Horsforth Fairweather FC

Archived reports 2021-22.

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12/09/2021 Leeds City Rovers (H) 26/09/2021 Wellington Wolves (H)
03/10/2021 Little London (A) County Cup 10/10/2021 Wellington Wolves (A)

Sunday 5th September 2021 (Wharfedale Triangle League Premier Division):

  FC United of Baildon 2, Keighley Athletic 4; Horsforth Saints 1, Wellington Wolves 3; Myrtle Park 5, Horsforth St Margarets 6; Skipton United 9, Yeadon Athletic 1; Yeadon FC 1, Shadwell United 5.

Sunday 12th September 2021 (Wharfedale Triangle League Premier Division):
Horsforth Fairweather 0 Leeds City Rovers 2

Jones, Service, Marson, Shapland
Townend, Pickering, Riley, Canning
Litvinov, Sparkes

Subs: Hyde, Lancaster, Bogdanos

  After a pre-season that could be politely described as uninspiring, Horsforth faced the side traditionally regarded as the league's strongest in this daunting opening fixture. Sam Jeffrey was asked to carry on the good work in goal, behind a back four of Chris Jones, Iain Service, new signing Ben Marson and Dave Shapland. Liam Townend returned on the right of midfield after missing a couple of seasons, Matt Pickering and Henry Riley were at the core of the formation, and Ben Canning down the left. New team captain Gary Litvinov was up front alongside another new recruit Jamie Sparkes.

  Some difficulty in settling was always going to be inevitable, but the speed with which the away side opened their account was more than disappointing. In the second minute, a half-cleared corner was unceremoniously fired back into our net, and the proverbial worst was there to be feared. Gradually, very gradually, Horsforth recovered a bit of composure, became a bit more organised in defence, and began to assert themselves somewhat in the midfield. So much so that by the end of the first half we had begun to fancy our chances of a result, all the more so when the City centre forward was sent off just before the break, presumably for something he'd said to the referee.

  Another prodigal son returned to the fold for the second period, striker Dan Hyde back after an absence of four seasons, but regrettably this half started just as badly as the first. Six minutes in, a corner that found it way beyond the far post was met with a crisp volley, and the deficit was 2-0. As the minutes ticked away, Horsforth brought George Lancaster and Christos Bogdanos into the game, but it seemed our first half impetus had deserted us, and some while before the finals whistle it was evident we'd run out of steam pretty much all over the pitch, City in the end quite comfortable winners.

  I can't pretend this was a great game, neither team being anywhere like the level they were at last time around. There were some positives of course, a couple of promising debuts for example. I'd say that, considering the problems we'd had coming into this fixture, the performance was about as good as could have been expected, but then I'd also have to add that all of our pre-season woes were self-inflicted wounds - so no excuses. A case of you reap what you sow today, I guess, no lack of effort on the day but the decline in match fitness was always likely to end up costing us, and so it proved. There will be other days, of that I'm certain.

  Other league games: Horsforth St Margarets 5, Salts 2; Keighley Athletic v Yeadon FC postponed; Shadwell United 5, Myrtle Park 5; Yeadon Athletic 4, FC United of Baildon 4.

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Sunday 19th September 2021 (Wharfedale Triangle League Premier Division):

  Horsforth Fairweather v Keighley Athletic postponed, due to lack of an available referee.

  Other league games: Myrtle Park 1, Leeds City Rovers 2; Shadwell United 2, Yeadon Athletic 2; Wellington Wolves 0, Skipton United 7; Yeadon FC 1, Horsforth Saints 2.

  Bradford FA Sunday Senior Cup Round 1 included: FC United of Baildon 3, Bolton Woods 3, Baildon won 5-4 on pens. Round 2 included: Salts 3, Station Hotel 7.

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Sunday 26th September 2021 (Wharfedale Triangle League Premier Division):
Horsforth Fairweather 5 Wellington Wolves 2

Bell, Service, Marson, Shapland
Monaghan, Pickering, Riley, Canning
Lancaster, Litvinov

Subs: Skillern, Bogdanos, Townend, Jones

Scorers: Litvinov 2, Service, Pickering, Bogdanos

  Horsforth made a few changes for this one, Shane Bell starting at right-back, Luke Monaghan coming into the side on the right of midfield, and George Lancaster in a sort of "in the hole" role behind lone striker Gary Litvinov.

  The first half was a bizarre affair, and went decisively our way, at least in terms of goals scored. After five minutes, Ben Canning's right wing corner was met by Luke, and the ball broke for Gary to drill home from close range. Four minutes later, one of many excellent deep free kicks from keeper Sam Jeffrey found central defender Iain Service in front of goal, and his deft header made it 2-0, his first goal for the club since March 2013. On 15 minutes, George's low right wing cross in the direction of Gary broke loose for Matty Pickering to wallop home and extend the lead further. Horsforth were playing some superb football in patches while in possession, and defending well both in open play and at set pieces, yet the away team were having at least as much of the ball, simply not able to convert it to clear-cut chances. In the 28th minute, a truly exceptional goal ensued when Sam saved a free kick and fed the ball to George, whose inspired first time pass found Gary bearing down on goal, and though the Wellington keeper got hand to it there was no denying us a fourth goal. Given the quality of the goals we'd scored, it's hard to say we didn't deserve the lead, but I think even the most ardent HFFC supporter would have to concede the margin was more than a bit flattering.

  The second half was a far more even game, as the Wellington team began to wrest control of the midfield from us. They hit back after 8 minutes with a penalty, the initial shot saved by the worthy Sam, but nothing he could have done about the follow-up. Time to turn to the bench for reinforcements, Steve Skillern in central midfield and Christos Bogdanos on the right flank, and later Liam Townend down the left. With the balance of play now quite heavily favouring the away side, we were greatly relieved when in the 34th minute of the half Liam hit a pass from one wing to the other, and as Christos advanced into the danger area his shot was diverted into the net by a luckless Wellington defender - arguably an OG, but the shot was goalbound so I guess it counts as Boggy's first for the club. Still there were some tiring legs in the defence for the last few minutes, and the introduction of the dependable Chris Jones didn't prevent the away team scoring the final goal of the game, as they finally found their way through our back line in open play, but it would be churlish to describe it as in any measure undeserved.

  A strange game then, some good moments from Horsforth and a couple of great ones, and a result which looks impressive on paper. Maybe the away side were unlucky, maybe we played to our strengths, hard to analyse it really, let's just say it was three very welcome points and move on from here.

  Other league games: FC United of Baildon 0, Myrtle Park 2; Horsforth St Margarets 1, Yeadon Athletic 5; Salts 3, Shadwell United 0; Leeds City Rovers 4, Horsforth Saints 0; Skipton United 5, Yeadon FC 1.

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Sunday 3rd October 2021 (WRCFA County Sunday Cup Round 1):
Little London 4 Horsforth Fairweather 3

Bell, Service, Marson, Shapland
Bogdanos, Andrews, Lancaster, Skillern
Townend, Sparkes

Subs: Sreedhara, Riley, Pickering, Canning; unused sub: Hyde

Scorers: Lancaster 2, Pickering

Cautioned: Bogdanos (Unsporting Behaviour)

  Last week's sound result notwithstanding, Horsforth made sweeping changes for this County Sunday Cup tie. George Lancaster switched from attack to midfield, where he was joined by Christos Bogdanos, Tom Andrews and Steve Skillern, all starting for the first time this season. With captain Gary Litvinov unavailable, Liam Townend and Jamie Sparkes were recalled to the attack, while left-back David Shapland took over the armband.

  Against a strong home team from the Combination's Jubilee Premier league, Horsforth had some good moments going forward in the first half, though few and far between, and trailed 2-0 by the 40th minute due to a couple of defensive lapses. Little London undoubtedly had some class players in their side, even if we sensed they might be vulnerable defensively if we could build a few more sustained attacks, but at two goals up they clearly felt the day was theirs already. Just when it seemed the game might be slipping beyond us, a rather astonishing piece of control and long distance strike from George reduced the arrears to 2-1, and at the interval the mood was one of renewed confidence.

  Iain Service had made a big difference to the defence so far this season, but we lost him to injury at the break. Satwik was brought on as sub in midfield with Tom moving into central defence. We began to play with more purpose for the second period, and were able to bolster the midfield further with the introduction of Matty Pickering and Henry Riley - who had been the central pairing in both previous games - and the switching of George and Christos to the attack. We contrived to concede a third goal after 21 minutes, but hit back immediately with a superb lob from the excellent George to make it 3-2. With Ben Canning on giving us a whole new-look midfield, we were playing the better football as the game moved into its decisive last stages, and when in the 43rd minute Matty's toe-poke flew gloriously into the net it seemed the tie was heading for penalties. But, sad to report, some of the goals we conceded today had been pretty disappointing affairs, and the one in the final minute that settled the game in the home team's favour was no exception.

  Overall, this had been an impressive display from a much changed Horsforth side, in that we had ended up pretty much dominating the midfield for all the second half. Regrettably, we conceded some rather poor goals, which had meant we were always chasing the game, and ultimately cost us the result which we felt we'd earned. Not much to be gained by dwelling on the defensive shortcomings today, let's just say we know we can do better than this and leave it there.

  Other Round 1 games included: Horsforth Saints 1, Bramham Sunday 4; Horsforth St Margarets v Pollington Predators home walkover; Leeds City Rovers 2, Myrtle Park 2 (Leeds City won 4-3 on pens); Salts 2, Main Line Social 2, Main Line won 4-2 on pens; Shadwell United v Hounds home walkover; Skipton United 5, Chickenley 0.

  League games: Keighley Athletic 7, Wellington Wolves 4; Yeadon FC 1, FC United of Baildon 5.

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Sunday 10th October 2021 (Wharfedale Triangle League Premier Division):
Wellington Wolves 2 Horsforth Fairweather 3

Bell, Andrews, Marson, Shapland
Riley, Pickering, Lancaster, Canning
Litvinov, Hyde

Subs: Bogdanos, Cain, Monaghan, Townend; unsed sub: Sparkes

Scorers: Marson, Hyde, Litvinov

  With Sam Jeffrey, Steve Skillern and Satwik unavailable due to illness, and Iain Service injured, Horsforth had to ring the changes again, but at least this week there were plenty of quality alternatives. Jonathan Postle returned in goal, and Tom Andrews took over in central defence. Gary Litvinov and Dan Hyde were back in the side in attack, while Henry Riley, Matty Pickering and Ben Canning were restored to the midfield.

  As with the game at our pitch (all of two weeks ago), Horsforth did most of the hard work early. After 17 less than inspiring minutes of play, Ben Canning's corner was met powerfully at the far post by Ben Marson, and the Martian duly notched his first goal for the club. On 25 minutes, Dan had his first shot blocked but showed great determination to recover and drill home what was his first official goal for the club since the Summer League in 2016, and two minutes later Henry's fine approach play culminated in his inspired pass to the far post, where Gary ghosted in unnoticed for a third, which might have ended the resistance of a lesser side than Wellington. But, as we found out when last we faced them, the former Skybet side seem to be one of those teams who just don't know when they're beaten, and they further enhanced their reputation today with an immediate fightback. In the 33rd minute, a chipped cross floated into our net, an absolute fluke in itself but a symbol of their determination to make a game of it. The first half ended with Horsforth still in the ascendancy, but in truth we hadn't been playing with any great authority, too many passes going astray in midfield and a fair amount of wing-and-a-prayer defending.

  The second half was a much grimmer affair, the midfield contest far more even now. With the balance of play beginning to go against us, Horsforth, as is traditional, looked to the bench for reinforcements, and brought Christos Bogdanos and new recruit Alex Cain into the game: given that the home team had a bare 11 players, it seemed the depth of our squad might be the key factor. Yet when the Wellington lads scored their second goal, from a flick at the near post at a corner after 24 minutes, it was clear what was now required was a stoic rearguard action - and it's pleasing to report, that's what we got. Luke Monaghan and Liam Townend were added to the mix as we tried to change the pattern of the play, but the latter stages of the game belonged to the home team. They weren't exactly laying siege to our goal - we made a good few half-chances of our own - but a late equaliser would have surprised nobody. That it didn't arrive is testament to some strong and purposeful defending from Horsforth's remodelled defence, as well as (it must be conceded) a few slices of luck.

  Not a great performance overall, I think we'd all have to agree that, but some nice goals while we were on top and some dogged defending when we weren't. Six points from a team who will surely do some damage to the league's better sides before the season is much older, a good return from another day of effort rather than inspiration. And a point in time where we perhaps need to remind ourselves how far we've come in the last couple of months, from a club that couldn't raise 11 players for a single pre-season friendly to the top half of the table. It's still a work in progress of course, but in my opinion we are at least seeing quite a lot of progress.

  Other league games: FC United of Baildon 2 Skipton United 6; Horsforth Saints 1, Myrtle Park 2; Horsforth St Margarets 1, Keighley Athletic 4; Shadwell United 2, Leeds City Rovers 7; Salts 1, Yeadon FC 3.

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  This page last updated October 2021.

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