West Yorkshire: Athletic on track after doubling tally

Toby Harris scores for Otley Town at Robin Hood Athletic. PIC: Steve Riding
Toby Harris scores for Otley Town at Robin Hood Athletic. PIC: Steve Riding
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Wetherby Athletic doubled their goals tally in one game on Saturday as they ran out impressive 9-0 winners against Shelley.

It had been a slow start to the season for Athletic, who linger mid-table in the Premier Division, but a sudden urgency has inspired the squad to replicate this dominance going forward.

Boss Mark Forster is delighted with the display from his side and insists the result is the perfect platform to build on for the remainder of the season.

“It’s always a great feeling to win but to do it so comfortably and score that many is brilliant.” He said. “We’d only scored nine all season so to get that many in one game really lifts the spirits of the team and injects the confidence we need to get these kind of results week in, week out.”

“We’ve played all our games so far against teams above us so we haven’t really had chance to show what we can do, so yesterday was a great day for us and a sign of what’s to come.”

It was a slow opener to the encounter but Wetherby soon embarked on a ruthless mission to annihilate their opponents, beginning with Jon Maloney’s 19th-minute opener.

The tricky skipper went on to bag two more in the clash to claim his hat-trick while Jonathan Hadley and William Peers both came agonisingly close to doing the same with a brace each.

Joe Whiteley and Liam McEntee also got their names on the score sheet.

And, after a valiant 90 minutes from the whole squad, it was decided the man of the match should be shared between all 14 players to emphasise such a great performance.

“I think teams look at us now and think ‘Wetherby can really give us a game’. I think we’re slowly but surely making a name for ourselves.” Forster continued. “I daren’t have dreamt we would come away with nine goals though.

“After that first goal, our lads really went for it. We got more confident as the game went on and even though Shelley’s heads did drop a little bit we fought right to the end, so it was brilliant to watch. They were fantastic.

“Last week we played Huddersfield YMCA and we were completely humiliated; we just didn’t turn up and I was disappointed that we surrendered. I think this week the lads wanted to make up for it because I could tell even before the game in the dressing room everyone had a different mentality. In the warm-up we were sharp and focused. I could just see they were up for it.

“I knew we had to win and get the three points where it counted, not just to make up for it but to really make a statement in the league.

“This year we want to do well in both the league and the cup runs. I think a top-six finish and to bring home a cup victory would be realistic, especially if we play like that. Historically, we don’t score many goals either so it would be really nice to take this 9-0 win and turn it into a more regular thing.”

Wetherby now divert their attention to the cup at Church Fenton White Horse this weekend.

Elsewhere in the Premier Division, Field maintained their spot at the top of the league with a convincing 3-1 victory at Hunslet Club. Cartlon Athletic remain a point behind them having beaten Pool 4-1, while Beeston St Anthony’s jumped to third spot on Saturday thanks to a 4-1 win away at Oxenhope Recreation.

Brighouse Old Boys also triumphed. A brace from Matthew Richardson accompanied goals from Lee Williams and Tom Wright in a 4-2 win over Knaresborough Town.

Otley Town also bagged three points, running out 4-1 winners at Robin Hood Athletic, while Leeds City bagged the spoils against Horbury Town in a 4-2 victory. Wyke Wanderers were also in action, beating Bardsey 3-1 away from home thanks to goals from Karl Fawcett (2) and Ian Horrocks.

This Saturday sees just three Premier Division league games with Oxenhope Recreation playing Knaresbrough Town, Brighouse Old Boys travelling to Shelley and Bardsey hosting Robin Hood Athlteic.

The rest of the teams in the Premier Division are in cup action.

Wkye Wanderers make the journey to Drighlington Juniors, while Carlton Althetic and Beeston St Anthony’s face each other.

Hunslet Club host Wigton Moor, while Leeds City will welcome Leeds City Old Boys. Otley Town and Pool face each other this Saturday while Field host Thackley and Horbury Town play Normanton Woodhouse Hill.