AFTER the goal fest of last week at Oxenhope, this was a much more tense affair, with the high flying East End Park looking to build on their good start to the season and maintain their top three position.

Otley started on the front foot with Harry Hawkins coming close with a hooked shot just over, however it soon became apparent that EEP meant business and their neat football combined with a substantial aerial threat began to give some concern to the Otley management.

Notwithstanding this, Otley were dangerous on the break and twice Hawkins went close to opening the scoring. The first when he turned the home defence but shot straight at the visitors keeper and the second with a golden one on one opportunity which went wide, following excellent approach work by Joe Flaherty and Andy Howland.

These however were brief interludes as pressure was building on the home side.

Free kicks and corners were being conceded at an alarming rate and from one coruscating effort, the ball smashed against the Otley post with Joe Greenwood beaten.

After twenty minutes the game changed on a decision about which everyone had an opinion. Ryan Harwood the EEP number 10 went in hard on centre back Grieg Hudson - a clear and obvious foul and one which most observers thought merited a booking. The ref who was very close to the incident immediately produced a red card. This incensed the EEP management but after a lot of argy bargy the decision stood and the visitors were down to ten. Their mood was not enhanced when Luke Coates still smarting from the sending off spoke out of turn and was duly yellow carded and sin binned. Whilst they were reorganising Otley took advantage and went in front with a superbly taken goal from Hawkins neatly played in by Tristan Holdsworth.

Town were now in the ascendancy and there was one last chance for them before the break - Howland bringing out a top save from the away keeper.

The second half started with the visitors back to ten men and judging by the way they began the second period very well reorganised by their coaches. They were dominating possession and looked well in control. Nevertheless Otley again were dangerous on the break - Howland had a snap shot from distance which worried the EEP keeper and then Hawkins played in by Rick Parry once again came within a whisker with a one on one chance which went just wide. These missed chances were potentially expensive because EEP were still in the game and on sixty minutes after a period of dominance they deservedly scored. Their right winger all too easily danced past two Otley defenders and with venom fired home from an angle. This was the wake up call for Otley but credit to them they duly got back on terms as Greig Hudson scored with a towering header from Hawkins’ excellent corner.

At this point one might have thought the visitors would throw in the towel given the disappointment of losing a man so early in the game and then the lead after working so hard to get on terms. And they remained well in the game until another avoidable incident all but finished their afternoon. EEP’s number four again speaking out of turn- earned himself a second yellow card and an early bath.

Town would create four more chances in the final phase of the game - two to Hawkins, one to Hudson with another header and lastly a chance to veteran Howland when could not quite reach a driven cross by Hawkins.

This was a tough game for Town and given the strength of the opposition was an even better win with than the 7-1 from the previous week.

There were several contenders for the Man of the match - but Harry Hawkins was the stand out player on the pitch.

Next week, Town return to the West Riding FA County Challenge Cup with a home fixture against WYAFL Premier side Gomersal and Cleckheaton.

The Reserves face Horsforth St Margaret's away in the County Challenge Trophy and the Thirds travel to Halifax side Denholme United in the Challenge Trophy.

The Fourths make a long visit to Settle United in Craven Division 3.