FOOTBALL: High-flying Bardsey eye cup run

Bardsey have progressed into the next round of the West Riding County Challenge Cup.
Bardsey have progressed into the next round of the West Riding County Challenge Cup.

Bardsey made it through to the third round of the West Riding County Challenge Cup by knocking out the current holders Field after battling back from two goals down on Saturday.

A last minute headed goal from Danny Maw completed the miraculous comeback for Bardsey who were trailing the Premier Division league leaders by two goals midway through the second half.

Stuart Berry started the Bardsey revival with a thunderbolt effort with 25 minutes to play to halve the deficit before Barraclough’s side were handed a penalty and Craig Maynard kept a cool head to equalise.

Bardsey manager Lee Barraclough said that for his side to pull the win out the bag was ‘unheard of’ and admitted that he ‘had never been involved in a game like that’.

He said: “We did really well, especially considering that we were depleted and had seven or eight players missing. We went there with a patched up squad and a couple of the reserve team really stepped up.

“We came out in the second half and it was like a different side. We should have got back to 1-1 but they scored a scrappy goal so the chips were down and I was down, I had never been as low.

“I could never have seen what was going to happen next. We got back to 2-2 and it was all us with ten minutes to go and Maw stepped up with a last-minute winner and you could hear a pin drop.

“This Field team are going to be in the Northern Counties Eastern League next year and they are a top side. To go there and beat them with half a side shows great character and resilience.”

Barraclough’s side are attempting to defend their West Yorkshire Premier Division title this season but currently find themselves trailing Field by six points after 13 games.

The Bardsey manager said he is ‘half confident’ that his side can go on to win the Challenge Cup after beating Field but admitted his side are ‘there to be shot at’ following their domestic success.

He said: “I’m ecstatic. It’s good for the district to have a side that is still in the competition who can go on and win it. I won the competition as a player but haven’t won it as a manager.

“The competition is the cream of the crop from the county. This is like the Champions League to us, the best of the best. You need that bit of luck because it’s a tough cup with more than 300 teams competing.”

Bardsey travel to fourth placed Beeston St Anthony’s on Saturday (November 8) and Barraclough admitted his side need to ‘pull another rabbit out of the hat’ to clinch a victory.