HOLDERS HT SPORTS scraped past Showbiz Whites 4-2 after extra time in Sunday’s County Cup tie – to book a re-run of last year’s final against Chapeltown Fforde Grene in the fourth round.
All-conquering HT lined up as overwhelming favourites against their Claro League visitors but even Sports manager Lee Connor admitted that Showbiz should have been out of sight at half-time.
Showbiz’s Kev Morris squandered three one-on-ones with Eddie Murau also having two opportunities to open the scoring before Ali Bowles eventually broke the deadlock after excellent work from Stephen Beecroft.
HT – lucky to be just one nil down at the break – then got their act together as goals from Ben Thornton and Adam Fowler turned the tide in their favour.
But a rattled Showbiz again responded with a rare Gary McLeod header forcing extra-time.
A shock again looked likely but HT player-boss Connor then headed his side into a 3-2 lead with Steve Palfrey netting soon after to finally put the 2009 and 2013 winners into the last 32.
Connor’s men then learned that Chapeltown Fforde Grene will be their January visitors in a repeat of last year’s final and the undoubted tie of the fourth round.
Fforde made light work of Heavy Woollen League visitors AFC Chickenley who were sunk 4-1 through a Kaydan Fishley double plus strikes from Dempsey Smith and Joel Hughes.
HT, on the other hand, are lucky to not be out.
“Showbiz Whites gave us a big scare and we should have been four goals down at half-time,” said Connor. “We weren’t at the races – me included. We eventually woke up in extra time – we didn’t start plying until 12.30pm. We’ll be playing Fforde in the next round but these are the games you want to be involved in.”
Showbiz assistant manager Jonathan West admitted: “We went to HT knowing that the opposition was one of the best clubs in Leeds.
“But the first half was total domination and we can only blame missed chances as the game should of been put to bed by half time. It was a fantastic cup tie for the spectators.”
It was more straightforward for big guns Halton Moor who eased to a 3-0 success at Sandy Lane through a Steven Copley double and Mickey Nelson strike.
But two Leeds Combination League top flight sides did come a cropper with previously unbeaten Seacroft WMC Athletic losing 4-2 at Bolton Woods.
Away goals from Liam Robinson and Jason Kitchen failed to prevent Seacroft’s first loss of the season.
Leeds City Rovers also went out after a 4-1 loss on penalties to visiting King George of the Wakefield Sunday League. The game was tied 2-2 after 90 minutes and extra time.
But JB Celtic - from the Leeds Combination League Premier - recorded an impressive 2-0 success at Fryston AFC of the Castleford Sunday League.
Ferrybridge Progressive are now the sole remaining team from the Castleford Sunday League following their 4-0 success at home to Heavy Woollen League leaders Birkenshaw.
The Cas League’s Pontefract Ex-Servicemens suffered a 5-1 reverse at the Claro League’s Kirk Deighton Rangers. The Claro League’s FC Boston were felled 6-1 at Ilkley Dyanmo.
Two teams are left from the Heavy Woollen League including Thornhill Lees who romped to a 9-0 success at Bradshaw AFC. Towngate were also 3-0 winners at home to Thornbury Celtic.
Chapel Street Whites – the sole remaining entry from the Leeds Sunday League – were dumped out after a 5-0 loss at home to Canal Tavern.