Bardsey battling fatigue as patched-up Wetherby Athletic target upsets

Bardsey's John Swift.
Bardsey's John Swift.

Bardsey manager Lee Barraclough has called on his players to battle fatigue and grasp maximum points to secure the title.

Barraclough’s table toppers suffered a 2-0 defeat at West Yorkshire Premier title rivals Leeds City last Wednesday.

They were then held 1-1 at challengers Beeston St Anthony’s on Saturday.

Brighouse Old Boys visited Keswick Lane last night after the News went to press.

Adam Ryder put Bardsey in front against Beeston but a goalkeeping error from Jonty Smith allowed a soft equaliser.

But the ‘keeper bounced back to rescue a point with a fine penalty save.

The gaffer said: “It was a war for 90 minutes.

“Their lads are very strong and they have 100 to 150 watching.

“It shows you have to have different feathers in your cap in this league.

“The ‘keeper’s saved us enough points this year so he’s allowed one howler. It was an important point.”

Barraclough admitted City’s players looked fitter last week but his side still missed opportunities to scupper the opposition’s title ambitions.

He said: “We looked tired. Some lads are playing five or six games a week at the moment with playing for Sunday teams as well.

“But we had chances to win.

“If you don’t take them it comes back to bite you.”

Bardsey host Field on Bank Holiday Monday and Barraclough reckons striker Rob Dickinson’s return can fire them to glory.

The boss said: “If we had him there on Saturday and Wednesday we would have won both games.

“He’s a predator. To have him back will be a massive boost.

“We have to put our heads down and get through it taking each game as it comes and see us over the line.

“Ideally we would collect the trophy at Wetherby on the last game of the season. But I am not counting my chickens.

“There’s a long way to go yet.”

Meanwhile, Wetherby Athletic gaffer Des English believes his side can make their mark on the West Yorkshire Premier run in.

Neil Dickie scored in both Athletic’s clashes this week but they lost 4-1 at Rothwell on Wednesday night before drawing 1-1 against Field at home on Saturday.

English drafted in reserves Chris Charlton and Andrew Duffy to patch up his injury-plagued defence and the boss praised both.

“I wouldn’t have any hesitation in picking them again,” he said.

Seventh-placed Athletic host Beeston St Anthony’s on Saturday and the boss welcomed a chance to affect the top of the league.

Joe Wilkes and Andy Haigh could return from injury but hot-shot Dickie and Buckley are out.

“It’s a game we can’t lose. Nobody will give us a chance but we will certainly give it a go,” English added.

“We are going to have a part to play in the title race.

“It should help the lads having to play in a big game.”