DEPLETED West Yorkshire League leaders Beeston St Anthony’s breezed into the Leeds & District FA Senior Challenge Cup quarter-finals with a 5-0 cruise at Leeds Modernians, writes LEE SOBOT.
Beeston had five players suspended following a streak of poor discipline but a Scott Murgatroyd double was supported by strikes from James Allan, Christy Woods and Sam Morrell to put the Saints in the next round. Beeston will now face a quarter-final at West Yorkshire League Premier Division rivals Leeds City who obliged 3-1 at Yorkshire Amateur League hosts Stanningley Old Boys.
WYL top-flight side Robin Hood Athletic progressed with a 3-1 win at YAL team Alwoodley to book a quarter-final at home to WYL Division One outfit Whitkirk Wanderers, who thumped visiting Kirkstall Crusaders 8-0.
Leeds Medics & Dentists are the sole Yorkshire Amateur League side through after a 2-0 triumph at fellow YAL side Wortley. Medics will now visit Wakefield League champions Real Moor who saw off fellow Wakefield League visitors Halton Moor 6-2.
In a delayed first-round tie, Headingley AFC progressed after winning an epic penalty shoot-out 18-17 at home to Hunslet Club following a 1-1 draw.
Headingley will now visit Rothwell in the last 16 with the winners set to host West Yorkshire League champions Carlton Athletic who progressed with a 4-2 triumph at home to East End Park.
In the second round of the Heavy Woollen Wheatley Cup, Morley Town raced to a 4-0 fine success at home to County Amateur League visitors Lower Hopton.
Kevin Mackay, AdamKenyon, Jovan Kioseff and Matthew Palmer all bagged a goal each. Yorkshire Amateur League leaders Drighlington also thumped visiting Crown Gawthorpe 6-1 but Gildersome Spurs Old Boys were defeated 2-0 at Hartshead.
Woodkirk Valley were chinned 4-3 on penalties after a 2-2 draw at Tingley Athletic while Norristhorpe were downed 7-1 at Morley United. Dewsbury Rangers also fell to a 2-0 loss at home to Littletown.
Ealandians moved safely through in the Halifax Albert Crabtree Cup with a 3-0 win at home to Midgley United.
West Yorkshire League
The recruitment machine at Hall Green United is whirring into motion again despite a run of results that has seen the Wakefield side go unbeaten in five, writes ALEX MILLER.
League wins against Beeston, Hartshead and most recently Horbury were intertwined with a draw at Hunslet and a cup win at Denaby Main, but their manager John Moore is desperate to improve a leaking backline that has conceded nine goals in their last three matches.
“We’re always going to score goals but we’ve got to tighten up, definitely,” he said. “We’re looking for a couple of centre-halves, even if we can get one it that would be great.
“We’ve got someone who goes around looking at players for us, but they’re all signed up now, and we don’t pay players so it’s difficult to get players at the standard that we need. We’re looking at players from all the different leagues and at blokes who are in their mid-thirties who might fancy the challenge of giving you a year or two.”
The club lost three first teamers to NCEL new boys Nostell Miners Welfare in pre-season, and along with the loss of talismanic Tom Fowler to injury early in the season, it has taken Hall Green a while to recover.
“We didn’t recruit as well as we could’ve done because we didn’t expect to lose them,” said Moore. “Our centre-forward was injured for the first month and a half, and he’s obviously made a huge difference when he’s come in.”
The return of Fowler has been monumental in a resurgence that has lifted them out of the bottom two. The forward has nine goals in just five games, including a late brace in Saturday’s thrilling win over Horbury. Moore added: “We deserved to win and the conditions were very difficult. They got a penalty, which was deserved, but their goal to go 2-1 up was offside, so to pull together and work as hard as we did was good to see. We underestimated the league, to be honest, I don’t think any of us realised how good the division was. We’ve realised that once you go 2-1 up or something like that you’ve got to consolidate sometimes, instead of trying to bomb on and score three or four.
“It’s something we got away with sometimes last year.”
One thing that Moore singled out as a reason for his side’s turnaround in fortunes is their attitude to fitness, and every last drop of sweat shed of pre-season is being made to count.
He added: “We were very fit last year and won a lot of games on that, but every team we’re playing now is just as fit as us. The football is better, but the there is a massive step up in fitness, definitely. The Beeston game was a huge moment for us, and we deserved that one. They had some men sent off because we riled them a little bit by getting in their faces a little bit and they didn’t like it. This game is played in your head as well, especially when a team goes up to a higher standard. They’ve started to believe in themselves and they realise it is a hard league but that we deserve to be in it.”
The clash between last year’s treble winners Carlton and perennial challengers Field is the pick of this coming weekend’s ties. Field are languishing in ninth whilst Carlton will be desperate to claw back points on table-topping Beeston St Anthony’s, who take on struggling Pool.
Hall Green will hope to continue their purple patch at home to Knaresborough Town.
THE West Yorkshire League is littered with ambitious clubs, none more so than Division Two newcomers Newsome, who hammered table-topping Otley Town 5-1 on Saturday, writes ALEX MILLER.
Co-managers Andy Smith and Richard Evans have moved from AFC Lindley to help usher in a new era for the club, and have clear instructions as to the upward direction the club needs to move in this season.
“The aim of coming into this league is to get into the Premier Division to start with, to compete at that level and win things,” Evans said.
“Then beyond that the club would like to move into a semi-professional capacity at some point and the North East Counties, depending on the resources that would need to be in place to get there.”
Saturday’s thrashing was the latest in a good run of results for the Huddersfield-based outfit, who sit three points back on Otley with three games in hand.
And Evans said Newsome were always confident that they would take three points. He reasoned: “We weren’t expecting to win it so easily, but we have seen their results and were confident that we’d get the win. They’ve drawn against sides that we’ve beaten quite comfortably and thought if we got a couple of goals ahead we’d beat them, and that’s what we did.”
Elsewhere in the division, Old Centralians hopped out of the bottom two with a 1-0 victory at Ripon City, whilst ninth-placed Kellingley Welfare continued Garforth Rangers’ miserable season with a 5-1 win.
Three league fixtures were played in the second tier, including a rare win for basement dwelling Howden Clough, who beat Altofts 4-3 thanks in the main to a George Brook brace.
Rothwell moved farther from the middle of the table with a 2-1 win over Boroughbridge, while nothing could separate struggling duo Brighouse Old Boys and Oxenhope Recreation, who played out a 1-1 draw.