BOSS Danny Walsh is hailing a grassroots giant-killing of ‘real’ significance after decking Carlton Athletic in the Leeds & District FA Senior Challenge Cup, writes LEE SOBOT.
Walsh, renowned for his long-term involvement with former Sunday league giants Halton Moor, has made the switch to Saturday football this term as manager of Real Moor FC. And while the newly-formed side were handed arguably the toughest draw of all in the first round of the District Cup against West Yorkshire League heavyweights, Carlton, goals from Roy Stamer and Robert Dickinson gave Walsh’s men a ‘shock’ 2-1 victory.
Defeat for Carlton came after eight successive wins in the West Yorkshire Premier, but Walsh’s men have won three out of three in the Wakefield League top flight with the Moor manager hoping the only way is up.
“The result means everything to me and puts a statement out there that the Moor can still put a good side together at amateur level,” beamed Walsh. “It was the first round of the Elland Road Cup and I would say Carlton were the favourites to win it.
“Carlton are the best around the West Yorkshire leagues at the minute and, with all respect, it shows they have a great side and play some very tidy football.
“It’s like a giant killing for us at amateur level.
“The swap from Sunday to Saturday football was the last straw for me – with so many great years at Sunday football, only to have the last few years being soul destroying for the club.
“But I wanted to still see if I had something left to give, so I applied for the Wakefield League and asked to go straight in the Premier.
“It seems to be easier to get players on Saturdays so hopefully there’s many seasons more to come from the Moor.”
Moor will face a trip to either Grangefield Old Boys or Beechwood Gate in round two after their clash was abandoned.
On the contrary to Carlton, there were no problems for West Yorkshire League champions Beeston St Anthony’s who progressed with a 5-1 success at home to Leeds Modernians. Beeston will visit Yorkshire Amateurs – who had a bye – in round two. But Leeds City were dumped out of the competition after a 4-2 loss on penalties at Yorkshire Amateur League hosts St Nicholas who held City to an initial 2-2 draw. Nicks keeper Scott Parker saved two penalties in the shoot-out.
A trip to Robin Hood Athletic awaits in the second round after Athletic beat visiting Stanningley Old Boys 4-0.
Whitkirk Wanderers eased into the next round with a 3-0 win at home to Rothwell AFC.
A trip to Halton Moor’s Saturday side awaits after Halton obliged 3-1 at Trinity All Saints. Old Centralians chalked up the rounds’ biggest score in hammering visiting Westbrook YMCA 10-0.
They will now host Alwoodley who obliged 2-1 at Farnley Sports.
Headingley AFC beat visiting East End Park AFC 7-2 to set up a second round derby at home to FC Headingley who had a bye.
Leeds Medics & Dentists beat visiting Wigton Moor 2-0 and will now host Stanley United who triumphed 1-0 at Shire Academics. Farsley Celtic Juniors will also entertain Hunslet Club AFC in round two after both teams received byes.
WEST YORKSHIRE LEAGUE
‘Keep calm and carry on’ is the simple message of Pool AFC manager Paul Newsome as his side stretched their unbeaten run to four games with a 2-1 win over Ilkley, writes ALEX MILLER.
The Premier Division side, whose run has catapulted them up to fifth after an inconsistent start to the season, had a contentious Jamie Algar strike and an own goal courtesy of Harry Higgins to thank for their win in a tight game that Newsome admits could’ve gone either way.
Having grappled control of the game and gone 2-0 up, a mislaid pass from defence allowed in-form Ilkley midfielder Matt Tolleson to score and set up a white knuckle last 10 minutes. Two good saves and a brace of missed chances ensured Pool claimed the three points.
Having been in a few different league structures and ‘yo-yoing’ between the top two divisions in the past few seasons, Newsome is keen to keep a lid on the club’s expectations this year and keep an eye on the bigger picture. The club’s junior section has been strengthened and time and effort is going in behind the scenes to ensure a bright future for the club.
“I don’t want us to get carried away,” said the Pool boss. “To finish between fifth and eighth in the division would be a big achievement for us. This season should be about stability, building towards next season and adding to what we’ve got.
“There are some really good teams like Beeston, Carlton, Field and Leeds City with a far bigger pool of players to choose from and I think we punch above our weight a fair bit in all honesty. We’re a small village club at the end of the day. A strong bench makes all the difference in this league and we don’t really have the luxury of that at times. To really compete, strength in depth is the key.
“We’re doing well and we just need to carry on with what we’re doing.”
Further down the table in the division’s only other fixture of the weekend, Hunslet Club moved to 11th with a 2-0 win over Horbury Town. Goals from Gareth Groves and substitute Karim Ibrahim did the damage for the visitors, who have put some breathing room between them and a relegation scrap that already sees five teams, including Ilkley, within two points of the drop zone.
In the solitary Division One fixture of the weekend, a 4-3 win moved Howden Clough into fifth despite a spirited performance by strugglers Otley Town, who remain 15th. The result is their third league victory on the spin, and having scored four goals in each of those games, they will see no reason why they can’t continue their rich vein of form against 14th-placed Whitkirk Wanderers.
In Division Two, there were hat-tricks for Craig Nicholls, Ben Durrant and Paul Butler as Rawdon Old Boys continued their irrepressible form by dismissing Great Preston 13-0. A double for Chris Softley and strikes for Oliver Nightingale and Oliver Leslie completed the scoring as the leaders continued their perfect start to the season and stretched their goal difference to 64 in just eight games.
AFC Horsforth remain hot on their heels in third as they thrashed Ripon City 10-2, whilst drop-scrapping Garforth Rangers recorded their first win of the season, 3-2 over an hitherto in-from Baildon Trinity Athletic.
In Division One of the Alliance reserves set-up, the goals were shared around as Huddersfield Amateur put seven unanswered goals past Brighouse Old Boys, fifth-placed Field edged out bottom side Wyke Wanderers 2-1, and Oxenhope Recreation beat Horbury Town 4-2.
Shelley made it eight from eight in Alliance Division Two as they beat Sherburn WR 4-2, Ilkley Town’s woes continued with a 6-3 defeat to Hall Green, Kippax beat Otley Town 7-1, and Aberford Albion earned a point with a 3-3 draw at Hartshead.