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Saturday, 19 October 2013

Winsford boss Eddy Haslam hails keeper Nathan Beckett after FA Vase win at Garforth Town

Winsford celebrate their winning extra-time goal
Garforth Town 1-2 Winsford United
By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Match Photos are HERE
Winsford United manager Eddy Haslam paid tribute to goalkeeper Nathan Beckett after a string of top saves denied Garforth Town in the visitors’ dramatic extra-time victory.
Second choice stopper Nathan Beckett was given a chance to impress in the end-to end FA Vase First Round encounter at Wheatley Park.
After a few poor results, the North West Counties League Premier Division strugglers boss Haslam chose to drop Andy Jones and field Beckett. The goalkeeper kept Winsford alive during the second half after debutant Sam Akeroyd had scored for Garforth.
Harry Noon equalised for Winsford with three minutes left before substitute James Rothwell won the tie for them deep into the second half of extra-time.
Haslam praised Beckett, but also said he believed his team were worthy winners.
Winsford boss Eddy Haslam
“He was tremendous today wasn’t he,” he told Sports Performer.
“Certainly in the first half he made two tremendous saves, but in the second period of extra time he came up with an absolutely superb save.
“There was a lot of talk of people not wanting him to play today and wanting the other keeper to play, but he was certainly first choice today and he was superb.
“In recent weeks with the form we felt we needed to have a change so we gave Nathan a go and he has risen to the occasion today.”
He added: “I thought (the equaliser) it was a matter of time if we carried on building our game, which we did.
“Even though Garforth scored I still felt we were in the game. It take a late goal, but if we kept pressing and playing the same way it was going to come and it did.
“In the extra time we were by far the better side. It could have been a high-scoring game
“We had chances in the first half and in the second half, but they’re the home side and you have to expect Garforth to come at us.
“We coped with it really well and overall I think we deserved the game.”
The first half was a pretty drab affair with Garforth’s American attacking midfielder Logan McDaniel wasting the Miners’ best chance after breaking through on goal – Beckett the saviour for Winsford with a smart save.
Midfielder David Gbemie went the closest for Winsford with a long range attempt.
Sam Akeroyd about to open the scoring for Garforth
Garforth broke the deadlock four minutes into the second half. Akeroyd, who came on as first half substitute for Josh Greenhalgh, held off two Winsford defenders before firing the ball into the top corner from the edge of the penalty area. Garforth then had further opportunities to kill the game off. Beckett denied Josh Cartman from point blank range after the striker latched onto Tawanda Rupere’s superb cross on the hour.
Beckett then created more headlines for himself by somehow tipping McDaniel’s powerful header, which seemed destined for the top corner, away from danger.
The game reached its closing stages and Winsford were gaining momentum and after a couple of half chances, Haslam’s young side got their equaliser. Garforth allowed Noon time and space to take the ball down and control it before he fired the ball into the bottom corner from eight yards.
The game sailed into extra-time and Winsford were in control. Garforth seemed to have run out of steam and the away side were causing all the problems. Noon thought he had scored again within a minute of the start of the extra 30 minutes with a low drive that flashed just wide.
Nathan Beckett
Winsford had to wait until the last five minutes of extra-time. Garforth had survived a couple of scares, but the home side only have themselves blame after failing to clear the ball during a scramble. Rothwell was the hero after slamming home at the fourth attempt inside the six-yard box.
Garforth still had time to respond and nearly did. Inside a mad final two minutes, Beckett brilliantly batted away Cartman’s powerful shot which Winsford initially managed to clear. The ball came back and Cartman was unlucky with another attempt as the ball cannoned back off the crossbar.
Rupere then fired the follow-up shot just over the bar and that was Garforth’s last chance and Winsford boss Haslam hopes his side can kick-on in the league, starting at Bootle on Tuesday night.
“It means a tremendous amount because we’re on a pretty bad run in the league and this is just a bonus to get into the next round of the Vase,” he said.
“By winning in cup matches you can build on it and start winning in the league and hopefully we’ll do that on Tuesday night.”
Garforth Town: Martens, Stohrer (Woodger 55), Misambu, Allen (captain), Hawksworth, Hilton (Helliwell HT), Rupere, McDaniel, Cartman, Bower, Greenhalgh (Ackroyd 32). Subs unused: Smith, Oyebanji. Winsford United: Beckett, M Jones, Lane, Gbemie (McNamara 109), J Jones, Constantine, Banda, Wareing (Rothwell 83), Hirst, Noon, Liddle (Westwood 68). Sub unused: Bush.Referee: P Sporne (Sheffield)Attendance: Man of the match: Nathan Beckett (Winsford United)

Friday, 18 October 2013

Ossett Albion make five new signings

By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Richard Tracey hopes Ossett Albion can start climbing the Evo Stik Division One North table.
Albion were four points adrift at the bottom of the table until the tension-filled 1-0 victory over Mossley on Wednesday night.
Ossett are one point behind Radcliffe Borough and Tracey has signed five vastly experienced players to try and lead Albion away from danger and asked on what his message for the players was ahead of tomorrow’s home clash with New Mills, Tracey said: “Do what we did on Wednesday night.
“We spoke to the players before the game on Wednesday and said we’re a quarter through the season and we have to wipe the slate clean.
“We have to forget we have had and this week we have made five new signings. Only one started on Wednesday. That was Daz Lucas, from Glasshoughton Welfare, who started on the right.
“Mark Truman (ex Wakefield FC) who was on the bench is another new signing. Frickley’s former captain Danny Walsh has joined us, but is unavailable until next week.
“There’s a couple more like Dom Riordan who is a former player here and Andy McManus who was captain here couple of seasons ago has re-signed.
“We’re getting competition for places and the depth in the squad and hopefully we’re moving forward.”
Tracey is unlikely to have Gary Middleton at his side tomorrow.
Middleton helped Tracey direct proceedings from the side-lines during the Mossley win, but he won’t be assisting him on a permanent basis.
“He was a player at Belper when I played there and in the second year at Belper he was a coach,” he said.
“Gary has stayed a good friend of mine and it is difficult because we haven’t got the budget to bring someone in. But I asked him because he’s a central defender and I’m a striker to come and have a look at us and contribute and be part of it.
“He did and he had a massive impact on the lads. He talked a lot of sense like he always has done. That’s why I chased him for a little bit for a bit of help.
“Gary plays in a veterans league and plays on a Saturday and has commitments. He was assistant manager at Maltby last year on a voluntary basis. He has a pure passion for football, but came in as a mate on Wednesday.
“We’ve love to have him here every game, but he has commitments and a young family.”

Farsley AFC can cope with mass suspensions, says Neil Parsley

Matt Dempsey (right) is banned from next Saturday
By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Neil Parsley is hopeful that Farsley AFC can cope when the four suspensions come into effort.
Adam Priestley begins a three match ban on Tuesday for his red card in the West Riding County Cup game at Goole, but he will be replaced by Aiden Savory who has recovered from a hamstring problem.
Parsley then has to contend with the bans for Ryan Serrant, centre-back Matt Dempsey and Simeon Bambrook after their sending-offs in the Northwich Victoria clash which descended into chaos.
Serrant faces missing one match, while Dempsey and Bambrook are set to miss three.
The referee has been reported following an incident in the tunnel at half-time, but Parsley has to pick up the pieces and has clarified the James Riley situation.
Riley has not featured since the FA Trophy defeat at Kendal Town on October 5th.
“We have brought Ross Daly in, but really if the truth was known that because of Robbie O’Brien’s ankle injury on Saturday,” he said.
“The centre-back situation is more of a problem to me. James has a problem with a shoulder, it’s been ongoing and its because of wear and tear in his shoulder.
“Him and his wife had a baby in the summer and they put the operation off. But, the injury has got worse and he’s not confident with it. He felt his performances were suffering because he didn’t have confidence in his shoulder.
“Having said that, I’ve spoken to Rilo and he says he has been training.
“I’ve still got seven days and the one problem is centre-back and Rilo could play.
“I’m not ruling out bringing anyone in though.”
Anthony Lloyd is another player who has vanished from Farsley’s side, but the former Guiseley right-back remains with the club.
Lloyd hasn’t played for Farsley since early September and Parsley said: “Lloydy is having a bit of time out.
“He’s had a month out as a little morale booster for his wife as he helping her out with a few man jobs.
“He is still registered with us so he could be back.”

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Billy Miller: Season going to plan for Harrogate Railway

Harrogate boss Billy Miller (left)
By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Harrogate Railway chief Billy Miller believes his side’s Evo Stik Division One North campaign is going to plan.
Railway sit in mid-table after Monday night’s dramatic 2-1 victory over Northwich Victoria which was their first win at Station View since the end of August.
Miller’s team had endured a tough September which saw them pick up one league point – at Darlington where Rail drew 0-0.
But, Harrogate twice had to play with ten men for 80 minutes after an early red card and Miller is happy with the progress made.
“It’s a point a game and we have 14 points from 11 games so as far as we’re concerned we’re three points ahead of schedule,” he told Sports Performer.
“We have a decent run of games coming up, starting on Saturday at home to Padiham which I know will be a difficult game as we had a 1-1 draw there.
“But, it is too easy to underestimate teams and saying we should be getting that and getting this.
“We have Radcliffe away on Tuesday night and they have come into a run of form as well and then we have Ossett Albion and New Mills in amongst all that.
“If we can pick up our 20 points by Christmas time I think that would put us roughly where we want to be and at a similar stage to where we were last season.
“After that we’ll kick on from there. We have brought some good lads in. We have signed Steve Bromley from Knaresborough Town. He scores a lot of goals so he’s come in.
“We’ve signed Joel Dixon from Frickley so fingers crossed that now is our time.
“September was a combination of bad luck and games taking their toll and I think we played some tough teams last month as well.
“Lancaster I’m sure will be up there or there-about’s. I thought Mossley played really well against us and have now kicked on.”
In midweek, Jesus Martin-Farina scored for Harrogate early-on before a second half equaliser for Northwich looked to have secured a draw for the visitors.
But, Lawrence Hunter forced a late winner and Miller said his side got their rewards.
“I think we got what we deserved from the game,” he said.
“Northwich are a very strong side that will be up there at the end of the season, but we set our stall out quite early on and went 4-4-2 against them.
“Jesus came back up top with Nathan Cartman and we had signed a player called Joel Dixon and he was sort of the missing link for us as he drove us on from the middle of the park and did really well for us.”

Rob Hunter backs Glasshoughton Welfare to turn home form around

By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Glasshoughton Welfare manager Rob Hunter is adamant that his side can overcome their inability to win at Leeds Road.
Glasshoughton have lost all six of their home games, but on the road Welfare have won five times in the Toolstation NCEL Premier Division out of ten matches.
Their home woes continued on Tuesday night when Retford United beat them 6-1, but Hunter believes they can turn their problems around.
He said: “It is difficult to say (why we can’t win at home) because we went to Albion Sports and put in a really solid performance and unfortunate not to win when we conceded in the third minute of injury-time.
“We went into the Retford game in confident mood and started the game well and then got thumped for six.
“I can’t put my finger on it. I don’t know why we have conceded so many goals at home, maybe its down to the fact that our first ten games were away from home.
“I would say we have an awful lot of home games to come and we have spent an awful lot of time travelling and we have brought a couple of new faces to the team and they haven’t really settled down yet.
“I don’t think we’re a million miles away, I’ll still back myself to get this team in the top ten, which is where I said we would be at the beginning of the season.
“We have a tough game on Saturday against Tadcaster, but after that we have a run of a lot of teams who are in similar position to ourselves. If we can put two or three performances that we have put in recent into one or two results at home then we’ll kick on.
“I believe in the character in the guys at Glasshoughton and I’m confident we can step up to the plate and turn it around. There are some good characters in the changing room – the likes of Daz Young, Alex Low and Liam Tuck and Mark and I have got to get our ideas right to try and pick the lads up for Saturday.
“Those three types of characters will help us to do that.”
Hunter has brought in former Welsh Youth International Dalton Harris recently and he had Venezuelan midfielder Hiliar Serrao in his starting line-up on Tuesday.
Serrao is currently studying in this country and Hunter said: “It’s probably a first, the South American to play for Glasshoughton Welfare, the last time a South American came to Leeds I think it was Alex Sabella!
“He’s an exciting talent, but it will take him two or three games to find himself at this level and settle down with the players.
“We saw glimpses of how fast he is and quick his feet are. I’m sure he’ll do very well for us.”
Serrao is available to play again against Tadcaster on Saturday, a game that has plenty of connections between the two teams.
Leading goalscorer Calum Ward played for Tadcaster last season, while Hunter and his assistant Smitheringale were a major part of the success Tadcaster enjoyed from 2009 to 2012.
The pair were Tadcaster manager Paul Marshall’s assistant as the club rose from the bottom of the NCEL Division One table to the top of the Premier Division.
But Hunter says: “Things have changed, it is a very different team that was there when I was involved.
“Obviously there are three or four players that are still there, the likes of Matthew Sparkes, Nick Thompson and Terry Taylor.
“There are few players from mine and Mark Smitheringale’s time there. There is also good people in the likes of Kevin Derry and Nobby Clarke, who I’ve known for years and years.
“Obviously it would be lovely to put one across Marshy.”

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Ossett Albion earn crucial win over Mossley

Richard Tracey
Ossett Albion 1-0 Mossley AFC
By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
A first minute goal from Dale Kelly brought bottom-placed Ossett Albion back to life in the Evo Stik Division North – much to the delight of player-manager Richard Tracey.
Ossett survived a barrage of second half pressure to earn a crucial victory that puts them one point behind Radcliffe Borough, who beat Ossett 3-0 on Saturday.
Albion goalkeeper Adam Rhodes was called upon to make a few excellent saves on a windy night at Dimple Wells to ensure Ossett picked only their second league win of the season.
Manager Tracey said: “We have worked hard on our shape in training and worked hard on pressing the ball and defending.
“Don’t get me wrong they had a couple of chances. They have tried to go round the keeper and rolled one into the side-netting and Rhodesy has made a couple of saves.
“But, in the end I think we deserved to win tonight.
“We have looked more solid, we worked harder for each other and we looked like a team for really the first time this year.
“It was a phenomenal start. We got them on the back-foot early doors and had a couple of half-chances before getting the early goal. I suppose what has been pleasing is that we have defended a lead for a long, long time.
“We had spells in front like Bamber where there were seven minutes to go and got turned over. We defended for 88 minutes today. It’s a shame we didn’t get the second goal because it would have taken a little bit of pressure off.
“I think one to eleven today, adding the five who were on the bench, everyone put in 110% and they got their rewards.”
With the windy conditions playing a part, Mossley struggled to attack during the first half and within 30 seconds of the start, Albion almost scored.
Adam Muller
Former Guiseley striker Adam Muller, who had an excellent game, found space down the left-side and moved towards the penalty before passing to Kelly. Kelly drove his effort low and hard, but goalkeeper Russell Saunders turned the ball for a corner. The corner was cleared, but the ball fell to midfielder Paddy McGuire whose cross was spilled by Saunders. Kelly was in the right place and he volleyed the ball into the back of the net from close range.
Ossett had further chances. Niall O’Brien saw his powerful free kick blocked by a firm wall and Muller also caused a few problems and was being continually fouled by Mossley defenders.
Tracey’s side, which contained Darol Lucas who played the whole game having played 90 minutes for Glasshoughton Welfare on Tuesday night against Retford United, failed to take full advantage of the wind and Mossley almost made them pay.
Wayne Welbeck should have scored in the opening act of the second half after rounding Rhodes. Welbeck made a mess of the simple tap-in and could only find the side-netting.
Lucas had Ossett’s only real chance of the half when his low shot was easily saved.
Ossett did defence well, but they had to rely on Rhodes on a few occasions. On the hour mark, Rhodes palmed John Bennett’s strike for a corner.
Rhodes came to the rescue again in the 72nd minute when Dougie Carroll found space and looked set to score until Rhodes made a fantastic save.
Carroll was then made to rue another missed chance in the final moments of the game. Carroll broke through down the left-wing and went one-on-one with Rhodes, but the goalkeeper was able to make an important stop with his right leg to turn the ball away from danger.
That was the last real opportunity and Ossett were able to celebrate a victory that Tracey admitted was a huge relief, ahead of Saturday’s home game with New Mills.
He said: “I’ve being in football long enough to know it’s a results business and I feel the pressure and certainly I was feeling it, but we tried to take that off the lads to allow them to play with freedom.
“Today we got that result which we needed.
“(On whether everyone was downbeat after the Radcliffe game) It was and it wasn’t. It was because we got beat by Radcliffe, it wasn’t because I knew we had gone there with five players missing. We ended up playing Tyrone who is a defender, playing upfront. We had no centre-forwards.
“We didn’t turn up and it was a catalogue of rubbish in terms of a performance.”
Ossett Albion: Rhodes, Holt (captain), Jackson, Owen, Gay, McGuire, Lucas, O’Brien, Muller, Kelly (Robinson 80), Metcalfe (Truman 82). Subs unused: Durham, Jones, Nicholson.
Mossley AFC: Saunders (captain), Haslem (Broadbent 71), Horne (McCarthy 61), McGrath, Anderson, Hopper, Keogh, Bennett, Welbeck, Carroll, Gardner. Subs unused: McDonnell, Thewliss.
Referee: A Pashley (Chesterfield)
Attendance: 76
Man of the match: Adam Rhodes (Ossett Albion)

Farsley AFC report referee after Northwich Victoria tunnel confrontation

Farsley AFC manager Neil Parsley
By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Farsley AFC manager Neil Parsley has confirmed that a complaint has been made about the referee of Saturday’s controversial 3-3 draw at Northwich Victoria following an incident in the tunnel at half-time.
The central point of the complaint stems from a confrontation between an un-named Farsley player and the referee as the teams made their way to their respective dressing rooms.
The score was 2-2 at the time and Parsley confirmed that a number of his players “were voicing their opinions” about two contentious moments in the first half before the actual reported incident took place next to the visitor's dressing room door.
Parsley said: “I left it until Monday morning until I emailed my account of events of Saturday to the league secretary.
“I’ve passed on my thoughts and what I saw and heard and it is up to the league now.
“Mark Jackson and Simeon Bambrook as assistant managers have been asked for statements.
“The league is welcome to statements off the players if they so be it. We’ll see and if they want more evidence then that is not a problem.”
The game spiralled out of control and into chaos during the second half as Farsley finished the match with eight players.
Farsley were leading 3-2 with ten minutes to go when Ryan Serrant was sent off for denying a goal-scoring opportunity.
The foul is said to have taken place two yards outside the penalty area, but with the help of the assistant referee, the referee gave a spot kick.
Defender Matt Dempsey was then dismissed for foul and abusive language and after Northwich’s Dale Wright slammed the penalty home, Simeon Bambrook followed him down the tunnel for the same offence.
Asked on whether he expects any action to be taken, Parsley said: “Again that’s up to the league to decide on what they deem necessary.
“No doubt they’ll have the referee and linesman’s report as well. No doubt the league will speak about it and compare and hopefully the truth will prevail."

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Bad night for Glasshoughton Welfare as Retford United hit them for six

Bad night: Rob Hunter
Glasshoughton Welfare 1-6 Retford United
By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Glasshoughton Welfare continue to remain without a home win so far in the Toolstation NCEL Premier Division season after much-fancied Retford United romped to an impressive away victory at Leeds Road.
Glasshoughton manager Rob Hunter said it was “a horrible and frustrating night”.
Profilic striker Liam Wilkin capitalised on nearly Glasshoughton mistake to score four times, with his team-mates Reece Thompson and substitute Richard Medcalf adding the extras.
Dalton Harris was able to pull a goal back for Welfare in the 88th minute, but Hunter gave an honest assessment of the heavy defeat.
“I think to lose 6-1 at home is a horrible feeling for the club, it is horrible for the players, but when you make as many mistakes in a game against a team like that then that is what is going to happen to you,” he told Sports Performer.
“Retford are a very good side and they probably had eight chances in the game and took six of them. I actually thought in the first half there was nothing in the game and it should have been 0-0.
“Two bad defensive errors have punished us and if you’re going to give the ball away in the penalty area after 20 minutes and then 30 minutes and go 2-0 down you’re going to struggle for the rest of the game.
“We came in at half-time and thought we worked hard and played well and unfortunate not to be at 0-0. We started really well in the second half and just conceded after another mistake, another mistake and another mistake and it is so frustrating. What a horrible and frustrating night it turned out to be.
“The actual performance, let’s put it into perspective. The attitude was good and the work rate was good. The all-round performance I would say wasn’t bad, but the amount of individual errors we made as a team was bad.
“We got punished, we got punished for every mistake. Any mistake and they thumped it in the back of the net, every single one.”
Going into the game, Hunter had hoped his team would finally win at home at the sixth attempt having lost the previous five.
Hunter even had Venezulan winger Hiliar Serrao, believed to be the first Venezulan to play for Glasshoughton, in his side for the first time.
But, the signs for the elusive win weren’t good as early as the ninth minute when Retford opened the scoring. Matt Donnelly made the mistake and it gifted Wilkin, who made his name playing for Winterton Rangers, took full advantage.
Wilkin nipped in again before the half-hour with a curling effort that gave Glasshoughton goalkeeper Paul Hagreen no chance.
Glasshoughton came to life at the start of the second half and enjoyed a ten minute spell in control. Russ Headley and Liam Tuck both had speculative efforts that flew wide.
But, when leading goalscorer Calum Ward then fell to the ground in an off-the-ball incident, which referee Mick Denton took no action against anyone, it stopped Welfare’s momentum and Retford scored the pivotal third goal against the run of play.
Thompson was through on goal and he rounded Hagreen before sliding the ball into the net. Glasshoughton then collapsed during a 12 minute period.
Wilkin secured the match-ball by scoring a similar goal to Thompson’s. Thompson then turned provider by unselfishly passing to Wilkin, who had a simple tap-in, for number five.
A minute later on the 81 mark, Medcalf turned his marker to score to complete Retford’s scoring.
For the final few minutes, the Retford defence went to sleep and allowed Glasshoughton back into the match and after a couple of moments of pressure, Welfare scored.
Greig McGrory played a great ball to the back-post and Harris was there to head home his first goal for Glasshoughton since joining two weeks ago.
Glasshoughton now have to dust themselves down and prepare for high-flying Tadcaster Albion’s visit on Saturday. Tadcaster are 13 league games unbeaten and sit in third place.
Glasshoughton Welfare: Hagreen, Beaston, Edwards, Tuck, Low, Donnelly, Lucas, Young, Ward (McGrory 68), Serrao (Harris 68), Headley (Corley 68). Sub unused: Chappell.
Retford United: Barford, Stannard, Severn, Walkden, Sanderson (Lucas 70), Fisher, O’Neill (captain) (Cooper 15), Thompson, Wilkin, Muirhead, Johnson (Medcalf). Subs unused: Holmes, Smith.
Referee: M Denton (Todmorden)
Attendance: 75
Man of the match: Liam Wilkin (Retford United)

Neil Parsley pleased with Farsley AFC display in 0-0 draw with Bamber Bridge

Adam Priestley who wasted a few glorious chances
Farsley AFC 0-0 Bamber Bridge
By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Farsley AFC chief Neil Parsley believes the goal-less draw with Bamber Bridge shows that his side are “moving in the right direction”.
Both teams had plenty to score in an entertaining game that became the first 0-0 stalemate involving Farsley at Throstle Nest since January 2008 when John Deacey’s team held Stevenage Borough in a Conference Premier encounter, live on the Setanta Sports TV cameras.
Peter Taylor, who once managed England for one game, managed Stevenage that day and future Leeds United frontman Steve Morison was leading the line for him.
Deacey left Farsley later that year and the current Bradford Park Avenue manager was actually there to watch the Evo Stik Division One North clash last night.
But, on the Bamber game, Parsley revealed his satisfaction with the performance.
“It got a bit nervy towards the end, but having said that, if we had taken our chances early on, the game would have been put to bed,” he said.
“Late on we let the kid have a header at the far stick and then Morgs (Tom Morgan) made a great save down at his near post. A defensive mix-up in the last minute and with someone of Andy Bell’s prowess you would have he would have finished that.
“But, I thought we played some great stuff tonight. I said to the players ‘yes I am disappointed not to get the three points, it is not the end of the world. But I honestly think someone is going to get a hiding’.
“We’re sixth or seventh, but we’ve got a consistency and we’re hard to beat. It would be nice to turn some of the draws into wins and hopefully we can get on a winning run.
“But, I’m pleased with the clean sheet tonight as we have been conceding too many goals. We have being needing to score three goals to win a game. There were signs against Goole that we were more solid and I thought circumstances let Northwich off the hook on Saturday.
“It was a clean sheet tonight and I think we have made big steps in moving the right direction.
“The pitch helped tonight and I thought there was some slick passing and movement from us, especially in the first half.”
Farsley, with Avenue player Ross Daly in their midfield, were quick out of the blocks with three glorious chances in the opening 13 minutes.
Striker Adam Priestley wasted two opportunities when he broke clear and then Josh Grant rounded goalkeeper Steven James, but saw his shot cleared off-the-line.
After a bad start Bridge eventually began to create chances of their own. Farsley defender Paddy Miller was called upon to make a couple of important blocks as the first half drew to a close.
A poor back-pass nearly cost Bridge at the start of the second half. The lively Priestley nipped past Matt Mahoney and was able to guide the ball past James. The striker looked to score from just six yards, but Mahoney did enough to force Priestley to place the ball wide from the open goal.
Bamber then enjoyed a good spell of domination and Farsley had Tom Morgan to thank for his save from Lenning Reid after the winger found room down the left-wing.
At the other end, Matt Dempsey made a mess of Simeon Bambrook’s superb corner. When it seemed easier to score, the centre-half blazed the ball wide of the goal from close range.
Grant missed another sitter after latching onto substitute Bambrook’s killer cross with just five minutes to go.
Farsley were then nearly to pay. Fortunately Morgan was in top form and he made a fantastic stop from former Fleetwood Town striker Andy Bell’s header.
Both teams continued to press deep into injury-time and Morgan did enough to put off Bell when the forward exploited a Farsley mistake. Bell lobbed Morgan, but the ball landed on the roof of the net and following a nervy few minutes, the referee Brian McGill, who had an exceptional game, blew for full-time.
Farsley AFC: Morgan, Hardy, Serrant, Daly, Dempsey, Miller, James (Hull 57), Young (captain), Ellington, Priestley (Bambrook 72), Grant. Subs unused: Higginson, Etherington, Thompson.
Bamber Bridge: James, Mahoney, Alexander, Lawlor, Doughty, Kay (captain), Wilkins (Buchan 81), Thompson, Johnstone (Bell 72), Waddecar, Reid (Hastings 89). Sub unused: Maddock.
Referee: Mr. B McGill (Rochdale)
Attendance: 112
Man of the match: Tom Morgan (Farsley AFC)

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Interview with Premier League referee Robert Madley

By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Photo courtesy of Arthur Haigh of White Rose Photography
With no Premier League game to officiate, Wakefield-based Select Group referee Robert Madley stepped into the breach to take charge of Shaw Lane Aquaforce’s Toolstation NCEL Division One clash with Pontefract Collieries last week.
Madley had a ‘free’ Saturday as he was due to act as the Fourth Official in the following day’s televised encounter between Norwich City and Chelsea.
As the NCEL were struggling for officials for their Saturday fixture list, Madley put his name forward and looking back on the 1-1 draw, he told Sports Performer: “I absolutely loved it and for me that’s what football is all about. It is about grassroots. It is people turning out for their local club and giving their all.
“I started in the Wakefield League and then went as an assistant in the Northern Counties so I have a real affinity to the Counties and I’m glad to be able to help out in any way I can.
“It is about giving back and I don’t think there is any referee who gets past a level and sees themselves as too good to referee that level.
“If I’m being honest it was the hardest game of football that I’ve certainly refereed this season and probably the hardest I have done for a couple of seasons.
“That’s because of the endeavour of the players and the meat in every single tackle and again we didn’t have microphones and, this might sound silly, talking to assistants constantly without microphones is something I’m not used to any more.
“It was a great experience for me to go back and sometimes it is games like that that keep your feet on the ground and make you realise how lucky you are week-in-week-out to referee the football you do.
“We had four yellows, but it wasn’t a charity game, it was a game where I had to referee in the manner I would expect if I went to watch and assess a level four referee.”
27-year-old Madley was appointed to the Select Group Referees list in the summer after taking charge of his first Premier League game in April 2013 when West Brom travelled to Southampton.
But, that does not mean his refereeing success has gone to his head as he was keen to avoid a red carpet treatment and did not want any fanfare.
“The teams were good and I made it clear to the teams when we turned up that I wanted it to be simply a referee turning up,” he said.
“I didn’t want anything different. I didn’t use microphones, I didn’t wear a badge. I didn’t do anything like that because the important thing for that game was Shaw Lane and Pontefract were fighting for three points.
“It is irrelevance who is refereeing as far as I’m concerned. The important thing is the teams.”
Madley did have some small problems to overcome during the game and he said: “It was a little bit of culture shock simply because the expectation of what a foul is, is different at different levels of football.
“I gave a free kick early on for what would be expected to be given as a foul on the Premier League and 22 players looked at me and said ‘eh, what have you given ref?’”
“It is a little more physical at this level and they accept a little more physical contact and again at this level it is slightly different as they want the little pushes in the back and the little niggles.
“The higher up you go they’re not so bothered about that so getting used to it in the first five or ten minutes and trying to gage the expectations of the players was quite a difficult thing to do.”
His appointment was after NCEL chairman Dave Morrall spoke to the West Riding County, where Madley works as a Referee’s Development Officer to tell them the league was struggling for officials.
That’s when Madley put his hand up and he said: “Dave Morrall from the Northern Counties East League contacted the County FA to say there was a shortage of referees throughout the season for various reasons.
“Because the County Cups and FA competitions were taking place at the same time, he said he was struggling for referees and referees of the appropriate level for that weekend.
“With me being fourth official on the Sunday and having no game on the Saturday I offered my services to Dave as a referee.
“I think he was a little surprised and thought I was joking, but I’ve got a good relationship with Dave and consider him a friend so he probably took it as half been serious.
“But, as far as I’m concerned it’s a game of football
“They (my bosses) were fine about it because I would have done a training session anyway on the Saturday because we don’t sit around on a Saturday (when we haven’t got a game) and wrap ourselves in cotton wool.”
The final question, would he referee again in the NCEL on a free weekend?
“I think I would do it again in the future and I think for every referee who has a free weekend, no matter if you’re a Premier League referee or not, we should be putting ourselves out there,” he added.
“If leagues are struggling and local leagues on a Sunday are struggling, it doesn’t matter what level referee you are, you’re a referee at the end of the day and if you can cover a game that wouldn’t be staffed by a qualified ref then why not put your services out there?”

Wayne Benn resigns as Goole AFC manager

By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
The resignation of Wayne Benn as manager of Evo Stik Division One South side Goole AFC is hardly a surprise.
Benn has struggled since leaving Hemsworth Miners Welfare just over a year to ago to take over at the Victoria Pleasure Grounds.
Yesterday’s 3-0 home defeat to Leek Town which left Goole in 11thplace proved to be the final straw for the former Bradford (Park Avenue) captain.
Goole have been on a rocky road since the exit of manager Karl Rose to Frickley Athletic in the summer of 2012 as most of the playing squad followed him to South Elmsall.
John Reed and Clive Freeman replaced Rose, but speaking in the summer to Sports Performer, Freeman described the then-situation as “a car crash waiting to happen”.
The pair were sacked after just 12 games following a heated board meeting between then-chairman Des O’Hearne and Reed.
O’Hearne had been aiming for the Division One North play-offs, something that Reed said was impossible with the club’s budget.
Benn came in and despite winning only a handful of games managed to keep Goole in the Evo Stik. But, even though Goole have returned to the South structure, his side have never got going and Benn has walked away.
With the resources limited, whoever replaces Benn has a tough job on their hands.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Athersley Recreation earn deserved win at Garforth Town

Athersley captain Ryan White on the ball
Garforth Town 1-2 Athersley Recreation
By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Match Photos are HERE
Garforth Town head coach Graham Nicholas revealed his frustrations after watching his side get outmuscled by an organised Athersley Recreation team in the feisty Toolstation NCEL Premier Division encounter.
First half goals from Lee Bennett and Simon Chadburn gave Garforth a mountain to climb and despite a second half Tawanda Rupere strike, which gave the Miners hope, Athersley held on.
Nicholas, a former Athersley coach, was angry with his team’s performance and claimed his side were not up for the game.
“I’m disappointed with the preparation because the players aren’t fit enough and the team is unbalanced as we are missing key players,” he said.
“Today we had no desire and that’s what it comes down to in one word – desire. Athersley have a winning mentality and they have earned the right to win the game. They work for each and have that togetherness and the desire to win games.
Not going to plan: Graham Nicholas
“When I say preparation I mean people not getting here on time and not turning up for training.
“Like I say, you try and prepare and I know what Athersley Rec is all about and at training I can show them what weaknesses they have and how to exploit them, but (when people don’t turn up) it is mission impossible and you’re banging head against a brick wall.
“The second half performance was an improvement, but in the first half we conceded two very poor goals.
“We had three men around the ball for the first goal and they’re looking at it and they let him walk through and score. The second goal was a set-piece which they are always dangerous from and we weren’t picking up like for like.”
Garforth were without injured trio Nick Black, Logan McDaniel and Liam Smith, along with winger Stephen Simpson due to work commitments and their absences contributed to one of the flattest displays of the campaign so far.

Garforth midfielder Anthony Hilton was unlucky with a top corner bound strike early on which Darren Shirt’s turned over the crossbar – arguably the save of the match.
But, after that, Athersley took control with former Ossett Albion midfielder Ryan White pulling the strings in midfield. White was magnificent in the middle of the park, winning every tackle and preventing a Garforth attack on every occasion.
Garforth though had only themselves to blame for the first goal. Ex Glasshoughton forward Lee Bennett was allowed room to waltz into the box and fire a shot past Karl Martens.
More poor defending followed with Garforth failing to properly organised themselves for a corner. From the right-side, Joe Thornton’s kick flew into the box and the unmarked Chadburn headed home.
Whilst Athersley didn’t create much, their workmanlike display allowed them to control the game. Garforth didn't create much and should have scored 11 minutes into the second half, one of their few chances.
Connor Bower
Connor Bower, recently released from Bradford City, latched onto a cross at the backpost and instead of taking the ball down to the ground, the winger chose to volley it and the ball sailed over the crossbar. Athersley then almost sealed the win when Thornton raced clear of the Garforth defence. Martens was quick to race out of his goal and did enough for the winger to place his shot wide of the goal.
On the hour, Garforth were fortunate to score through Rupere’s tap-in, but no spectacular comeback was ever forthcoming. Shirt only had to make one real save from Stohrer.
With White marshalling his team, Athersley were able to comfortably hold on for a deserved three points which lifts them to fourth in the table.
Garforth Town: Martens, Stohrer (captain), Hawksworth, Allen, Boland, Hilton, Rupere, Greenhalgh (Bishop HT), Cartman, Lyle (Booker 57), Bower (Helliwell 78). Subs unused: Newell, Ellis.
Athersley Recreation: Shirt, Chadburn, Cook, Blackburn, Briscoe (Welford 67), R White (captain), Scargill, A White, Bentley (Roberts 76), Bennett (Cartwright 61), Thornton. Subs unused: Thompson, Harban.

Referee: M Connell (Castleford)
Attendance: TBC

Man of the match: Ryan White (Athersley Recreation)

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Ossett Albion all set for Radcliffe Borough six-pointer - manager Richard Tracey

Richard Tracey
By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Player-manager Richard Tracey admits struggling Ossett Albion cannot afford to lose Saturday’s Evo Stik Division One North match with bottom-placed Radcliffe Borough.
Ossett are two points ahead of Radcliffe and could go level with Burscough with a win.
Radcliffe are yet to record a victory in their opening nine games and when asked on whether it was a must-win game, Tracey said: “It is getting that way.
“It is a six-pointer already because that would still leave us three points adrift of everyone at least if we don’t get a result.
“Without getting too carried away, the most important thing is we don’t get beat, but coming away with three points would be incredibly beneficial.
“It has been a disappointing start, but we have not been a million miles away if you take Darlington out of the equation.
“We have been in every game until the last kick of it. 2-1s, 3-2s and we have thrown away a 2-1 lead with seven minutes to go
“We were 2-0 up away at Kendal and we just didn’t manage to see it out. The real issue has been a number of injuries. We had our captain Stef (Holt) make his second start on Tuesday night.
“We haven’t had the opportunity to play the same back four in any fixture so it has been incredibly frustrating in that sense. I think once as we get a settled team and we settle down, I think we’ll be ok.”
Ossett have won just once in the league – a 3-2 victory at Harrogate Railway – but all but two defeats has been by the odd goal.
Warrington Town beat them 2-0 last month and eight days ago Albion were trounced 7-0 at title favourites Darlington 1883 and Tracey says he was impressed by Martin Gray’s side.
“With Darlington they were big, strong and organised and they had front three that were incredibly mobile and caused us a lot of problems,” he said.
“But we started badly and gave them two goals in 65 seconds and against a good organised side you’re not going to come back from that.
“We had a really good spell for 20-25 minutes and then they nicked another goal and it became that we were just containing them. It was difficult and they’ll be right up there at the end.
“I’ll perfectly honest, I think they were better than Curzon Ashton and I can’t see them been far away from being championship winners.
“I know Darlington are playing at Bishop Auckland which is a fantastic facility now and if you believe what you read on the Internet, their annual wage budget is around £100,000 a year.
“Clubs like ourselves are probably around the 20 to 25 mark and we’re a long, long way from their resources. Having said that, we played there on a Wednesday night and there were over 900 watching.
“Money through the gate makes a massive difference as well as sponsorship.”

We have nothing to lose at Colwyn Bay - Ossett Town boss Craig Elliott

Ossett Town boss Craig Elliott
By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Craig Elliott hopes fortunate will favour the brave as Ossett Town aim to continue their magical FA Cup adventure on Saturday.
Ossett visit Conference North outfit Colwyn Bay side for the third qualifying round encounter which could see Town reach the fourth qualifying round for only the second time in their history.
Ossett beat AFC Emley comfortably in the Preliminary Round before seeing off Bamber Bridge and then Warrington Town after replays to book the tie with the Welsh outfit.
Town were on a nine-match unbeaten until last Saturday’s defeat to Darlington 1883, but Elliott says Ossett will give their all.
“We’ve had a really good run in the FA Cup this year,” he said.
“Financially it has been great for the club, but it’s also given the lads a lot of confidence from when we went to Warrington, who will do well in the league this year, and beat them.
“Saturday’s a good day out for us and something to look forward to.
“It’s a game to look forward to rather than be worried about because we can only come out of it in a good way. I hope we can do ourselves justice.
“I think you have to be realistic that we’re massive underdogs because they’re a Conference North team.
“They’re not flying in that league, but they have had a relatively decent start. I think we have to carry on in the way we have been. Let’s not be frightened and let’s see where it takes us.
“We have nothing to lose. On paper Colwyn Bay should win the game comfortably so we’re going to go there and give our best shot.”

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Ossett Albion reach West Riding County Cup second round

Richard Tracey
Glasshoughton Welfare 1-4 Ossett Albion
By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Player-manager Richard Tracey believes last night’s West Riding County Cup first round victory at Glasshoughton Welfare was just what struggling Ossett Albion needed.
Ossett are in the Evo Stik Division One North relegation zone, two points above bottom-placed Radcliffe Borough who they face on Saturday.
Ossett had just won once this season until last night and things started badly when Toolstation NCEL Premier Division top scorer Calum Ward put Glasshoughton ahead.
Luke Durham equalised for Ossett and former Farsley AFC striker Ben Jones put them in front from the penalty spot.
Durham added his second goal before player-assistant manager Adam Muller sealed the win in the closing stages and Tracey was pleased with side’s performance.
“I think it was a much-needed confidence boost,” he told Sports Performer.
“In the first half it was a pretty average performance as I don’t think we defended well and looked vulnerable.
“Glasshoughton started very brightly. They came out and got the early goal, but we got the quick reply which I think was important.
“The lads were up for it. They worked incredibly hard against Curzon on Saturday with ten men for 60 minutes and they knew they had to put the same work ethic in tonight to make sure we got the result.
“But, in the end it was about getting the result and we have done that in what could have been a banana skin and its pleasing as we are going into a big game on Saturday with a win under our belts.”
Glasshoughton were without club captain Darrell Young (suspended), Liam Tuck and Darol Lucas, whilst Joel Freeston was on the bench which meant former Peterborough United and Wales under 19s youngster Dalton Harris was given his first start along with Tim Curtis.
The home side raced into a fourth minute lead. Ward got in behind centre-halves Sam O’Neill and Tyrone Gay and lobbed the onrushing goalkeeper Adam Rhodes to open the scoring.
But, the lead lasted just four minutes. Ex Harrogate Town winger Durham’s deflected shot beat Paul Hagreen.
Calum Ward
Within another four minutes a terrible error gave Ossett the opportunity to go ahead for the first time in the match. John Hirst’s back-pass to Hagreen was not strong enough and Dale Kelly nipped in to take the ball and was brought down by the goalkeeper. Striker Jones, who developed a reputation for being a penalty kick expert while with Farsley, stepped up and sent Hagreen the wrong way to score his first goal for Ossett.
Albion were in control and Durham added his second goal with a half-volley which deceived Hagreen on the half-hour mark.
Whilst the first half had four goals, the second half was a non-event. Returning Ossett captain Stefan Holt forced the save of the match from Hagreen, who tipped the right-back’s goal-bound 30-yard effort onto the crossbar. But, other than that, chances were few and far between.
With seven minutes remaining, Ossett finally killed the game. Experienced forward Muller held off several defenders to waltz into the box and place the ball past Hagreen.
Glasshoughton have now lost two games on the spin and assistant manager Mark Smitheringale said: “I thought it was a poor game, certainly from our point of view, littered with errors, frustrating errors.
“If you look over the 90 minutes, like Saturday’s game with Thackley, apart from a mad ten minutes, we have matched the opposition in terms of possession and work rate.
“But we have conceded some poor goals again which were all unnecessary. There were still a lot of positives, we made a lot of changes from Saturday and some people who came in did well and some did not do so well.
“But, despite the result, we’re pleased with the overall performance.”
Ossett can now look forward to Radcliffe Borough on Saturday, but on the subject of the County Cup, Tracey admits he wants to go far in it.
“Looking at the fixtures we have a really good run through to the semi-final,” he added.
“We have got Knaresborough in the next round and then Barnoldswick or Albion Sports before I believe Bradford Park Avenue, Harrogate Town or Halifax in the semi-finals
“For us, our objective is to get to the semi-finals.”
Glasshoughton Welfare: Hagreen, Chappell, Hirst (Sunley 78), Edwards, Low (captain), Donnelly, Beaston, Corley (McGrory 71), C Ward, Harris, Curtis (Freeston 53).
Ossett Albion: Rhodes, Holt (captain) (Jackson 78), Nicholson, O’Neill, Gay, Hayton, McGuire, O’Brien, Jones (Tonkinson 75), Kelly (Muller 57), Durham. Sub unused: Tracey.

Referee: T Nield (Holmfirth)

Attendance: 71

Man of the match: Ben Jones (Ossett Albion)

Monday, 7 October 2013

Darlington 1883 look the real deal

Amar Purewal
By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Saturday’s 6-1 FA Trophy drubbing of Ossett Town was my first viewing of Darlington 1883 since their arrival in the Evo Stik Division One North.
Darlington are heavily tipped to win the league and it is easy to see why. Their attack, which former Durham striker Amar Purewal leads, is arguably one of the most formidable in recent Division One North history.
Purewal is a battering ram, whose strength and power, makes him almost impossible to stop unless the opposition defence has an experienced and good centre-half. Ossett never got close to stopping him on Saturday and couldn’t cope.
On the wings, Steven Thompson and Chris Moore are quick and physically powerful. For the first goal, Thompson ran almost the whole pitch before his deflected shot was converted by David Dowson.
Not many teams will beat them this season. I did think that defensively they are a bit weak, based on the defenders that featured at Ossett. Alan White is an aging centre-half and Ossett did cause a few problems – I think a team firing on all cylinders upfront would have scored a few against them. Farsley and Ramsbottom have shown that Darlington can be vulnerable. That said the full-backs at Ossett were physically strong and were brilliant going forward.
As Craig Elliott said, they’ll only get stronger. They have the resources to bring better players in, if they need. Based on the Ossett Town victory, if they sign any further players, who are better than they have already, then they’ll be almost unbeatable. In my view, they just one powerful centre-half and they’ll be the complete side.
After ten games, Darlington are top of the league, but have suffered two defeats and drew 0-0 with Harrogate Railway.
Only Curzon seem to have real consistency as they remain unbeaten, but Darlington look primed and ready for an unbeaten run and I think it will take some effort to stop them from lifting the title. This is a club that has huge ambitions to go higher and the resources to do it. I don’t think anyone will be able to match them.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Ossett Town boss Craig Elliott set to make changes for Tadcaster West Riding Cup clash

Craig Elliott
By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Ossett Town boss Craig Elliott admits Tuesday night’s West Riding County Cup first round tie with Tadcaster Albion is not at the top of the priorities list.
Ossett are entering an important week as on Saturday Elliott’s men are travelling to Conference North outfit Colwyn Bay for their FA Cup third qualifying round clash.
Elliott is hoping to lead Ossett into the hat for the fourth qualifying round for only the second time in Ossett’s history.
Steve Kittrick is the only man to have taken Ossett that far when his team were knocked out by Leamington in 2005 and Elliott admitted that players will be rested.
Elliott could also have Jason Mycoe available. The utility man recently signed for Ossett from Paul Marshall’s Tadcaster. The West Riding's rules have been relaxed in recent years as a new player must have been signed five days before a County Cup match rather than the old rule that said players must have played at least one competitive match.
Jason Mycoe
“I think it is important to bounce back (from the Darlington defeat), but I’m not going to lie, I have one eye on the FA Cup,” he said.
“We have done really well in the FA Cup and with where we are at in it, it’s a great opportunity for us.
“There will be definitely changes for Tuesday. I’ve got three or four lads that are going to get a run-out. They’re good players and have been unlucky not to be playing, it’s just that we have been on such a good run.
“It’s a difficult week for us, Darlington yesterday, Tadcaster who are top of the NCEL and then Colwyn Bay.
“I know Tadcaster have been doing well by looking at their results and I know they have a few lads who I released so I’m under no illusions that they will want to turn us over. It will be a difficult game.”

Farsley AFC Ladies enjoy heavy victory over Keighley Oaks Ladies

Farsley AFC Ladies 5-2 Keighley Ladies
By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Match Photos are HERE
Farsley AFC recorded a second consecutive West Riding County Women’s League Premier Division victory with a comfortable victory over Keighley at Throstle Nest.
Only the Keighley goalkeeper Laura Thurling prevented the score from being double figures as she made a string of fantastic saves
After a catalogue of chances, Farsley finally broke Thurling’s resistance to open the scoring on 26 minutes when Helen Gresty’s long range attempt proved too high for the goalkeeper to reach.
Close to half-time, Farsley scored again. A Farsley corner hit Kirsty Mayne on the head and found the net and Rob Womersley’s side looked set to record a heavy victory.
But, Keighley dug-in and pulled a goal back early in the second half. Farsley responded as Vicky Mladenovic’s blast found the top corner to ease any worries.
Keighley hit back again on the hour and Farsley survived a few nervy moments as the game reached a close. Clare Parker was guilty of wasting a glorious chance to seal the win on 85 minutes, but the former Leeds United player made up for it with a stylish finish during injury-time.

As the game reached its 95th minute, there was still time for another goal. Star player Orla Haslam, who had caused mayhem for Keighley with her skilful play, chose to shoot from 30 yards and managed to beat Thurling to round off a memorable victory.
Farsley AFC: Sonia Penney, Charlie Roberts (Colette Haslam 77), Beccy Singer, Tora Oetgen, Sarah Firth (captain), Kirsty Mayne, Orla Haslam, Vicky Mladenovic, Clare Parker, Helen Gresty, Millie West (Hayley Hare 61). Sub unused: Meghan Pearce.
Farsley player of the match: Orla Haslam

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Darlington 1883 hit six past Ossett Town in FA Trophy clash

Ossett Town 1-6 Darlington 1883
By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Match Photos are HERE
Craig Elliott tipped Darlington 1883 for the Evo Stik Division One North title after watching his Ossett Town side suffer a heavy defeat in the FA Trophy Preliminary Round clash at Ingfield.
Having beaten Town’s rivals Ossett Albion 7-0 after leading 5-0 at half-time in midweek, Darlington were cruising at 5-0 at the break against Town through goals from David Dowson, Alan White, Chris Moore (2) and Amar Purewal.
Jimmy Eyles pulled a goal back for Ossett on the hour mark, but Paul Robinson rounded off a memorable victory during injury-time.
The crushing defeat ends Ossett’s nine-match unbeaten run and Elliott admitted that his team could not cope with Darlington’s attack.

“I think we defended poorly in the first 20 minutes and we found ourselves 2-0 down,” he said.
“Every-time in the first half they took a shot it seemed to go in and sometimes that happens on the day. The fifth goal just before half-time fell nicely for him and he bent it into the top corner. On another day that would have gone over the top.
“The front four totally bullied us and every-time they got into forward positions they created a chance for themselves.
“I don’t buy into that Darlington won’t walk this league, I think they will walk this league and they’ll only get stronger.
“I’ve read a few reports where people have said they are not as good as they think. I think they will have a few losses along the way, but having seen the league I don’t think there is anyone better than them.
“I think they are physically strong all over the pitch and they have two extremely fast wingers. Whether other teams can counter-act that, I don’t know. I can see why teams like Farsley have beat them as they have experienced and strong players.
“We’re a bit more about getting the ball down and playing and today they didn’t let us play. We were on a nine-match unbeaten run before today so it’s brought us back down to earth.”

Darlington took just five minutes to take the lead. Ossett’s Fernando Moke lost the ball inside the Darlington box and Steven Thompson raced from his own half to the Ossett penalty area before shooting. The shot was blocked, but Dowson was on hand to score from an angle.
Ossett did respond with a Chris Wood shot which was blocked, but poor marking then cost them as Darlington scored again. Terry Galbraith took a corner and former Harrogate defender White rose above Andrew Fox and goalkeeper Tom Taylor to double the visitors’ lead.
By the half-hour mark Darlington were out of sight with Thompson was the provider again. The winger passed to Moore and the midfielder found the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
The Ossett defence were not coping and goalkeeper Taylor was being left exposed. Taylor was able to keep Darlington at bay for brief period when he denied Purewal, but he couldn’t stop the ex-Durham City forward on the stroke of half-time.

Darlington were 4-0 up and there was still time for another goal before the break – arguably the goal of the game. Upon receiving the ball 25-yards from goal, Moore hit the ball straightaway and found the top corner – Taylor had no chance.
If the game had continued in the same manner in the second half, Darlington could have reached double figures and Elliott added: Sometimes as manager you shout and rant at half-time, but I was quite calm.
“I said ‘look we’ve got to try and win the second half and go out and get a bit of respect back because we’re a lot better team than we are showing’.
“To be fair we drew 1-1 in the second half.”
Ossett defended well in the second half and scored a deserved goal on 62 minutes. Left-back Steven Jeff made a break down the left-wing and crossed for Eyles to slot home from close range.
The game fizzled out with neither team creating many chances until the final minutes when Darlington made a late attempt to score for a sixth time. Martin Gray’s team got the goal deep into injury-time as Robinson fired the ball into the bottom from eight-yards.
Ossett Town: Taylor, McGrory, Jeff, Patterson, Fisher, Qualter (captain), Fox, Sharry, C Wood (Hawthorne 64), Eyles, Moke (Sibenge 64). Subs unused: N Wood, Grant, Liburd.
Darlington 1883: Bell, Pilatos, Galbraith, Hunter, White, Edwards, Moore, Scott (J Robinson 80), Purewal, Dowson (Johnson 61), Thompson (P Robinson 64). Subs unused: Cocks, Jameson.

Referee: C Buxton

Attendance: 408

Man of the Match: Amar Purewal (Darlington 1883)

Friday, 4 October 2013

AFC Emley boss Darren Hepworth: The NCEL Division One promotion race is wide open

By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
AFC Emley chief Darren Hepworth insists that the Toolstation NCEL Division One promotion race is wide open and that no-one will run away with top spot.
After almost a quarter of the season, the table remains congested from second place to mid-table with only ten points separating second-placed Eccleshill and 12th placed Selby Town.
Shaw Lane Aquaforce have a five point lead at the top of the Division, but Hepworth says it is far from over and believes his sixth-placed side could have a good chance of winning promotion.
“In this Division I think it is important that you get some level of consistency,” he told Sports Performer.
“Everybody is capable of beating each other and the team who is brave enough to try and put a run of eight or ten games unbeaten together will suddenly find themselves in a decent position.
“It’s only October and I only look at the league twice – once in December and then in May. We’ll see where we are at Christmas and if we’re in the top four or five, I fancy us, I really do.
“We don’t want to fall away from the top five pack (right now). There are five or six teams (who could get promotion), but as I say everybody is capable of beating each other.
“We saw Shirebrook, who started well, come unstuck against a strong Worsbrough side who are growing in confidence and are fancying their chances.
“Shaw Lane are obviously the favourites with the money they have been spending. Eccleshill with the technical ability they have got are doing well along with the likes of Cleethorpes and Bottesford who have started well.
“I don’t think Shaw Lane will run away with it. As good as they, this is a very tough division and they have got to find that silk and steel to get out of the division, like we all have to.
“I don’t think anyone is nailed on.”
Brighton Mugadza
After two defeats in early September, Emley have responded with three wins in four league games. But during the middle of the matches, Hepworth was relieved from his duties before being reinstated.
He returned in the 4-0 defeat at Bottesford Town and then led his side to a 7-2 victory over Grimsby and a 3-2 League Cup win at the expense of Teversal.
And Hepworth spoke of the impact that the last two wins have had.
He said: “It has been a big-time boost.
“Grimsby was a great response from the Bottesford game. The Bottesford game was slightly tough on us because at 0-0 we were on top and we then lost our goalie. Jake Lawlor had to come off with an injury which meant Paul Sykes had to go in goal.
“It meant we lost our shape and took the momentum out of our game.
“But, I was pleased on Saturday with the manner that we came back. We hammered a poor Grimsby side who I know they are much better than that.
“We put them to the sword, but I was more pleased with our performance on Tuesday in the League Cup against Teversal.
“I think we really performed well and I think the squad we have got now is really shaping up well and hopefully we can keep that momentum going on Saturday against Hall Road.”
On Tuesday, new striker Adam Todd fired Emley into an early lead which Doran Jordan doubled.
Callum Pursglove responded for Teversal, but Brighton Mugadza scored Emley’s third goal before Colin Cockerill scored for Teversal to set up a nervy finale.
But, Hepworth claimed he was very happy with the performance.
“We nearly paid the price for not taking our chances and not killing the game off,” he said.
“We had some good chances and were 2-0 up and to be fair Teversal came right out of the blocks and so did we so it was a well-contested game.
“But, for me when we went in at half-time, it was the most complete performance I’ve seen of the boys. Defensively our shape was good and tactically everything was there. At 2-0 up it was well-deserved and it could have been four or five.
“We went at it against in the second half and should have finished it off. We had four or five really good chances to kill the game and didn’t. They pulled one back against the run of play and we then went 3-1 up.
“They got another one and then at the death they had one disallowed so from a situation where we were well on top to one where Teversal nearly got back into it. But, we played well.”

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

AFC Emley captain Paul Sykes praises Darren Hepworth

By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
AFC Emley captain Paul Sykes has spoken of his admiration for his manager Darren Hepworth.
Sykes is in the twilight of his glittering career that has seen him play for the likes of Stalybridge Celtic, Harrogate Town, Worksop Town and Ossett Town.
The centre-half, who has played in a variety of positions over the years, has featured for Glasshoughton Welfare, Ossett Town and Worksop Parramore in recent years before joining Emley last season.
And when comparing managers he had worked with, on Hepworth, Sykes said: “His strengths are his honesty. He says it like it is.
“He wears his heart on his sleeve in the dressing room and the dugout. He heads every ball.
“I’ve played for a number of managers and a lot of managers tell you what you want to hear and sometimes you want pure passion.
“Like the Wigan game where he was on the pitch, you want that.
“John Reed is very similar to Darren, he wears his heart on his sleeve and a very passionate man.
“I’ve played under the Steve Burr’s who are the quiet people. He did all his talking in private to players and he passed on all the responsibility to the players.
“He took the all the stick from the chairman, but he was all about telling the players to go out and express themselves.”

Sykes played under Reed at Harrogate during the 2002-03 season before playing under him at Stalybridge when Reed pulled off the great escape in the inaugural Conference North campaign.
When Reed stepped down in 2007, Sykes played two seasons for current Kidderminster Harriers boss Steve Burr, who guided Celtic to the Conference North play-offs final.
Whilst it doesn’t compare to a play-offs final, Sykes scored a ‘Roy of the Rovers’ penalty in the 97th minute of Emley’s sensational FA Cup victory over Wigan Robin Park in August – a moment that could have easily not happened.
“It was Darren who stopped me from retiring in the summer,” he said.
“Over the summer I changed job and I’m working a lot of long hours trying to set up a business.
“I questioning my motivation in pre-season and it was Darren who said it will be a long time before I retire.
“I enjoy it here. I am the old man, I’m nearly double the age of the lads. But, it’s nice the responsibility the club gives me or the manager gives me, like looking after the players.
“I’m skipper and all the lads get on with me. Its games like the Wigan match that keep me playing. You can’t beat the buzz of playing football.”

Sykes nearly retired again two weeks following the sacking of Hepworth. He scored with the last kick of the 4-0 victory at Appleby Frodingham and was all set to hang up his boots until Hepworth was reinstated.
On the recent events, Sykes said: “It is the first time in 20 years in adult football that I have ever experienced anything like it.
“We had a training session on the Thursday night and the manager got the sack on the Friday and then got reinstated on the Sunday, but to be told by the chairman an hour before kick-off (at Appleby Frodingham) that it wasn’t for football reasons, it is not how I see football.
“You expect football decisions to be based on football matters, not personal issues. I don’t know what the personal issues were and I don’t care what they were. But it left a sour taste. Things seemed to be going well for us.
“Yes (I was going to retire). I just thought that I don’t want to be involved in a situation where football decisions were made on personal issues and with a manager already being appointed, it sounded wrong and I thought ‘no’.
“As soon as I received a couple of phone calls on the Sunday saying the gaffer was back. I thought ‘well I made a commitment to the gaffer in the summer’.”

So what does the future hold? Sykes has dabbled with management during a spell as Phil Sharpe’s assistant at Ossett Town in 2010 and he also applied unsuccessfully for the Glasshoughton manager’s job in June 2012.
But, despite a couple of knockbacks, he would like to enter the world of management.
“It is something I want to do, I’ve spent a lot of time in football and learnt a lot of things off different managers,” he said.
“I was close to getting the Stocksbridge job three years ago. It is something I want to try my hand at and I feel I have something to offer.
“I’ve had a good career out of football and as much as anything, I want to give something back. I have earned a lot of money playing football, I’m not earning a lot now, but it’s about giving something back (here at Emley).”

Garforth Amateur Dramatics Society announce next production

Garforth Amateur Dramatics Society’s next production will be ‘An Evening One-Act Comedies’.
It will run for three nights from Wednesday 20th to Friday 22nd November 2013, commencing at 7:30PM at the Garforth Miners Welfare Hall.
There will be 3 separate play-lets – 'Blind Date' and 'The Holiday' – from 'Duets by Peter Quilter plus 'Split Ends' by Frank Vickery.
In addition there will be a brief presentation about GADS, plus a 'comic address' at the end of the second interval.
There will be a raffle during the first interval between the 2 'Duet' playlets and then a longer tea interval before 'Split Ends'.
Our licenced bar, serving beer, wine and soft drinks will be open from 6:45PM to curtain up and also during both intervals.
Tickets are available from any GADS member or on the door at the prices of £6.50 for Adults or £5.50 for Concessions.
Doors open at 6:45PM.
Tickets will also be available from Garforth Library from November 1st.