezed past ten man Eccleshill United 3-0 with Andy Ring netting twice. Penistone occupy the final play-off place as they are sixth with 20 points from 11 games.
“It’s the strongest squad we have had at the club and we’re getting the results,” said manager Ian Richards.
“It’s very early in the season so we’re not getting carried away but we have a great chance of getting in the play-offs. We’re probably in with another ten teams going for the top six but it will take a lot for them to beat us if we play like we did on Wednesday. That was our best performance of the season. Seven or eight nil wouldn’t have flattered us but 3-0 was still a great result against a team that drew with the title favourites Hull United on Saturday. We didn’t play as well on Saturday and we had to grind the result out but we’re finding different ways to win.”
On Saturday, Lincoln scored an own goal after a quarter of an hour then Fearon – who netted three goals for Worsbrough this season before moving to Church last week – made it 2-0. Jack Moore could have increased the lead but saw his penalty saved. Railway came back into the game with a goal just before the hour and had the chance to level when they were awarded a penalty. Church goalkeeper Adam Rhodes saved the spot-kick then, in trying to clear the ball, gave away another penalty which was blazed over. Fearon got his second to make it 3-1 on 75 minutes then, after the visitors pulled one back, a second own goal secured the victory with three minutes to play.
Penistone raced into a 2-0 lead against Eccleshill in midweek thanks to goals from Ring and Italian Marco Battaglia. The visitors then had a player sent off on the stroke of half-time for a foul on Ring in the box but Fearon saw his spot-kick saved. Ring completed the scoring midway through the second half by lobbing the goalkeeper and the dominant hosts had two more goals ruled out while missing many chances.
Worsbrough Bridge had a less successful week as they went down 4-1 at Yorkshire Amateur on Saturday, with Neil Spruce netting, then were beaten 5-0 at AFC Emley on Wednesday.
Athersley Recreation are 20th out of 22 in the Premier Division after they lost 2-1 at home to Retford United on Saturday. The visitors scored twice in the first half then Athersley's Dane Hodgson pulled a goal back with nine minutes left. Rec were due to visit bottom club Brigg Town on Wednesday but it was called off due to a floodlight failure.
There were six goals in extra-time as Grimethorpe Sports won 5-3 at home to Brinsworth Whitehill in the first round of the League Cup on Saturday. There was another cup thriller at Treeton Terriers where Kingstone United won 6-5 after being 5-3 down with six minutes to go. Wombwell Main had an easier win as they beat visitors Dronfield 5-2.