Teenager Josh Wilson played a starring role as Wetherby Athletic finally got back to league action on Saturday.
Wilson scored his first senior goal and earned a penalty as Wetherby stunned high-flying Horbury Town 2-0 and completed an unexpected double over their opponents.
Athletic’s had not played a West Yorkshire League match for 87 days prior to facing the fifth-placed team.
Boss Mark Forster was forced to reshuffle his side in the morning of the game, with defender Oli Rose filling in for Liam Corbett between the sticks and former York City player Jon Maloney dropping into defence.
That allowed Wilson to strut his stuff and the youngster grabbed his opportunity with a superb chipped finish on seven minutes.
Wilson took Tom Hesketh’s crossfield pass and lifted the ball over Horbury’s stranded custodian from 25 yards.
Horbury almost equalised when the dangerous Lamin Bojang shot low but Ross saved well.
A succession of half chances then came Wetherby’s way with a collection of shots and headers from Charlie Yates, Luke Dubery, Hesketh, Joe Whiteley and Bobby Stevenson all putting pressure on the Horbury backline.
Hesketh found the keeper’s palms from a free-kick close to half-time as the teams turned around with Wetherby in the lead.
Suddenly the game swung in Wetherby’s favour again and Charlie Yates saw a shot saved from outside the area.
But the visitors were given the opportunity to stretch their lead in the 68th minute from the penalty spot when Wilson was brought down under a clumsy challenge. Hesketh produced a cheeky kick to wrong foot the keeper.
Wetherby could have had a second penalty when Yates was sent sprawling but the referee waved away the protests.
Another poor challenge saw Horbury finish with ten men as substitute Neil Samardzija was sent off for a late foul on Brian Blewitt.
Hesketh took the corresponding free-kick but his effort was safely gathered.
The victory – Wetherby’s sixth of the season – kept them in eighth-place ahead of facing Oxenhope Recreation at home on Saturday.
Forster said “I thought that we might have got pummelled.
“It started off that kind of feeling but I thought that we showed guts and determination and that won it for us.
“A fantastic goal from Josh Wilson and then after that they (Horbury) never really threatened,
“I’m struggling to recall Oli having to make more than three saves.
“The back four were excellent and strong and Charlie just ran and ran and was fantastic.
“Everyone worked so hard and fully deserved it.”