Wharfedale FA u-17s 1 Huddersfield FA u-17s 0 W
harfedale FA under-17s won their way to the final of the West Riding County Minor Cup with a narrow but highly-deserved victory over the much-fancied Huddersfield FA at Woodlesford on Saturday.
They will now face Keighley FA in the final at the same venue on Saturday, March 29.
Wharfedale were well prepared for the semi-final having played a full scale game against Guiseley under-16s and had training on the Guiseley AFC 3G.
In their last session on the Friday night winger Stephen Smith broke a thumb but still played a full part on Saturday as did Horsforth St Margaret’s defender Simon Hall who was suffering with a bad back. He put in some major tackles at crucial times.
They showed the spirit that ran throughout the squad.
Wharfedale got their vital goal in the 33rd minute when two players who had come up through the Horsforth St Margaret’s Juniors together and now play for Guiseley Academy combined.
Dylan Palfreyman made a storming run towards the right of the penalty area and drilled a precision pass in front of the goal for Nathan McDonnell to fire home.
Both sides created chances but as Wharfedale came under siege the excellent handling of their goalkeeper Greg Moorhouse instilled confidence in a side who were prepared to put their bodies on the line with some excellent defending.
Wharfedale withstood the onslaught and then returned to their neat passing game to carry the game to Huddersfield and ensure that they progressed to the final.
The Wharfedale FA Squad: Greg Moorhouse (Guiseley Academy); Bailey Worcester (Horsforth St Margaret's), Simon Hall (Horsforth St Margaret's), Josh Snowden (Guiseley U-17s and Academy) Captain, Myles Foley (Guiseley U-16s); Joel Thompson (Guiseley Academy) Stephen Smith (Guiseley Juniors and Academy), Jake Chambers (Menston Juniors), Will Wells (Guiseley Academy), Ben Taylor (Guiseley Academy); Dylan Palfreyman (Guiseley Academy), Nathan McDonnell (Horsforth St Margaret’s and Guiseley Academy), Will Patterson (Guiseley U-16s), George Kear, Dan Weston, Shaun Brooks (all Guiseley U-16s).
Wharfedale have won the County Minor Cup just once, in the 1967/68 season when they were managed by Peter Wigglesworth.
A certain David Bairstow scored ther winner in their semi-final win over Goole FA.
The young Bairstow was unavailable for the final, in which Wharfedale, captained by Bob Kilmurray, beat Heavy Woollen FA 2-0 at Thackley, as he had to play cricket for his school.
Bairstow went on to play as a for Yorkshire and England as a wicketkeeper-batsman.