CARLTON ATHLETIC boss Mike Pitts believes goal difference could decide this year’s West Yorkshire Premier League, with Saturday’s 7-1 romp at Bardsey the perfect tonic to the club’s growing title bid.
Newly-promoted Carlton are back in the Premier two years on from their relegation of 2013 and Pitts says there’s no reason why his side can’t bring home a title two years in a row.
Athletic sit second and just a point behind unbeaten champions Field with Beeston St Anthony’s four points back in third but with a game in hand.
Leeds City are another four points back in fourth but with an additional game in hand,
“Realistically in your first season in the top division your aim is just to stay up and not get relegated but I think we’ve shown we’re much better than that,” Pitts said.
“We’re very much title contenders and it’s exciting.”
Scott Hargreaves had bagged himself an impressive hat-trick on Saturday with Danny Chadwick, Andrew Payne, Joe Davies and Matt Jackson all adding a goal apiece.
Pitts added: “We knew that Bardsey were struggling this season with them yet to win a game and we’ve seen that they’re low on confidence so honestly our game plan was to get off to a bright start and get as many goals as we could.
“Goal difference could be what decides the positions in this league, especially with how tight it is at the top so once we scored that first goal, it was just a case of making sure we took full advantage.
“Last season was great for us; we very comfortably secured promotion so without sounding arrogant I knew we would do well this season if we kept all our players and games like today just shows our potential.
“Most of the squad have been together for six/seven years now so it’s just a case of them knowing exactly where each other are. We work hard on a training day and I’m a manager that wants to get them to work hard so I’m not really surprised we’re sitting in second.”
He added: “For me, league is always going to be priority; it’s our bread and butter. This is a big league; with 30 games it is a mental marathon I don’t want to take any focus off getting as many points on that board as possible but we’re doing well in prestigious cups too, so I couldn’t be happier with this squad.”
Carlton are back in action this Saturday as they host Robin Hood Athletic who come into the clash off the back of a 3-1 win at Shelley thanks to goals from James Finlayson, Jack Fisher and Matthew Gould.
Meanwhile, John Penn bagged the only goal for top dogs Field who beat Wetherby Athletic 1-0. Leeds City edged their way up the table with a commanding 5-0 win at Brighouse Old Boys with James Hochstrasser (2), Charles Lumley, Ciaran Mallon and Alex Miller all etching their names onto the score sheet.
Hunslet Club also saw goals as they picked up a 3-1 win against Knaresborough Town while Horbury Town were forced to share the spoils with Oxenhope Recreation; Daniel Moriarty and Lee Brook scoring in a 1-1 draw. Beeston continued their strong form with a 3-0 win at Pool thanks to Matthew Moon and Sean Jeavons, who bagged a brace. Wyke Wanderers were also in league action; Gavin Turner netting their only goal in a 1-0 win over Otley Town.
HEADINGLEY continued their Division One promotion bid as a Merlyn Andrews brace inspired a 3-0 success at home to Ripon City, writes SOPHIE SCARGILL.
Connor Murphy was also on target for Headingley who sit fourth and with games in hand on the top two.
Aberford Albion ran away dominant 6-0 winners against Baildon Trinity Athletic and East End Park beat Thornhill 4-3 at home.
Featherstone Colliery held Boroughbridge to a 2-2 draw; Joe Gannon and Ross Mardon bagging a brace a piece. Hartshead beat Leeds Modernians an impressive 8-1 while Headingly beat Ripon City 3-0 thanks to goals Conor Murphy and Merlyn Andrews (2). James Barker, Adam Davey, Richard Schofield and Tom Smith all contributed to Ilkley Town’s 4-0 win at home against Stanley United while Kippax and Old Centralians were forced to share the spoils in a 1-1 draw.
Division Two were also in league action with Great Preston securing a 2-1 win after their journey to Altofts; Scott Westerman and Kieron Jarrett providing Preston’s goals. Barwick beat Garforth Rangers 5-2 while Howden Clough ran out 6-1 winners against Normanton Woodhouse Hill. Middleton Park were also in action with two braces from Jordan Tate and Hayden Maude securing the three points in a 4-1 win over Ossett Common Rovers. Huddersfield Amateur also bagged a victory on their journey to Ossett Albion; Matthew Oldfield, Mathew Parker and Jonathan Crowther netting the goals in their 3-2 win meanwhile Swillington Saints and Rothwell Town could not be separated in a 2-2 draw.
This weekend, we are back in action in the Premier League with Field travelling to Beeston St Anthony’s and Horbury Town hosting Bardsey. Leeds City host Oxenhope Recreation wile Hunslet Club travel to Otley Town. Brighouse Old Boys play Pool and Wyke Wanderers face Wetherby Athletic.
Baildon and Sherburn White Rose meet in Division One while East End Park will welcome Headlingley. Hartshead are at home to Aberford Albion with Boroughbridge making the journey to Kippax. Leeds Modernians host Ilkley Town while Old Centralians entertain Whitkirk Wanderers. Ripon City are also in action against Featherstone Colliery while Stanley United travel to Thornhill.
Division Two’s Middleton Park will play Great Preston while Hall Green United and Garforth Rangers battle it out. Howden Clough face Altofts, Huddersfield Amateur host Rothwell Town and Kellingley Welfare play Ossett Common Rovers. Normanton Woodhouse Hill will welcome Yorkshire Amateur, Ossett Albion face Barwick and Mount St. Mary’s travel to Swillington Saints.