Yorkshire Amateur League: Farsley and United in two-horse race for top-tier title

Jimmy Greenhough, of Stanley United, slides in at Alwoodley. PIC: Steve Riding
Jimmy Greenhough, of Stanley United, slides in at Alwoodley. PIC: Steve Riding
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Alwoodley will look back on a host of missed chances as they drew 1-1 with Premier Division leaders Stanley United at the Avenue.

This was a crunch game between two sides with title aspirations, but Alwoodley’s inability to inflict a first league defeat of the season on Stanley means they are out of the race to win it.

Stanley United's 
Leroy Watson shoots against Alwoodley. PIC: Steve Riding

Stanley United's Leroy Watson shoots against Alwoodley. PIC: Steve Riding

Once again Callum Armstrong gave them a lead going into half-time with his 19th goal of the campaign.

Stanley threatened throughout and the home side missed two penalties, one saved by goalkeeper Luke Faint, to give them a way back into the game,

They snatched this opportunity on 69 minutes, as full-back Russell Gill floated over a freekick from 35 yards out that sailed over the head of keeper Luke Chadwick.

Rothwell-based United have a good chance of winning the Premier Division in their first season since moving from the West Yorkshire League, with their loss to Leeds Medics & Dentists in the Terry Marflitt Trophy the only defeat they have suffered in any competition.

Russell Gill fires high with this free kick for Stanley. PIC: Steve Riding

Russell Gill fires high with this free kick for Stanley. PIC: Steve Riding

It is a two-way race, then, between Stanley and Farsley Celtic Juniors with the revitalised reigning champions dismantling Ealandians 7-0 at Elland Cricket Club.

After Barry Thirsk had made his players aware of the need for a reaction after last week’s Medics defeat, they responded to go 2-0 up by the interval and hit five in the second half to humble Ealandians.

Danny Lyons helped himself to a hat-trick that took his tally for the season to 27, while the newly-reliable Josh Maskill hit two and Louis Surtees and Paul Dockerty also found the net.

Celtic have a shot at retribution tonight as they face the Medics in the first semi-final of the Marflitt Trophy at Liversedge.

Elsewhere, Beeston Juniors showed great application in beating Stanningley Old Boys 3-0 at Cardinal Square.

Both sides have struggled to gain consistency of late, both winning two and losing two of their last four games, but Stanningley were well-beaten in this one.

George Lazaro bagged a brace either side of half-time to form the backbone of the win, which an own goal was added to in the 78th minute.

Lower down the table, Farnley Sports put a point on the board in drawing 2-2 with Grangefield Old Boys as both sides drew themselves away from the relegation place.

The Farnley goals came from regular source Shane Gaunt and Mark Ferguson, cancelled out by Grant Jackson and Andy Kenyon for the visitors.

With only one side facing the drop, Trinity & All Saints are more or less condemned to relegation for the Championship and their 3-0 loss to St Nicholas did little to change that.

Nick’s moved into fifth with strikes from Ryan Brough, Andy Miller and Mark Hill.

There was significant movement at the top of the second tier with Drighlington leading the league thanks to a 2-0 win against Calverley United at Adwalton Moor.

A Ryan Rhodes double sealed the three points and it could have been a wider margin had the post not denied Drig on a couple of occasions.

With Bob Greenwood’s side looking like an immovable object at the top, the battle for the second automatic promotion spot intensified between Mount St Mary’s and Morley Town.

St Mary’s took an impressive 1-0 win from Collingham Juniors thanks to Danny Powell’s goal, with Morley surprisingly dropping points with a 3-2 defeat to Wortley.

A miraculous turn of events would have to transpire to see Alwoodley Reserves avoid relegation but they gave themselves an outside chance by beating second bottom Thornesians 4-2.

In a middle-of-the-table clash, Beeston St Anthony’s and Shire Academics drew 3-3.

Matters of promotion as good as decided in Division One with Gildersome Spurs and St Bede’s the two sides who will be competing in the Championship next season.

Gildersome strolled to a 6-1 defeat of Farsley Celtic Reserves and Bede’s kept up their six-match winning run by seeing Grangefield Reserves off 4-1.

Meanwhile, two sides who have seen their promotion hopes frustratingly fade couldn’t be separated as Horsforth St Margaret’s drew 1-1 with Leeds Independent.

There were 2-2 and 3-3 draws respectively between Huddersfield YMCA and Rothwell and Dewsbury Rangers and Garforth Rangers.

In Division Two, Idle racked up their eighth win in nine games by defeating Morley Town Reserves 3-0.

Collegians and Ealandians Reserves look set to fight it out for the second promotion place, with the former six points in front but having played three games more.

Dan Daly of Beeston St Anthony's.

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