Harrogate League round-up: Clifford fast show sees off Knaresborough Celtic

NAKP 1510033AM4 K'boro Celtic V Clifford.  Celtic's Ben Hooke, (1510033AM4)
NAKP 1510033AM4 K'boro Celtic V Clifford. Celtic's Ben Hooke, (1510033AM4)

Prolific finishing in the opening 15 minutes helped Clifford blow Knaresborough Celtic away and move up to third in the Harrogate and District Premier.

Sam Taylor fired Clifford into a first minute lead when he lashed home from Chris Plews’ corner before another Plews cross was diverted into the net by a Celtic defender.

NAKP 1510033AM9 K'boro Celtic V Clifford. Clifford's James Jeffereys (red).(1510033AM9)

NAKP 1510033AM9 K'boro Celtic V Clifford. Clifford's James Jeffereys (red).(1510033AM9)

Plews was the provider again on 15 minutes, when lethal frontman Gerard McCargo converted from a corner. Henry McStay wrapped up the points for the visitors in the final minute.

Clifford manager Matt Wilson, who was kept untroubled in goal for his side, said: “Away from home, the early goals were great to settle the nerves.

“They couldn’t handle us in the first half an hour and Gerard was getting one on one with the full backs on a number of occasions. We defended well. That was our first clean sheet of the season.”

With leaders Rawdon Old Boys in cup action, Clifford reduced their deficit to six points with two games in hand.

NAKP 1510033AM8 K'boro Celtic V Clifford. Clifford's Sam Farthing (red). (1510033AM8)

NAKP 1510033AM8 K'boro Celtic V Clifford. Clifford's Sam Farthing (red). (1510033AM8)

Betwixt in the middle, Wetherby Athletic A produced the performance of the day to thrash Leyburn United 5-1.

Brian Blewitt scored a brace but missed a golden opportunity for his hat-trick when he sent a spot kick wide.

Wetherby and Clifford are the likely challengers to Rawdon, who Wilson’s men play in the League Cup on Saturday.

The boss added: “We are at home. If we’re going to win the cup, we have to beat the best team in it, so we’re going to go there and have a go at them.”

NAKP 1510033AM6 K'boro Celtic V Clifford. Celtic's John Rimmer. Picture : Adrian Murray.(1510033AM6)

NAKP 1510033AM6 K'boro Celtic V Clifford. Celtic's John Rimmer. Picture : Adrian Murray.(1510033AM6)

Elsewhere in the top tier, Kirkstall Crusaders drew 2-2 with Beckwithshaw Saints.

Division One top-spot contenders Pannal won 3-1 against Pateley Bridge,

Tom Carr, Max Whiteley and Tom Murray scored to help leapfrog into second above Bramham, who were thrashed 7-0 by leaders AFC Horsforth.

Meanwhile, Joe Clemison bagged a brace as Beckwithshaw Saints Reserves defeated mid-table Ripon Red Arrows 3-2 to secure their first win.

Division Two leaders FC Harrogate were knocked out of the Alverton Trophy at Pool A, losing 5-3 on penalties.

Knaresborough Celtic Reserves advanced 3-1 over Pannal Sports Reserves after extra time.

Addingham and AFC Horsforth Reserves also went through, beating FC United of Knaresborough 6=1 and Hampsthwaite United Reserves 4-0 respectively.