West Yorkshire League: Boroughbridge make sensational start to life in the top-flight

Josh Barden, left, challenges for the ball during Kirk Deighton Rangers' opening-day loss to Featherstone Colliery. Picture: Peter Arnett (KDRFC Media)
Josh Barden, left, challenges for the ball during Kirk Deighton Rangers' opening-day loss to Featherstone Colliery. Picture: Peter Arnett (KDRFC Media)

Newly-promoted Boroughbridge made a sensational start to life in the Premier Division of the West Yorkshire Football League.

Last season’s Division One champions were handed a tough opening-day assignment against Leeds City, runners-up in the top flight in 2018/19.

Daz Ekin’s team did not let this faze them, however, and picked up where they left off last term, winning the game in comprehensive fashion.

Philip Milsom bagged a brace for ‘Bridge, while Chris Simpson and Jake Fletcher were also on target in a game that the hosts led 2-0 at the break before going on to complete a 4-0 success.

Elsewhere in the Premier Division, Knaresborough Town Reserves also began well, but will be disappointed to only end up with a point after conceding a last-gasp equaliser on the road at Robin Hood Athletic.

Boro withstood a first-half battering, finding themselves two goals down before fighting back through Paul Atkinson, who struck twice to take his side into the interval on level terms.

Atkinson completed his hat-trick in the second half and looked to have secured all three points, only for the hosts to make it 3-3 with the last kick of the game.

Kirk Deighton Rangers went down 2-1 at home to Featherstone Colliery in Division One.

The visitors took the lead a minute before half-time following a spell of pressure, then doubled their advantage early in the second period.

An inspired double-substitution by boss Dan Marshall then got Rangers back into the game, Ashley Tatler and James Woodward taking the field with 64 minutes on the clock.

Barely 60 seconds after entering the fray, Woodward picked up on Charlie Yates’ pass and drilled the ball to the back post for Tatler to knock home a goal debut.

Woodward then rattled the cross-bar and Tatler saw another strike ruled out for off-side as, despite a strong finish to the encounter, Deighton ended up with nothing to show for their efforts.

“Funnily enough, after going two down I thought we played really well, but it was a mountain to climb,” Marshall reflected.

“We could have snatched a point in the second half, however, at the end of the day it didn’t happen.”

Rangers' local rivals Wetherby Athletic fared much better, triumphing by a 3-2 scoreline at Salts.

Josh Wilson netted a goal in each half before Toby Hardaker registered what proved to be the game’s decisive goal 15 minutes from time.

Ripon City were another side to kick-off 2019/20 with a bang, beating Tingley Athletic 5-3 at Mallorie Park.

Despite having James McGlinchey sent off, City proved too good for their visitors, Gareth Barber hitting a hat-trick.

Also on the score-sheet for Ripon were Kyle Fox and Adam Haswell.