Church haunts Ossett with a goal and a ‘handball’

Ossett United 1-2 Brighouse Town 

New Brighouse Town striker Eddie Church

Eddie Church enjoyed a dream Brighouse Town first start as his double haunted old side Ossett United, but the handball in the build-up to the opener stole the headlines.

Church, released by Ossett at the end of last season, struck in both halves. Brighouse had dominated the first half and Church scored on the stroke of half-time – a goal that should been ruled out as the ball hit the striker’s hand.

He then broke clear to add the second on the hour. You could argue that Brighouse should have been out of sight, but they weren’t and Ossett found a way back through Andy Monkhouse.

Ossett had a lot of the ball late-on, but Brighouse defended well and managed to see it out to record their first league win of the new BetVictor North West campaign.

The derby was entertaining, not a hell-for-leather clash though. Having both faced tough FA Cup fixtures against Northern League outfits on Saturday in the same hot conditions, both sides were clearly never going to play at 100mph.

Brighouse were unlucky not to take the lead early on. United goalkeeper Brett Souter denied Church at point-blank range before Finn Donovan’s effort was deflected wide.

Ossett were restricted to the long ball, but it was effective. Former Farsley Celtic striker Damian Reeves almost got in, only for Conor Griffin make a superb last ditch tackle. 

Brighouse were also lucky to avoid conceding a penalty as Tom Greaves went through shortly after and appeared to have been fouled by Kurt Harris.

With just a minute of the first half remaining, it looked like Ossett had got to half-time without conceding. However, Donovan laid the ball off to the Church. Ossett fans will probably say he controlled the ball on his hand long enough to have the time to autograph it, but it certainly hit his hand before he fired past Souter.

Everyone stopped, the crowd fell silent. The referee Matthew Tyers looked at his assistant Jamie Cogill, who had a good view, and the goal was incredibly given, leading to mass protests.

Ossett began the second half strongly, only to concede when on top. The home defence momentarily fell asleep as goalkeeper Jordan Porter’s long punt downfield found Church. The striker went through and coolly slotted the ball to the left of the advancing Souter.

Church’s debut could have got even better straight after. His close range header looked certain to complete a dream hat-trick. Souter, living up to his reputation as one of the best goalkeepers in the league, made a miraculous save to deny him.

That moment of magic from Souter gave Ossett belief and their on-loan Huddersfield Town danger-man Andrew Ijiwole helped set up their goal. He showed great guile to take on the Brighouse defence before firing a low shot into the box. Monkhouse took command and found gold.

Ultimately Ossett did not do enough. Corey Gregory’s long throw-ins caused huge problems, but Porter never truly had to make a real save. 

Former Ossett player Joe Wilkinson shoots for goal
Brighouse first team coach Stacy Reed gives some instructions
Harris was lucky to escape not conceding a penalty
Kurtis Harris tackles Greaves
Brighouse celebrate Church’s opener
Andy Welsh makes his feelings known about the ‘handball’ goal
Brighouse midfielder Josh Grant wins the battle with Nick Guest
Referee Matt Tyers helps Brighouse goalkeeper Jordan Porter up
Andy Monkhouse turns away after pulling a goal back for Ossett
Ossett’s Tom Greaves attempts an overhead kick
Ossett goalkeeper Brett Souter went up for a corner at the end

The Teams 

Ossett United: Souter, Gregory, Chantler, Staunton, Knowles (captain), Stockdill (Basic 70), Guest (Katsmagkas 60), Monkhouse, Greaves, Reeves (Harrison 60), Ijiwole. Subs unused: Hampson, Porritt.

Brighouse Town: Porter, Wilkinson, Kendall, Grant, Harris, Griffin (Haigh 25), Donovan, Lazenby, Ryan (Stewart 60), Church (Etia 73), Cham. Subs unused: Khan, Brennan.

Who Was In Charge 

Matthew Tyers (6/10)

How Many Were There


Man of the Match 

Reece Kendall (Brighouse Town)

Brighouse Town defender Reece Kendall

It was a close run decision, with Eddie Church and Josh Grant being the other contenders. But left-back Kendall was trusted with more to the centre-back slot when Conor Griffin went off injured and he did a good job handling Tom Greaves.

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