West Yorkshire League: Title race wide open predicts Needham
LEEDS City returned to the Premier Division summit with their 4-1 win over Huddersfield Amateur.
Luke Norman netted twice for the hosts, while Adam Fowler and Joe Tasker also made the scoresheet.
After missing out narrowly on a first Premier Division title last season, chairman Darren Needham is excited about the start his team has made to this campaign.
“It’s fantastic for us to be leading the way early on,” he said.
“We have various teams which altogether we try to use as a filter.
“This helps us progress and improve our standard, so it’s always good when the first team are at the top and competing with the elite of that division.”
City have replaced Beeston St Anthony’s as the league leaders after two defeats in their last three for St Anthony’s, but this is not a surprise to Needham.
“Within the league it’s changed a lot in the last few years. Before you had one or two teams really kicking on and leaving the others behind, but now it’s so much more competitive. You have teams taking points off each other throughout the division. This is a good thing of course for everyone, so from a neutral point of view, this should be a very good season.”
With the title battle set to be the most wide open in recent memory, Needham believes that mentality is most important for his team if they are to right the wrongs of last season and lift the Premier Division trophy.
“You have to concentrate on yourself, making sure the players are of competitive nature, with a good team spirit and giving it their best week in week out.
“As long as you’re doing that, generating a good team culture and have the backing from the club, the rewards will be seen at the end of the season.
“You can’t take anything for granted, we have to approach things one game at a time, and with the right skill set and mentality, hopefully the players will take us to where we want to be at the end of the season.”
Despite Leeds’ return to the top, all eyes were on the developments at Beeston as they fell to a shock 6-1 home defeat against Field. Tom Ponter was on target twice for Field, while Josh Milner, Daniel Nolan, Jake Taylor and Eli Petschak completed the demolition.
In another shock result, Whitkirk Wanderers’ undefeated start to the campaign was ended by rapidly improving Wyke Wanderers, 1-0 winners at Whitechapel Road.
Dillon Hollinger grabbed the vital goal to make it back-to-back wins for Wyke and lift them into 11th place.
There was no shortage of goals at Ben Rhhydding Sports Club, as Ilkley Town came from behind three times to claim a 3-3 draw with Hunslet. Horbury Town ran out impressive 7-1 winners over Salts.
In Division Two, Glasshoughton Rock remain on top after their 5-0 win at Tingley Athletic. Richard Kingsbury found the net twice, while Josh Prudhoe, Robbie Rice and Ashley Rycroft did the rest.
Campion Reserves remain hot on their heels, running out 4-1 winners at strugglers Brighouse Old Boys.
Laurence Sorhaindo grabbed two with Mason Butterfield and Matt Britton also netting.
In an early third-against-fourth clash, Huddersfield YM came out on top to jump Swillington Saints in a 2-1 victory.
With the game level at half-time courtesy of Saints’ Shaune Cornish and YM’s Jordan Jaber, Sam Auty then grabbed a 70th-minute winner for YM.
Shelley Reserves claimed a 2-1 win at Knaresborough Celtic, while Old Centralians ran out 3-1 winners at Baildon Trinity Athletic to complete the weekend’s action.
Hall Green United remain on top of Division One despite being held to a 2-2 draw by Oxenhope Recreation, writes JAMIE WOODHOUSE.
First-half goals from Jamie Miller were cancelled out by the Oxenhope pairing of Daniel Moriarty and Lee Reilly.
With Aberford Albion in cup action, Hall Green held on to their undefeated start and the tag of league leaders but, with a game in hand, Aberford know a two-point gain on Hall Green is theirs for the taking.
Hartshead remain in third but are now only two points off the leaders after their crushing 5-0 away win at Rothwell.
Hartshead, like Hall Green, have found quick momentum after their Premier Division relegation, but one team coming in the opposite direction who have grabbed people’s attention is Newsome, who are now also just two points off the summit after their 5-2 win over Howden Clough.
Steven Marshall opened the scoring after 42 minutes, while Karl Gledhill claimed an impressive brace. Substitutes Paul Pyke and Conor Sykes also got in on the action.
Following Newsome’s promotion last season, joint-manager Richard Evans simply said: “We want to go up again next season”, and as it stands, they look capable of doing exactly that.
Pool are also making steady progress up the table after their third win in four games as they beat Featherstone Colliery 3-2.
Ryan Firth netted twice with Josh Waite’s goal proving the difference, after Featherstone’s Andrew Burton and Adam Cameron had threatened to claim a point for the visitors.
In the remaining Division One contests, Leeds Modernians played out a 1-1 draw with Otley Town, while Boroughbridge defeated East End Park 4-1.
Christopher Simpson bagged a hat-trick for Boroughbridge for whom Callum Rodgers was also on target with Aaron Kitao’s strike consoling East End Park.