Horsforth Fairweather FC

Archived reports 2018-19.

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02/09/2018 Hampsthwaite United (H) 09/09/2018 Burton Leonard (H)
16/09/2018 Myrtle Park (H) 23/09/2018 Salts (A)
30/09/2018 Yeadon Athletic (H) 07/10/2018 Hampsthwaite United (A)
14/10/2018 Shipley Town (A) 21/10/2018 Main Line (A) Sunday Cup




Sunday 2nd September 2018 (Wharfedale Triangle League Premier Division):
Horsforth Fairweather 1 Hampsthwaite United 1

Team: Postle, Bell, Shapland, Lancaster, P.Smith, Howarth, Thorp, Francis, Litvinov, Hoyle, Skillern. Subs: Hawes, Pickering; unused sub: C.Jones. Scorer: Skillern. Cautioned: Hoyle, Skillern, Thorp (all Unsporting Behaviour).

  A new season dawned, the weather hot and sultry, the team news mixed as usual. Horsforth were without Tom and Rob Wilson, but otherwise were able to field what is perhaps our strongest line-up. Jonathan Postle was in goal, the defence Shane Bell, Phil Smith, Dave Howarth and Dave Shapland. Across the midfield we had George Lancaster and Steve Skillern in the wide berths, the returning club captain Jamie Francis in an unaccustomed holding role, with Kev Hoyle and Gary Litvinov pushing forward to support lone striker Thorpy.

  Strange to relate, Horsforth started looking a bit panicky, the result perhaps of an indifferent pre-season, yet we soon settled and opened our account after just four minutes. Pos's deep free kick was controlled by George out on the right and his superb cross was met by Skilly, the header back across goal creeping in at the near post. We played some nice football in patches after this, looked dangerous every time we got the ball down in the other team's half, and could easily have added to the slender lead. However, the away side played well when they had the ball too, and by the break the difference between the teams was marginal at best.

  The opening phase of the second period saw Hampsthwaite enjoying their best spell of the game, and their equaliser after seven minutes from a flicked near-post header was no more than they deserved. Horsforth had to dig deep now to regain the initiative, and the introduction of debutant James Hawes on the hour mark gave a bit of added quality to the midfield. I felt we looked the more likely side from that moment, and made more than a few chances any one of which could have won us the points, but it would be unfair to deny that the away team also made chances as the game became stretched, and could have snatched all three points themselves. As it was, we had a couple of shouts for penalties, missed a handful of good opportunities, and finally had what looked to me a perfectly sound goal from Gary disallowed for offside, and so 1-1 it finished.

  To sum it up then ... we could have won, probably deserved to win, but might have lost too, so maybe a draw was fair in the end ... all in all, not a bad performance, even if there still are a few things we need to work on. A decent game between two footballing teams, played for the most part in the right spirit (I'd say the flurry of second-half bookings give a misleading impression) and more interesting times ahead.

  Other league games: Salts 3, Burton Leonard 0; Shadwell United 1, Leeds City Rovers 3; Yeadon Athletic 2, Keighley Athletic 2.

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Thursday 6th September 2018 (Wharfedale Triangle League Premier Division):

  Myrtle Park 4, Shipley Town 0.

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Sunday 9th September 2018 (Wharfedale Triangle League Premier Division):
Horsforth Fairweather 7 Burton Leonard 1

Team: Postle, Bell, Shapland, Lancaster, P.Smith, Howarth, Thorp, Francis, Litvinov, Hoyle, Skillern. Subs: Hawes, Pickering, Riley, Diamond, Scott. Scorers: Litvinov 2, Thorp 3, Hawes 2.

  Horsforth lined up with the same eleven players as last week, but in a radically changed shape: three at the back with Shane Bell and George Lancaster pushed out as wing-backs, and Gary Litvinov pushed forward to join Thorpy in attack.

  The game opened very brightly, both teams playing football but Horsforth looking by some way the more likely team to score. We'd already had an appeal turned down, Phil Smith's goalbound header being cleared off the line (or was it just behind?) before Gary's 16th minute opener, Steve Skillern being tackled but the ball finding its way to Litvo. Just one minute later, we doubled the lead in bizarre circumstances when Shane intercepted a clearance from the goalkeeper and Gary was left with an open net, albeit from about 45 yards, and the ball duly but rather slowly found its way in at the far post. It wasn't all plain sailing though, the influential Skilly having to go off injured at this stage, James Hawes the able replacement. On 27 minutes, Jamie Francis took a corner from the left wing, the goalie could only parry, and Thorpy latched onto the loose ball to head home. We conceded what always looked a consolation goal in the 40th minute, the away side making ground up the middle and some uncharacteristically hesitant defending presenting them with the chance, but just before half time the points were surely made safe when Kev Hoyle's superb pass found Hawesy, who in turn kept his composure to produce an excellent finish, his first goal for the club.

  Any lingering doubts about where the points were going were settled just a minute into the second half, when Gary's controlled header and well-judged pass put Thorpy through on goal, with only one outcome ever likely. The same pair combined even more sweetly in the 9th minute in a fabulous end-to-end move, Gary heading the ball clear from a corner, controlling his own clearance and sweeping the ball with deadly effect into Thorpy territory. On 12 minutes, Kev's low cross from the right was met by Hawesy, and though the finish was probably not what he intended it was enough to beat the keeper and extend the lead to 7-1. Horsforth brought on the subs now, giving valuable game time to Matty Pickering, Henry Riley, Jack Diamond and finally the welcome return of Dave Scott, and though the changes inevitably disrupted the flow of the game we continued to look dangerous even if we couldn't add to our goals tally. A couple of late injuries meant we had to close the game down a bit for the last 10 minutes or so, hopefully all will be recovered for next week.

  Good people, you know the match report tells it like it is, or at least tries to, when you're good I tell you so and when you're bad I tell you that too, frankly. Not always what you want to read, not always what I want to write either, but that's the way I do it. So let me say this today, with my usual frankness: this was as good a performance as I have seen from HFFC for a very long time. To describe the win as comprehensive would be doing it an injustice. We were absolutely excellent today, all over the pitch, all 16 players, and if the opposition maybe weren't the best team we've ever faced they were a long way from being the worst - goalie Pos may have had a quiet day overall, but lest we forget he was called on to make on point-blank save in the first half, and had to come off his line very quickly on several occasions. A long way to go of course, but as of today I'd say we have plenty of reasons to be optimistic about this new season.

  Other league games: Hampsthwaite United 2, Myrtle Park 2; Keighley Athletic 3, Salts 2; Shadwell United 2, Yeadon Athletic 7; Shipley Town 0, Leeds City Rovers 2.

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Sunday 16th September 2018 (Wharfedale Triangle League Premier Division):
Horsforth Fairweather 1 Myrtle Park 2

Team: Postle, Lancaster, Diamond, Hoyle, T.Wilson, P.Smith, Thorp, Litvinov, Scott, Hawes, Jones. Unused subs: Fellows, Pickering, Roper, Monaghan. Scorer: Hoyle (pen). Cautioned: Diamond (Unsporting Behaviour).

  With a growing number of players not available, Horsforth changed the formation again, to 3-4-3. Jonathan Postle continued in goal, while Tom Wilson and Jack Diamond joined Phil Smith at the back. George Lancaster switched to the right, Chris Jones came into the side on the left, replacing last-minute fitness check failure Steve Skillern. Kev Hoyle and Gary Litvinov were the central players. Up front, there was an abundance of talent, Dave Scott and James Hawes alongside Thorpy.

  With three hard working strikers on the prowl, the away side never had a chance to settle in defence, and the first half belonged almost entirely to Horsforth, both in terms of territory and possession. Yet we could only muster a single goal for our efforts, a penalty awarded when Dave was pulled back in the area and Kev stepped up to score from the spot. Frankly, we could have had six or seven by the break, such was the measure of our superiority, but being forced to settle for 1-0 we knew the game was far from safe.

  And so it proved. The second period was much more even, and if we perhaps still had the greater share of the ball, the chances weren't coming anything like as regularly, and mostly half chances at that. The away team, well organised in defence, always looked likely to put their faith in breakaway goals, and on 13 minutes the left back made ground down their left and crossed for the equaliser. In the 21st minute, a fairly straightforward ball up the middle and one mistake, and we found ourselves behind in a game we thought we'd already done more than enough to win. After that, we had lots more possession and built many more attacks, but never really carved out any more clear-cut openings, and so 2-1 it finished.

  Other than reiterating that it's long time since we've played so well and lost, I have to add that pretty much everyone on the pitch could claim they had a good game today, certainly none of them deserved to be on the losing side. The formation worked admirably, the motivation and organisation by stand-in Manager Jamie was first class, and the spirit was excellent throughout. So, hard to understand how we let this one slip, but not much else you say on a Sunday afternoon other than roll on next week.

  Other league games: Keighley Athletic 5, Shadwell United 3; Leeds City Rovers 4, Hampsthwaite United 1; Yeadon Athletic 4, Burton Leonard 4.

  LDFA Sunday Senior Cup Round 1: Main Line Social 7, Hunslet Club 0; AFC Beechwood v Whitkirk Wanderers away walkover.

  Byes: Bramley Town, Colton, East End Park WMC,  East Leeds Celtic, HT Sports, Harehills WMC, Hope Inn Whites, Horsforth Fairweather, Leeds City Rovers, New Pudsey, Rodley, Seacroft (Sunday) WMC Athletic, Sporting Pudsey, The Woodcock.

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Sunday 23rd September 2018 (Wharfedale Triangle League Premier Division):
Salts 0 Horsforth Fairweather 4

Team: Postle, Lancaster, Shapland, Pickering, S.Sedgwick, T.Wilson, Thorp, Nicholl, Litvinov, Hawes, Jones. Subs: Riley, J.Sedgwick, Townend, Monagahan; unused sub: Skillern. Scorers: Litvinov, Hawes 2, Townend. Cautioned: T.Wilson (Persistent Infringement).

  The first away game of the season saw Horsforth making another four enforced changes. Jonathan Postle was in goal as usual, while Steve Sedgwick and Dave Shapland replaced the unavailable Phil Smith and Jack Diamond at the back, alongside Tom Wilson. With midfielder Kev Hoyle and striker Dave Scott also absent, Matty Pickering and new recruit Anthony Nicholl were added to the middle line which became a five-piece, with Gary Litvinov in the centre and George Lancaster and Chris Jones wide. James Hawes and Thorpy kept their places in a two-man attack. A pretty awesome achievement getting 11 players on the field, given the number of absentees and not forgetting the two failed late fitness checks, let alone amassing five worthy substitutes, a huge testament to the ongoing team spirit at the club these days.

  Another first half came and went, more good football played, same as last week in that respect, and this time no goals at all to show for our efforts. Both teams contributed to an entertaining 45 minutes, though I'd have to say we had far more of the ball and by a long way the better chances. And I guess there was some trepidation that we might pay the same price as last week for our failure to take advantage of our early superiority?

  Quite the opposite actually. 30 seconds into the second period, Thorpy took a throw in and Gary got his head to it and flicked the ball into the far corner. From this point, the home side's resistance crumbled quite dramatically. Then again, you could hardly blame them when the second goal went in after 6 minutes, Hawesy's exceptional lob from way out on the left enough to break the resolve of many a team, and surely an early contender for goal of the season. Three minutes later, Hawesy met Thorpy's corner almost unopposed at the far post, and it was 3-0. We'd already brought Henry Riley on just after the interval, now we introduced Joshua Sedgwick and Liam Townend to the game - Josh set a record by becoming part of the first father-and-son duo to appear in a competitive match together, then Liam rounded off the scoring after some clever approach play from the excellent Hawesy, his first goal for the club. Finally, Luke Monaghan was given a late runout as we sought to capitalise still further on our strength in depth, seeing the game out at 4-0.

  First thing to say is, considering the problems we looked like having around lunchtime on Saturday, this was an astonishing result. It was also a thoroughly comprehensive display from every department of the team. I'd say, we've played really well the last three weeks now, which I suppose only serves to make last week's result even harder to bear, but if we can play like this all season we should be able to hold our heads up when all the points are counted. So well done lads, and more of the same next week please.

  Other league games: Hampsthwaite United 5, Burton Leonard 2; Keighley Athletic 4, Shipley Town 4; Myrtle Park 3, Yeadon Athletic 2.

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Sunday 30th September 2018 (Wharfedale Triangle League Premier Division):
Horsforth Fairweather 7 Yeadon Athletic 2

Team: Postle, Lancaster, Shapland, Pickering, S.Sedgwick, T.Wilson, Thorp, Hoyle, Litvinov, Hawes, C.Jones. Subs: Howarth, Diamond, Scott, P.Smith, Monaghan. Scorers: Lancaster 2, Thorp, Jones, Hawes, Litvinov 2. Cautioned: Hawes (Unsporting Behaviour).

  With a surfeit of regular players available again, Horsforth's stand-in Manager Jamie Francis kept faith with more or less all of last week's line-up, the only change being Kev Hoyle returning in midfield.

  To be frank, the result never looked in much doubt today. In the 12th minute, Gary Litvinov played the ball through to James Hawes who won a challenge against the Yeadon keeper, and the ball ran free to right wing-back George Lancaster who tucked it home. Two minutes later, George turned provider, his slide-rule pass controlled by James Thorp, and it was 2-0. On 18 minutes, Thorpy took a long throw which caused consternation in the Yeadon defence and Horsforth's unsung left wing-back Chris Jones got the last touch before the ball crossed the line, Jonesy's first goal for the club since November 2009. Possibly a bit surprised at how well the opening stages had gone, Horsforth relaxed a bit now, and paid the price when the referee awarded a penalty for a foul by Tom Wilson, and after a long discussion about where the penalty spot was, Scott Norton (for so long a thorn in this club's side during our previous stint in Wharfedale) stepped up to reduce the arrears. A 37th minute free kick from just outside the box, struck home perfectly by Hawesy, should have meant it was game-over at the interval.

  Not quite. A minute had gone in the second period when Horsforth, a bit guilty of over-elaborating in possession, gave the ball away in the other half and were quickly punished as the away side came down the pitch and pulled it back to 4-2. However, with not only a strong starting XI but also a sensationally good bench to turn to, Horsforth were able to add defender Jack Diamond and midfielder Dave Howarth to the mix, and any self-doubt soon evaporated. On 6 minutes, Thorpy's swerving corner caught the keeper out, and Gary headed home from close range, then two minutes after that a clever one-two between George and Hawesy resulted in the former's second goal of the day. We weren't done with the quality subs either, Dave Scott and Phil Smith replacements who would surely walk into just about any team at this level. In the 27th minute of the half, George's throw found Dave Scott, who pulled the ball back across goal for Gary to complete the scoring at 7-2.

  There aren't many easy games at this level, and in all honesty this wasn't as easy a win as the scoreline might suggest. While the points always seemed to be heading our way, the away side did their best to make a game of it throughout, and I'd say the margin of victory flattered us a bit. But then, we took our chances today, scored while we were on top, and defended well when we needed to, and that has always been a combination that wins you a lot of football matches. So, a comfortable win against a side who didn't turn up expecting to lose, another good day at the office for the team.

  Other league games: Burton Leonard 2, Leeds City Rovers 3; Hampsthwaite United 8, Shipley Town 1; Myrtle Park 2, Keighley Athletic 2; Shadwell United 1, Salts 4.

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Sunday 7th October 2018 (Wharfedale Triangle League Premier Division):
Hampsthwaite United 1 Horsforth Fairweather 2

Team: Postle, C.Jones, Bell, Lancaster, S.Sedgwick, P.Smith, Thorp, Pickering, Litvinov, Hoyle, R.Wilson. Subs: Riley, Townend, Monaghan; unused sub: Skillern. Scorers: Smith, Lancaster. Cautioned: Thorp (Persistent Infringement).

  With three of last week's starting line-up and three members of "the best bench in history" unavailable, Horsforth were forced into another reorganisation. Don't pay too much attention to the numbers this week: Shane Bell was back at right wing-back, with George Lancaster moving to the left. Phil Smith reappeared in the three-man back line alongside Sedge and Chris Jones. Matty Pickering, Kev Hoyle and Gary Litvinov gave some measure of continuity in central midfield, while Rob Wilson played his first game of the season up front alongside Thorpy. Pos was in goal as usual.

  It was a tense game from start to finish, between two well-matched sides who had fought out a draw at Bedquilts a mere five weeks earlier. As is now customary, Horsforth played a lot of nice football in the first half, but didn't quite establish the superiority we'd hoped for on the rather tricky 4G pitch at Rossett Sports Centre. We did however always look to be making the better chances, and when Phil headed Thorpy's left-wing corner into the net in the 36th minute it was neither a surprise nor in any way undeserved, but we always knew it wasn't going to be enough to bring home the points.

  Hampsthwaite came out for the second half in determined mood, and enjoyed a spell of dominance, as our attacks petered out a bit and our defence began to look rather vulnerable to their more inspired passing game. We brought Henry Riley on in the midfield, to try to wrest back the initiative, but when on 21 minutes the home team moved the ball swiftly up the field and shot home from the inside-right channel the game was back in the balance. From here on, there were chances at both ends, though I'd venture to say we had slightly more and slightly better. In the 36th minute of the half, George won the ball off one defender some distance from goal, and rounded a couple more before tucking it home from close range, a splendid goal to settle this or any other game. There were still a few scary moments, and we were more than glad to hear the ref's final whistle, but in the end I'd say it was a win we just about deserved.

  The points will send Horsforth to the top of the Wharfedale Triangle League table, for a week at least, due to other sides' County Cup commitments, a fair reward for a series of sound performances in recent weeks. Maybe this wasn't quite as emphatic a win as some of the recent results, but I'd say the strength of the opposition should account for that, we can't play great stuff every week and some games you just need to roll your sleeves up and battle for the points - and that was what we did today.

  Other league games: Burton Leonard 5, Shadwell United 2; Salts 1, Keighley Athletic 3.

  WRCFA County Sunday Trophy Round 1 included: Myrtle Park 6, Beldon Oddies 2 Shipley Town 5, East Bierley 6.

  The FA Sunday Cup Round 1 included: Linthwaite 0, Leeds City Rovers 1.

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Sunday 14th October 2018 (Wharfedale Triangle League Premier Division):
Shipley Town 1 Horsforth Fairweather 2

Team: Pope, C.Jones, Shapland, Pickering, S.Sedgwick, P.Smith, Lancaster, T.Wilson, Litvinov, Hoyle, Hawes. Subs: Howarth, Riley; unused subs: Monaghan, Townend. Scorers: Hawes, Pickering.

  From last week's line-up, Horsforth were without four players, so Jack Pope took over between the sticks, and Dave Shapland was back in the side at left wing-back, George Lancaster switching to the right. Both the forwards from the previous game being absent, Gary Litvinov lined up in the attack alongside James Hawes, with Tom Wilson filling the gap in midfield.

  The rain was persistent rather than heavy, and the pitch did hold up surprisingly well, but this was never going to be a game for the purist. The first period was hard graft indeed, both sides doing their best to cope with the conditions, but few flowing moves to remember and almost always the last pass breaking down at both ends. The was however one moment of pure class in the 37th minute, as Gary and Kev Hoyle combined to play the ball through for Hawesy, whose deadly finish gave us a slender lead at the break.

  The second half saw the teams raising their game a bit, coming to terms with the weather and starting to play some football in patches. There were some rather clearer chances now, at each end, and though we felt we were still on top, we needed a second goal, all the more so when Shappy had to go off injured, albeit in Dave Howarth we had a quality replacement. In the 25th minute of the half, the indefatigable Gary chased yet another lost cause and won the ball back off a defender in the Shipley penalty area, Matty Pickering had a shot blocked but followed up to make it 2-0. Then, perhaps, we seemed to take our foot off the gas, maybe we thought we'd done the hard work? Anyway, the home side had a very strong spell, and for the first time began to dominate the midfield. We seemed to have enough in reserve to keep them at bay, certainly our defence had up till then coped soundly with all their attacks, but a slight case of the jitters ensued when Shipley scored a goal back with just four minutes left on my watch - plus the seven and a half minutes of injury time the referee added on from somewhere: he must have been enjoying the game more than I was. Still we held out, the defending a bit less polished than had looked to be the case earlier, but we got over the line and bagged another three points.

  There have been a few superb displays of attacking football from Horsforth in the early weeks of the season. This wasn't one of them. It had been a solid performance, a match full of hard work and passion from both teams, with just a couple of moments of endeavour to separate the sides To be honest, it's the fact that we can dig out results on days like this, as well as play our normal open football when we get the chance, that give us such cause for optimism for the rest of the season.

  Other league games: Burton Leonard 1, Myrtle Park 2; Keighley Athletic 5, Yeadon Athletic 1; Shadwell United 8, Hampsthwaite United 6.

  WRCFA County Sunday Cup Round 1 included: Leeds City Rovers 8, Bolton Woods 1.

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Sunday 21st October 2018 (LDFA Sunday Senior Cup Round 2):
Main Line Social 2 Horsforth Fairweather 0

Team: Postle, T.Wilson, C.Jones, Pickering, S.Sedgwick, P.Smith, Thorp, Riley, Hawes, Hoyle, Skillern. Subs: Townend, Monaghan, Francis. Cautioned: Thorp (Leaving field of play without referee's permission).

  Jonathan Postle returned in goal for Horsforth, while there were three enforced outfield changes: with George Lancaster unavailable, Chris Jones was moved to right wing-back, Tom Wilson taking over in defence; Steve Skillern (briefly) replaced the injured Dave Shapland on the left; and Thorpy was back up front alongside James Hawes in the absence of Gary Litvinov.

  It was clear from the start that this was going to be a hard game for us, and the odds were stacked even higher when Skilly had to leave the contest after less than half an hour, Liam Townend getting a decent runout as his replacement, albeit in an unfamiliar position. The first half was a pretty dull affair, with little inspired football from either side. Horsforth defended pretty well - Pos in particular making some great saves - but offered little as an attacking force. The home side's game plan was a rather simple one, but it paid off for them just four minutes before the break, when an effort from the left that was surely a cross rather than a shot drifted into our net.

  We did our best to turn things around after the interval, but the game's decisive moment arrived in the tenth minute of the second half. Our set pieces had been poor all day, but what looked a dangerous one just outside the Main Line penalty area broke down far too easily, and the home team worked the ball downfield quickly to make it 2-0. With a bench less well staffed than in recent times, Horsforth had little prospect of clawing back such a deficit. Luke Monaghan was brought on, then club captain Jamie Francis made a welcome (and hopefully not premature) return from injury, and there were a few moments when we just might have struck back, but in fairness we always seemed to be waiting for a mistake which never came. The home side would probably say they dealt with our attacks quite comfortably, and I wouldn't argue with that.

  So, another rather brief campaign in the Sunday Senior Cup, particularly disappointing as I felt that with anything like our best team out we could have got ourselves a result today. Well, you can only play with what you have available, and today I'd say those who played gave a pretty decent account of themselves, but overall, as a team, we lacked that touch of class which we've seen these last few weeks, and paid the penalty.

  Other Round 2 ties: Bramley Town 4, Harehills WMC 2; East Leeds Celtic 0, New Pudsey 2; Hope Inn Whites 8, East End Park WMC 3; HT Sports 3, Rodley 3 (Rodley won 3-1 on pens); Seacroft WMC 0, The Woodcock 3; Sporting Pudsey 0, Leeds City Rovers 5; Whitkirk Wanderers 13, Colton 4 (that's what it says anyway).

  League games: Hampsthwaite United 3, Yeadon Athletic 2; Keighley Athletic 1, Myrtle Park 3; Salts 3, Shipley Town 1; Shadwell United 3, Burton Leonard 1.

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  This page last updated November 2018.


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