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Hemsworth MW survive second half scare to hold onto top spot

Brad Dockerty, who scored two goals for Hemsworth MW against Liversedge.
Brad Dockerty, who scored two goals for Hemsworth MW against Liversedge.

Top of the table Hemsworth MW held on to their lofty position at the head of the Toolstation NCE Premier when they withstood a second half fightback to beat Liversedge 4-3.

It all looked to be plain sailing as Wells scored twice early and opened up a 4-0 lead in the first half.

But Liversedge were given a lifeline by a goal just before the break and netted two more in the first 14 minutes of the second period to make a real game of it.

Hemsworth saw out the closing stages, however, to claim another three points and stay one ahead of Yorkshire Amateur, who have also played eight league games so far. Maltby Main are four points further back from two fewer matches.

Brad Dockerty gave Wells the start they were looked for as he found the net straight from a corner to open the scoring just six minutes into the contest.

Rich Collier doubled the lead seven minutes later with a well taken effort and the hosts were well in control.

They continued to look for goals and were rewarded again as Dockerty bagged his second of the afternoon – and the eighth of his prolific season so far – after being well set up by Nash Connolly.

Within three minutes they had the ball in the net again, Seon Ripley this time with his fourth goal of the season after a fine turn and strike.

It seemed it would just be a consolation when Joe Walton pulled a goal back for the visitors two minutes before half-time. But he put away his second nine minutes after the break and when Mitchell Hamilton netted five minutes later at 4-3 Hemsworth were suddenly involved in a much tougher game than they were having.

The hosts regrouped, though, defended better and managed to get across the line to keep their place at the head of affairs.

Manager Wayne Benn described it as a classic game of two halves.

He said: “We were fantastic in the first half and well worthy of being 4-1 in front.

“It was almost a faultless first half and the performance was very, very good. We passed the ball really well, worked hard and scored some great goals.

“It was definitely the best we have played so far, so the second half performance was a surprise. We just never got started and allowed Liversedge back into the game with some very poor defending.

“Credit to Liversedge, they played much better, started to throw a few bodies forward and made a game of it when the game should have been done.

“We showed our naivety as a side again, but ultimately we won the game and we have to be happy with that, particularly as teams around us dropped points. It’s early days and there is more to come from us, but we have to cut out some of the sloppiness in our play.”

Hemsworth will be looking to stay top when they travel to play Penistone Church on Saturday.

The draw for the third round of the Toolstation NCE League Cup has been made with Hemsworth MW having to travel to fellow Premier Division side Barton Town with the date yet to be arranged.

Hemsworth MW are hosting a sportsman’s dinner, with special guest former Wimbledon and Sheffield United manager Dave Bassett, on Friday, October 19 at the Hemsworth Miners Social Club. Tickets are £30, including a two-course meal, and available from the committee or management.