Wharfedale FA u-17s 5 Craven FA u-17s 1

Wharfedale made an excellent start to their West Riding County Minor Cup campaign at Esholt Sports Club on Saturday.

Craven had struggled to raise a team and had no substitutes but they shocked Wharfedale by taking the lead after six minutes through Grassington Juniors’ winger Harry White.

Wharfedale pressed as the side started to settle in what was their first outing as a team. They created a number of chances but fired just wide or over while at the other end Ilkley u-16s goalkeeper Alex Wormall showed his ability with a good save.

Otley Town’s Joe Atkinson shot wide awhile Craven ‘keeper Adam Sayedi (Grassington Juniors) made some good saves.

Craven missed a sitter from a yard out before Wharfedale got the goal their play deserved. An effort from Guiseley striker Jordan Grime was blocked but fellow striker Charlie Sykes (Ilkley U-16s) was on hand to fire home in the 32nd minute.

It was Sykes who then gave Wharfedale the lead in the 34th minute with a well-taken goal.Burley Trojans midfielder Jake Wilson made some good runs and put a good effort just over the bar.

Otley Town’s Sam Harounoff was also making headway on the other flank and his good cross was only just clawed away by Sayedi.Sykes had a great chance to complete his hat-trick but just fired wide and Wharfedale were happy to go in at the break 2-1 up against a battling Craven side.

Manager Jack Summers stirred his Wharfedale side into greater efforts with his half-time chat and they went 3-1 up in the 50th minute when skipper Ben Leeming (Guiseley and Ventus United) fired home an excellent penalty kick.

Wharfedale hit the post and then Leeming was just wide with a long-range effort.Summers made full use of the rolling subs rule utilising the Menston Rovers pair Laurence Shaw and Lewis Gladwyn and Otley Town’s Connor Bateman well as his side built up the pressure.

Bateman added some real steel to the defence.Craven fired wide and then Wormall came out to make an excellent save at the feet of an inrushing Craven player. Sykes in search of his hat-trick saw his header from a corner taken well by Sayedi.

When Grime went off injured Leeming moved up front and bagged two further goals to complete his hat-trick.Wormall collected well from a corner, cleanly took a shot from a free-kick and then made a great save to deny the gutsy Craven side.

His counterpart Sayedi did equally well as Wharfedale continued to look for goals with Leeming snatching at one chance and firing two others over the bar.

This was a great game of football played in a very sporting manner by these two sides and excellently refereed by John Jonas.

Wharfedale look to have the potential to develop a very good side and manager Jack Summers was well pleased with their efforts.It is hoped to have regular training sessions before Wharfedale’s next game in late November away to Halifax FA.

Wharfedale squad was: Alex Wormall (Ilkley Juniors U-16s); George Clough (Burley Trojans U-17s), Joe Robinson (Burley Trojans U-17s), Joe Firth (Otley Town), Jack Murray (Menston Rovers/ Guiseley Academy); Jake Wilson (Burley Trojans U-17s), Joe Atkinson (Otley Town), Ben Leeming (Ventus United) Captain, Sam Harounoff (Otley Town); Charlie Sykes (Ilkley Juniors U-16s), Jordan Grime (Guiseley Juniors). Subs (all used): Laurence Shaw (Menston Rovers), Lewis Gladwyn (Menston Rovers), Connor Bateman (Otley Town).