MANAGER John Flynn has hailed the achievements of the West Yorkshire League representative side for reaching the FA Inter League Cup semi-finals – but is left with a strong sense of what might have been.
The team’s bid for national glory was finally ended with Saturday’s 3-2 defeat at the Spartan South Midlands team who are now one step away from a European adventure next term. Yet Flynn was unhappy with Saturday’s referee who produced five yellow cards for the visitors and none for the hosts.
Staged at Hertford Town, Daniel Parson gave the hosts a 12th-minute lead but Field marksman Danny Cunningham’s lob left the game 1-1 at the break. Cunningham, Carlton Athletic star Scott Hargreaves and Beeston St Anthony’s ace Steve Crawford then caused plenty of problems after the interval but goals from Marcus Hussey and Tommy Cooke put the hosts 3-1 up.
Hargreaves hit back with a close-range header four minutes later to set up a tense finish but to no avail.
Flynn said: “We left feeling very frustrated and disappointed. The other disappointment was the referee’s performance, who seemed intent on making this game a non-contact sport.
“I’d like to thank all the lads for their tremendous efforts over the last 11 months, it’s been a great achievement reaching the last four from all the leagues that entered this competition. I think a special mention should go to Mark Pitts (Carlton), Mark Halmshaw (Beeston St Anthony’s), Steve Vickers (Field) and Tom Liddell (Leeds City) for all their support in supplying the bulk of the players. I’d also like to thank the other two members of the management team, Mally Hill and Nicky Johnson, for all their efforts. The game was played in a great spirit and we wish the Spartan League all the best in the final.”
SUNDAY CUPS: Leeds-based Sky Bet’s bid for glory in the West Riding FA County Sunday Cup was ended with the weekend’s 2-0 loss at home to Hollins Holme in the last 16.
Sky Bet reached the final of the lower level County Sunday Trophy last season where the Leeds team were defeated 2-1 by Wellington Westgate.
But Sky Bet, managed by Joe Cundall, reached the end of the road in a competition featuring the best Sunday sides in the county after defeat to a strong Hollins Holme side. Hollins Holme will now visit Ferrybridge Progressive WMC in the quarter-finals this weekend with the winners facing a trip to West Bowling in the semi-finals on April 15. Leeds Combination League leaders Hope Inn Whites visit Thornton United in the other semi-final on April 8.
Beechwood Sundays will take on Town Rangers in the County Sunday Trophy semis on March 18 with holders Wellington Westgate taking on FC Walkers Hounds in the last four on March 11.
Two big games take place in the Saturday County Challenge Cup quarters this weekend with Beeston St Anthony’s at Huddersfield YMCA and Field away at Rimington. All four County Challenge Trophy quarters also take place.