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Bolton Woods win an ideal warm-up for cup contest
Nine matches were played in the latest round of Bradford Sunday Alliance League fixtures but many clubs were again left frustrated by waterlogged pitches.
One of the games to take place saw fourth-placed Bolton Woods edge out mid-table Relay 2-1 to lift them closer to the Premier Division top three.
This served as a useful warm-up as Woods prepare for their West Riding County FA Sunday Cup quarter-final at Thornhill Lees, which hopefully will get the all clear at the fifth time of asking.
One other top-flight match survived and it proved an important one for Thornton United, who eased their relegation fears with a 4-1 win at fellow strugglers George Hotel.
It meant United climbed out of the bottom two on goal difference at the expense of their opponents, who have also played two games more.
Mill Lane remain bottom, three points behind Thornton and George Hotel and four adrift of a trio of clubs – including Relay – who will be anxiously looking over their shoulder.
Amazingly this was Clayton’s final league game of the season, although they have the benefit of playing on an artificial surface to beat the rain.
The weekend defeat means they are nine points clear at the summit but Eccleshill have seven games in hand, while third-placed Queensbury and Greenwood – who have ten games to play – could also reel them in.
Clayton were indebted to their goalkeeper for some smart early saves before Eccleshill did take the lead as Sam Thom headed home from a Chris Robson corner.
Steven Kennedy equalised with a penalty before the interval but Eccleshill raced out of the blocks after the restart to move 3-1 up through Andy Corker and Joe Sanderson.
Paul Exley reduced the arrears from close range but the Robson-Thom corner combination worked well again to make it 4-2 before man of the match Joe Sanderson added the final goal.