DANNY Lyons swung the momentum in the Premier Division title race back towards Bradford as Farsley Celtic Juniors inflicted a 4-3 defeat on Leeds Medics, their first defeat of the season in any competition.
Lyons, the league top scorer last season in Celtic’s title charge, has plundered 13 goals already this term with Alwoodley’s Callum Armstrong and St Nicholas striker Ryan Brough the only others to breach double figures.
“Danny is an out and out goalscorer,” his manager Barry Thirsk said.
“He’s been through a bit of a dry spell these last three or four games but he’s guaranteed goals at this level.
“He’s not a big strapping striker, he’s got bags of pace and is a typical goalscorer.
“I’m sure Danny could play a few levels higher in the step system.”
The home side took the lead at Teasdale Street through Alex Gyte’s cracking strike on 20 minutes, although parity would be restored by Medics defender Arthur Okonkwo’s header.
Despite an even rest of the first half the champions were ahead at the break after Tom Murgatroyd capitalised on some poor defending to make it 2-1.
Lyons made the most of another lapse just after the resumption to extend the lead before he finished off a terrific move involving four or five players to complete his brace.
Steve Ledger’s side threw caution to the wind and, in switching to a three-man defence, sparked a goalscoring instinct in Okonkwo who swooped to net twice and bag a hat-trick from centre-half. There were some nervy late moments, with Thirsk unable to name a bench due to several injuries to first-teamers, but Farsley’s proud home record continues to stand.
There was another meeting of title contenders at Rothwell Sports Club but Alwoodley and Stanley United couldn’t be separated in a hard-fought 1-1 draw.
Great footwork from Callum Armstrong saw him beat three defenders to set up Robert Oxley who put the visitors in front from close range.
The equaliser would be from the penalty spot as Joe Childs converted the rebound from his initial spot.
Both sides created chances and 17 year-old debutant Kane Withington played a starring role for Stanley but they could not be separated and will now both go into 2017 unbeaten in the league.
Farnley Sports must be sick of the sight of Ealandians, who made it four wins in a row with a 4-3 victory at Elland Cricket Club.
Ealandians, winners in the same fixture last week in the County Cup, stormed in front with two first-half goals from Colin Schofield and Daniel Davidson. The game hinged on the sending off of left-back Dom Finn which helped Farnley turn the tables and the returning Adam Butterworth plunder a hat trick to put them 3-2 up.
Two fine goals – the first a 30-yard equaliser from Martin Coldwell and the second a great lob from player-manager Wayne Crossley – swung the game the other way and saw Ealandians take the points from a thrilling game.
With the top five not in league action until the new year, Farsley, Alwoodley and Stanley – with games in hand – all look well-placed for a tilt on the top-two places, currently held by the Medics and Ealandians.
The top-flight sides involved in the completion of the second round of the Marflitt Trophy were Stanningley, who beat Alwoodley Reserves 3-0, and Beeston Juniors, who were given a tough tie by Horsforth St Margaret’s but came through 4-3.
It will be a tall order to shift Morley Town from the top of the Championship as they took their winning run into its seventh league game by beating Beeston St Anthony’s 7-0.
Chris Pearson got the ball rolling in the 8th minute at Glen Road, as Jovan Kioseff doubled the lead on the half hour.
A quick-fire Matty Ibbotson treble, alongside the token set-piece goal from Marc Haley and Aidan Philip’s strike, made it a highly convincing win for the league leaders.
Drighlington dropped points for the first time this season in a 1-1 draw with Leeds Medics Reserves.
Drig, who have played only four league games so far, went ahead thanks to Brett Thompson’s 40th-minute opener only to be pegged back Johnny Cattrall’s opportunistic effort from a ricochet in the second half.
Aaron Garratt’s hat-trick powered Wortley up to fourth place in a 4-1 defeat of second-bottom Shire Academics.
In Division One, Gildersome Spurs beat Huddersfield YMCA to stay top and second-placed Leeds Independent drew 3-3 with third-placed St Bede’s.