Huddersfield YM’s run of five wins in six matches is just a stepping stone in their mission towards bigger and better things, according to manager Mark Reid.
Promoted from Division One last season, the West Yorkshire outfit are ahead in the five-year plan put in place when Reid took over three years ago. The ambitious boss as keen to maintain that despite their resurgent run, the side have their feet firmly rooted to the ground.
“When I came to the club in 2014 there was a very clear plan put in place to see us playing in the Premier Division within five years,” he said.
“We’ve achieved that and are slightly ahead of where we thought we’d be at this stage, which is great. It’s all going to plan, but going forward, that’s still very much the aim, just to be in the league in two years time.
“It’s a case of finding our feet this season, getting to know the other teams and that, and from then we’ve got big plans to kick on and break into the top four, where there’s been a bit of a monopoly in the past few years.”
Huddersfield YM sit eighth in the division and secured their fourth consecutive win on Saturday in the form of a 2-1 victory over top-tier stalwarts Robin Hood Athletic. Joe Bedford opened the scoring with a header before Mike Hall’s 25-yard screamer secured the points.
“They’re a team we didn’t know much about and so we set up to be solid and compact, and I think we did that,” said Reid. “We stretched them out and ground out a good team win.”
This run of victories has been a long time in coming for Reid, who watched his side struggle to adapt to life in the top tier in the opening throes of the season and limp through just one win in their first eight matches.
“It was a tough introduction, but we knew it would be really hard and we were prepared for it.
“It’s always difficult stepping up a league and the games came so thick and fast.
“Once we got through the run of weekend and midweek games, we were able to really knuckle down and focus. That gave us a bit of breathing space and the opportunity to iron a few things out at training.”
Huddersfield finished third behind fellow promoted sides Hartshead and Hall Green last season, who both feature in the bottom four currently.
The club added four signings to the first team, and it is in this recruitment that Reid believes his side have the edge over the other promoted sides.
“We’ve been able to keep last season’s squad, which is unusual when a team does well,” he said. “There’s a real sense of togetherness, and on top of that we’ve added that little bit of quality.
“I think that’s helped us settle into the league a bit better.”
There were only three other fixtures played out in the Premier Division, all of which ended in a share of the points.
Second-bottom Sherburn White Rose will be the happiest of those six stalemate sides as they drew 2-2 at high-flying Shelley, who passed up the chance to go fifth after ten-man Knaresborough Town were held to a 1-1 draw at Headingley.
Elsewhere, Field remain rooted in the middle of the table as their stuttering start to the season continued in the form of an uninspiring 1-1 draw at struggling Pool. Promoted Hartshead will have to wait for their clash with champions Carlton after the game was postponed.
Wetherby Athletic’s new manager, Martin Powell, admitted that consolidation is the key for his side this season following a turbulent couple of years.
The Tangerines beat Leeds Modernians 4-2 to go sixth in Division One thanks in the main to a hat-trick from forward Anthony Walsh.
After relegation from the top tier last season and having suffered a significant turnover of players in the summer, the former Harrogate Railway assistant is in no doubt that his players need to keep their feet on the ground.
“Our aim is only to consolidate our position, definitely,” Powell said. “It’s a very tough league, and I think it’s very under-rated. There are some good teams and it’s not at all easy.
“We’ve said all along that there is no massive push for promotion, that’s just not the aim. We’ve got to rebuild a bit and keep building our confidence. Top-six would be great, but it’s not that important. There’s absolutely no pressure on us.”
Elsewhere in the second tier, Brighouse Old Boys lifted themselves out of the bottom two with a 1-0 win over fellow strugglers Altofts, whilst now second-bottom Oxenhope rallied to a 3-3 draw with Aberford Albion.
There were no upsets at the top as the leading four all took three points, with Wyke hammering Kippax 4-0, Rawdon Old Boys beating Howden Clough 3-1, Whitkirk sneaking past East End Park 2-1 and Featherstone smashing Rothwell 5-1.
There were goals aplenty in the bottom tier, where Otley Town stayed top thanks to a 6-2 win over Ripon City. They remain six clear of Newsome, who put five unanswered goals past Knaresborough Celtic.
Fifth-placed Swillington Saints beat Old Centralians 5-1, third-placed Kirk Deighton won 4-2 against Baildon Trinity and Hampsthwaite beat Kellingley 3-1. Garforth Rangers are without a point after losing 8-1 to Huddersfield YM.
Steeton missed the chance to close the gap on the top four as they drew 2-2 with struggling Lepton Highlanders, writes TOM RITCHIE.
Tom Sowebutts and Ben Clarkson were on target for Steeton, but a James Cudworth brace earned Lepton a point to move off the bottom of the table.
Wakfield City dropped to the basement as they were defeated 4-2 by Lower Hopton.
Lower Hopton won just their second game of the season thanks to Liam Oliver hitting a brace and goals from Alex Barnes and Adam Brown.
Rob Bloomfield and Ryan Southward scored for Wakefield.
Wibsey and Brittania Sports played out a thrilling 3-3 draw as Daniel O’Donnell, Jack Murphy and Jordan Northin scored for Wibsey.
Nicholas Kitson, Joshua Cayenne and Alex Pearson found the goal to secure a share of the spoils for Brittania.
In Division One, Golcar United Reserves closed the gap to leaders Ovenden West Riding with a comfortable 4-0 victory over Salts Reserves.
Gavin Armitage hit the back of the net twice, whilst Toby Farrington and Kiran Brown were also on target for Golcar.
Steeton Reserves were forced to settle for a point as they drew a high scoring contest with Unita FC 4-4, in arguably the game of the weekend.
Brannan Law, Alistair Morgan, Ben Richardson and Callum Wear all scored for Steeton.
TVR found their form as they defeated bottom side Bradford FC 6-3. David Rooney scored twice and Abdul Ahmed scored for Bradford as TVR’s defensive woes continued, but their strikeforce blew away Bradford as Danny Hussain and Shabir Faisal both hit braces.
Tingley Athletic defeated fellow struggles Hunsworth emphatically 4-1, to move four points clear of their opponents. Jermain Savery hit a brace with Simon Green and Steven Mitchell also on target, whilst Liam Gowan’s goal for Hunsworth proved to be nothing more than a consolation.
Overthorpe just edged an exciting contest with West Horton, as they won 3-2 thanks to goals from Tim Clarke, Lewis Ward and Ben Hill, with Patrick Mumbly and James Chadwick scoring for West Horton.