Otley Town 2 Halifax Irish 1

Two second-half goals from Fred Ash enabled last year’s beaten finalists Otley Town to progress to the second round of the West Riding County Challenge Cup.

But it was a far from comfortable success in a match played in near-perfect conditions, a flat and true pitch bathed in warm sunshine.

Unfortunately Otley’s display was not as hot as the weather but after falling behind in the fourth minute they recovered their poise and eventually ran out winners.

Town’s followers were stunned when the visitors went ahead. A fifth-minute corner was fired across the home goal and turned in by an Irish player.

Otley’s Ben Greenhow had a chance to equalise after ten minutes but the shot against the keeper’s legs after breaking through.

Town were getting going now and Luke Danskin and Scott Cater had chances to score but both shot wide.

An Irish defender also headed a shot off the line as Town stepped up their attacking efforts.

Just before half-time Cater had a firm header saved by the keeper and Joe Hendrie saw his shot hit the post. Town continued to take the game to their opponents in the second half.

It was beginning to look like one of those unfortunate afternoons when Cater put Chris Alderston through and his shot rebounded to safety off the bar.

Otley final drew level when Danskin released Ash and he drew the keeper before slotting home.

The same player scored the winner with eight minutes left. The goal meant Otley had sealed their place in the next round.

Town return to league action on Saturday when they visit Bardsey for a Premier Division fixture.