West Yorkshire League: Rivals eye up Carlton as three-horse title race hots up

Hosts 'Kippax defeated Otley Town 4-2 with a brace of goals each for Danny Hall and Joe Thorpe. PIC: Steve Riding
Hosts 'Kippax defeated Otley Town 4-2 with a brace of goals each for Danny Hall and Joe Thorpe. PIC: Steve Riding
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The race for the West Yorkshire League Premier Division continues to hot up, and it was just last week that the top three of Carlton Athletic, Leeds City and Beeston St Anthony’s all shared a total of 40 points.

Carlton, however, are the side widley considered to be in the driving seat, boasting several games in hand over their rivals.

John Mallison heads goalwards for Aberford Albion against Division One visitors Kirk Deighton Rangers. The game was abandoned by the referee in the second half with score 0-0. PIC: Steve Riding

John Mallison heads goalwards for Aberford Albion against Division One visitors Kirk Deighton Rangers. The game was abandoned by the referee in the second half with score 0-0. PIC: Steve Riding

On Saturday, they put one of those luxuries to use, moving three points clear at the top with a 3-0 victory over Sherburn White Rose.

The battle to be called best of the rest is equally as tight, and with Ilkley Town enjoying a weekend off, all eyes were on those waiting in the wings to steal their fourth place.

Hunslet were able to take full advantage, as they ran out 2-0 winners over bottom side Salts, while Whitkirk Wanderers and Field, sixth and seventh respectively, both had an opportunity to take a step towards the summit of this midfield pack.

Ultimately neither could deliver, with Akeel Miller’s fourth-minute strike for Whitkirk, earning them only a 1-1 draw.

Stefan Small wins the ball for Aberford Albion against Kirk Deighton, a match abandoned in the second half by the referee. PIC: Steve Riding

Stefan Small wins the ball for Aberford Albion against Kirk Deighton, a match abandoned in the second half by the referee. PIC: Steve Riding

In the final Premier Division clash of the weekend, Huddersfield Amateur made it three consecutive league victories after a tidy 4-0 win over Wyke Wanderers.

In Division One, Aberford Albion’s clash with Kirk Deighton Rangers was abandoned following an incident between the referee and an Aberford supporter.

The incident proved significant for Boroughbridge as they moved top of Division One with their 3-2 win at Wetherby Athletic. Joel Fireman, Phil Milsom and Chris Simpson netted the vital goals for Boroughbridge.

Newsome also benefited, moving to within three points of top spot, as Paul Pyke and Jamie Jobarteh earned them a 2-0 win over Oxenhope Recreation.

Hartshead continued their bid to latch back on to the title-chasing pack in style, running out 6-0 winners away to Pool.

Kippax were able to move level on points with seventh-place Otley, after their 4-2 victory over them and Featherstone Colliery finally ended their four-month wait for a league victory, running out 3-0 winners over Rothwell.

Campion Reserves are now five points clear at the top of Division Two after putting the same number of goals past Tingley Athletic.

Wayne Sparkes netted twice, while Kyle Bingham, Spencer Gordon and Ben Kendall completed the impressive scoring display.

Several teams behind are jockeying for position in the promotion race, and Saturday’s results did little to highlight who will take that step away from the pack.

Huddersfield YM inflicted a 3-1 defeat on Swillington Saints, while Shelley Reserves ran out 4-1 winners at Ripon City.

The results mean that Shelley, Swillington and Huddersfield are now all level on 31 points, with third to fifth currently anyone’s position to gain.

Glasshoughton Rock, however, remain two points clear of this battle in second.

At the other end of the table, Brighouse Old Boys posted their first league win since August, as they defeated Baildon Trinity Athletic 2-1.