Weather halts Ripon City top five bid

hsb  Ripon City v Kippax. Joe Knowlson  (131005M3a)
hsb Ripon City v Kippax. Joe Knowlson (131005M3a)

Ripon City boss Charlie Brown believes his side would have already secured a top five spot had he been able to pick from strength from the start.

City occupy seventh spot in West Yorkshire Premier after a stop-start season so far.

But Brown’s men are playing catch-up on their rivals, with a five-point gap to make up to rivals Boroughbridge in fifth.

The weather has put a halt on the red and black outfit in recent weeks, and the side have not taken to the field in four weeks.

City’s home clash against tenth-placed Otley Town was cancelled early on Saturday morning as water filled both goalmouths at Mallorie Park.

This Saturday, Brown will take his side to Castleford to take on the league’s worst side Kippax.

Ally Wilson will return after his unavailability last weekend but Ashley Atkinson and Paul Abbott will miss out.

Despite the pair’s absence, Brown believes his squad is the strongest it has been at any point of the season.

But the gaffer expressed his frustration they could not get on the field.

“It’s unbelievable,” he said.

“Saturday was another big disappointment because we had a strong squad available again.

“If we had had that squad available from the first game of the season, I am sure we would be higher up the league.

“But it’s time there for us. It’s all in our hands certainly.

“Regardless of what anyone else does, providing we play well we will get into that top five.”

Adam Robinson and Joe Knowlson both scored twice and Duncan Terry also fired in as Brown’s side were totally dominant against the West Yorkshire League’s basement boys earlier this campaign.

Knowlson has hit form this season, leading City’s scoring charts with 11 strikes in 18 matches.

The midfielder will again form a major part of Brown’s plans on Saturday as the boss welcomes another strong squad for the Kippax trip.

Brown urged his side to stay focused to ensure a comfortable victory over a side that has won just twice in 19 games this season.

He said: “They are where they are, rock bottom of the league. But for all that, we can’t take them lightly.

“I will be telling the lads that they are bottom for a reason. We have to turn up and do a job.

“We certainly fancy our chances to go there and get three points.

“But if we think we can just turn up and get those points, we will get a shock.

“You can’t just turn up and get a pretty easy game. The players have to take responsibility.”