Horbury Town want to earn their way into the Northern Counties League according to manager Darren Barnes.
Horbury sit seventh in the Premier Division table, a position which Barnes’ side want to improve upon.
He said: “I’ve seen clubs go up to semi-professional level in the last few seasons despite finishing well down the table, but I want us to do this the right way.
“I want us to be a real contender, break up the top three and try to win the Premier Division. That’s always been an ambition of mine because I want to win as many trophies as possible.
“We want to finish as high in this league as we can. Sometimes it benefits a club going up despite finishing fifth or sixth, but for us we want to do this the right way.
“I think we’re now seen as a top-five side and we won our District Cup last season, as well as our Community Shield in pre-season. Nobody wants to play us, because I think we earned the right to be classed as one of the better sides. Saying that, I don’t think we will win the title this season because of too many inconsistencies, but as a club our goal is progression each season.”
An affiliation with newly formed Northern Premier League Division One side Ossett United has provided Horbury with extra talent in their bid to break into the top three.
“We’re looking at a lot of their under-23s, giving them somewhere to play on a Saturday and we’ve seen some good players come out of that,” said Barnes.
“We’re also getting plenty of talent from our reserves and junior section who we always want to give opportunities to. The club is in a better position now than it’s ever been.
“Last season was our highest-ever finish which was fourth, so we’re looking to match that at least, but ideally break that top three of Leeds City, Beeston St Anthony’s and Carlton Athletic.
“They have been the clear top three for several seasons and there’s a reason for that. They’re consistent and we’re in that chasing pack who want to get into those places.”
Two of the top three clashed at the weekend and it was Beeston who emerged with the spoils, defeating Leeds City 3-1. Champions Carlton Athletic returned to the top after their 2-0 win at home to Horbury.
Anees Younis opened the scoring 10 minutes in with Tom Griffiths securing the win in the 90th minute. Ilkley Town continue to apply pressure on the top three as they recorded back-to-back league wins and clean sheets with their 2-0 victory over Robin Hood Athletic. Tom Smith opened the scoring for Ilkley and Harry Brown’s second-half effort wrapped up all three points.
Hunslet Club sit just two points behind Ilkley in the upper-midfield pack after their 4-1 win over Rawdon OB. Whitkirk, like Horbury, lost ground in their move towards the top three after their 1-0 loss at Field.
After three consecutive cup wins, a rapidly improving Huddersfield Amateur were finally able to return their attention to the league.
And they continued their impressive form with a 2-0 win at Headingley. Salts are struggling at the foot of the table, falling 4-1 at Sherburn White Rose.
James Davies, Kyle Fish, George Joshua-Marsden and Dan Middleton were all on target for White Rose to give them their first league win since September.
BOROUGHBRIDGE took full advantage of Division One leaders Hall Green United being on County Cup duty, closing the gap to two points with a 4-0 demolition of Rothwell.
Edmore Murau scored twice while Chris Simpson and Phil Milsom also netted.
Aberford Albion also made no mistake, putting four past Kippax at Bunkers Hill though that proved just enough as they ran out 4-3 winners.
Newsome are now only three points off the top as they dispatched Pool in a 5-1 win.
The Division One newcomers have played two games more than leaders Hall Green however.
Hartshead continue to hover around the upper echelons of Division One after their 3-0 win over Wetherby Athletic. Kirk Deighton Rangers are making steady progress and that continued with their 4-1 victory at struggling Featherstone Colliery.
Otley Town went up against the side one place above them in the form of East End Park and ran out 7-0 winners.
Howden Clough were unable to follow up on their win over struggling Wetherby when they faced another troubled side in Leeds Modernians. Modernians ran out 1-0 victors.
Glasshoughton Rock slipped to third in Division Two after their 2-1 loss at Swillington Saints.
Campion Reserves stretched their lead at the top with their 3-1 victory at Shelley Reserves. Huddersfield YMCA moved up to second with their eighth consecutive league win secured as they overcame Old Centralians 5-3.
In a clash between the bottom two, Knaresborough Celtic lifted themselves above Brighouse Old Boys with a 4-0 win. Baildon Trinity Athletic are slipping towards the bottom after their 3-2 defeat at Kellingley Welfare. Altofts ran out 7-0 winners at Tingley Athletic, while Hunsworth defeated Ripon City 3-1.