West Yorkshire League: How Horbury Town reached the top of the tree in time for Christmas

Horbury Town went into the Christmas break top of the West Yorkshire League Premier division but it wasn’t all plain sailing at a mist-bound Headingley.
Horbury Town captain Matty Johnson scored both goals in the West Yorkshire League Premier Division leaders' 2-1 win at Headingley. Picture: Steve Riding.Horbury Town captain Matty Johnson scored both goals in the West Yorkshire League Premier Division leaders' 2-1 win at Headingley. Picture: Steve Riding.
Horbury Town captain Matty Johnson scored both goals in the West Yorkshire League Premier Division leaders' 2-1 win at Headingley. Picture: Steve Riding.

Headingley, sitting 10th in the standings, trailed 2-1 at half-time - but that’s also how it finished as the hosts managed to frustrate the league’s pacesetters for the whole of the second half.

Matthew Johnson bagged both goals for Town with Mark Freeman keeping Headingley very much in the hunt for a point that, ultimately, didn’t come their way.

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Beeston St Anthony remain just a point adrift in second following a comfortable 4-1 home win over 12th-placed Field.

Finlay Ellis heads in the gloom for Horbury Town during the West Yorkshire League Premier Division leaders' 2-1 win at Headingley. Picture: Steve Riding.Finlay Ellis heads in the gloom for Horbury Town during the West Yorkshire League Premier Division leaders' 2-1 win at Headingley. Picture: Steve Riding.
Finlay Ellis heads in the gloom for Horbury Town during the West Yorkshire League Premier Division leaders' 2-1 win at Headingley. Picture: Steve Riding.

Lee Turner struck twice with Jake Meehan and Matthew Moon also netting for Beeston.

Charlie Thompson was among the goals as Carlton Athletic edged visitors Kirk Deighton Rangers, 2-1, Ashley Tatler tucking away the goal for the visitors.

Third-placed Horsforth St Margarets slipped up at home to Huddersfield Amateur, the mid-tablers leaving with a 1-1 draw to their credit.

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Rawdon Old Boys cemented their fifth place on the league ladder with a 3-1 home win over Knaresborough Town who still sit one place and seven points above Saturday’s victors in spite of the matchday scoreline.

Jay Schofield, of Horbury Town, gets ahead of Headingley's Jamie Bywater during Saturday's West Yorkshire League Premier Division encounter in Leeds. Picture: Steve Riding.Jay Schofield, of Horbury Town, gets ahead of Headingley's Jamie Bywater during Saturday's West Yorkshire League Premier Division encounter in Leeds. Picture: Steve Riding.
Jay Schofield, of Horbury Town, gets ahead of Headingley's Jamie Bywater during Saturday's West Yorkshire League Premier Division encounter in Leeds. Picture: Steve Riding.

Harry Cullingford, Eliot James Goldthorp and Sam Boldy netted for Rawdon.

The battle between 13th and 14th in the standings - hosts Robin Hood Athletic and Whitkirk Wanderers - went the way of the home side, 2-1.

Goals from Jonathan Forsyth and Joseph Zipfel secured success for Athletic with Moossa Diallo netting for Wanderers.

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In Division 1, table-topping Silsden AFC WY must have through they had all three points wrapped up by half-time as they led visitors Ilkley Town AFC Men’s Second XI, 2-0.

But second-half goals from Benjamin Howard and James Hughes earned fourth-placed Ilkley a well-deserved point.

Shelley closed the gap on the leaders to just a couple of points with their 3-1 home win over Swillington Saints Welfare First.

Matthew Marshall scored the goal for Saints and also picked up a yellow card along the way while a red card for Matthew Morton following two bookable offences turned an already uphill struggle for Swillington into more of a mountain to climb.

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Lowly Featherstone Colliery First moved into double figures points wise thanks to a notable 2-1 away win over sixth-placed Aberford Albion. David Middleton netted for Albion but goals from Harry Lowe and Gareth Ward were enough to secure maximum points for the on-the-up visitors.

In Division 2, Kellingley Welfare First and Huddersfield LH AFC First going into the break joint top on 27 points with Old Centralians third just three points adrift.

The next three teams making up the current top six - Harrogate Railway Athletic FC Reserves, Altofts First and Ripon City First - are all locked on 23 points. At the foot of the standings, bottom-placed FC Sporting Keighley First and second-bottom Tingley Athletic FC 1st look to be being cast adrift with each having amassed only seven points to date.

The team immediate above them, Overthorpe Sports Club First, have 14 points.

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Second-placed ryburn United slipped up at Middleton in the Yorkshire Amateur League Supreme division.

Hosts Middleton overran Ryburn, 6-2, with in-form James Law netting a hat-trick, Richard Collier chipping in with two and Scot Burns landing the other goal.

Middleton have amassed only 10 points this season compared with United’s 20, the same number held by top dogs Athletico who were made to work hard for their 1-0 win over third-bottom Leeds City.

Izatullah Ghaznewale bagged the all-important goal for Athletico who also have two games in hand on title rivals Ryburn.

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Elsewhere, Mount St Mary’s triumphed 4-1 in their mid-table tussle at Stanley United.

Runaway Premier leaders Leeds University go into the mid-season break with a commanding 14-point lead and don’t, at this stage, look like being caught.

The Championship is much tighters with Leeds City Reserves top on 21 points and second-and-third-placed teams Lepton Highlanders and Wortley Reserves each just three points off the pace.

Norristhorpe head the Division 1 standings on 25 points with Middleton Park staying in the hunt on 22. It’s tight at the foot of the ladder, though, with no fewer than six teams still smarting in single figures.