West Yorkshire League: Liddell sets sights on County FA ‘holy grail’

Michael Walpole scores from the penalty spot for Rothwell Town against Hall Green.
Michael Walpole scores from the penalty spot for Rothwell Town against Hall Green.
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LEEDS City remain on course for a perfect quadruple with proud manager Tom Liddell saying the victory in the West Yorkshire League Cup semi-final typifies his side’s season so far.

The flu-stricken boss was gutted to miss only his first game in 13 seasons, but rest assured will be fighting fit for the season’s priority – the County Challenge Cup final.

City recorded an amazing 22nd victory in succession on Saturday as a 6-1 hammering of visiting Shelley maintained their West Yorkshire League Premier Division title bid.

But while Liddell believes leaders Field could be impossible to pass – the City manager remains very hopeful of at least landing at least a treble in the West Yorkshire League Cup, the Leeds FA District Cup and the holy grail of the West Riding County FA Challenge Cup.

Having already booked an Elland Road District Cup final against Hunslet Club with victory against Beechwood Gate, City booked a Woodlesford County Challenge Cup final with a 5-1 defeat of rivals Beeston St Anthony’s in last month’s semi final and will now face Oxenhope Recreation in the final.

And it is the manner of victory in last Wednesday’s League Cup semi final against Field that has Liddell believing his men could be set for something special.

“Last Wednesday’s victory encapsulated our season so far,” Liddell told the YEP.

“Playing Field for the first time this season against 50mph winds with several key team members missing we went 3-0 down after 31 minutes.

“But we pulled it back to 3-3 albeit a last minute equaliser.

“The game finished 4-4 but we then took advantage of the lottery of penalties and won 5-3.

“I’m only annoyed that this flu bug made me miss my first game through illness in 13 seasons of management and we were playing Field as well! I couldn’t believe it!

“But that takes us into our third final of the season and was our 21st victory on the bounce as we last lost points against Bardsey in October 2014.

“That’s incredible going at any level in my opinion.

“We are now in the privileged position to be competing in the League Cup Final against Knaresborough Town, the District Cup Final at Elland Road against Hunslet Club and the County Cup Final against Oxenhope or Salts.

“If we want to make our season memorable we need to get our hands on some of these trophies and the County Cup is 100 per cent the priority.”

Admirably, City’s league chase of Field also shows no signs of stopping with visiting Shelley hit for six on Saturday to put Leeds fourth and 13 points behind leaders Field with three games in hand.

City continue to play catch-up when they host Knaresborough Town tonight in a rehearsal of the League Cup final but Lidell said: “With regards to the league, we are so far behind in games its untrue. We now have 14 games to play before May 16 and personally I think its a step too far.

“Although we are yet to play Field in the league this season it would be a big ask for our players to continue this run. But I can’t fully rule out our chances as this is a team that were 3-0 down after 30 minutes against the league leaders and still won. Determination is the key word and believe me Leeds City are full of that!”

Second-bottom Borough-bridge held second-placed Horbury Town, but were unlucky not take three points.

Lamin Bojang opened the scoring for Horbury pegged back by a Paul Scaife goal. Ross Mardon looked to have won it with a late strike but a 93rd minute equaliser from Gibril Bojang ensured the honours were even.

Hunslet Club beat Knaresborough Town by a single Gareth Groves goal. Ripon City and Beeston St Anthony’s played out a 1-1 draw. Robin Hood Athletic saw off Brighouse with a comfortable 2-0 victory, through goals scored by James Finlayson and Graham Marchant. Bardsey hit hosts Wetherby Athletic for six – it finished 6-1.

In Division Two, Kippax held runaway leaders Pool to an impressive 2-2 draw. Wyke Wanderers narrowed the gap at the top with a 1-0 away win at Aberford Albion.

Carlton Athletic battered Old Modernians 4-1 away from home. Joseph O’Neill grabbed a brace whilst Scott Hargreaves and Alan Howard also scored.

Ilkley Town came out victorious in a five-goal thriller. Goals from Adam Fowler, Connor Greenwood and Darren Munday secured a 3-2 win at home to Headingley.

Altofts triumphed over Whitkirk Wanderers with a 1-0 win, thanks to a strike from Liam Bishop.

Finally, the bottom two: Howden Clough and Swillington Saints, proved to be inseperable, as they are at the foot of the table. Josef Kenzitt struck for Howden and Adam Wood for the Saints, resulting in a 1-1 draw that had minimal effect on the race to avoid relegation.

In Division Two, Baildon Trinity Athletic and Mount St Mary’s played out a scoreless draw – something neither side particularly wanted to happen.

Both teams needed a win to reignite their promotion fight, but neither was able to, with the spoils shared.

Garforth Rangers picked up three points with a thumping 5-2 away victory at Barwick with Matthew Marshall picking up a hat-trick and David Bell netting a brace.

Normanton Woodhouse Hill came out victorious at the end of their encounter.

Hill finished with a 6-4 win at home to Kellingley Welfare.

Rothwell Town sealed three points with a 3-0 win at home to Hall Green United.

Scott Carter, Michael Walpole and Ryan Daly all grabbed a goal each for the home team.

In Alliance Division One, Leeds City Reserves suffered a shock 2-0 defeat away from home at Beeston St Anthony’s Reserves.

Aaron Connor bagged himself a match-winning brace for Beeston.

Brighouse Old Boys Reserves and Wetherby Athletic Reserves, meanwhile, played out a fascinating encounter that finished in a 3-3 draw.

Mitchum Hirst, Robert Langley and Graeme Tait scored for the hosts.

For the visitors, Wetherby, Liam McEntree grabbed a brace and Matthew Lombard earned his side the point with a last-gasp equaliser.

In Alliance Division Two, Ripon City Reserves closed the gap at the top with a stunning, if not surprising, 2-0 win away at league leaders Horbury Town Reserves.

The game was all but over by the interval, as Stephen Hodgson and Ricky Senior grabbed a goal apiece without reply.

Hall Green United Reserves and Pool Reserves played out a 1-1 draw.

Nick Smith scored for Hall Green but Jamie Algar bagged for Pool to take a point.