West Yorkshire League: Four-star Carlton on course to retain title

West Yorkshire League Division One action between Headingley and Featherstone. PIC: Steve Riding
West Yorkshire League Division One action between Headingley and Featherstone. PIC: Steve Riding
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Carlton Athletic’s convincing 4-0 win over Wyke in the Premier Division on Saturday etched them closer to their goal of league silverware for the second season on the bounce.

The victory places them just a point behind leaders, Beeston St Anthony’s and, with Athletic’s game in hand, it would seem the ball is in their court as they embark on the final stretch of the campaign.

Boss, Mark Pitts has full confidence in his squad and insists that the aim is to run away with the title.

“Of course there is belief in the camp that we can win it, we believe we can win every game.” Pitts said. “We’ve got ourselves into a great position to be honest, and there’s absolutely no reason we shouldn’t be thinking about winning the whole thing at this stage.

“The game in hand is great because we know it’s in our hands, but we’ve got to keep concentration.

“Like us, a lot of the clubs that are at the top are still in all possible competitions and while that’s great for the possibility of multiple trophies, it’s going to now be a case of who’s got the biggest squad, and who can keep injury and suspension free because we’re going to have a period of heavy fixtures especially with re-arranged games too, so it’s going to be a real test as we approach this last mile.

“We want our names on every trophy! But when it comes down to it, the League is the main priority, it’s the bread and butter.”

True to their priorities, Carlton continued their strong form in the league with yet another dominant win on Saturday, as they ran out 4-0 victors against Wyke Wanderers. Despite a frustrating opening period, Scott Hargreaves’ hat-trick after the interval accompanied Reece Fennell’s strike to nicely round off a dominant display from the home side.

“If it had been a boxing match it would have been over in the first round!” Pitts continued. “We completely dominated the first half; within the first 20 minutes, we should have been three or four goals up but we just didn’t have the end product. When you’re on top you’ve got to put the ball in the back of the net because if not it can come back and bite you. Fortunately we came out after half-time and matched the performance with some goals.”

The manager added: “Taking your chances every time could well be the difference this season too, without a doubt it could go down to goal difference so it’s important that we switched it on.

“We’ve got one of the best defensive records in the league; I always say it’s important to keep clean sheets but we’ve shown that we’re just as good at the other end too.”

Carlton’s win was complimented by their biggest rivals’ defeat as table toppers, Beeston St Anthony’s, fell at the hands of Leeds City; Mitchell Cameron and Joe Tasker both bagging in a 2-1 win for City.

Brighouse Old Boys were also in Premier Division action, beating Hunslet club 3-1 thanks to goals from Calvin Lee, Mathew Richardson and Peter Kuleczko, while Wetherby Athletic beat Pool 4-0.

Knarsborough Town suffered another defeat against Robin Hood Athletic with Christopher Brown netting for a 1-0 win for Athletic, while Lamin Bojang and James Mountain both found the target for Horbury in their 2-0 win against Otley Town.

This weekend in the Premier Division, Beeston St Anthony’s look to rectify their drop of points as they host Pool, while Knaresborough welcome Field.

Oxenhope Recreation are also in action as they play Shelley while Hunslet Club make the journey to Wyke Wanderers.

Headingley stole the show over in Division One, victorious in a 10-goal thriller against Featherstone Colliery.

Goals from Liam Threlfall (2) Craig Hewitt and Gareth Ward for Colliery were cancelled out by Richard Booth’s four accompanied with strikes from Callum Butcher and Merlyn Andrews in a 6-4 win.

Also in action, Hartshead who also produced goals; two braces from Owan Asquith and Liam Gowan accompanying Nicholas Lambert’s effort in a 5-1 win against Ilkley Town.

Whitkirk Wanderers beat East End Park 2-1 while Baildon Trinity Athletic were on the wrong end of the same scoreline against Boroughbridge; Ross Mardon and Darren Simpson scoring for the latter in a 2-1 win.

Over in Sherburn White Rose’s clash with Aberford Albion, Josh Barratt, Danny Middleton and Calvin Waite all etched their name onto the score sheet in a 3-2 win for Sherburn meanwhile Stanley United secured a 2-0 win over Kippax with goals from Adam Hayton and Mathew Williamson.

Old Centralians held Leeds Centralians to a 3-3 draw while Ripon City were triumpent in a ruthless 5-1 win over Thornhill, Liam Spence (2), Kyle Baldwin, Ryan Barker and Kyle Fox all netting.

This week Boroughbridge will play Hartshead while East End Park host Ilkley Town.

Featherstone Colliery welcome Old Centralians, Kippax travel to Leeds Modernians and Sherburn White Rose entertain Baildon Trinity Athletic.

Stanley United are at home to Whitkirk Wanderers and Headingley make the journey to Thornhill.

In Division Two, Swillington Saints ran out 7-0 winners against Normanton Woodhouse Hill, David Bell (2), Jamie Claughton, Jamie Davies (2), Thomas Day and Jack Caden all on the score sheet.

Table toppers Hall Green United extended their lead at the head with a 2-1 over Ossett Common Rovers, Wayne Ball and Billy Bole with two late goals to turn the game on its head.

Barwick were also in action in a 2-1 win at home to Ossett Albion while Middleton Park’s clash with Great Preston was postponed.

This weekend, Barwick host Altofts, Hall Green United welcome Swillington Saints and Howden Clough entertain Great Preston.

Also in action, Mount St Mary’s who play Ossett Albion, Normanton Woodhouse Hill who play Garforth Rangers, and Kellingley Welfare who make the journey to Ossett Common Rovers.