Yorkshire Amateur League: Farsley make most of Stanley’s slip-up

Johnny Hunt scores for Gildersome Spurs against second division rivals St Bede's OB. PIC: Steve Riding
Johnny Hunt scores for Gildersome Spurs against second division rivals St Bede's OB. PIC: Steve Riding
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Farsley Celtic Juniors beat Grangefield Old Boys 5-2 to surge ahead in a Premier Division title race entering its final throes.

They opened up a four-point lead at the top of the league to take advantage of Stanley United’s slip that saw them soundly beaten by Leeds Medics, 5-1.

Steve Wales scores for Gildersome Spurs against St Bede's.

Steve Wales scores for Gildersome Spurs against St Bede's.

At their best and with their first-choice squad available, the Medics are an irresistible force and with no other team able to inflict defeat on Stanley this season, they have done so twice and both by 5-1 scorelines.

Their manager, Steve Ledger, went on record to say that his side will have a big say in who lifts the title and he was proven right at Rothwell on Saturday.

Top scorer Brad Chambers ran the home side ragged – making the most of the wide open spaces of Stanley’s home pitch – to the tune of four goals, as Johnny McGahan provided the other from the penalty spot.

Andrew Eaton’s side were without key man Jimmy Greenhough but found themselves deservedly beaten by the solid defensive work and insistent pressing of the Medics.

Jake Bell shoots for Gildersome Spurs against St Bede's. PIC: Steve Riding

Jake Bell shoots for Gildersome Spurs against St Bede's. PIC: Steve Riding

Kieran Wright bagged their consolation and substitute Joe Childs was later red-carded.

Holders Farsley Celtic only held a slender lead for much of their defeat of Grangefield at Weetwood but a late show took them over the line at a canter.

Craig Farrand’s opener was the only goal of the first half and this was cancelled out shortly after the resumption, with the hosts pulling it back to 2-2 after conceding – although there was a suggestion of handball in Andy Kenyon’s leveller.

Grangefield were gradually tired out by Farsley’s passing play and the table-toppers notched up four second-half goals through Danny Lyons, Joe Firth, Louis Surtees and Josh Maskill.

The meeting of the top two this weekend is a mouth-watering prospect and could go some way to deciding whether the title will head west or south this season. Farsley have a tougher run-in than rivals Stanley United, with Alwoodley left to play twice and a potentially tricky tie against St Nicholas to close out the league season.

Nick’s drew 2-2 in a competitive clash with Stanningley Old Boys at Hough Top.

St Nicholas deservedly went into half-time at 2-0 up- thanks to goals from Ryan Brough and Ryan Mills – before Stanningley responded after a half-time talking-to with two quick strikes, a Josh Proctor header and a decent finish from Shane Collins.

Elsewhere in the Premier Division, an experimental Ealandians side provided some encouragement for next season by beating already-relegated Trinity 2-0.

Dom Finn and Andy Hudson notched the goals for the fourth-placed side at St Theresa’s School, with Trinity preparing for life in the Championship next season.

The final of the Yorkshire Old Boys Shield will be contested between Farnley Sports and St Mary’s Yarm, of the Teesside League, after last weekend’s semi-final contests.

Farnley’s first-half performance took them to a commanding 5-2 win over second-tier side Morley Town, who will be disappointed by their performance at Old Earth, the home of Huddersfield Amateur.

Scott Horner’s side were 3-0 up in the first 15 minutes with Mark Ferguson notching and Liam Copland bagging an early brace on 8 and 14 minutes.

Ash Crooks made it four in the 32nd minute and it couldn’t get much worse for Morley, although they recovered significantly after the break with Ryan Hartley scoring twice.

“The players should all be proud of their achievements this season as I know how hard everyone works to make our club a success,” Horner enthused.

“Hopefully we can now go on and win our first and second major trophies!”

They have also reached the final of the Marflitt Trophy.

Alwoodley were beaten by a single, 61st-minute goal from Yarm which slipped through the dive of their excellent keeper Luke Chadwick.

Alwoodley created their chances as usual but failed to take them, as five corners in the last four minutes told a story of their attacking intent.

“It was all a little too tentative in the first half,” manager Brett Gaunt said.

“It needed someone to do something a bit more dynamic to open St Mary’s up and it just never came.”

Gildersome Spurs sealed promotion from Division One with a 5-2 defeat of their closest rivals St Bede’s.

Bede’s hold on the second automatic spot is threatened by Horsforth St Margaret’s, 6-1 winners over Leeds Medics III, who have five games in hand on them and a 12 point gap to make up.

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