West Yorkshire League: Wyke issue warning to title rivals despite weekend slip-up

Goalscorer Craig Nicholls, of Rawdon OB, flicks the ball past Whitkirk Wanderers' Jamie Hainsworth. PIC: Steve Riding
Goalscorer Craig Nicholls, of Rawdon OB, flicks the ball past Whitkirk Wanderers' Jamie Hainsworth. PIC: Steve Riding
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Division One side Wyke Wanderers insist they are still title contenders, despite their weekend slip-up.

Wanderers could manage only a 0-0 draw at Wetherby Athletic, while Rawdon Old Boys and East End Park ahead of them both picked up victories at the weekend.

Tom McMullen, of Rawdon OB, holds off Stephen Richardson, of Division One rivals Whitkirk Wanderers. PIC: Steve Riding

Tom McMullen, of Rawdon OB, holds off Stephen Richardson, of Division One rivals Whitkirk Wanderers. PIC: Steve Riding

Club secretary David Ryan said: “We can catch the top sides and have to keep going for that target, despite the couple of wayward results we have had.

“At the end of the day we could have done with that victory over Wetherby, but that result would probably have been unfair.

“We had a fair amount of the ball but it was an even game and really neither side deserved to win. Both teams showed maximum effort and it was very much a midfield battle.”

Like many sides in the West Yorkshire League, Ryan bemoaned the number of postponements forced on his side over the winter period.

Jamie Hainsworth beats Tom McMullen to the ball. PIC: Steve Riding

Jamie Hainsworth beats Tom McMullen to the ball. PIC: Steve Riding

“The weather has been a huge problem for us,” he said.

“We are notorious in the fact that it always catches up with us around this time of year. We have good footballers in the side and once the pitches become heavy and soggy we begin to struggle.”

Wyke will return to action after the Easter break with an away trip to struggling Brighouse Old Boys, in a match Ryan says his side must win.

“We would be disappointed if we didn’t get three points against Brighouse” he said.

“It’s a local derby and so we usually play well against them.

“The main thing is how we react. In football when you have a poor result, like we did against Wetherby, the true challenge is how you bounce back next time.

“If we play to our potential, then we are certainly in with a shout. After this there is Rawdon coming up and East End Park as well, so we need results”.

Ryan is predicting a close end to the Division One title race. “This has been a really good season” he explained.

“We fancied ourselves more earlier on in the campaign but we still fancy our chances against any of the leading sides.

“We can’t wait for the Rawdon game. Ultimately it looks like Whitkirk Wanderers and Rawdon are the top sides but four or five teams may still win the league.”

In the Premier Division, Beeston St Anthony’s picked up their fourth win in a row, defeating Hall Green United 4-0 to ensure their gap at the top of the table remained at five points.

James Allan, Matthew Moon, Matty Waller and Kingsley Wetherald were all on target for St Anthony’s. Leeds City remain hot on their heels, with Mark Ferguson’s brace helping them run out 3-2 winners over a highly competitive Carlton Athletic side.

Ilkley Town also kept their title chances alive, coming from behind to beat Hartshead 3-1.

Goals from Tom Archer, Adam Davey and Tim Edney got their side back to winning ways.

However, the game was somewhat overshadowed by an incident shortly before full-time, which saw a member of the Hartshead contingent ejected from pitch-side, the allegation being that of using abusive language towards the Ilkley coaching staff.

The defeat for Hartshead proved a huge blow in their battle to avoid the drop, after Sherburn White Rose moved just one point behind them in the table after their 1-0 win over Knaresborough Town.

Pool also pulled off a surprise 3-1 victory away at Hunslet thanks to Jamie Algar, Ryan Firth and Josh Wagstaff. Headingley were able to ease their relegation fears slightly, after a narrow 1-0 victory over Field.

Those results mean the Premier Division’s bottom seven sides are separated by just eight points.

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Rawdon OB took over as league leaders in Division One, knocking former pacesetters Whitkirk Wanderers off top spot after beating them 3-1 at Hanson Field, through a Craig Nicholls hat-trick.

That result also brought an end to Whirkirk’s run of ten straight victories. East End Park are now a single point behind Whitkirk, in third, after thrashing Brighouse OB 6-0. Wyke are now nine points adrift of top spot, after their goalless draw with Wetherby Athletic.

Altofts stay in a relegation scrap after a 1-0 loss to Aberford Albion. A point would have put them five points clear of bottom club Brighouse, but John Mallinson ensured that didn’t happen, netting the winner for Aberford. Howden Clough boosted their survival chances with a 2-0 win over Rothwell, while in a battle for mid-table supremacy, neither Kippax nor Boroughbridge could gain any ground on the other, playing out an entertaining 3-3 draw.

In Division Two, Kirk Deighton Rangers retained their place as leaders in emphatic style, demolishing Huddersfield YM 5-0. Josh Barden and sub’ Jake Young netted twice for Kirk Deighton, with Luke Dubbery stretching the scoreline to five. Otley Town remain only three points behind Rangers with two games in hand after defeating Kellingley Welfare 3-2. The Division Two action ended on a surprising note, with struggling Baildon Trinity Athletic picking up a crushing 6-2 away victory over Ripon City.

In the West Yorkshire League Cup, Featherstone Colliery narrowly avoided an upset after picking up a nervy 3-2 victory over Newsome. Two goals from Jordan Hale and a Thomas Field strike were enough to get the job done for Featherstone.

Robin Hood Athletic also progressed after a 2-0 win over Oxenhope Recreation, while Huddersfield Amateur needed penalties to overcome Horbury Town, after the game ended 0-0 in normal time.