Stanley United stayed in touch at the top of the Premier Division with a 4-0 defeat of Farnley Sports despite a frustrating fortnight without training facilities.
The Rothwell-based outfit, who transferred from the West Yorkshire League for this season, continue to enjoy a great campaign and boast the only unbeaten record in the top flight.
Despite not being able to train for two weeks before the fixture, they marked their first outing of the new year with a comprehensive win at New Farnley CC.
“It was a really good performance as we weren’t expecting much from it,” club secretary Andrew Eaton commented.
“In previous years the local school have opened up their Astroturf for us over the holidays but they haven’t been able to this year.
“We don’t have floodlights where we play so we had a fortnight off.
“We were wondering whether we’d be fit enough, in the end we did okay.
“Farnley have had a few indifferent results but were only getting beaten by the odd goal so we were expecting a really tough game. It turned out pretty comfortable in the end.”
Youngster Josh Whiteley was the hero with a hat-trick, including a penalty, with Stephen Bettley also finding the target.
Farnley, under Scott Horner, are still going strong in the Marflitt Trophy and Old Boys Shield but have now lost their last three games in the league.
St Nicholas pulled off one of the shocks of the season by breaching fortress Weetwood and inflicting a rare home defeat on Leeds Medics.
Nick’s fell behind to Niall Robinson’s fourth-minute opener and managed to pull a goal back before half-time through Ryan Mills. In the 52nd minute Cameron Lyn combined neatly with Mark Hill and whipped over a fine cross for Ryan Brough who headed home his 12th goal of the season to seal the 2-1 win.
The visitors were indebted to a fine goalkeeping performance from Scott Parker who made several excellent saves to see out the contest.
Meanwhile Farsley Celtic Juniors were once bitten, twice shy as they avenged their only league defeat of the season in style by beating Beeston Juniors 7-0.
Danny Lyons looks set for another prolific year with the Bradford-based side and he helped himself to four goals from a Beeston defence demoralised and 3-0 down at the break. Craig Farrand, Louis Surtees and Josh Maskill, returning to the club after a spell in Australia, completed the rout for the champions.
Stanningley Old Boys beat Trinity 5-3 in an entertaining game at St Theresa’s School.
The away side surged in front with Tom Stewart netting twice only for them to be pegged back by strikes from Dan Morris and Gary Kennedy.
The lead continued to change hands after the interval as Matty Gerraghty scored for Stanningley and Jake Dalley promptly levelled. Trinity hauled themselves back into the game twice, but late goals from Shane Collins and Stewart, completing his hat-trick, eventually sank a side that have now lost five of their last six league games. Elsewhere, Grangefield Old Boys defeated Wigton Moor 4-1 with a brace from Tom Needham and goals from Nick Smith and Kristian Dacre.
Shire Academics had a Nick Renwick hat-trick to thank for a 3-2 win against Thornesians in an early Championship relegation tussle. Joe Cook and Ryan Dobson scored for a Thornesians side that are now on the second-bottom rung on the ladder.
Calverley United and Beeston St Anthony’s shared the spoils as they played out a 2-2 draw at Calverley Park.
Steve Wells, who resigned from Farsley over the new year, opened the scoring from a rebound after missing several early chances but Beeston bit back through Tony Garth’s 25-yard strike and Yousuf Muhammad’s chip.
Beeston have enjoyed a great run to the quarter-finals of the County Cup but couldn’t hold on to their lead as Lucas Edelscen equalised in the second half.
Morley Town are the immovable object at the top of the second tier and they brushed aside bottom side Alwoodley Reserves 4-1 at the Avenue.
Town’s goals came from Chris Pearson, Jovan Kioseff and Aidan Philip, at the double, before Andrew Holding’s consolation goal.
Drighlington, who collide with leaders Morley next week, defeated Collingham Juniors 6-2 at Harewood Road.
This win featured five goals from Brett Thompson and a Danny Moon goal, with Mike Peace and Oliver Robinson on target for the visitors.
In Division One the top two couldn’t be separated as Gildersome Spurs and Leeds Independent drew 1-1, scoring through Dave Denison and Kwame Westermann respectively. Grangefield Reserves and Rothwell, both cut off at the bottom of the third tier, suffered defeats.