Stephen Booth boosts Bingley Bees title push

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Mel Burgess scoops in a shot to score Bingley’s consolation goal against Leeds - Picture: Michael Wood Mel Burgess scoops in a shot to score Bingley’s consolation goal against Leeds - Picture: Michael Wood

Bingley Bees overcame travelling with a smaller squad than usual due to unavailabilities to win 5-0 at Acomb Seconds as they maintained their Yorkshire Hockey League title pursuit.

Stephen Booth scored twice as the Bees eased to victory in Division Five North, where they find themselves second behind York University Thirds.

Bingley can draw level on points if they win their game in hand but are currently eight adrift on goal difference after the students improved their tally by plus nine in each of their last two fixtures.

Acomb enjoyed the majority of early possession but the Bees went ahead with just about their first attack as Jason Johnson tapped the ball over the line after the home keeper failed to clear.

Michael Crawshaw doubled the lead six minutes later and Bingley snuffed out further Acomb threats before Booth made it 3-0 in the 22nd minute, making for a relaxed half-time team talk from skipper Ben Clough.

Acomb pushed forward again after the break looking to get a foothold in the game but paid a heavy price as a Bees breakaway saw their keeper up against three strikers, with Chris Silberberg taking advantage when faced by an empty net.

Bingley continued to cause their hosts all sorts of problems and it was no surprise to see Booth get his second goal of the day as he shot past the wrong-footed keeper.

Meanwhile, time is running out for Bingley’s ladies to escape relegation as they find themselves bottom of the Premier Division table with just three games to go after a 5-1 home defeat to Leeds Seconds.

The fourth-placed visitors were a quick team, with fast and accurate passing leading to three first-half goals.

The Bees looked to bounce back after the interval and were rewarded when a short corner by Sarah Kellett to the top of the D led to Mel Burgess scooping a shot over the keeper’s head for an excellent goal.

But despite their best efforts to reduce the deficit further, it was Leeds who added to their tally as they cashed in on a number of penalty corners.

Gaynor Fisher was named man of the match for her tenacity up front, while Michelle Clarke-McCulloch, Jo Dean, Cath Burgess, Claire Staniland and Kirsty Matthews also impressed.

The Bingley ladies second team were without a match, leaving them seventh in Division Four.

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