Bardsey go for West Yorkshire League title

9th February 2013'EP Sport, Your Club feature.'Bardsey FC.'Pictured Manager Lee Barraclough and his assistant Gary Melia.'Picture by Gerard Binks.
9th February 2013'EP Sport, Your Club feature.'Bardsey FC.'Pictured Manager Lee Barraclough and his assistant Gary Melia.'Picture by Gerard Binks.

Bardsey boss Lee Barraclough urged his players to give maximum effort in order to secure the league title.

Bardsey travel to neighbours Wetherby Athletic on Saturday knowing a win will secure the West Yorkshire League championship.

A 3-1 victory over Whitkirk Wanderers last Saturday put Bardsey back onto top-spot ahead of Beeston St Anthony’s.

And Barraclough’s men would have sealed the title last night if Oxenhope Recreation failed to beat Brighouse Old Boys after the News went to press.

The gaffer said: “We have worked so hard. We will give 120 per cent to get that trophy back to where it belongs.

“But Des won’t want us to go there and win the league. They will make us work hard.

“Every game we play we have to work for a win. Where we go everyone wants to beat us. We have to dig in.”

Barraclough’s 10 men “battered” relegation-threatened Whitkirk 3-1 thanks to a sublime hat-trick from striker Rob Dickinson.

Captain Jamie Thompson was sent off on 50 minutes for a two-footed lunge with the score level at one apiece. But Dickinson scored a magnificent second before slotting home a late penalty.

It was Thompson’s second red card in five matches and he will miss the Athletic clash. Shaun Stevenson is also missing but Barraclough said the replacements would be strong enough.

On Dickinson, Barraclough said: “He’s magic.

“I put him on the right hand side of midfield after we went down to 10 men and he cut in from the corner to hit one into the top corner.No ‘keeper in the world would have saved it.

“When we went to 10 men they changed their formation to go more attacking but even with 10 we were bossing the game. We sped up a gear.

“A lot of teams have gone there and gone in their shell but you have to be able to mix it up.”

Whitkirk dragged in players from higher leagues in a late bid to protect their Premier status. Barraclough highlighted his midfielder Micky Longfellow’s performance after he kept Bradford Park Avenue star Matty James quiet.

The gaffer also praised his side’s resolve after they were reduced to 10 men

Barraclough said: “Micky gave his best performance of the season. When we needed him to step up he stood up and made us proud.

“Matty James gets a lot of money to play and Micky had him in his pocket.

“We knew we had to win if we still wanted to win the league. There was no way we were coming home without a win. All the lads did everything we talked about.

“It makes me a very proud manager to see the lads play like that. They deserve to win the league.”

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