Featherstone Colliery celebrate first league title since 1979

Featherstone Colliery, after being presented with the West Yorkshire League Division Two trophy today after beating Mount St Mary's to pip Aberford and Kellingley to the title
Featherstone Colliery, after being presented with the West Yorkshire League Division Two trophy today after beating Mount St Mary's to pip Aberford and Kellingley to the title

Featherstone Colliery were celebrating after clinching the Division Two title in the West Yorkshire Football League.

The title race went right down to the final day, but Colliery came out on top when they got the win they needed to pip rivals Aberford Albion.

A 6-1 home win over Mount St Mary’s saw the Featherstone side crowned champions on goal difference. They had to overcome a nervous start as they set out for a first league title since 1978-79 and although they went ahead through Gaz Ward they found themselves at 1-1 before taking control.

The back line of Ash Ellam, Scott Ellam, Chris Appleyard and Paul Bourke was solid and stand-in keeper Kieron O’Toole had little to do. Kyle Macdonald, Gaz Ward, Kyle Pearson and Michael Seed dominated midfield where they linked up well with forwards Simon Davis and Sam Harrison and goals came from a Pearson (two), Davis (two) and Harrison.

Danny Graham, Gavin Pearson and David Price came on before the end when the league trophy was presented at the side of the pitch.

Manager Iain Macdonald said: “It is a proud moment for me to bring the league title to Featherstone. The players I have had this season were great to work with.

“I would like to thank Bob Foster who started the season as my assistant but ill health saw him drop out and Garry Robinson, our reserve manager, who also helped out. Another plus is that Sam also was the league’s golden boot.’’

Runners-up Aberford kept the pressure up right to the finish as they won their last game 6-2 at Kellingley Welfare, who’s own title chances had vanished with a midweek defeat.

Kells still managed to clinch promotion by finishing third on goal difference over Knaresborough Town, but their championship hopes went as they suffered a 5-3 defeat at Ossett Common Rovers last Wednesday when missed chances in the opening 15 minutes cost them dear .

The visitors opened the scoring on the half-hour, but Kells quickly drew level with a good strike from Jamie Bird.

The hosts went ahead again before Kells rallied and Bird once more found the target.

Andy Mills’ effort then hit the post before Rovers broke clear and went in front once again. Worse followed when sloppy defending saw Ossett go two up. The visitors pushed forward and halved the arrears when Lee Waites chipped in, but their woes continued when after they had a player dismissed the hosts had the final say with another break away goal.

Kellingley finished their season on a losing note as they were beaten by Aberford Albion when depleted with little in the way of fresh legs to come off the bench.

Visitors Albion took the lead on 10 minutes and went further in front on 20.

Rob Anderson went close with a couple of well placed headers and Bird had an effort well saved. Kells then struck when James Hicks nodded in at the near post from Del Pollock’s flag kick. But Albion scored on the stroke of half-time to go in at the break 3-1 up.

The hosts looked to get back into the game after the break only to concede another sloppy goal. Good play from Ross Haywood and Bird saw the latter just fail to score. Another good move started from the back by Dale Muscroft then ended with Kells being awarded a spot kick and Pollock made no mistake converting the opportunity.

Hicks went close with a near post header, but any hopes of a comeback were dashed as Albion added two late goals and tired legs in the Kells team were evident.

Kellingley were below par, but can look back on an excellent season, having lifted the Castleford FA District Cup and the West Riding County Trophy to go with promotion.