Beeston in business in quest for good start

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BEESTON St Anthony’s are keen to push on this season after a strong start has put them second in the West Yorkshire Premier, writes JAMIE WOODHOUSE.

After enjoying a spell at the top of the table, a run of two defeats in three games saw Saints surrender top spot to Leeds City. But with the side now back to winning ways, all focus is on avenging last season’s narrow failure to clinch the title.

“We are quite impressed with our points tally for this stage of the season,” said manager Mark Halmshaw.

“We possibly could have taken three more. We were unfortunate in our 1-0 loss to Ilkley several weeks ago, and then the 6-1 defeat to Field was one of them days. It was poor from everyone at the club, so you put that down as experience and move on. We responded well on Saturday with the 3-0 win over Wyke Wanderers and they’re a side very much in form.”

“We will be pushing on all fronts again, but the league will be much harder this season.

“Some teams have recruited very well and closed the gap to the top three, that being us, Leeds City and Carlton Athletic.

“Whitkirk look to be very strong. We haven’t come across them yet but the way they’ve started they look real contenders. I think Horbury Town will be up there despite their slow start too. And Ilkley are another side who are closing the gap, so there are probably five or six teams this season who are in with a shout.”

Beeston’s 3-0 win away at Wyke handed the hosts their first defeat since August. Gareth Groves, Matthew Moon and Kinglsey Wetherald were all on target to restrict City’s gap at the top to just one point.

City retained their leaders tag with a 3-0 home win over Ilkley while Carlton moved back up to third after their 3-1 win at Salts.

Goals from Tom Griffiths, Charlie Thompson and the ever-reliable Anees Younis wrapped up Carlton’s seventh win of the season.

Whitkirk have come somewhat unstuck in recent weeks with back-to-back defeats confirmed by their 2-0 loss at Sherburn White Rose, with Daniel Middleton netting both for White Rose. Horbury Town continued their ascent with a 6-0 hammering of Field. Doran Jordan netted twice in the first-half while Lewis Stephens, Billy Mole, Lamin Bojang and Neil Samardzija were also on target.

There was a point-a-piece for both Robin Hood Athletic and Hunslet after their 1-1 draw, while the spoils were also shared at Huddersfield Amateur after their 2-2 draw with Rawdon Old Boys. Headingley’s clash with Knaresborough Town was postponed. In Division One Aberford Albion are now on top after their 3-0 win at promotion rivals Hartshead. Hall Green United managed only a 1-1 draw with Otley Town, allowing Albion to move into first, who still boast a game in-hand over Hall Green.

Boroughbridge are now just three points off the top after their 4-2 win at Howden Clough. Joel Fireman, John Rimmer, Chris Simpson and Phillip Wix all found the net for Boroughbridge. There was also a rare slip-up from high-flying Newsome, after they suffered a narrow 1-0 loss at Kippax. East End Park and Kirk Deighton Rangers moved closer to the leading pack after 4-3 wins over Pool and Leeds Modernians respectively. Rothwell defeated Featherstone Colliery 3-1, while Oxenhope Recreation fell to a 3-2 defeat at Wetherby Athletic.

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GLASSHOUGHTON Rock claim to have surprised even themselves with their fantastic start to life in the West Yorkshire League, writes JAMIE WOODHOUSE.

The team, led by manager Paul Robinson since their days as The Rock Inn, joined from the Wakefield and District League this season, but already lead the way in Division Two after seven wins in their opening ten games.

Secretary Neil Senior said: “We came from the Wakefield League having won all four trophies, so we needed a challenge.

“We had a short amount of time to do the necessities that needed doing, so it’s remarkable how we are doing in our first season so far.

“In our first game, we lost to Shelley, who had only two shots on target, so that was where we learnt that if we wanted to be successful in this league we had to take our chances.

“Thankfully, that lesson has been very quickly learnt.

“Like any team, we want to progress through the leagues, but there are barriers. The pitch that we use won’t meet the requirements for the higher divisions, so we are looking for other venues.

“That in itself has been a massive challenge. We want to compete with the best, but for that to happen we have to be spot on off the field as well.”

Rock made it nine games without defeat on Saturday after a 7-2 win over Brighouse Old Boys. Campion Reserves remain just one point behind, however, after their 3-0 win at Swillington Saints, while Huddersfield YM are also just one point off the summit, after their 4-1 victory over Altofts.

Shelley Reserves continued their quest to close in on the top three, after their 4-1 win at Baildon Trinity Athletic, while Old Centralians suffered a blow in their pursuit of the top three, going down 4-2 at Hunsworth. Tingley Athletic also recorded a 3-1 win over Ripon City.