West Yorkshire League: Wetherby Athletic on right track despite Jekyll and Hyde displays
West Yorkshire League Division One club Wetherby Athletic, were left dumbfounded after their 3-1 defeat to Rothwell.
This has caused their fixture secretary Andy Young to compare the league, sitting at level 12 of the English football system, to the Championship, the second tier of English football. He said: “Division One is a little like the Championship to use that analogy, in the sense that every team in the Championship are capable of beating anyone, and that’s what Division One is like. Then you have teams like Rawdon who perhaps have that slight bit of extra quality, which could allow them to push on to promotion.”
After their relegation from the Premier Division last season, Wetherby have struggled to challenge the front runners, sitting seventh after 14 games.
“We have been a bit like Jekyll and Hyde this season”, said Young. “When we have played really well it shows, but like yesterday against Rothwell in a game we really should have won, we ended up losing 3-1 despite having at least half a dozen clear-cut chances which we didn’t take while they were very clinical. This has been the feature of our season.
“We beat Altofts 7-1 in our previous game, yet probably played better against Rothwell and lost than we did in that match.”
The reason for this inconsistency lies with the new management team and squad put together by Wetherby for this campaign, according to Young.
“The team is still bedding in so really it will be next season when we kick on,” he said. “But sometimes we really let ourselves down with the lack of consistency.
“Brian Blewitt has returned as player/coach. Thomas Frost and Paul Hustwit have also come back into the fold after being part of Wetherby before, and there are always new players coming down to training looking to break into the side.
“Martin Powell and Brian Blewitt are our new management team who are keen to re-establish Wetherby in the Premier League, but if you look at teams who have gone down from the Premier League in the past, they don’t bounce straight back up at the first attempt.”
Wetherby were the only side in the West Yorkshire League to get their game underway at the weekend, with freezing conditions causing widespread postponements. And Young claimed: “Our pitch got a lot of sun on it. It was checked twice in the morning and the referee was happy to play the game.
“There were no bookings which says a lot for the conditions, so even though the result didn’t go our way, we were justified in playing. It also gives us a free weekend, allowing us to come back sharper on the 30th December after the Christmas break.”
The only other action of the weekend was seen in the Alliance League. Division One side Leeds Modernians Reserves fell to a 6-2 defeat at home against Hartshead Reserves, with braces from Nathan Foster and Adam Hird helping them to a crushing victory.
Headingley Reserves picked up a narrow 3-2 victory away to Pool Reserves. That victory leaves them sixth in the table, but an eye watering 16 points off leaders Field Reserves.
The final game saw Ilkley Reserves trounce Huddersfield YM Reserves 7-1 in the Alliance Division Two. Bolstered by a few first-team names after the Ilkley senior games postponement, manager Peter Iliff was keen to heap praise on the youngsters.
“The youth players shone through today which is good for the future of the club,” he said. “People like Tom Meadows, Dec Bradley, Lawrence Paterson and Jimmy Husband all had really strong games.
“But whenBlake Wood came off the bench to score twice, his pace took the game completely away from the opposition. The 3G pitch has now hosted two reserve games, where we have score 13 and conceded one.
“The surface really suits our style of play with the ball kept on the ground to make it a quick game, using our technical players, giving them the opportunity to shine, as opposed to muddy pitches which we usually play on at this time of year.
“They can be really frustrating for our lads who rely on finesse.”
Leeds Medics’ perfect start to the season rolls on as they beat St Nicholas 4-1, ensuring they will top the Premier Division at Christmas, writes TOM HARLE.
Medics have won all seven league games thus far – conceding just twice – Brad Chambers’ hat-trick extending their dream start at Weetwood on the weekend.
Nick’s struggled to compete on the same level in the first half, going in 3-0 down with rep’ star Chambers on a brace within 36 minutes and Sverrir Kristensson netting a minute later.
Kristensson’s third was a sublime effort, rounding the keeper at the second attempt to finish, after a 30-yard run had beaten four visiting defenders.
Likely title challengers Stanley United and Alwoodley both sealed convincing victories in their final top-tier outings of the year.
Stanley beat Athletico 4-0, snapping their three-game winning streak in imposing fashion with leading scorer Josh Whiteley twice on target.
Alwoodley put five excellent goals past sorry Stanningley, who now rely on the re-signing of centre-half John Mallinson to salvage the second half of their season. Goals at Hough Top came twice from Riccardo Picano, promoted from the second string, Dan Ashton, Dino Mulavdic and Callum Armstrong.
In the Championship, St Bede’s went into their festive night out with a spring in their step after a deserved 4-2 defeat of Mount St Mary’s at Southfield Grammar.
Even more impressive as they were 2-0 down through Matt Parkin and Matt Kingwood.
But an Ian Horrocks brace and goals from Jermaine Moyce and Michael Lickley took them over the line.
The other second-tier contest to survive the weather saw Beeston St Anthony’s beat bottom side Wortley 3-2 at Beggars’ Hill. Beeston raced into a 3-0 lead, through Ben McGuigan, Tony Garth and Jake Topp, and managed to hold on despite a late Wortley response.
Just the single Division One game overcame the elements, allowing Rothwell to secure a resounding 5-1 victory over Ealandians Reserves in a battle of first and second.
Tom McGuinness was too good on the day, notching a treble, supplemented by Ryan Healey and Ryan Daly’s second-half efforts.
Division Two fared rather better, Fairbank United and Sandal Wanderers’ 4-4 draw headlining a full card.
First and second placed Garforth Crusaders and Colton Athletic won 6-1 and 4-1 respectively.
n A handful of cup games took place with the pick of them seeing Britannia Sports romp to a 12-1 massacre of hosts Kirkburton in the Huddersfield FA Challenge Cup.
Doran Jordan notched a hat-trick while Luke Webb and Lach Ryan also hit braces with the dozen completed by strikes from Ryan Binney, Seb Avery, Michael Cross, Nicky Kitson and an own goal.
Yorkshire Amateur League side Leeds City Old Boys also progressed in the West Riding FA County Challenge Trophy with a 7-2 triumph at Golcar United Reserves in the third round.
And previously unbeaten Wakefield League leaders Royston Cross lost for the first time this season as hosts Hall Green United recorded a 2-1 win in the Cyril Craven Challenge Cup.
FC PRINCE kept the pressure on leaders Durkar with a 6-1 blitz of ninth-placed visitors New Pot Oil in Division One of the Wakefield League, writes LEE SOBOT.
Prince’s Michael Corr and Nathan Perks both bagged doubles with Scott Barker and Charlie Clark adding a goal each. Elsewhere in the division, Ossett Dynamos moved fourth with a 2-0 triumph at bottom club Fieldhead Hospital as Michael Lemm and Ben Butler both struck while Fox & Hounds (Batley) rose to sixth with a 3-0 verdict at home to fifth-placed Snydale Athletic. Thomas Ramsden’s treble was supported by goals from Craig Bentley and Blake Maude.
Three games survived in Division Two which is still led by Waterloo who saw off 11th-placed visitors Dewsbury Westside 7-3. Second-placed AFC Heckmondwike enjoyed a 4-0 triumph against seventh-placed visitors AFC Sheaf while Thornhill United went fourth with a 2-1 success at second-bottom Overthorpe Sports Club.
Just three games survived in the West Riding County Amateur League as unbeaten Golcar United moved second in the Premier Division with a 7-1 thumping of fifth-bottom visitors Lepton Highlanders.
Lepton’s Dean Siddiq bagged a treble supported by a brace from Alex Hallam plus a goal each from Ryan John and Richard Kettlewell as Eme Hemingway consoled Lepton.
In Division One, Jack Kanyama’s brace could only seal Tingley Athletic a point in a 3-3 draw at bottom-of-the-league Bradford FC. Danny McMahon was also on target for sixth-placed Tingley but goals from Wayne Broxholme, Abdullah Hamad and Jaanshar Khan gave Bradford their fourth point of the season.
TVR United jumped above Tingley into fifth as they hammered third-bottom visitors Overthorpe Sports Club 7-1. Doubles from Asid Khan and Danny Hussain plus strikes from Asif Iqbal, Faisal Shabir and an own goal put TVR in seventh-heaven with Kristian Angus the solitary scorer for Overthorpe.
Three games were played in the Harrogate League top flight and leaders Harlow Hill moved 19 points clear, albeit having played six games more, with a 4-2 win at home to second-placed Thirsk Falcons.
Fourth-placed Pateley Bridge won 2-0 at at fourth-bottom Bramhope while bottom club Hampsthwaite took a 1-1 draw at Bardsey who moved eighth.
In Division One, Kirkstall Crusaders moved tenth through a 1-1 draw at home to fourth-placed Bardsey Reserves.
ONLY four games survived the plummeting temperatures in the Leeds Combination League as Sporting Pudsey Reserves led the way by moving second in Division 3B, writes LEE SOBOT.
Pudsey climbed from third to second with a 3-1 win at home to fifth-placed Bramley Lions as one of three games played in the division. Matthew Christopher’s strike proved in vain for Bramley.
Temple dropped to third after a 6-4 loss at FC Elford, who moved seventh. Elford’s Ishtyaq Islam and Niall Wood bagged doubles, supported by strikes from Hammad Ali and Jamie Grant in the face of Temple replies from Owen Gartland, Matthew Hatch, James Moir and Aaron Spink.
FC Crossgates rose to fourth as they saw off bottom-club visitors FC Armley Reserves 4-1.
In Division 3A, New Moorside shot up to fourth after edging out eighth-placed visitors Headingley Rovers 3-2. Efforts from Lewis Pratt and Thomas Walker failed to save Rovers.
In the Jubilee Premier, fifth-placed Leeds City Rovers were given a home walkover against bottom side Kirkstall Crusaders while West Yorkshire Falcons moved sixth in Division Two with an away walkover against third-bottom Old Hall Town in Division Two.
In the only surviving game in the Heavy Woollen League, third-placed Clifton Rangers walloped fifth-placed visitors Wire Works 9-0.
Three games went ahead in the Wakefield Sunday League with Premiership Two leaders West End Terriers shocked 6-1 at home to Wakefield Football Centre, who moved into seventh.
In Championship One, leaders AFC Ackworth were held to a 1-1 draw at fifth-placed Railway Inn which allowed third-placed Rocking Horse to close the gap by squeezing a 4-3 win at ninth-placed Thatched House.
In the only game played in the Wharfedale Triangle League, Shadwell United moved second with a 5-1 success at eighth-placed Keighley Crusaders.
On the junior football front, third-placed Morley Glen Juniors Under-16s were held to a 1-1 draw at home to second-placed Wrenthorpe Rangers Under-16s in Division 1A & 1B of the Garforth League.
Liam Ormsby headed home Charlie Stoker’s cross to fire Glen in front but Wrenthorpe equalised in the final minute.
After making history last season with an FA Cup third-round tie against Everton, Brighouse Town could be set to do it again, after a thrilling 6-3 win over Northern Premier side Wolves earned them a third-round tie at Derby County, writes CONNOR CRAIG-JACKSON.
Two goals in the opening 16 minutes saw both sides locked on level terms, as Charlotte Criddle gave Wolves an early lead twice, only to be immediately cancelled out by Jodie Redgrave and Danielle Brown.
Criddle once again put Wolves ahead in the second half to complete her hat-trick, but only for Lauren Doyle to respond for Brighouse. Brown popped up again for her second to give Brighouse a 4-3 lead, before Redgrave missed a penalty that would have given them a two-goal cushion.
Any nerves were crushed by Aimee Beresford’s brace in the last ten minutes which sealed another famous win for the Orange Army and leaves Brighouse one win away from sealing their first-ever fourth-round tie.
County Cup action, however, saw heartache for Leeds United, as they were knocked out of the quarter-final on penalties by lower-league Farsley Celtic.
Leeds took the lead through Laure Porritt after 20 minutes, but the action remained end to end and scrappy in difficult conditions.
The Whites pushed for a winner towards the end as Olivia Smart and Shelbey Morris went close, but it was Farsley who scored late on to settle the scores at 1-1 and set up a dramatic penalty shoot-out which they won 6-5.
Meanwhile, the cup also saw Thackley undertake the daunting task of contending with a Bradford City side seven leagues above them.
The slim chance of an upset was easily quelled by the Bantams however, who dismissed their opponents 15-0 to join Farsley in the semi-finals.
The game was all-but over as a contest within five minutes as Bradford raced into a two-goal lead through Laura Elford, who bagged seven goals for herself along with braces for Charlotte Stuart, Bryony Hanson, Hannah Campbell, a penalty from Abi Lee and an own goal.
Bradford remain on course to defend the cup they clinched last year, facing the possibility of another semi-final with Guiseley Vixens, whose match with Altofts was postponed.