City ready to take top spot

hsb  Ripon City v Oxenhope Recreation.  Number 10.  (121117M3c)
hsb Ripon City v Oxenhope Recreation. Number 10. (121117M3c)

Ripon City boss Paul Vincent is urging his players to keep up the pressure at the top of the WYA Premier Division when they host Wetherby on Saturday (kick-off 2pm).

City are locked at the top with Bardsey, in second place only by virtue of goal difference.

With Barsey hosting third-placed Leeds City, Vincent knows they have the opportunity to end the weekend on top outright.

Vincent is focusing on his own team’s performance, and reckons defensive tweaks can extend their unbeaten run to seven matches.

The sides come into the match in opposite form, as Wetherby have lost their last four games.

The boss said: “We have got a great opportunity this weekend, and we need to take it.

“We can’t change what happens with Bardsey and Leeds, but the players are working hard and there is a real togetherness in the dressing room.

“They want us to be up there in the table, and to stay there.”

Wetherby beat Ripon 2-1 in August, a match where Ripon had a man sent off.

Vincent said: “They beat us at their place, and we know we should’ve done better.

“They have lost some games, but anything could happen this week, we need to be at our best to keep the run going and stay in the top half.

“I am looking to make some changes at the back.

“I need to tighten things up a bit, as a few errors cost us on Saturday.”

On Saturday, James Charles scored City’s only goal.

Vincent believes it was a point won, and praised the battling performance of goalkeeper Mark Rimmer.

The manager said: “I was happy to get to half-time just 1-0 down.

“When they played the ball behind us, we showed our vulnerability.

“After the break both teams had good chances, it was a really good game of football.

“Jack Emmett started, but Oxenhope are a big side and he didn’t see as much of the ball as he normally would.

“He played a good ball in which James headed in. It was a great move.”

He added: “We could have nicked it at the end. Adam Robinson hit over the bar but Mark Rimmer had a great game. He made five or six great saves.”

The manager was pleased at the way his side finished the match strongly.

He said: “The lads are working very hard in training at the moment, and that shows in our fitness at the end of matches.

Pete Davies and Luke Robinson should be fit.