West Yorkshire League: Table-topping Boroughbridge keeping feet firmly on ground

Despair for Ilkley Town after Akeel Francis, of Whitkirk Wanderers, made it 1-1. PIC: Steve Riding
Despair for Ilkley Town after Akeel Francis, of Whitkirk Wanderers, made it 1-1. PIC: Steve Riding
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Division One leaders Boroughbridge insist they will not get carried away with thoughts of promotion despite their fantastic start.

Having sat atop the league for two weeks now, Boroughbridge are moving towards their aim of a spot in the Premier Division for the first time since 2015, but believe staying humble is their best shot of seeing the job through.

Akeel Francis celebrates a late equaliser for Whitkirk Wanderers in the 1-1 West Yorkshire League Premier Division draw with visiting Ilkley Town. PIC: Steve Riding

Akeel Francis celebrates a late equaliser for Whitkirk Wanderers in the 1-1 West Yorkshire League Premier Division draw with visiting Ilkley Town. PIC: Steve Riding

Club secretary Andy Young said: “The main aim for me taking over this season was to push the club on from where they had finished the last few seasons.

“We didn’t expect this progress so quickly. We wanted to be around the top sides throughout the campaign so it’s a real bonus to be where we are currently.

“Where we are certainly gives us a chance of promotion, but what you’ll find with Division One is that there are a lot of teams that can pick up wins on any given day. You can’t be complacent in any way.

“Case in point, we played Wetherby Athletic earlier in the season, they played us off the park, and we were fortunate to get a 2-2 draw in the end, yet Wetherby are now bottom of the league.

Carl Robinson shoots for Whitkirk. PIC: Steve Riding

Carl Robinson shoots for Whitkirk. PIC: Steve Riding

“If we think we’re top of the league and that’s where we’re going to stay, we’ll be punished. We have to take things game by game and avoid complacency.”

If promotion was to be achieved, Boroughbridge would return to the Premier for the first time since their relegation in 2015, something which Young believes still acts as unfinished business to his side.

“Our goal at the end of the day is to get back to the Premier Division where the team have been successful before,” he said.

“We don’t want to go up and then come down the next season, we want to stay there, which of course requires a lot of hard work in the short term.”

Young also praised the support his team enjoys and hopes to give back with success on the field. He said: “The club is extremely well supported on all fronts.

“The women’s football team, like us, have great crowds, so we’re very fortunate that it’s a well-run club with a solid fan base.”

A 3-1 victory over Leeds Modernians secured Boroughbridge’s status as leaders for another week.

Joel Fireman opened the scoring for Boroughbridge on the 18th minute, before Chris Simpson extended their lead two minutes later. Danny Forrest pulled one back for Leeds minutes before the break, but Phil Milsom would secure all three points with his 48th minute goal. Aberford Albion remain in second but only on goals difference and with two games in hand, following their 3-2 win over Newsome.

That result saw Newsome slip to fifth and with Hall Green United in cup action, Hartshead were able to jump both them and Newsome into third with their 4-0 win at Featherstone Colliery.

The top seven are separated by just six points and East End Park retained their place at the foot of that pack with their 4-2 win over Rothwell.

Kirk Deighton Rangers remain level on points with them in sixth after a narrow 3-2 win at home to strugglers Howden Clough.

Wetherby’s woes at the bottom continue to worsen following their 7-1 loss at Otley Town.

Oxenhope Recreation meanwhile are heading in the other direction rising to 13th after their 3-2 win at Pool, claiming their first back-to-back league wins of the campaign.

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Leeds City continue to lead the way in the Premier, despite having to work harder than they perhaps expected in their 2-1 win at Robin Hood Athletic, writes JAMIE WOODHOUSE.

Ultimately Joe Tasker’s 18th-minute goal and Barry Frankland’s 75th-minute effort were enough to claim all three points. Carlton Athletic remain just three points behind with two games in hand after their 5-2 win over Huddersfield Amateur, while Beeston stay in the title conversation after their 2-1 win at Hunslet. Stephen Crawford was on target for Beeston with Jordan Lee Mullins also making the score sheet to confirm the win.

Two sides who were making early progress but have hit hard times recently faced off in the form of Whitkirk Wanderers versus Ilkley Town. Ilkley thought they had done enough for their first win since September after Toby Harris’ 48th-minute goal, but Whitkirk dominated the closing 20 minutes and Akeel Francis sent a thunderous 90th-minute equaliser into the top corner.

Horbury Town moved to within a point of Ilkley following their 3-1 win over Wyke Wanderers, while Headingley moved ahead of Sherburn White Rose, putting six past them in a 6-0 demolition. In the Bradford derby, Field emerged with the bragging rights, defeating Salts 3-2, while a goal-fest at Hanson Field saw Rawdon OB draw 3-3 with Knaresborough Reserves.

Huddersfield YM were the only one of Division Two’s top three sides in league action and they took full advantage, thrashing Ripon City 6-1. YM remain third but are now only one point adrift of leaders Glasshoughton Rock.

Shelley Reserves retained fourth spot in similar fashion, beating Old Centralians 7-1. Swillington Saints have been neck and neck with Shelley for weeks, but Swillington’s 5-3 loss at Hunsworth finally put some daylight between the pair.

Baildon Trinity Athletic opened up a six-point gap between them and the bottom three after their 1-0 win at Tingley Athletic.

Brighouse Old Boys could do nothing to change the situation with their 3-1 defeat to Kellingley Welfare whilst Knaresborough Celtic fell seven points behind Baildon after managing only a 2-2 draw with Altofts.