Stars to return as Ekin plots victory over leaders

Boroughbridge in action

Boroughbridge in action

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Boroughbridge boss Daz Ekin is primed to make changes ahead of West Yorkshire League champions Bardsey’s visit on Saturday.

’Bridge’s top five ambitions hit a snag on Saturday as Ekin’s side slipped to a 1-1 draw against mid-table Shelley.

The gaffer had star players Baz O’Neill, Jim McDaid, Mike Mullenger and new recruit Ben Clayton on the bench for that clash.

And, with the league leaders arriving at Aldborough Road this Saturday, Ekin hinted he may change his set-up.

He said: “We need that little bit of experience in the side. The players that know and have played in difficult games.

“I’m sure all those that were on the bench will be chomping at the bit to get a start.”

Bardsey denied ’Bridge a famous victory at their Keswick Lane ground earlier this season when equalising in the 97th minute.

The village side lead West Yorkshire Premier by 10 points, and lie 17 points ahead of fifth-placed ’Bridge.

Ekin said he would take confidence from knowing his side can more than match the runaway pacesetters.

He added: “We deserved all three points when we went there. We know that we can give them a good game.

“Lee Barraclough (Bardsey’s gaffer) came down to watch us beat Beeston the other week, and he knows it’s going to be a tough one.

“We won’t be making it easy for them or this league might be over in the next few weeks.”

Boroughbridge will also be hoping to advance to the Whitworth Cup final on Tuesday night.

Ekin’s defending champions will tackle Harrogate & District Premier leaders Beckwithshaw Saints at Harrogate Railway’s Station View ground (7.45pn).

Should ‘Bridge progress, Ripon City or Knaresborough Town would await in the final.

Blues goalkeeper Paul Diamond was a hero for the hosts on Saturday as he tipped a Shelley penalty wide after six minutes.

The visitors, however, took the lead five minutes later from a drilled effort.

But ’Bridge soon pulled level when Mark Burniston’s shot dipped in off the under-side of the crossbar.

Paul Eagling hit the woodwork but neither side as both sides struggled to make the telling blow in blustery conditions.

“I was one of the few that thought it was one point gained and not two dropped,” Ekin added.

“Shelley came, set their stall out and had a good go. I was very impressed with them.”