Horsforth Fairweather FC

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Sunday 7th May 2019 (Wharfedale Triangle League Premier Division):
Leeds City Rovers 1 Horsforth Fairweather 0

Team: Postle, Kennedy, Diamond, Hoyle, T.Wilson, Howarth, Thorp, Francis, Litvinov, Hawes, Lancaster. Subs: Skillern, Riley, McFarlane, J.Jones; unused sub: C.Jones.

  After much debate and debacle, the final game of the season took place on a miserable Tuesday evening, and in the event we fielded what was a pretty reasonable side plus a full complement of subs. The game wasn't great, frankly. With in theory nothing but pride riding on the outcome, it was encouraging to see how determined both sides were to get the result, but in spite of that there was little good football played, and for Horsforth in particular our set pieces were poor and we created little or nothing from open play. City won the game with a breakaway goal as early as the second minute, a lone fast striker outpacing our defence and the ball being bundled into the net at the near post following an attempted last-ditch tackle. After that, the game never really settled into any pattern, Horsforth never really got our passing game together, and the home team, well under-strength themselves, had more than a few chances but couldn't snatch the second that might have made the points safe. Late in the day, we brought on the subs, including two players making their competitive debuts Jack Jones and Daniel McFarlane, but it would be wrong to claim that at any stage of the contest we got on top. When Jonathan Postle saved a penalty with a couple of minutes left, you maybe got the feeling briefly it might be our day after all, but in truth the home team were still making the better chances and would probably claim they were good value for a 1-0 win.

  Anyway, sincere congratulations to Leeds City, I know we've given them some good games this season but the 14-point margin by which they won the league really has to speak for itself. They proved they were the best team over 18 matches, and it's up to us try and match their consistency, plus of course get results in meetings between the sides, if we are serious about challenging them next season. Tonight's game then, lots of effort and great spirit, but sadly not quite the performance we needed to end the campaign on a high note. As I've said before, there's always next year...

Thursday 2nd May 2019 (Wharfedale Triangle League Premier Division):

  Leeds City Rovers 4, Shadwell United 0.

Sunday 28th April 2019:

  League Cup Final: Keighley Athletic 2, Leeds City Rovers 5.

  League game: Yeadon Athletic 4, Salts 10.

Friday 26th April 2019:

  WRCFA County Sunday Cup Final: Leeds City Rovers 1, Shepherds Arms 4.

Sunday 21st April 2019 (Wharfedale Triangle League Premier Division):

  Salts 2, Leeds City Rovers 4.

Thursday 18th April 2019:

  LDFA Sunday Senior Cup Semi-Final: Leeds City Rovers 0, Hope Inn Whites 2. Hope to play Main Line Social in the Final

Sunday 14th April 2019 (Friendly):
Horsforth Fairweather 10 Burton Leonard 3

Team: Postle, Fellows, Canning, Fenwick, P.Smith, C.Jones, Thorp, Francis, Hawes, J.Jones, Monaghan. Subs: Hoyle, Kennedy, Lancaster, Litvinov, Pickering. Scorers: Monaghan, Hawes 2, P.Smith, Thorp 3, Hoyle (pen), Litvinov 2.

  An end-of-season friendly to keep the fans entertained, and an opportunity for some of our fringe players to make a name for themselves. Jonathan Postle was in goal as usual, Tommy Fellows and Ben Canning started as full-backs, Chris Jones and Phil Smith in central defence. Jack Jones and Luke Monaghan were the wide players in a midfield four, Adam Fenwick and Jamie Francis central. Thorpy and Hawesy were the strikers.

  It always looked like being a high-scoring game, and in the first half Horsforth's defence creaked alarmingly at times. Luke gave us the early lead with a scuffed shot from Thorpy's throw-in, but by the 10-minute mark we were 2-1 down, and the less said about the defending at that stage the better. But Ben's excellent forward surge and pass found Hawesy for the equaliser, then Phil headed home Jamie's superb corner to restore the advantage. We conceded a comedy goal direct from a corner, but then Hawesy broke dow the right wing, and picked out Jack who played the ball on to Thorpy and we were in front yet again. Half time and 4-3 already.

  We brought on our small army of substitutes at the break: Kev Hoyle, Jesse Kennedy, George Lancaster, Gary Litvinov and Matty Pickering; and from this point the result wasn't really in doubt. Stand-in captain Kev banged the ball home from the penalty spot after he'd been fouled, George pulled the ball back across goal from the right wing for Gary to make it 6-3, Thorpy took advantage of a goalkeeper error for the seventh, then crossed for Hawesy to head the eighth. A great piece of goalkeeping action from Pos ensued, making a good catch under pressure and alertly punting the ball downfield for Thorpy to complete his hat-trick, and finally Jesse's corner was met with a firm header by Gary.

  A decent game considering there was nothing at stake, a few defensive issues exposed but a hatful of great goals to remember - some consolation perhaps on the day Leeds City clinched the league title. Always next year, lads.

  League games: Salts 0, Hampsthwaite United 0; Yeadon Athletic 2, Leeds City Rovers 4.

Sunday 7th April 2019 (Wharfedale Triangle League Premier Division):
Yeadon Athletic 2 Horsforth Fairweather 6

Team: Postle, C.Jones, Skillern, Litvinov, T.Wilson, P.Smith, Thorp, Hoyle, R.Wilson, Hawes, Lancaster. Subs: Monaghan, Abbott, Canning. Scorers: Hawes, P.Smith, R.Wilson 2, Thorp, Litvinov. Cautioned: Skillern (persistent infringement).

  The four-week gap since Horsforth's previous match, and the absence of five players from that game, inevitably led to a continuity problem. Though lacking Dave Howarth and Dave Shapland in defence, we were fortunate to have Phil Smith back in the squad, and with Tom Wilson joining him and regular Chris Jones there was little cause for concern in that department. All three central midfield players from the Keighley game being unavailable, we moved Kev Hoyle into the centre, his place at right wing-back going to George Lancaster, while Gary Litvinov was also restored to the side and James Hawes dropped back from the forwards. James Thorp started again up front alongside Rob Wilson. Steve Skillern carried on at left wing-back and of course Jonathan Postle in goal.

  There may have been little at stake for Horsforth, but the performance was strong and determined right from the start, and it needed to be against opponents who are battling for every point they can get at the moment. Horsforth were a bit over-reliant on the long ball in the first half, but in the 19th minute were rewarded for just about the best pass of the season from out on the right wing by Gary, which found Hawesy in the danger zone, and we were 1-0 up. Seven minutes later Skilly's corner found Rob, whose initial header was blocked but the ball rebounded to Phil, who did the business from close range. That said, it was far from one-way traffic in the first half, and Pos was called into action at least as often as the Yeadon keeper. At the break, even being two goals ahead, we knew we had lots more work to do.

  We actually started the second half quite positively, playing much more composed football through the midfield, and looked like increasing our lead a few times before conceding a maddeningly unnecessary penalty in the 7th minute, from which the home team reduced the arrears. This however only served to further galvanise our players, and just a minute later Skilly's corner ricocheted into the path of Rob who fired home. On 16 minutes, Skilly's short corner was crossed beautifully by Thorpy into Rob's path, and the superb half-volley from the edge of the 6-yard area meant we had a bit of breathing space. Luke Monaghan and debutant Callum Abbott were brought on at this stage to freshen the side up a bit, and Callum was involved in the move from which Thorpy made it 5-1 after 28 minutes, flicking the ball up in the air to beat defenders twice before taking it round the keeper. Five minutes after that, Skilly turned the Yeadon defence down the left, and his low pulled-back cross was met by Gary at the edge of the box and steered home. Ben Canning added to his CV with another impressive late appearance from the bench. The only disappointment of the day was a sloppy late goal we conceded, giving the ball away twice in the move that led to it, and giving the scoreline a less impressive look.

  In the end, it looked pretty comfortable at 6-2, but we had been made to work hard for it at times, and some of the saves Pos made today were pretty outstanding, transforming what might have been a high-scoring close contest into an emphatic win. Another good day's work, and three more points, but it was far from easy.

  Other league games: Hampsthwaite United 0, Leeds City Rovers 3.

Sunday 31st March 2019:

  League Cup Semi-Final: Leeds City Rovers 1, Salts 0.

  Final is Leeds City Rovers v Keighley Athletic, April 28th at Otley Town.

  League games: Myrtle Park 3, Burton Leonard 4; Yeadon Athletic 1, Shadwell United 1.

Sunday 24th March 2019:

  League Cup Semi-Final: Cullingworth Youth 2, Keighley Athletic 4.

  Other Semi-Final is Leeds City Rovers v Salts, 31st March. Final is 28th April at Otley Town.

  League games: Hampsthwaite United 7, Salts 1; Shipley Town 2, Myrtle Park 3.

Friday 22nd March 2019:

  WRCFA County Sunday Cup Semi-Final: Leeds City Rovers 5, HT Sports 1.

  Other Semi-Final is Shepherds Arms v Walkers Arms Hounds, 29th March. Final 26th April.

Sunday 17th March 2019 (Wharfedale Triangle League Premier Division):

  Leeds City Rovers 3, Burton Leonard 0; Yeadon Athletic v Salts postponed.

Sunday 10th March 2019 (Wharfedale Triangle League Premier Division):
Horsforth Fairweather 5 Keighley Athletic 2

Team: Postle, Hoyle, Shapland, Pickering, C.Jones, Howarth, Kennedy, Francis, R.Wilson, Hawes, Skillern. Subs: Diamond, T.Wilson, Lancaster, Canning, Monaghan. Scorers: Hawes 2, R.Wilson 2, Howarth.

  For the first time this season, Horsforth were able to name an unchanged starting XI, with the added bonus of a strong bench. What could go wrong?

  Well, for a start the conditions were awful. Sleet turning to snow for most of the first half, and bitterly cold. The game started off poorly, and got worse. We conceded from a free kick after 8 minutes, but equalised two minutes later when Rob Wilson outmuscled a defender and laid the ball along the line for James Hawes to bundle it into the net. We had to replace Dave Shapland in defence after just 15 minutes, Jack Diamond a more than adequate replacement. The weather may have prevented either side from playing any decent football, but the game had an edge from the start. On 37 minutes it boiled over when for reasons best known to himself a Keighley player, already cautioned, attempted a body slam on Jesse Kennedy, and was dismissed. In line with that well-known saying about it being harder to play against 10 men, Horsforth managed to give away another goal before the break, and were able to look forward to one of the season's less complimentary half-time team talks.

  The second half wasn't a great deal better from the football point of view, but we gradually began to at least make the extra man count. Ten minutes in, Dave Howarth's free kick ricocheted off a defender into the path of Rob, inviting the equaliser, and three minutes later Steve Skillern's left wing cross in the direction of Kev Hoyle went askew but was retrieved by Rob, who put us in front. Normal service resumed? Not a bit of it. Just two minutes after taking the lead, we presented the away side with a penalty, and the outcome of the contest could have very different if Horsforth goalie Jonathan Postle hadn't pushed the shot wide. It was clearly time for some reinforcements, Tom Wilson to boost the defence and George Lancaster taking over from Kev at right wing-back, Kev switching to give a bit more creativity in the midfield. On 23 minutes, we scored the goal of the game, a fabulous end-to-end move which ended with Rob sweeping the ball from the right wing into the path of Hawesy who slammed it home first touch, a piece of football quality head and shoulders above what entertainment had been provided previously. It didn't exactly get easier after that, and we brought Ben Canning into the fray at left wing-back to see the game out as the away side continued to attack at every opportunity. Five minutes from the end, the scoreline was given a rather flattering look when Jesse's left wing corner found Dave Howarth unmarked more or less on the goal-line, and the Horsforth defender had time to fall over and still put the ball in the net.

  Not a great game then by any standards. Obviously the conditions didn't help, but that hardly excuses what was overall a frankly poor performance from a Horsforth side that had looked so solid the previous week. The result looks quite good on paper though, and even if it was against 10 men we should at least give ourselves a certain amount of praise for the way we stuck to the task, kept our discipline and ended up comfortable winners in a game in which we'd been behind twice.

  Other league games: Myrtle Park 0, Leeds City Rovers 4; Salts v Hampsthwaite United postponed.

Thursday 7th March 2019:

  LDFA Sunday Senior Cup Semi-Final: Leeds City Rovers v Hope Inn Whites - postponed. Will now be played Tuesday 26th March.

  Other Semi-Final is Main Line Social v Rodley, 14th March.

Sunday 3rd March 2019 (Wharfedale Triangle League Premier Division):
Myrtle Park 0 Horsforth Fairweather 2

Team: Postle, Hoyle, Shapland, Pickering, C.Jones, Howarth, Kennedy, Francis, R.Wilson, Hawes, Skillern. Subs: Riley, Canning, Monaghan. Scorers: Hawes, R.Wilson.

  A few changes this week with four players unavailable. The defence was hardest hit, with two of last week's back three not with us, so Chris Jones was back in the side, and Dave Shapland was switched there from the left wing-back position. Steve Skillern took over the left-sided role, while Kev Hoyle was reinstated at right wing-back. James Hawes joined the attack.

  Needing all three points to maintain any sort of challenge at the top of the table, Horsforth began in rather sloppy manner, and were a bit lucky to survive the early exchanges with our goal intact. That said, neither side really came to terms with the conditions nor used the large pitch to full advantage, and the first half especially was a somewhat cagey affair. We went in front with a moment of class though, when in the 34th minute Jonesy's clearance found its way to Skilly who played the ball into space for Hawesy, who coolly lobbed the onrushing keeper from the edge of the box.

  The game was a bit more open after the break, space not as hard to come by. The home side started the half quite brightly, but by the midpoint of the period we were making the better chances, and doubled our lead on 25 minutes when Kev played the ball across goal from the right wing, and a defender unwisely tried to let the ball run when Rob Wilson was bearing down on him. The Horsforth striker took the ball round the Myrtle Park keeper and stroked it into the empty net. The game was still far from over, and the home team came back at us strongly, and would probably say they were unlucky not to score at least one goal back. Horsforth reinforced by changing both wing-backs, Henry Riley and Ben Canning the subs, and concentrated a bit more on the defensive side of our game, but we got better as the game went into its final stages, so much so that by the end we were looking relatively comfortable, and the back three and keeper Jonathan Postle could be well proud of their clean sheet.

  A good win then, against one of the league's best sides, a team who had already beaten us at our place. If the championship itself is now beyond us (and it is, to say the least, out of our hands), we are in with a decent chance of the runners-up spot if we can keep playing at this intensity for another couple of matches. All in all, a good morning's work, a credit to the spirit and resilience of our club.

  Other league games: Burton Leonard 1, Salts 4; Keighley Athletic 1, Leeds City Rovers 2; Shipley Town 1, Hampsthwaite United 2.

  This page last updated 07/05/2019.

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