West Yorkshire: Taking on the league leaders holds no fears for depleted Bardsey

Lee Barraclough and his assistant Gary Melia
Lee Barraclough and his assistant Gary Melia
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boss Lee Barraclough says Bardsey will give 110 per cent in their biggest game of the season at home to Leeds City this weekend, writes JAMES SCOTT.

Premier Division champions Bardsey moved to within two points of leaders Leeds City after their nine men held firm to secure Saturday’s 6-4 home victory over Shelley.

At the same time, Leeds City slipped to their first loss of the season, losing 3-1 away to East End Park, and Barraclough believes his patched-up side can take advantage this weekend.

“It’s our biggest game of the season,” said Barraclough.

“We’ve got Rob Dickinson banned and seven or eight missing, but we’ll always put a strong side out and give 110 per cent. We’re enjoying being champions at the moment and we want to come out on top this year as well.”

Bardsey came out on top in a ten-goal thriller on Saturday, despite finishing the game with nine men after Wayne Hudson and Jamie Thompson were given their marching orders.

The hosts were prolific at one end, with Daniel Maw, Steven Palfrey and Jamie Thomson bagging braces.

But Bardsey were sloppy at the other end as Liam Berry, Andrew Farrell, Allan Greenwood and Phil Livsey got on the score sheet for Shelley.

Despite seeing his players filling up the referee’s book, Barraclough paid tribute to his side’s ability to grind out the win under pressure.

“It was one of the most unusual games I’ve been involved in,” he said. “But we managed to dig deep in order to get the result and overall we showed character to get the three points despite the silly sending-offs.”

Barraclough insisted however that Bardsey will need to stop shipping goals in at the back if they are to retain their West Yorkshire Premier Division title.

“We need to be tighter at the back as we’ve conceded seven goals in our last two games, after conceding just five in nine games,” he said.

“So we need to find some more consistency there.”

Saturday’s result was all the more important with goals from Shaun Coggill, Liam Douglas and Adam Tunnicliffe giving East End Park a 3-1 home win against Leeds City. That success put Park fifth.

And Beeston St Anthony’s moved to third and within five points of City after their 8-2 away drubbing of Hunslet Club. Four goals from Jordan Talbot, a Sean Jeavons brace and strikes from Ben Haigh and Lee Turnbull allowed Beeston to bag eight goals for the second consecutive week.

In Division One, second-placed Ilkley Town had to settle for a 2-2 away draw with Featherstone Colliery for whom Danny Bott and Adam Turner struck.

Kellingley Welfare remain bottom after their 6-3 home defeat to Old Centralians for whom a Kevin Duckworth brace and Jordan Hutchinson strike proved in vain.

In Division Two, Glasshoughton Welfare failed to make up ground on table toppers Thornhill, after a 4-2 defeat away to Great Preston. Rothwell Town beat Ossett Common Rovers 3-0 to move fourth in the league, while Barwick settled for a home point win a 1-1 draw with Yorkshire Amateur.

In an Alliance Division One highlight, Oxenhope Recreation Reserves kept the pressure on leaders Hunslet Club Reserves with a 6-0 blitzing of Field Reserves. Leon Smith’s hat-trick was supplemented with goals from Gareth Ritson, Will Lee and skipper Liam Blacka.

Aberord Albion Reserves were the big movers in Alliance Division Two as a 3-1 win at Otley Town Reserves put them second.

Ben Jones, left of Old Centralians and Matthew Martin of Swillington challenge.

Slideshow: Swillington v Old Centralians