Sunday 13th October 2019 (Wharfedale Triangle League Premier Division):
Salts v Horsforth Fairweather postponed - pitch waterlogged.
Other league games:
Burton Leonard 7, Keighley Athletic 1;
Horsforth Saints 5, Yeadon FC 4;
Rawdon FC 2, Eldwick 2.
WRCFA County Sunday Cup Round 1 included:
FC United of Baildon v New Armley postponed (again);
Myrtle Park 4, Rocking Horse 1.
Sunday 6th October 2019 (Wharfedale Triangle League Premier Division):
Horsforth Fairweather 4
Team: Postle, Canning, Lancaster, Howarth, T.Wilson, Smith, Thorp, Francis, Riley, Hawes, Hoyle.
Subs: C.Jones, Pickering, Skillern, LD.Monaghan.
Scorers: Thorp, Hawes 2, Hoyle.
For the rapid return trip to Marley, there was only one enforced change, due to the prenuptial absence of Gary Litvinov, but Horsforth made a raft of positional alterations, switching back to 3-5-2 for the occasion.
Pos was in goal as usual, Tom Wilson and Phil Smith the central defenders with Dave Howarth sweeping between them, George Lancaster and Ben Canning the wing-backs. Jamie Francis resumed the holding role in central midfield, with Kev Hoyle and Henry Riley pushing forward to support strikers James Hawes and Thorpy.
As with the previous week's fixture, the game was switched to the least waterlogged of the available pitches, but it was still very heavy indeed, especially during the first half.
The opening exchanges were inconclusive, Horsforth playing some nice but simple football at times, but unable to find the breakthrough until the 23rd minute when Phil's well-judged long pass put Thorpy through on goal to open the scoring. We contrived to concede a silly equaliser a few minutes later, poor defending from our point of view, but went ahead again on 28 minutes when Henry's weighted chip allowed Hawesy to take the ball round the keeper. In the 37th minute, with Horsforth now getting on top, Thorpy attacked down the right, and his low cross was steered into the net by Hawesy. But the home side never looked like giving up, and in the 40th minute cleared one of our less incisive corners and took the ball all the way downfield to peg us back to 3-2, leaving us with some serious talking to do at half time.
Nor was the second period plain sailing.
After seven minutes, key defender Phil Smith had to retire from the fray injured, Jamie Francis following him a few minutes later, though fortunately this week we had a rather stronger bench than of late.
Chris Jones was the first reinforcement, with Matty Pickering, Steve Skillern and finally Luke Monaghan following as Horsforth tried to make the game safe. A switch to a back four didn't do the trick either - we made and missed chances, but the Eldwick lads had their fair share too, and the match was anybody's.
The decisive moment didn't arrive until the 44th minute of the half, but in the end it was well worth waiting for, a solo run from Kev, with just enough left in the tank to outpace a tiring and stretched defence, and a superb finish to clinch the result.
A welcome return to winning ways, in a game which never looked like being an easy one. Plenty of things we still need to work on, but also plenty of endeavour and team spirit, and above all a memorable last-gasp goal to make the points safe.
Other league games:
Burton Leonard v Rawdon FC postponed;
Horsforth Saints 1, Shadwell United 1;
Yeadon FC v Keighley Athletic postponed.
WRCFA County Sunday Cup Round 1 included:
FC United of Baildon v New Armley postponed;
Myrtle Park v Rocking Horse postponed;
Whitwood Metrostars 1, Salts 2.
Leeds City Rovers;
Sunday 29th September 2019 (Wharfedale Triangle League Premier Division):
Myrtle Park 4
Horsforth Fairweather 3
Team: Postle, Lancaster, Canning, Hoyle, T.Wilson, Francis, Thorp, Pickering, Litvinov, Skillern, Riley.
Subs: Craske, LD.Monaghan.
Scorers: Litvinov 2, Thorp.
With Phil Smith and Dave Howarth unavailable, Jamie Francis moved himself the centre of the defence and brought in Ben Canning at left back, with Matty Pickering coming into the side in midfield. Thorpy replaced James Hawes in the attack.
It started well enough, Horsforth looking some way the better side in the first half, with some very good passing moves and a relatively error-free performance from the reshaped defence.
We'd already missed a few good chances before on 21 minutes, Henry Riley played the key pass that set Gary Litvinov away on goal, and we were finally one up.
In the 30th minute, great work from Gary down the left resulted in a high cross which Thorpy bundled over the line, and in the 40th minute Gary found himself free again and beat the home keeper with a hard, low shot from the inside-right channel.
But the second half was altogether a different story.
Right from the start, the home team began to chip away at our dominance, and it came as little surprise when after 10 minutes a defensive lapse gave them a goal back.
Horsforth's passing game never really reappeared after that, and the nervousness in defence grew steadily. Myrtle Park used their substitutes to good effect, whereas Horsforth had few proven replacements available, and on a heavy pitch and in the pouring rain the match turned completely. A second goal for the home team on 18 minutes was followed by a 30th minute equaliser, and by now the odds were stacked against us. We brought new recruit Tom Craske on for the closing stages of the game, in an attempt to regain the initiative, but the late winning goal had a touch of inevitability about it, and what had just 45 minutes earlier seemed like a convincing victory ended in ignominious defeat.
So, we need to say fair play to the Myrtle Park lads, they dug in when many other teams might have folded, and they were rightly thrilled with their result.
From our point of view, you're all entitled to your own views but I'd say today we played some nice stuff at times but simply weren't able to sustain the same level over 90 minutes, and paid the price.
WTFL League Cup Round 1:
Burton Leonard 1, Horsforth Saints 0;
FC County 5, AFC Daisy 8;
FC Milford of Bramhope v Rawdon FC postponed;
FC West Leeds v Leeds City Rovers postponed;
Republica Internationale v Odsal (I think this was away walkover);
Saltaire Rangers 2, Eldwick 0;
Shadwell United 6, Cullingworth Youth 2;
Sporting Pudsey 4, FC United of Baildon 3 AET;
Yeadon Athletic v Keighley Athletic postponed;
Yeadon FC v Salts postponed.
Millshaw Park Rangers;
Sunday 22nd September 2019 (Wharfedale Triangle League Premier Division):
Horsforth Fairweather 1
Horsforth Saints 0
Team: Postle, Lancaster, P.Smith, Hoyle, T.Wilson, Howarth, Skillern, Francis, Litvinov, Hawes, Riley.
Subs: Pickering, Canning.
Cautioned: Postle ("Delays the restart of play").
It would have been harsh indeed to have made any changes following last week's impressive performance, and stand-in Manager Jamie Francis's only decision was the one forced on him by Rob Wilson's late withdrawal through injury, Steve Skillern getting the nod as HFFC opted to keep to the 4-3-3 formation that had served so well last match.
The heavy rain before kick-off changed the pattern of the game a bit, as accurate passing was always going to be tricky on the wet surface. Fairweather had a few spells of control in the first period, but weren't able to make any of our chances count, and the side changed ends at nil-nil.
The two sides began to play a bit more controlled football after the break, even though there were fewer chances than the first period. The only goal arrived after 17 minutes, as James Hawes headed a loose ball back across the box and Henry Riley's accurate header looped under the crossbar with the wrongfooted Saints keeper unable to keep it out of the net. Fairweather continued to make the better chances, but were never able to kill the game off, and right till the final whistle there remained the danger that the visitors would salvage something. As things turned out, for once a single goal proved to be sufficient, and Fairweather ended what was hopefully the first of many meetings between the town's only remaining Sunday clubs with bragging rights.
Not a great game frankly, and far too many chances missed for comfort, but from our point of view a fairly solid performance overall. I thought we deserved the points, as much for the way we stayed focused on the task in hand as anything else.
Other league games:
Burton Leonard 7, Eldwick 6;
FC United of Baildon 1, Rawdon FC 0;
Leeds City Rovers 3, Myrtle Park 0;
Salts 6, Shadwell United 0.
This page last updated 13/10/2019.