West Yorkshire League: White Rose blossoming after short transition period

Danny Middleton shoots for Sherburn White against visitors Featherstone Colliery. PIC: Steve Riding
Danny Middleton shoots for Sherburn White against visitors Featherstone Colliery. PIC: Steve Riding
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manager Neil McClure has set Sherburn White Rose’s long-term sites on the West Yorkshire Premier after Saturday’s 2-1 defeat of Featherstone Colliery continued their season’s renaissance.

Sherburn lost 7-1 at Stanley United on the opening day of the season and had to wait until their fourth game of the season – at Featherstone – to bag a point.

But six Division One victories out of 10 have since followed giving McClure plenty of optimism for both the long- and even short-term.

Sherburn now sit eighth and six points behind second-placed East End Park and McClure reasoned: “Our goals from the beginning of the season have changed quite a considerable amount to be honest. We were a club in transition at the beginning of the season with not much idea of where we would go.

“But now we have started to build a really talented squad and our aim now is to finish as high as possible and then eventually with the aim to get promotion into the Premier Division. We’re still on two cup runs, one which we are in the semi-final of so there is so much potential for us as a squad to have a successful season this year. However, I really do want us to balance the two; I want a high league finish and a cup; the lads have the confidence, commitment and the desire every time they go out and they deserve both!”

Just three West Yorkshire League first team games survived the backlash of Storm Desmond on Saturday with Sherburn recovering from going 1-0 down to a Craig Hewitt strike for 12th-placed Fev.

But after a change of tactics, goals from Aaron Hodgson and Danny Middleton turned the game on its head.

“It was absolutely fantastic to see the lads so determined to win the game and in such awful conditions too, they really were a credit to themselves,” McClure said. “Performances like that really inspire the squad and start giving us belief to go on and make something of the season.

“Weather ruined a lot of games at the weekend and we desperately wanted ours to be deemed playable; we were up for it and wanted the three points. It would have been easy for Featherstone to just dominate after they scored but we really did come out fighting.”

“At half time, I swapped the normal 4-4-2 and overloaded the midfield to play to the weather because long balls were just going nowhere in the wind. Once we came back out with new tactics we dominated and I was so proud of their character.”

The only other game in Division Two saw leaders Stanley United held to a 2-2 draw at seventh-placed Boroughbridge who finished the game with 10 men after David Burniston was dismissed for a second yellow card. Duncan Terry and James Tucknott netted for the hosts with Russell Gill and Liam Powell on target for the leaders. In the Premier, Shelley enjoyed a 3-1 victory at home to Hunslet Club to leapfrog their opponents into ninth.

Action from East End Park v Whitkirk Wanderers in West Yorkshire League Division 1. PIC: Steve Riding

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