Beeston Juniors have been turning heads in the Premier Division and now have the scalp of Stanley United to match the plaudits, beating them 3-1 at Rothwell Sports Club.
Beeston lost their first three games of the season, including a frustrating 1-0 defeat in the Marflitt Trophy to Alwoodley, but have garnered praise for their hardworking approach.
Inflicting defeat on title contenders Stanley last weekend – only the fourth time they’ve lost since joining from West Yorkshire League last summer – has got them off and running.
Stanley led 1-0 at half-time through a Kieran Wright strike but the Rothwell side dominated the second half to run out convincing victors.
Two goals in three minutes from Jamie Mitchell and Ryan Dawson put the game out of the visitors’ reach, before Declan Campbell finished things off in the 85th minute.
Beeston moved up to eighth with their first win while Stanley stay in fourth.
The top flight’s draw specialists, Grangefield Old Boys, drew 1-1 with St Nicholas at Woodhall.
Nick’s took the lead against the run of play after riding out the first 15 minutes with Ahmed Mohammed converting a penalty.
The away side had several chances to increase their lead but found Tom Needham in supreme form in goal, repelling two excellent shots in particular.
Regular goalscorer Shaun Gaunt levelled, capitalising on good work from the returning Chris Cairns and Ritchie Banks.
With his side pushing for the winner in the second half, Banks went on to commit what was labelled as the ‘worst miss ever seen in amateur football’ and only he will know how he failed to score from two yards.
This and the stout defensive work of man of the match Ishmail Mills saw Grangefield frustrated in being held to their third stalemate of the season, a competitive game that was well refereed by Craig Hainsworth.
In the Championship, Mount St Mary’s slipped to an unexpected 3-2 defeat to a youthful Thornesians at Horbury Road.
Thornesians have been buoyed by their cup exploits – a 4-2 first-round Marflitt success over a strong Rothwell side – but fell 2-0 down early on through George Kovacs and Tom Sheridan.
The hosts’ youthful makeup, boasting nine players aged 23 or under, helped them grow in strength as the game went on with an Andrew Waterson spot-kick changing the game. Cameron Vine and Harry Lee netted in the second half to put the seal on the result.
A Jordan Talbot treble helped Shire Academics beat seventh-placed Leeds Independent 3-1 at Gledhow Lane. Talbot’s hat-trick came before the break to take his season’s tally to eight, a league high.
Azekya Jeffers got his name on the scoresheet but not even the best efforts of talisman Damon Jenkinson could overhaul the deficit. Division One’s local derby between Ealandians Reserves and Collegians ended 1-1 in somewhat acrimonious circumstances.
The controversy centred on Josh Orchard’s opener, which cannoned off the bar and down, with the Ealandians keeper seemingly able to scramble it away before it fully crossed the line.
Most present felt he had done so but the referee gave the goal amid protests.
David Kerr got the Ealandians leveller later on, with Andy Campbell getting the man of the match award.
Rothwell climbed to the top of the third tier with a 4-1 victory over Garforth Rangers, having led 3-0 at the break.
Rothwell’s scorers were Nick Oldroyd, Joe Childerson, Charlie Holt and Ian McBurney.
Sky Blues’ horrendous run of five straight league defeats continued in ruinous fashion with a 6-1 defeat to Farsley Celtic Juniors Reserves.
In Division Two, Farnley Sports came unstuck at the hands of a highly impressive Morley Town Reserves who stormed to a commanding 5-1 victory.
Eighth-placed Trinity ground out a praiseworthy 1-1 draw from their trip to Fairbank United in second place.
Colton Athletic overcame their inconsistency to turn out winners of a five-goal thriller against Huddersfield Amateur which saw Chris Hick get his 12th goal of the campaign. Garforth Crusaders won 2-1 at Tyersal on a horribly windy day on a rain-soaked pitch.
In Division Three, Morley Town Reserves beat Leeds Modernians 2-1 while Lepton Highlanders surprisingly beat Shire Reserves 5-3.
Prospect continue to impress in Division Four, putting nine goals past Beeston Juniors Reserves with a hat-trick from Kingsley Rowe-Depass.
Gildersome Spurs Reserves also racked up the goals, thrashing Dewsbury Rangers Reserves 7-0, while Leeds City OB III hit Thornesians Reserves for six.
In a high-scoring weekend, Calverley United Reserves also lost 5-1 to Shire Academics III.