Sporting Ossett Town step aside to send opponents through in cup

Eli Hey hit the target for Liversedge in last week's cup tie.
Eli Hey hit the target for Liversedge in last week's cup tie.

Ossett Town have demonstrated their sense of fair play and sportsmanship by calling for their West Riding County Cup opponents to be put through to the next round following an abandoned match.

Evo-Stik First Division North side Town were trailing 4-1 in their first round clash at local rivals Liversedge last Tuesday when floodlight failure forced the abandonment of the game with 12 minutes remaining.

Despite the county FA’s decision to replay the game, Town stepped-in and insisted that their Northern Counties Premier opponents should be allowed through to the second round.

A statement on the Town website stated: “Tuesday’s game at Liversedge in the West Riding County Cup was abandoned due to a floodlight failure.

“It later transpired the problem was not Liversedge’s but a power cut in the local area.

“The referee correctly abandoned the fixture when, after around 20 minutes it became clear it would be a minimum of 20 more minutes before the floodlights could be switched back on, and then there was no guarantee they would come on.

“On Wednesday morning the county FA indicated the game would have to be replayed within ten days.

“Members of the Ossett Town committee and first team manager John Reed quickly agreed to approach the County FA and suggest, for the integrity of the game and the competition to allow the result to stand.

“Ossett Town FC felt Liversedge deserved to progress through to the second round given the score line, the time remaining and their performance on the night.

“Although well within our rights to go back and get a fortunate second bite of the cherry, as stated, it would, we felt, not be the fair thing to do.

“The West Riding County FA agreed with our view and thanked us for the gesture.

“We wish Liversedge, and all the other clubs remaining in the West Riding County Cup, the best of luck for the remainder of the competition.”

Town had taken the lead in the cup clash through Danny Chambers only for their lower league rivals to turn the game on its head, strikes from Andy Wood (2), Sam Bibb and Ely Hey putting the hosts in control before the lights failed.

Read Friday’s Wakefield Express for more news from Ossett Town.