STRUGGLING Stanningley Old Boys summoned ‘Dunkirk spirit’ to restrict high-flying Stanley United, nearly nicking a Premier Division point with only nine men on the field.
Stanningley, third from bottom in the top flight, suffered from several no-shows on the day but managed to frustrate second-placed Stanley for long spells.
Their keeper, Jamie Bull was in top form and made a number of sublime saves, but Josh Whiteley finally broke through with a second-half clincher.
“We started the game with nine and another player arrived late to make it ten,” said Stanningley’s Dan Holmes. “We were let down on the day by a couple of lads.
“All the players put in 100 per cent effort and commitment and we couldn’t have asked any more. We defended well, kept our shape and created a couple of great chances.”
The win was Stanley’s fourth on the trot, leaving them three points off league leaders Leeds Medics with a game in hand.
“We found it really hard to break them down,” said Stanley’s Daz Riding. “We were clueless in the first half as they defended with a team that felt like 12.”
Medics have stuttered of late, struggling with availability over the Easter break, managing to claim one win and a defeat from their double header with Grangefield Old Boys.
Steve Ledger’s side were out-battled by Grangefield on Saturday in a 2-0 loss, with goals from Rhys O’Hare and Tom Micklethwaite taking them up to eighth.
But with the muddy kit barely dry, the table-toppers had the chance to exact revenge on Monday night and they duly did, sealing a 2-1 triumph.
Drighlington are the other side with plenty to offer at the top of the table, a 4-3 win over Athletico underlining their status as potential champions. Harvey Booth and Shane Sowden struck to earn Steve Phillips’ men a 2-1 half-time advantage, soon eliminated by the prolific Mohammed Qasim and Saad Abbas.
Further strikes from Sowden and Booth in the 70th and 80th minutes put Drig back in front, continuing an excellent run of just one defeat in 12 league outings.
A title challenge may be well out of reach for Farsley Celtic Juniors but the holders have hit a purple patch and dismantled Beeston Juniors 7-2 at the weekend.
Ben Wilson helped himself to four goals, with a brace from regular marksman Louis Surtees combined with a further Joe Firth effort.
Beeston battled back after the interval and proved their worth on Monday evening, claiming a 2-2 draw from their rearranged fixture with Alwoodley.
Morley Town have slipped down the standings in recent weeks and were beaten soundly by Alwoodley in their weekend fixture, a 7-2 reverse at Batley Sports Centre.
Spare a thought, though, for St Nicholas who haven’t earned a point in the league since December and were unlucky to be beaten 3-2 by Ealandians on a sodden surface. The lead changed hands at the top of the Championship, Gildersome Spurs taking advantage of a slip-up to climb to the second tier’s summit.
A Ben Keedy hat-trick, added to Johnny Hunt’s double, helped them pull of a convincing 7-2 victory over Thornesians.
This success was enough for them to go top on goal difference after Calverley United were beaten narrowly, 1-0, by Horsforth St Margaret’s.
Greg Rowell’s free-kick decided the outcome for Horsforth St Margaret’s.
At the bottom, Wortley are staging a remarkable escape act, three successive victories taking them to within two points of safety the latest a 3-1 win over Leeds Medics Reserves.
Jordan Hey, Ashley Williams and Joe Hudson got on the scoresheet for the bottom side.
Elsewhere, St Bede’s beat Collingham Juniors 4-3 late on despite an Ian Horrocks brace, Nathan Hurtault’s late strike sealing them the spoils.