DON'T let the score line kid you. This game was ballistic and should have finished 8-8 all at least such were the guilt edged chances created and missed throughout the 90 minutes.
The 3G pitch didn’t help Otley with their passing game - the ball exploding every time it bounced. Shifting the ball, short or long, was a real problem due to the overload of rubber pellet on the surface.
It was however the same for both teams and early on it didn’t seem to bother Featherstone as they were all over Otley. In fact, but for the heroics of stand-in keeper Jonny Unwin, they could have been 3 up after fifteen minutes.
That was how long it took Otley to settle into the game.
Reset - Otley now all over Featherstone and four great chances. Harry Hawkins nearly knocked the home keeper over with a power drive, then proceeded to miss two relatively easy chances when through (the pitch wasn’t helping the young striker). Next to miss was Mr Consistent - Rick Parry - surely not - and now a superb pile drive volley from Mitchell Lambert Tuthill that fizzed past the post. This game is crazy.
In between times the Featherstone keeper was inspired saving everything that was thrown at him. Could this go on - yes it could - back came the home team with more pressure and more chances. Half time everyone drew a breath.
Featherstone started the second as they had the first - massive pressure on Otley. Their game plan was to long pass the ball up to their experienced number 9 who would bring their two speedy wingers in to play. And it was working - Otley were on the rack again. Just as well the home players fluffed their lines when, not once, but several times through on goal.
Something had to give - Otley rang the changes - on came Jack Richmond, Ryan Cox and Callan Parker-Wells and the fresh legs made a difference. It was Otley’s time to turn the screw. Parker Wells shooting from distance fired great shots which were inches away from scoring.
Who would break the deadlock? - Otley and Andy Howland would!
The veteran of probably 500 football matches and a great ambassador for local football - scored with an absolute stunner. A great corner hit with pace by Cox was met with a perfectly timed bullet header from the penalty spot that was in the back of the net before anyone moved. This was on 60 minutes. So 30 minutes remaining where both teams would continue to miss one chance after another. Your turn now my turn.
And to cap it all in the last minutes, Otley started to give away needless free kicks - and Featherstone thought they’d rescued a point they probably deserved when their set piece hit the post, rolled along the line and was cleared to safety.
This wasn’t a vintage performance by Otley Town but ultimately - (somehow) a clean sheet, 3 points and second in the table. Match point for the least mistakes went to skipper Rick Parry.
Elsewhere, Reserves lost 3-0 to Beeston St Anthony's, Thirds drew 2-2 with Grindleton and Fourths lost 2-1 at Rolls Royce.
Next up Firsts face Reserves in Wharfedale & District FA Challenge Cup, Thirds travel to Barnoldswick Barons and Fourths host AFC Crossleys.
An all round great victory for Otley and they now find themselves second in the table,  with nine games played, so  a great start for Town.          REPORT BY: Graham McGee