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Ben Clough fires Bingley Bees to league summit
Captain Ben Clough scored a late winner for Bingley Bees as they beat Driffield Seconds 2-1 in the Yorkshire League to leapfrog their opponents at the top of Division Five North.
It was a must-win game for both sides in their pursuit of the title and the Bees started swiftly, passing well and working hard off the ball.
A large percentage of the early play was in the Driffield half and Bingley had several chances but stout defending by the visitors kept the contest scoreless until the 24th minute.
Jason Johnson controlled the ball confidently inside the D and fired a reverse-stick flick past the unsuspecting defence and goalkeeper.
Driffield came out more determined in the second half and the game opened up considerably until they equalised ten minutes from time to set up a frantic finale.
The Bees redoubled their efforts and a short corner led to Clough finding the bottom corner of the net with a strong drag flick.
The last five minutes saw Driffield surge forward looking to draw level again but solid midfield play from Bingley saw them home.
In contrast, Bingley’s ladies' team slipped back to the foot of the Premier Division – after pulling clear of the relegation zone the previous week – as they lost 4-0 at fellow strugglers Harrogate Seconds.
There was also a setback for the mid-table ladies second team as they were beaten 2-1 at home to high-flying University of Leeds Fifths.
The Bees took an early lead as Sarah Eaton’s precise pass from the right was met by striker Jane Sharkey, who was waiting to challenge the Leeds keeper.
But the advantage was shortlived as second-placed Leeds picked up their pace and equalised almost immediately past stand-in keeper Michelle Clarke-McCulloch.
Jenny Bone excelled in defence as Bingley worked hard to prevent any further leaks but the students used their youth to eventually score again before the interval.
Leeds appeared to adopt a more physical approach in the second half, with strong challenges going unpunished and, despite valiant efforts from Sharkey and Bone, the hosts were unable to draw level.