Sunday 20th September 2020 (WTL League Cup Round 1):
Horsforth Saints 0
Horsforth Fairweather 3
Bell, Service T.Wilson, Shapland
LD.Monaghan, Skillern, B.Canning
Subs: Archer, Jeffrey, Nicholl, Scott, Jones
Scorers: Hawes 2, Skillern
A pre-season that could politely be called indifferent behind them, Fairweather opened the real action with - for some reason - a league cup tie against local rivals and fellow Premier Division side Saints, and an away game on our pitch.
Notwithstanding the absence of several regulars from last campaign, there were a good few players available, for once.
Woody opted for what is becoming his favourite 4-2-3-1 formation, with Jonathan Postle in goal, Shane Bell, Iain Service, Tom Wilson and Dave Shapland in defence;
George Lancaster and Matt Pickering holding in midfield;
and Luke Monaghan, Steve Skillern and Ben Canning supporting lone striker James Hawes.
The first half was fairly even in terms of territory and possession, but Fairweather struck gold twice and changed ends two goals to the good.
On 10 minutes, Hawesy's superb shot from distance hit the bar, and the chance might have gone but for Skilly's persistence, the ball dropping again to Hawesy whose finish this time was even better. With 28 minutes played, Hawesy made a chance for Skilly, and the cool lob over the onrushing Saints keeper gave us a decisive advantage.
Other than that there was wasn't a great deal to choose between the teams if I'm honest, and we knew there'd be much work to do in the second period.
There wasn't quite as much excitement in the second half, Fairweather turning to an array of substitutes to retain the initiative. Reece Archer made his bow in midfield early, George switching to the right side, Sam Jeffrey took over down the left, another appearing in a competitive game for the first time, while Anthony Nicholl reinforced the central unit even further. I wouldn't say we were great value for our two-goal lead, to be honest, but we stuck to our guns doggedly, and stretched the advantage further in the 28th minute of the half, when George and Skilly combined down the right, and Hawesy bundled in the low cross at the far post. Still time for brief appearances from Dave Scott and of course Jonesy, as we saw out the latter stages of the game relatively comfortably, and ran out what will probably look like an impressive 3-0 victory.
So we open the campaign with a good win, from a game in which we needed to battle hard for 90 minutes to keep up with the home side's work-rate - and did exactly that. I'd admit the result was a bit flattering on the basis of the balance of play, but we defended well and in organised manner today, took our chances when we got them, and - above all - finished the match looking the stronger team by some way.
A good morning's work, a welcome relief after some of the debacles in the recent friendlies, and much cause for optimism. More of the same please.
Other Round 1 games:
Eldwick 0, Bramley United 5;
FC United of Baildon 11, West Leeds 2020 0;
Keighley Blues 3, Saltaire Rangers 0;
Leeds City Rovers 7, Shipley Town 1;
Myrtle Park 5, Cullingworth Youth 1;
Pudsey Athletic 0, Skipton United 7;
Rawdon 1, Shadwell United 1 (Rawdon won 5-4 on pens);
West Leeds 2018 2, Yeadon FC 5;
Yeadon Athletic 3, FC Milford of Bramhope 1.
Horsforth St Margarets,
West Leeds 2014.
(Salts v Leeds Maccabi played 13th September.)
Revised draw for Round 2:
Bramley United v
Horsforth Fairweather v
Horsforth St Margarets v Headingley Rovers (that will probably be a home walkover);
Leeds City Rovers v
Pudsey Athletic or Skipton United v
FC United of Baildon;
Sporting Pudsey v
West Leeds 2014 v Keighley Athletic;
Yeadon FC v
Salts 2, Keighley Athletic 8.
Sunday 13th September 2020:
League game: Horsforth Saints 3, Sporting Pudsey 4.
League Cup Round 1: Salts 1, Leeds Maccabi 1, Maccabi won 9-8 on pens.
Please see the
Archive page for details of last season's matches.
This page last updated 20/09/2020.