A rollicking from manager Mark Halmshaw went some way to ensuring last season’s treble winners Beeston St Anthony’s are still fighting on all fronts when it comes to silverware this season, after they sidestepped a League Cup scare against Leeds Modernians on Saturday.
Having played into a huge down-field gale in the first half, the reigning champions limped into the break trailing the second-tier outfit 2-0, before Halmshaw dusted off the hairdryer and made his feelings known to his players.
“We just didn’t compete in that first half,” he said, “I told them that they had to be more competitive, win more tackles, press harder and win their individual battles. It was vital that we stepped up in every department. There was a lot of negativity out there about the fact there were a few first-team players absent, and I had to let them know there were no excuses.”
A goal apiece for the in-form duo of Danny Claxton and Adam Plattew had put Mods in the ascendancy, and Beeston had to wait until the hour mark to score, courtesy of an Alex Houghton strike. Matthew Nebard bagged eight minutes later to restore parity, before Sean Jevons and Aaron Connor both scored in injury time to break Mods hearts and send Beeston through 4-2.
“The conditions played a big part in the game,” Halmshaw admitted. “We chose to go into the wind in the first half and for the entirety of that half, they were better than us.
“We had five reserve players in the side and we all agreed that we had to work harder to get the result. I told them that the side was good enough to beat them, and thankfully they went out and proved me right.”
Halmshaw’s side are still in every competition they have entered this season, including the County Champions Cup. They sit ninth in the Premier Division table having played just 13 games, and despite last year’s runners-up Carlton having won each of their 15 games this season and boasting an 18-point cushion, the Beeston manager has warned that all isn’t over when it comes to the title.
“We can’t do anything about Carlton yet, they’re just doing their job and you can’t fault them. We’ve still got to play them twice and whilst it’s hard to put too much pressure on them from ninth, we won’t give up on the league until it’s mathematically impossible.”
Beeston are joined in the next round of the League Cup by Ilkley Town, who saw off the challenge of the top tier’s bottom side, Brighouse Old Boys, in an ill-tempered affair.
Matthew Hawkes saw red after 50 minutes for Ilkley, before a brawl between Ilkley skipper Danny Bott and Brighouse’s Lee Williams saw both players sent off on the hour mark.
Adam Fowler bagged a brace for the home side and there were goals for Lee Spires and Adam Davey, whilst Luke Hammond bagged a consolation goal.
There were more dismissals at Horbury, where the home side upset the odds to overturn Pool.
Josh Stacey hit the game’s solitary goal on half-time before he was sent off, as was Pool’s Jordan Wagstaff.
Two top-tier league games were played, including at Wetherby Athletic, who went down to a Karim Ibrahim-inspired Hunslet Club, who rose to seventh. Shelley beat Robin Hood Athletic 2-1.
In the second tier, table toppers Hall Green United bounced back from the loss of their unbeaten record last week to beat Whitkirk Wanderers 3-1 thanks to a double from Michael Amos and a goal from Billy Mole.
Further down the table, sixth-placed East End Park hammered Old Centralians 6-1 and Aberford Albion beat Boroughbridge 5-2.
All other games were postponed.
In Division Two, seventh-placed Kellingley Welfare shocked the league by inflicting Rawdon Old Boys’ second defeat of the league season.
Robert Anderson and Scott Wilson scored for the home side in a 2-1 win.