Waterhouse on target as Wetherby Athletic reach semi-final

Jed Vale
Jed Vale

First team boss Mark Forster hailed the progression of the club after three of Wetherby Athletic’s sides reached cup semi-finals at the weekend.

Forster’s first team squad edged past West Yorkshire Amateur side Garforth Rangers 1-0 on Saturday, whilst the reserves also beat Rangers’ reserves 3-1 in the Activ8 Cup.

Athletic’s Sunday side then reached the JB Plows Cup semi-final after a dominant 2-0 victory over Claro League rivals FC Boston.

“Things are up and up,” said Forster.

“Everyone is realistic and they know Rome wasn’t built in a day.

“The first and second teams are both young squads. We are heading in the right direction.”

Athletic will play Tadcaster Magnet in the semi-final after they beat rivals Sherburn White Rose 3-1.

“I said I wasn’t bothered about the cups but now we are in the semi-final, we might as well go all out to win the Barkston Ash now,” said Forster.

Despite Saturday’s low-key scoreline, the extended break from West Yorkshire League action allowed Forster to maintain continuity in his squad.

And Athletic’s performance impressed the gaffer as his young side controlled possession, limiting Rangers to one shot on target.

Mark Waterhouse got the game’s only goal, while Joshua Yanac, Neil Dickie and Roman Neale scored for Athletic’s reserves.

The first team win was Athletic’s sixth in their last 12 matches and Forster is hopeful the confidence will transpire into Saturday’s trip to third-placed Beeston St Anthony’s.

“It kept up our lovely sequence going, win lose, win lose,” said Forster.

“We are due a defeat on Saturday but we will have to go out and end that run.

“It’s a small pitch at Beeston and that should play into our hands.”

New signing Steve Morris, who joined from Aberford Albion last month, and Paul Hustwit will come into Forster’s 14th-placed squad.

Joe Barden and Sam Kellagher are missing with foot injuries.

Forster watched Athletic’s Sunday side in their victory over FC Boston and, afterwards, he asked centre-backs Anthony Walsh and Andy Baxter to join his first team squad.

Walsh has been in form playing up front for Wetherby’s third team whilst Baxter has performed well for Martin Powell’s Sunday squad this season.

But Baxter decided against joining the first team squad for Saturday’s Beeston clash due to other commitments.

The defender scored Athletic Sundays’ opening goal at FC Boston, heading in Andy Maxted’s well-taken free-kick.

Captain Brian Blewitt then fired home the Tangerines’ second after running onto Freddie Jackson’s through ball.

“We were comfortable throughout but the workrate and effort from every player was outstanding,” said boss Powell.

“It was a great all-round team performance.”

Albion Vaults await in December’s semi-final.