Horsforth Fairweather FC

Archived reports 2017-18.

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03/09/2017 New Pudsey (H) 10/09/2017 Chapel Allerton (A)
17/09/2017 JB Celtic (A) Sunday Cup 01/10/2017 Toller (A) County Cup
08/10/2017 AFC Leodis (H) 15/10/2017 Colton (A)
22/10/2017 Chapel Allerton (H) 29/10/2017 New Middleton (A)
05/11/2017 Swillington Welfare (H) 26/11/2017 New Pudsey (A)

Sunday 3rd September 2017 (Leeds Combination AFL Premier Division):
Horsforth Fairweather 1 New Pudsey 3

Team: Postle, Lancaster, Jones, Hoyle, T.Wilson, Molloy, Thorp, Francis, Litvinov, R.Wilson, Shapland. Subs: Bell, Pickering, Minshull, LD.Monaghan; unused sub: Penrose. Scorer: R.Wilson. Cautioned: Thorp (unsporting behaviour).

  Gav's match report:

  11 o'clock came and there was more than a touch of optimism about the coming season. The rousing speech from the manager was still fresh in everyone's head at Kick off as the ref blew to get things underway. 

  The opening 10 minutes provided some open play for both teams with Horsforth edging the possession stats , a couple of corners and free kicks leading to New Pudsey clearing their lines comfortably led to nothing for the Horsforth boys. 

  On 13 minutes came the first goal arguably against the run of play , New Pudsey clearing their lines led to a Horsforth throw barley in their own half , it was taken quickly to Jonesy who failed to control the bobbling ball in the centre circle , the lone Pudsey striker pounced , put the centre back under considerable pressure which led to a fortunate bounce for the attacker who ran towards an oncoming Pos only for the ball to be slid past from 18 yards and for the ball to go in off the post , 0-1. 

  The next 10/15 minutes saw Horsforth back on top with a couple of chances on goal unfortunately without any joy. 

  On 37 minutes saw the second goal of the game , an in swinging cross from Pudsey’s left wing found their centre forward all on his lonesome at the Horsforth far post , using the speed of the cross he just guided the ball back across goal into the back of the net , 0-2. 

  After that second goal the first half degraded itself into a mish mash of arguments and needless tackles , culminating in a red card for New Pudsey. Some nice work down the left between Thorpy and Litvinov resulted a rash tackle by Thorpy , the Pudsey jumped up and wrapped his hands around the Fairweather forward , it was a rash and uncalled for action and left the ref with no choice but to give the boy in blue his marching orders. 

  Half Time 0-2 

  The second half didn't take long to get going , in 47th minute Pudsey picked up a free kick in the oppositions half and swept a curling ball that landed on a forwards head inside the penalty area , a header searching for the roof of the net saw the save of the game when Horsforth's number 1 flew an outstretched hand to tip the goal bound ball high over the bar. 

  Unfortunately for Horsforth saw the resulting corner in the 48th minute gave birth to the 3rd goal of the game. The out swinging corner flummoxed everyone apart from a drifting in number 3 for New Pudsey , who saw the ball drop to him and he calmly slotted the ball home through a crowded box  , 0-3. 

  A couple of gilt edged chances followed , most notably Rob clear through 6 yards out firing the ball high and wide which left HFFC wondering how they were 3 down , but had the woodwork to thank it wasn't 4 when a Pudsey cross from the right found its target 7 yards out , only for the ball to bounce off the upright. 

  A 30yd effort from Gary failed to trouble the keeper , and 5 minutes later Rob found himself , this time 12 yards out again found Row Z. 

  The 71st min found The boys in green with what seemed like their 20th free kick of the game which was floated in majestically by Molloy , found Rob 3 yards out with the ball on his head ............. yep , row Z. 

  The rub of the green definitely wasn't with the boys at this point , but with words of encouragement from the sidelines giving the boys that elusive 12th man (against , let's not forget 10 men) - surely a goal was due more than an expecting mother who was giving birth to a new born. 

  Most of the second half was full mainly of midfield tussles and immense frustration , with Horsforth battling to the end knowing not even a 3 goal deficit isn't un surmountable in modern day Sunday league , and with a superb right foot cross from Shane in the 86th minute found its mark perfectly in the form of Gary's head , only for the keeper to pull of his personal best for the game , and with Robs fortunes destined not to change with the rebound it didn't look good. 

  It actually took until the 95th min for Horsforth to get a consolation goal , a corner swung in from the left , found Rob to so sneak one in from 3 yards out and rocket the Horsforth marksman to the top of the teams golden boot charts in this , the first game of the season. 

  The ref blew for full time before the keeper had a chance to pick the ball out of the New Pudsey net. 

  Final score 

  Horsforth Fairweather 1 - 3 New Pudsey

  Final thoughts

  A game that , as it went on made itself into a game of frustration and annoyance , onward and upward. 

  Other league games: AFC Leodis 2, Chapel Allerton 2; East Leeds Celtic 2, Colton 5; New Middleton 3, Swillington Welfare 1 (no, not 11-3 as first reported).

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Sunday 10th September 2017 (Leeds Combination AFL Premier Division):
Chapel Allerton 3 Horsforth Fairweather 4

Team: Postle, Bell, Lancaster, Pickering, T.Wilson, Jones, Thorp, Francis, Litvinov, Hoyle, Skillern. Subs: Diamond, Roper; unused subs: Banham, LD.Monaghan, Penrose. Scorers: Litvinov 2, Thorp 2. Cautioned: Pickering (persistent infringement).

  Gav's match report:

  With last weeks loss still not sitting right with the lads , the manager wanted a positive start to Game day 2 of the season. With rain lashing down on the Costa del Leeds over the last two days we turned up at Chapel Allertons pitch ready for a muddy slog , in fairness to the grounds man , given the pitch had been used as a car park recently , wasn't as bad as it could have been , although the length of the grass could have been a point of concern as someone seemed to have forgot to cut it. 

  Kick off came at 11am prompt and both sides showed early initiative , both with a shot at goal within 5 mins. 

  On 15 minutes came the first real chance to open the scoring and it fell to Horsforths own Captain Fantastic Jamie Francis , a quick thinking throw in on the right by Thorpy made its way to Jamie 12 yards out and let fly with a fearsome half volley , headed for the top corner the ball took a unwelcome last second deflection only to see it rebound off the woodwork to safety , with Francis shaking his head as to how he hadn't managed to break the deadlock.  

  2 minutes later saw Skilly test the keeper direct from a corner and HFFC were definitely stamping their authority in the match. 

  On 20 minutes did see the first goal of the game when Tom intercepted the ball in the halfway line , it found Gary who then knocked the ball out wide to Skilly , taking the ball to the by line he looked up only to find Gary had made his way to the edge of the 6 yard box , a sublime pass to the waiting number nine needed the ball only to be guided past the keeper , which Gary did making this goal scoring lark look easy , 1-0.  How Tom didn't make it 2-0 2 minutes later with a clean header 3 yards out from a corner a minute later only Mr Wilson himself can tell you. 

  30 minutes in and the boys in their familiar green colours were clearly on top and just needed the score line to be boosted even more in their favour , but had 'safe hands' Pos to thank the lead was in tact when , on 28 minutes a hard low shot from outside the box made the man in yellow dive at full stretch to knock the ball past his post.  

  In the 37th minute Horsforth did double their lead when the deadly duo of Thorp and Litvinov combined again when a beautifully floated ball from the right found Gary seemingly Head and shoulders above the rest to head the ball in , 0-2. 

  A minute later on the games very next attack found a Chapel Allerton forward clean through on goal after a hopeful through ball seconds after the re start , Pos came out to close the angle down but the ball found the net , 1-2. 

  Half Time 

  Chapel Allerton 1 - 2 Horsforth Fairweather 

  The second half found the boys under early pressure and in the 47th minute it was 2-2 , some tricky play down the right flank looked like it was heading nowhere , but a loose ball in the area was eventually latched onto by a home team forward and sent like a rocket past Pos to leave the Horsforth defenders stood there looking at each other in bemusement , wondering where their 2 goal lead had gone to. 

  The 55th minute saw the 5th goal of the game and it wasn't a pretty sight , a through ball got the opposition possession deep in our half and a simple ball across the area enabled the attacker to slot the ball home , 3-2. 

  The next 10/15 minutes seemed very untidy , with Horsforth pressing , looking for that elusive equaliser. On the 70th minute young Kevin Hoyle played Gary through with a delightful lob pass down the left , beating the right back for pace he looked up only to find Thorpy making his way into the box like a steam train , an inch perfect pass found its target leaving Thorpy to shrug off his marker and make it 3-3. 

  It wasn't until the 81st minute for the next goal but when it came , the Horsforth eyes were smiling all the way back to the LS18 postcode itself. Again that gruesome twosome that had been a well oiled machine all game swung into action , this time it was Gary down the left with the cross that found Thorpy who was more than happy to make the score 3-4. 

  Taking control of the game , HFFC had Pos to thank in the 90th minute diving at an oncoming forward , only to smother the ball , and as he lay there with the ball under his silky physique the team sensed 3 points were assured , as long as they could see out the last 30 seconds. 

  They did and the cheers could be heard for miles , handshakes and back slapping duly took place only for the team to gather almost immediately by Captain Fantastic Jamie Francis , who announced to his team that he was leaving for an extended leave of absence from first team duties due to knee surgery.

  Jamie will be sorely missed , a true leader of men. 

  Final Score

  Chapel Allerton 3-4 Horsforth Fairweather 

  Final Thoughts

  2 up and cruising , in control and thinking about a cricket score , possibly complacency crept in or even a touch of bad luck ? At 3-2 down the boys dug in fought for every ball and showed so much desire , well played Horsforth , well played indeed. 

  Other league games: AFC Leodis 2, New Pudsey 3; New Middleton 6, East Leeds Celtic 5; Swillington Welfare 1, Colton 2.

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Sunday 17th September 2017 (LDFA Sunday Senior Cup Round 1):
JB Celtic 6 Horsforth Fairweather 2

Team: Postle, Lancaster, Shapland, Molloy, Pickering, Diamond, Thorp, T.Wilson, Litvinov, Hoyle, Skillern. Subs: Bell, Jones, LD.Monaghan; unused sub: Penrose. Scorer: Thorp 2.

  Gav's match report:

  Cup day is here , the LDFA Sunday Senior Cup to be precise and a visit to JB Celtic was on the cards. 

  Pre season had seen a 8-1 drubbing by today's opponents , albeit whilst we picked up 3 first team injuries during the 90 mins and having to call upon goalkeepers to play outfield for example could be explained as less than ideal. 

  There was optimism aplenty pre off with the lads wanting to put in a good performance and in the first 10 minutes you could argue Horsforth looked the better team , some slick passing and good movement off the ball and there was more than a hint in the air that a result was possible. 

  Then came the 17 minutes from hell that changed everything. 

  Somehow from looking good and in control for the opening skirmishes , goals in the 10th , 15th , 20th , 23rd and 27th minutes changed everything. A mixture of quality finishing and lapses in concentration saw Horsforth 5-0 down and a few people scratching their heads. 

  A few shouts of encouragement from captain Tom Wilson and stand in manager Lee Mon got a few heads straight , and the boys battled through to half time grabbing a goal back on the 43rd minute when Thorpy found himself one on one with the keeper , slotting the ball past the oncoming opponents number one only to see the ball take an age to go over the line , but over the line it did crawl. 

  Litvinov nearly made it 2 for the boys in green a minute later only for the keeper to make an impressive save. 

  Half Time 5-1

  A change in formation followed an inspiring half time team talk by the stand in manager , back to a more traditional 4-4-2 saw the second half start with screams of 'let's win the second half' echoing around the pitch. 

  Luckily for the gladiators in green there was no 17 minutes of madness in this half , but the 52nd minute did find the home team increase their lead when they broke down their right crossed the ball over to to find their left winger all on his lonesome , free to slot home. 

  Was the score line a fair reflection of the open play displayed by both teams , no. But even with Horsforth showing equal if not superior open play football , they just didn't find their killer instinct in front of goal today , the stats sheet definitely backing that up with this being the first competitive game of the season when shots off target exceeded shots on target. 

  There was some joy found 20 minutes from time when man of the match , Thorpy , for the second game on a row got a brace of goals , this time firing a peach of a shot across the goalie into the far side of the net. 

  There was no more goals to be seen , but as proved in the second half , Horsforth were more than a match for their top tier opponents. If taking away the first 30 mins of the game was possible , you could say we won the last hour of the game 2-1. 

  There's still a couple more cup competitions to aim for and sitting nicely in the table at 4th , I'm sure the boys will be looking forward  to getting back into league action in 2 weeks , with next week a day off for the Green and Black army. 

  Final score

  JB Celtic 6-2 Horsforth Fairweather 

  Final thoughts 

  A game that should us to be technically better in a lot of areas of the park , just need need to get that missing ingredient that turns a good team into a great team.  

  Other Round 1 ties: Chapel Allerton 3, Kirkstall Crusaders 9; East Leeds Celtic 1, Colton 5; Leeds City Rovers 1, Chapeltown Fforde Grene 2; Main Line Social 1, AFC Leodis 3; New Middleton 2, HT Sports 4; New Pudsey 1, Hope Inn Whites 7; Whitkirk Wanderers v Millshaw Park Rangers home walkover.

  Barkston Ash Sunday Cup: Bramham 6, Swillington Welfare 2.

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Sunday 24th September 2017 (Leeds Combination AFL, Premier Division):

  League games: AFC Leodis 2, Colton 2; East Leeds Celtic 4, Chapel Allerton 3; New Pudsey 4, Swillington Welfare 1.

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Sunday 1st October 2017 (WRCFA County Sunday Cup Round 1):
Toller 9 Horsforth Fairweather 0

Team: Postle, Jones, Shapland, Diamond, Pickering, T.Wilson, Thorp, Lancaster, Skillern, Hoyle, Bell. Sub: LD.Monaghan.

  County cup round one saw a trip to Bradford in order to face Toller FC. 

  The first 15 minutes saw the makings of a nice open game with both teams making openings , although Horsforth were probably winning the early exchanges , neither team managed a breakthrough. 

  On about the 15 minute mark a through ball for Horsforth had Thorpy on his bike chasing it down , the Toller keeper coming out bravely to get there first , but saw the 2 clash and had the Toller keeper come off the worst with , what turned out to be a double fracture. The game was stopped accordingly and an ambulance duly called , all at Horsforth obviously wish the young man well. 

  After the restart it took both teams a few minutes to get back in their stride , but it was Toller that struck first , in fact they hit 4 quick goals in 5 amazing first half minutes , seeing the Horsforth lads scratching their heads to what had just happened. 

  The second half unfortunately wasn’t much different , Toller taking their chances and Horsforth not so much.

  The scoreline was increased to 6-0 before long just by the Home team being more lethal in front of goal , Horsforth , frustratingly being mainly kept to long range efforts. 

  The last 7 minutes saw 3 more goals to the team from Bradford which left the final score 9-0. 

  Disappointing was the score. 

  Disjointed was the performance. 

  Back to league duties next week , lessons hopefully learnt. 

  Onwards and upwards.

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Sunday 8th October 2017 (Leeds Combination AFL Premier Division):
Horsforth Fairweather 2 AFC Leodis 3

Team: Penrose, Bell, Jones, Pickering, Smith, Molloy, Lancaster, R.Wilson, Litvinov, Hoyle, Skillern. Subs: LD.Monaghan, Banham. Scorer: Lancaster 2.

  Gav's match report:

  Many words are spoken yet few are heard , or so it may seem with the managers pre match talks. It has been said too many times already this season that the Horsforth heads go down too quickly , but goals in quick succession after an initial one needed to be addressed and quickly. 

  Sundays game brought AFC Leodis to Bedquilts , a seemingly well run team with many the values to the game that Horsforth hold dear , so a tough , competitive , yet friendly game should be on the cards. 

  Well , after about 15 minutes Horsforth gifted Leodis with their opener when an simple crossed ball found the only forward in the box who’s glanced header found the far post netting. 

  Thoughts of going 3 or 4 down before half time must have been in people’s minds considering the events of recent weeks , but boys from Horsforth are made of sterner stuff than that , and the very next attack saw a Horsforth corner which Mr Lancaster himself knocked in at close range to level things up. 

  It was George , again from a corner , this time with a little assistance from a Gary header knocking the ball back in to the danger zone making it 2-1 at half time. 

  Leodis came out quickly in the second half , and having their second or third chance in as many minutes from the restart found the net , again from a poorly defended cross. 

  It wasn’t too long after Horsforth found themselves behind for the second time in the game when a break down the Leodis left saw a goal on the second attempt at the keeper after the first was parried away. 

  There was no heads going down this week , and it looked to be an equaliser from a Phil header on 60 minutes , only for the red to blow for what seemed to be an off the ball incident. 

  Horsforth definitely had the upper hand in the remainder of the game , creating multiple chance especially in the last 10 minutes but it wasn’t to be. 

  A defeat , but a battling one , maybe fitness cane into play , maybe it was Lady Luck who didn’t fall on our side , either way onwards and upwards , to Colton away next week. 

  Other league game: New Middleton 4, New Pudsey 1.

  Sanford Cup Round 1: East Leeds Celtic 2, Chapel Allerton 3; Kirkstall Crusaders v Swillington Welfare home walkover.

  Byes: AFC Leodis, Chapeltown Fforde Grene, Colton, Hope Inn Whites, Horsforth Fairweather, HT Sports, JB Celtic, Kippax Sundays, Leeds City Rovers, Main Line Social, Millshaw Park Rangers, New Middleton, New Pudsey, Whitkirk Wanderers Sunday.

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Sunday 15th October 2017 (Leeds Combination AFL Premier Division):
Colton 3 Horsforth Fairweather 1

Team: Penrose, Pickering, Shapland, Howarth, T.Wilson, Smith, Thorp, R.Wilson, Litvinov, Hoyle, Skillern. Subs: Scott, Sedgwick, Roper, LD.Monaghan. Scorer: T.Wilson. Cautioned: R.Wilson (dissent), Scott (dissent), Smith (dissent), T.Wilson (persistent infringement).

  Gav's match report ...

  The ‘Arena’ at Temple Newsome was the place to be on Sunday and a trip to top of the table Colton was on the cards. 

  Manager Woody having the luxury of a squad of 16 to take with him seemed a mouth watering prospect compared to the scant 12 the week before , with a return to action for the 2 Dave’s , Scott and Howarth. 

  The grass was wet yet the sun was bright as it all kicked off at 11am prompt and it wasn’t too long before the opening goal , a well crafted corner found Captain Fantastic , Mr Reliable himself , Tom Wilson diving in to knock his first home of the season. 

  The rest of the half found Horsforth on top for the most part something the possession stats would surely back up , but nearing half time Colton did get closer with their chances , mainly from their seemingly endless free kicks from about 30 yds out. 

  Finally one of these free kicks did take its toll on the big green wall at the back of the Horsforth machine , as a glancing header flew past a desperately unlucky Penrose in goal. 

  1-1 at half time. 

  The half time team talk spelt out the situation clearly , we were the better team , just carry on as we were and the goals will come. 

  Unfortunately for us the next goal did come , but in the shape of a Colton second. 

  Working themselves down their left , the winger somehow managed to get the ball into the middle and with the CF pouncing on the penalty area scramble , he would knock it in at the near post. 

  The game , which saw a third of all players on the pitch go in the book with a yellow wasn’t a particularly dirty game but did have a very much stop / start feel to it with Horsforth never really being able to get into the flow of the stylish football they know they can play. 

  The last 5 mins saw the ‘ultra attacking’ button pressed and it was all guns blazing looking for that equaliser , but with everyone committed forward it was a breakaway attack that saw a 2 on 1 situation , and with literally the last kick of the ball Colton made it 3-1. 

  Overall a draw would have been a fair result with Horsforth winning the first half and Colton  slowly edging in to it , what if we had built on that early lead , what if Woody was 20 years younger and 4 stone lighter ?

  What ifs and maybes don’t win games though , goals do. 

  Onwards and upwards. 

  Other league games: East Leeds Celtic 1, New Pudsey 3; New Middleton 2, AFC Leodis 3; Swillington Welfare 3, Chapel Allerton 1.

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Sunday 22nd October 2017 (Leeds Combination AFL Premier Division):
Horsforth Fairweather 5 Chapel Allerton 0

Team: Penrose, Bell, Lancaster, LD.Monaghan, Jones, T.Wilson, Thorp, R.Wilson, Litvinov, Scott, Pickering. Subs: Minshull, Roper, Sedgwick. Scorers: Thorp 2, R.Wilson 3. Cautioned: Thorp.

  This match deserves a bit of a write-up, however late, so here goes...

  Horsforth took the field in an unusual 4-4-2 shape, with a most attack-minded midfield. Gavin Penrose continued to deputise for Pos in goal, while Shane Bell, Chris Jones and George Lancaster were brought into the back for alongside regular Tom Wilson. Luke Monaghan, in his first start, and Matty Pickering were the wide players in midfield, with Rob Wilson and Gary Litvinov central. Up front, Thorpy and Dave Scott were paired together for the first time this season.

  We never looked like losing this one, frankly. Our inventive midfield tore apart the away defence several times before Thorpy broke through to open the scoring after 10 minutes. Shortly after this, Rob's shot took a wicked deflection off a defender to make it 2-0. The second period saw Steve Minshull on to make the midfield even stronger, and when on 14 minutes Thorpy hit the third goal the game was over as a contest. Rob burst through the defence for a fourth goal after 28 minutes, then completed his hat-trick seven minutes later. Olly Roper and Sedge made what are rare for them appearances these days as subs.

  The away side clearly had a lot of problems for this game, changing their keeper at least twice and struggling to build any attacks of note. That said, this was definitely one of the best HFFC performances for a long while, defence untroubled, keeper virtually a spectator, and strikers who looked like scoring every time they got the ball. A rattling good win, most welcome and much appreciated by us all I'm sure.

  Other league games: AFC Leodis 5, East Leeds Celtic 0; New Pudsey 2, Colton 1.

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Sunday 29th October 2017 (Leeds Combination AFL Premier Division):
New Middleton 5 Horsforth Fairweather 4

Team: Penrose, Lancaster, Shapland, Molloy, Jones, T.Wilson, Thorp, Howarth, Scott, Hoyle, R.Wilson. Subs: Pickering, Townend, LD.Monaghan. Scorers: R.Wilson 2, T.Wilson, Lancaster.

  The Match Report is under new management...

  Though forced into another series of team changes due to the absence of Shane Bell and Gary Litvinov, Horsforth were able to bring Luke Molloy into the defence, which switched to a three, alongside Chris Jones and Tom Wilson. Gavin Penrose continued in goal, with George Lancaster and Dave Shapland the wing-backs. The midfield trio was Dave Howarth, Rob WIlson and Kev Hoyle, while Dave Scott and Thorpy were the front two again. Matty Pickering and Luke Monaghan dropped down to the bench.

  The first half was a goal feast, though definitely not one for the purist. In the second minute, Rob burst through the static home defence and assuredly put us a goal up, only for a parried shot to present the home team with an equaliser all of a minute later. We enjoyed a bit of a purple patch in front of goals now, Luke's deep free kick finding its way to an unmarked Tom on seven minutes, followed by George heading home a corner from beyond the far post three minutes later. When Middleton scrambled the ball home from a corner to make it 3-2 in the 12th minute, it might have seemed a Sunday scoring record would be on the cards. The game settled down a bit after that, with both defences reorganising and the play fairly even. But our weakness from set pieces was exposed again in the 38th minute when the home team bundled the ball home from another corner which should surely have been cleared, and the interval arrived with the game in the balance.

  The second half started in the same vein, but gradually Middleton began to make the better chances, and when they went ahead for the first time, tapping in a low left-wing cross in the 17th minute of the period, they were probably looking slightly the more likely side. But more than one of their players were struggling to see out the game, and with their only sub used at half-time, it was perhaps inevitable the balance of play would swing back our way. Matty was brought on to stiffen the midfield, and from this point we created more than enough chances to win several matches. In the 29th minute, we got the equaliser we deserved when Dave Scott retrieved the ball from a broken down move at a corner, and crossed from the left for Rob to head home. The fracas which followed saw one of the home team sent off, and Dave so battered he was unable to continue. Debutant Liam Townend was his replacement, and with injuries now reducing to home team to nine players, it really did look like a winner for Horsforth was the only possible outcome. Yet our attacks became more rushed and our general play more anxious - and we were still conceding too many free-kicks. It was from one such set piece that Middleton floated the ball into the top of our net, and against all the odds won the game. And in all fairness (forgetting for a moment the earlier altercations) it's hard to avoid saying the way they stuck to their task in adversity did their remaining players great credit. But it should go without saying, we simply should not be getting beaten by nine men.

  And when you look back on this game, the thing we need to remember is that there was nothing wrong with any of the five goals they scored. There is of course a lot more that could be said, but that's the thought I'd like to leave you with.

  Other league games: AFC Leodis 5, Swillington Welfare 0; New Pudsey 2, Chapel Allerton 2.

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Sunday 5th November 2017 (Leeds Combination AFL Premier Division):
Horsforth Fairweather 2 Swillington Welfare 5

Team: Penrose, Lancaster, Shapland, Howarth, Smith, T.Wilson, Thorp, Pickering, Scott, R.Wilson, Litvinov. Subs: LD.Monaghan, Skillern, Townend, Jones. Scorers: R.Wilson, Litvinov. Cautioned: R.Wilson.

  With Luke Molloy and Kev Hoyle not available, Horsforth brought Phil Smith into the defence, with Dave Howarth dropping back to join him and Tom Wilson. Matty Pickering took over the holding role in a noticeably attack-minded midfield which also featured a return from Gary Litvinov. The rest was unchanged.

  We started the game rather poorly, the strikers making few inroads into the Swillington defence, but gradually began to ask more questions, and by the time Rob Wilson scrambled us in front from Thorpy's long throw-in in the 29th minute I'd say we were looking by some way the better side. But at this stage we seemed to lose our way a bit, and when Swillington equalised in the 38th minute with a tap-in from a low right wing cross I'd admit it hardly came as a surprise. And from here it went a bit jittery. Four minutes later, Swillington floated a free kick in from their right over the Horsforth goalie and changed ends 2-1 up, a thoroughly disappointing end to the half.

  The early part of the second half saw Horsforth far sharper, and looking ever more dangerous in attack. Eleven minutes in, George Lancaster's right wing corner was met at the far post by Gary, and at this point it appeared we were on our way to a result. Again though, it all went flat, for reasons that were hard to understand from the touchline. On 22 minutes, a lone Swillington striker broke through a series of missed tackles and put them in front again, and this time the advantage was to be crucial. Six minutes later, a snapshot went in to make it 4-2, and even though Horsforth unleashed a trio of attacking subs the initiative was never to be ours again. A couple of minutes from the end, the away side broke away again and lobbed the keeper to give the scoreline an even more emphatic look, and that I'm afraid was that.

  Not an easy game to analyse, as we did look quite good in some phases of this game, even if we were woeful in others. I know you all like a bit of controversiality in the match report, so here's this week's rash statement: the better team won. I don't feel like compiling a detailed list of the faults on show today (and doubt I'd be thanked for it), so can I just say sometimes you need to give the opposition due credit rather than just focusing on your own - and your team-mates' - weaknesses.

  WRCFA County Sunday Cup round 2 included: Colton v Cock & Bottle home walkover; West Bowling 4 East Leeds Celtic 3 (also FYI: Toller 4, Malt Shovel 5).

  WRCFA County Sunday Trophy round 2 included: Great Horton v Chapel Allerton postponed; Halifax Rangers 0, AFC Leodis 11; New Pudsey 14, Republica Internationale 1.

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Sunday 12th November 2017:

  Sanford Cup Round 2: East Leeds Celtic 0 HT Sports 5; Leeds City Rovers 3, Colton 1; Main Line Social 4, Kirkstall Crusaders 9; Whitkirk Wanderers Sunday 3, New Pudsey 4.

  Remaining Round 2 games: Hope Inn Whites v AFC Leodis (26th November); Horsforth Fairweather v New Middleton (19th November); JB Celtic v Chapeltown Fforde Grene (26th November); Kippax Sundays bye.

  WRCFA County Sunday Trophy round 2 included: Great Horton 3, Chapel Allerton 4.

Sunday 19th November 2017 (Sanford Cup Round 2):

  Horsforth Fairweather v New Middleton - not played, away team couldn't raise a side.

  LDFA Sunday Senior Cup Round 2: AFC Leodis 2, Whitkirk Wanderers Sunday 2 (Whitkirk won 4-3 on pens); HT Sports 2, Chapeltown Fforde Grene 3; JB Celtic 2, Colton 3; Kirkstall Crusaders 1, Hope Inn Whites 7.

  League game: Chapel Allerton 1, Swillington Welfare 2.

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Sunday 26th November 2017 (Leeds Combination AFL Premier Division):
New Pudsey 3 Horsforth Fairweather 4

Team: Postle, Bell, Shapland, Howarth, T.Wilson, Molloy, Thorp, Litvinov, Scott, R.Wilson, Lancaster. Subs: Riley, Skillern, Hoyle; unused subs: Pickering, Townend. Scorers: Lancaster, R.Wilson 2, Howarth. Cautioned: T.Wilson.

  For the trip to face the league leaders, Horsforth had - for once - something of an embarrassment of riches to choose from, and reverted to four at the back, with Shane Bell and Luke Molloy back in the side alongside regulars Tom Wilson and Dave Shapland. Dave Howarth moved up beside Rob Wilson and Gary Litvinov in a five-piece midfield with James Thorp out on the left and George Lancaster on the right, leaving Dave Scott as the lone striker. Perhaps the most significant change, however, was that newly-wed Jonathan Postle returned in goal.

  Playing against the slope at Queens Park, Horsforth had already survived the scare of the home side having a goal disallowed for offside before, in the fifth minute, George found himself with room to turn and hit a shot past the keeper. At first, we coped quite well with Pudsey's attacks, but in the 17th minute and I'd have said against the run of play at the time they broke through and Tom conceded a penalty from which they equalised, the Horsforth captain earning a yellow card to add to his woes. Although we continued to give as good as we got for a while, gradually Pudsey wore down our resistance, and when they finally went in front after 38 minutes, from a corner it was but the latest in a sequence of chances they'd made. At half-time, we felt unlucky to be behind overall, but there could be no denying the home team had turned the contest around and had dominated the latter stages of the period.

  With the advantage of the gradient in the second half, Horsforth set about their business with a self-belief that had been sadly lacking in recent games. With seven minutes played, Rob alertly followed up on a half-blocked shot to equalise, and there was time for Thorpy to miss a penalty before in the 16th minute a superb free-kick from Dave Howarth put us ahead again. By now, the home team realised we were not just there to make up the numbers, and they redoubled their efforts, the game getting steadily more intense. On 21 minutes, another equaliser ensued as Gary was tormented into sticking out a trailing foot and giving away the softest penalty of the season. But we didn't only have probably the best starting XI we'd had for a while, we also had a bench loaded with talent today, and we brought on left-sided midfielder Steve Skillern and debutant Henry Riley who took over on the right. What turned out to be the winning goal arrived very quickly, after 26 minutes of play, Gary pulling the ball back low from the left and Rob forcing it over the line. It was still a long way from game-over, injury to Dave Scott giving cause for concern even if we at least had a more than adequate replacement available in Kev Hoyle, but there was still ample time for another comeback from the home team, and the last few minutes were a bit fraught at times, though we had plenty of attacks as well and might even have added to our lead.

  This had been a very good game of football, reflecting great credit on both teams in my opinion. Our own performance had been excellent right throughout the side, and yes, we could have played that well and lost today, such was the mettle of the opposition, but we got the result through lots of hard work, a smidgen of luck here and there perhaps, but also through playing quality football whenever the situation allowed it. All in all, a great win against a very good side, and the sort of performance that makes you wonder why we can't play like that every week.

  Other league games: Chapel Allerton 0, East Leeds Celtic 3; New Middleton v Colton postponed.

  Sanford Cup Round 2: Hope Inn Whites 5, AFC Leodis 1; JB Celtic v Chapeltown Fforde Grene postponed.

  Sanford Cup Round 3 draw: Hope Inn Whites v Kirkstall Crusaders; JB Celtic or Chapeltown Fforde Grene v New Pudsey; Kippax Sundays v HT Sports; Leeds City Rovers v Horsforth Fairweather. Dates TBA.

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  This page last updated December 2017.

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