Hemsworth MW miss out on top spot after letting lead slip

Hemsworth MW missed a big opportunity to go top of the Toolstation NCE League when they let a two-goal first half lead slip to draw 2-2 at Eccleshill United in their first game of 2020.

With leaders Penistone Church losing 4-3 at Bridlington Town a victory would have put Wells on top of the Premier Division table and they looked well on course with a strong first half display away to mid-table Eccleshill.

On target: Seon Ripley, who netted in Hemsworth MW's 2-2 draw at Eccleshill United.

On target: Seon Ripley, who netted in Hemsworth MW's 2-2 draw at Eccleshill United.

They started well as Ryan Carroll went on a good run into the area and found Sam Jones, whose shot was well saved.

Brice Tiani then put Seon Ripley through one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but his shot went just wide.

Eccleshill had their first chance with a shot wide from inside the area before Hemsworth took a deserved lead as Declan Parker went through following a smartly taken free-kick and squared the ball for Jones to shoot home.

Two minutes later defender Harry Viggars almost followed on from his goal scoring exploits in the previous game against Silsden, but was unlucky to hit the crossbar with a lob.

It was no surprise when Wells made it 2-0 on 40 minutes when Ripley finished impressively after being found by Parker.

The goal came seconds after keeper Jordan Greaves made a good save with Wells making an incisive break.

The good work continued into the second half, but Carroll fired wide from Parker’s cross and several dangerous corners came to nothing.

Eccleshill were thrown a lifeline with a soft goal scored by Jonathan Irving and grew in confidence from this.

Ripley had a shot blocked as Hemsworth still looked dangerous at times, but the hosts hit the post and a minute later equalised through Tabish Hussain. Despite late pressure Wells were unable to force a winner.

Hemsworth stayed in second and are now level on points with the leaders ahead of their home game against third-placed Staveley MW this Saturday.

Hemsworth’s player of the match award for December has been won by Luke Hogg. The midfielder also won the award for the previous month.