West Yorkshire League: Mixed start to new campaign for all

Josh Wilson was on target for Wetherby Athletic in their opening-day success at Oxenhope Recreation. Picture: Peter Arnett
Josh Wilson was on target for Wetherby Athletic in their opening-day success at Oxenhope Recreation. Picture: Peter Arnett

It was very much a case of mixed fortunes for all of the area’s West Yorkshire Football League sides as the 2017/18 season got underway.

Wetherby Athletic, Hampsthwaite United and Ripon City all began the new campaign with opening-day victories but were beaten in midweek, while Kirk Deighton Rangers and Knaresborough Celtic kicked-off with defeats but bounced back on Wednesday evening.

In Division One, Wetherby Athletic returned from Saturday’s trip to Oxenhope Recreation with three points to their name.

Oxenhope were relegated from the Premier Division alongside the Tangerines in 2016/17, but were no match for Martin Powell’s new-look side on this occasion.

There were no goals before half-time, but Josh Wilson, Dave McKay, Andy Graham, Freddie Jackson and substitute Jamie Gillies all notched in the second half as Athletic ran out 5-2 winners.

“This was a fantastic performance all round,” boss Powell reflected.

“I said when the fixtures came out that this would be one of the most difficult places to come to and get a result, but to come here and win 5-2 is a great start.”

Powell’s men were however unable to build on that success, going down 4-0 at Whitkirk Wanderers four days later.

In Division Two, a hat-trick from Kyle Fox helped Ripon City to a 4-1 at Old Centralians in their first league outing.

Stan Barrett was also on target for Micky Baldwin’s side, but City were then thrashed 6-0 by Kirk Deighton Rangers in midweek.

Joe Turley (2), Andy Maxted, James Ripley and James Flynn registered for Rangers, while an own goal completed the scoring.

Daniel Marshall’s troops, who won the Harrogate & District League last term, did not get off to such a good start to the new season, going down 2-1 on the road at Baildon Trinity Athletic.

Luke Trower followed up after Warren Clarke’s effort was saved by the Baildon goalkeeper to fire Deigthon into the lead just before the interval.

Two second-half strikes in the space of 10 minutes then turned the game on its head, and the visitors were unable to get back on terms in the closing stages.

Rangers are one of three sides playing their football in the West Yorkshire second division this season having left the Harrogate League.

Hampsthwaite United made the perfect start to their new adventure, putting eight goals past visitors Swillington Saints on Saturday.

Josh Underwood led the way for the hosts, helping himself to a stunning five-goal haul in a game that United only led 2-1 at half-time.

A one-sided second period saw Hampsthwaite run riot, however, and Ryan Blair, James Purkis and Alex Myers also got their names on the scoresheet.

Hampsthwaite were then undone by fellow newcomers, Knaresborough Celtic on Wednesday night.

The Celts lost out to Kellingley Welfare by a 2-0 scoreline on Saturday, but bounced back in fine style, seeing off United 4-1 to get themselves up and running.