Two goals from ex-Ossett United striker Eddie Church helped Brighouse Town to a 2-1 victory over his former side in a feisty West Yorkshire derby.
In sweltering conditions at Ingfield, his goals – the first a highly controversial finish after an alleged handball in the area and the second a strike on the counter – kept United winless in their Northern Premier North West Division campaign.
Andy Monkhouse halved the deficit soon after Brighouse’s second goal to put Ossett back in the contest but they couldn’t find an equaliser in the final half hour.
United boss Andy Welsh was at a loss to explain how the opening goal was allowed to stand.
“If it hits your arm or hand and ends up being a goal, it’s not a goal,” he said.
“It’s as simple as that. That’s what the new rules are and if the referee and linesman can’t see that, then that’s an embarrassment.
“Everyone in the stadium could see it. I think they (Brighouse) were embarrassed that the referee actually gave it. It clearly hit his hand.”
On the overall performance from his side, he said: “We felt that we didn’t do enough in the first half, but we certainly didn’t deserve to go in 1-0 down.
“Credit to the players because I thought in the second half, bar their goal, we looked dominant at times. We just couldn’t get the final ball over the line.”
It was a second game in three days for both sides and, combined with the heat, it made for a low-tempo game, with few chances in a very even first 45 minutes.
Andy Ijiwole curled an effort just round the post for Ossett after a one-two with Monkhouse, while goalkeeper Brett Souter was called into action at the other end to deny Church and Finn Donovan then had a shot deflected, with Church heading the wrong side of the post from the resulting corner.
Connor Griffin made a great challenge to prevent Damian Reeves from scoring for the hosts, at the expense of a hamstring injury which forced the defender off the field.
Souter had to deny Church again while United’s Nick Guest headed over an awkward cross, and it looked set to go into the break goalless until the turning point of the match came on the stroke of half-time.
Donovan flicked an Ousman Cham cross back into the danger area and Church volleyed the ball past Souter, but only with the help of his hand to control the ball. The officials didn’t spot the offence though, and Brighouse had the lead.
Church headed wide from a Cham cross in the only chance early in the second half, before making it 2-0 on the hour mark.
Tom Greaves had a close-range effort blocked by Brighouse keeper Jordan Porter, and moments later a long ball found Church over the top and he finished well into the far corner.
He almost had a hat-trick soon after the restart but Souter came out on top after the striker had been given a free header.
Instead, Ossett scored their first league goal of the season as Ijiwole’s long-range effort was controlled by Monkhouse and the midfielder turned and smashed the ball beyond the reach of Porter.
Huddersfield Town loanee Ijiwole was the most threatening player for United as they looked for an equaliser but he couldn’t steer a header on target and later fizzed a strike just over the crossbar.
Brighouse still had a threat at the other end as Thomas Haigh curled a shot wide. Donovan fired a fired straight at Souter deep into injury time, just after Ossett’s last desperate effort which saw Greaves flick an overhead kick over the top.