BOSS Danny O’Hearne says there’s no chance of complacency at high-flying Whitkirk Wanderers after Saturday’s 5-1 success at Kippax got his men up and running for 2016.
After being relegated from the West Yorkshire Premier in 2014, Whitkirk look well-poised for a return two years later as the weekend’s victory put them second. Braces from Oliver Mallinson and Stephen Copley plus a Cathal O’Hare strike put Wanderers six points behind leaders Stanley United with two games in hand after 13 games of the current campaign. O’Hearne, though, is keen to stress there are still 13 games to go.
“We were excellent on Saturday, it was a real team performance and that win kept us up there fighting but there’s still a long way to go yet.” said O’Hearne.
“It’d be easy to look at our results and performances and get ahead of ourselves but we know that we’re only halfway and we just need to focus on the next game. There’s no pressure on the lads at all, we’re not feeling it because we know there’s a long way to go, but of course it’s great to be up there.
“We hadn’t played since the beginning of December but we’d continued our normal training and really pushed ourselves through the Christmas break and I think that showed on Saturday. I think we also have to look forward too. It’s all about the next game but we have some new players in this team that have complimented the existing ones perfectly, so it’s exciting to see if they’re already gelling, how this can take us forward for the future. We know there’s a long way to go, though.
“This is the halfway point so the next half will have to be a massive shift. Anybody can beat anybody in this league; one-off game and it can completely change your season.”
In Saturday’s only other Division One game, an early Ben Jones strike failed to save Boroughbridge from a 3-1 loss at Aberford Albion.
In the Premier, Leeds City moved fifth with a 4-1 triumph at home to Wyke Wanderers as an Andrew Crossland brace was supported by strikes from Mitchell Cameron and Barrie Frankland. James Stansfield netted for Wyke.
Hall Green United moved top of Division Two with a 5-2 defeat of visiting Normanton Woodhouse Hill, while Ossett Common Rovers edged a basement battle with visiting Garforth Rangers 2-1 with goals from Richard Ryan and Matthew Redgwick.
In the League Cup, Premier high-flyers Horbury Town obliged 3-1 at Division One leaders Stanley United with strikes from Gibril Bojang, Kieran Corley and Neil Samardzija in the face of a home Stuart Davies strike.
Ossett Albion upset visiting Knaresborough Town 2-1 with a late Alex Ferguson winner after an earlier Patrick Hoyle strike with Lewis Pye the solitary score for Town.
Shelley also romped to a 6-0 win at Middleton Park.
BEESTON ST Anthony’s Reserves continued their club’s fine form as a 4-0 victory at Oxenhope Recreation Reserves booked a place in the County Challenge Trophy fourth round.
Beeston’s first team are top of the West Yorkshire Premier and Saints Reserves have won ten games out of ten in Alliance Division One.
Oxenhope Recreation Reserves, who have won 13 out of 13 in the same division, provided the County Trophy third-round opposition and doubles from Aaron Connor and Danny Walker sealed a straight-forward passage into the last 32.
Saints will now visit Golcar United Reserves in the fourth round in which there was one tie played at the weekend as Newsome Reserves obliged 4-0 at home to Pontefract Town.
One game survived in the County Challenge Cup with Lower Hopton moving into the fourth round with a 5-0 verdict at home to Altofts.
A home clash with Brighouse Old Boys awaits in the last 16.
Four games got the go-ahead in the West Riding County Amateur League with Littletown moving sixth with a 2-1 victory at ninth-placed Kirkburton. Goals from Richard Newman and George Porter outweighed a home Adam Daffern strike.
Campion Reserves moved fifth in Division One with a 3-1 success at home to third-bottom Steeton Reserves.
Stephen Pearson struck for Steeton, who were beaten by efforts from Chris Hellewell, Aaron Metcalfe and Graeme Sides. Thornton United moved top of Division Two on goal difference after thrashing basement club visitors Lower Hopton Reserves 14-2 as John Selby, Danny Walker and substitute Daniel Cunningham all hit hat-tricks.
Golcar United Reserves also obliged 2-1 at Bradford FC in the Division Two Cup with goals from Joshua Lang and Kieron Lawrence.