The end of the second lockdown of the year saw a return to the training ground and some friendly matches for our boys teams, with the restart of the league season scheduled for the second weekend of the New Year. U17s managed to play four friendlies over three weekends, and the U11s and U12s also got some much needed game time against fellow tier 3 opponents.
In contrast the girls teams were back in league action almost immediately, without even the benefit of any training sessions to get back into condition. U13s Girls were in action each weekend, starting with a home game against Killinghall Nomads on Saturday 5th December. We took the lead but conceded an equaliser straight from the restart. Despite being on top we went into the break 2-1 down. The lack of football during lockdown took its toll in the second half; we went off the boil and conceded twice more for a 4-1 defeat. A week later we were away at Ilkley on a very muddy pitch. We were a goal behind after just two minutes, and two down after ten. Recognising that we were giving Ilkley's midfield too much space and time we moved a centre back further upfield, and the change in formation helped us get the score back to 2-2 by half time. Ilkley scored again after the break, we equalised, and so it stayed until seven minutes before the end. Ilkley's goalkeeper was penalised for picking up the ball from a back pass and we scored from the resulting free kick. A fifth goal just before the end wrapped things up for a very satisfying 5-3 win. The last Saturday before Christmas saw us entertain Bedale at home. A solid defensive performance couple with good interplay between midfield and attack saw us go in 3-0 up at half time. We played into the wind in the second half and found it a little harder, failing to convert our chances but conceding just one goal for a 3-1 win.
Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th October
The first weekend of half term meant a break from competitive matches for a number of our teams. U11s Whites played some good football in a friendly away at Harrogate Railway Greens, scoring some good goals on the break and keeping a clean sheet. U12s lost 3-0 to Wigton Moor in a friendly at Roundhay Park. We had a couple of key players missing but the team played well and deserved at least a goal for their efforts. U13s Girls were also in friendly action at home against Clifford. A ding-dong first half in windy conditions saw us take a two goal lead, concede a goal, score a goal then concede a goal to go into half time 3-2 up. We had the wind behind us in the second half and took full advantage, scoring four goals without reply for a 7-2 win.
Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th October
U10s travelled to Knaresborough Celtic, winning one and losing three. We played some good football, and welcomed a couple of debutants to the squad. U11s played a couple of games against Harrogate Railway. U11s Blues match was their second league game of the season against the team that beat us last month in our first. We have played a number of tough friendlies in the meantime, and it obviously paid off as we avenged the previous defeat. U11s Whites also won, maintaining their unbeaten record at 9 a side level. U12s dominated possession in the first half against Otley but only had a single goal lead to show for it. A couple of goals for each side after the interval gave us a 3-2 win. U17s beat Tockwith in an entertaining friendly.
Action from the U15s match v Ilkley
Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th October
U8s won four out of four at home against Beckwithshaw. U9s fielded a number of new recruits against Pannal Ash. We lost the first two games, but performed much better in the next two games, drawing one and narrowly losing the second, missing three penalties in the process. U11s also gave starts to new players in a couple of friendlies against local rivals Clifford. U11s Blues played their best football to date, losing narrowly to a team that is a division above us and the reigning league champions to boot. U11s Whites drew with Clifford's second team. U12s made hay in the autumn sunshine with a 6-5 win against Ripon. U13s Girls were left to rue missed opportunities against Skipton, creating lots of chances but unable to put them away, only to concede a goal via a defensive slip to lose the game 1-0. U17s were away at table-topping Guiseley and produced a much improved performance, though our tendency to gift easy goals to our opponents meant we lost 4-2.
Action from the U13s Girls match v Skipton
Action from the U17s match at Guiseley
Sunday 4th October
U11s played at home against a couple of teams from Knaresborough Celtic. Our league team got a draw, a pleasing result after a run of three straight defeats. The second team convincingly beat Knaresborough's B team. Each member of the U13s team had an outstanding game away at Leeds City Juniors. We were 4-0 up at half time, scoring three more in the second half for a 7-0 win. U14s took the lead with a well worked goal against Ripon at home. We scored a second, only to concede almost immediately, then scored a third, only to concede almost immediately. We managed to stay on top and hang on for a 3-2 win. U16s were away at Ripon. The first half was finely balanced, with Ripon ahead by a single goal at half time. After the interval we made the mistake of sitting back, allowing Ripon to control the game, and score four more goals without reply.
Action from the U17s match v Ilkley
Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th September - First game of the season for U8s; U13s Girls best game ever
Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th September - A first game for the U7s and a storming win for the U13s
This weekend saw the U7s play their first ever competitive match, with the boys performing really well against Beckwithshaw. A new challenge also for the U9s, who have made the step up from 5 a side to 7 a side. Playing for the first time since January, and missing a couple of key players, we lost narrowly on aggregate to Wigton Moor. Ahead of the start of their season U11s are playing a series of friendly matches against higher division teams with a view to building character and improving fitness. Despite going down to a defeat against Pannal Sports the boys can be proud of the way they performed.
U15s succumbed to a disappointing defeat against Pannal Ash Rangers. A good first half performance was followed by a second half collapse, with the final score 6-2 to Pannal. U15s Girls also lost to Pannal Ash - it was our first game in six months, and with just one training session since the restart our lack of match sharpness showed, going down to a 7-2 defeat. U17s were soundly beaten last weekend in their first game in Division 1, so the boys had a point to prove against Harrogate Railway. Despite missing two key players to injury, other players playing out of position, and conceding early we hit back to deservedly lead 2-1 at the break. Harrogate got back into the game as the second half progressed and equalised on the hour. The game looked to be heading for a draw only for us to gift our opponents three late goals. Final score 5-2 to Harrogate, but a massive improvement from the last match.
Our team of the weekend was the U13s. Despite having the better of the first half against Garforth Rangers we struggled to find the net, while Garforth converted all three of their chances to lead 3-2 at the break. In the second half our defence was rock solid, midfield dominant and the attack clinical, scoring six goals without reply. Final score 8-3.
Action from the U13s match v Garforth
Action from the U15s match v Pannal Ash
Action from the U17s match v Harrogate Railway
Sunday 13th September 2020 - Girls triumph in last season's Cup Final
If you thought that August 23rd was a late finish to last season's Champions League Final, think again. On a weekend when other teams were starting their 2020-21 league season last season's U15s Girls team - who are now the Harrogate Town U16s Girls - finally played their 2019-20 Cup Final against a Guiseley team who were top of the league when COVID-19 stopped play. Guiseley are one of the best teams in West Yorkshire and soon let us know it as they raced into a 4-1 lead. A 30 yard strike pulled one back for us and we hit the post and another long range piledriver was tipped over but Guiseley were well worth their commanding first half lead.
Cue a motivational half time talk and a move to a 3-4-3 formation saw the girls respond magnificently. Another 25 yard screamer and a seriously hard strike from the edge of the area brought us level. We then failed to clear a long ball over the top and Guiseley were ahead 5-4. It quickly became 5-5 when we scored direct from a corner. With the on-pitch temperature exceeding 20 degrees it then became a question of who was the fittest and most determined team. We took the lead with a well worked goal, Guiseley pushed forward for an equaliser but the girls defended stoutly and with the last kick of the match a defence splitting pass and a fine finish saw the girls triumph 7-5 and lift the trophy.
U12s played a friendly against Clifford. We got off to a slow start (this seems to be a recurring theme today), our players looked tired and we went two goals behind. As the game went on we slowly cranked up the pace and scored with a few minutes left to set up an exciting finale in a 2-1 defeat. U14s were at home to Wigton Moor and also suffered from slow start syndrome, conceding five goals without reply in the first 20 minutes. An inspired substitution and positional reshuffle put a halt to the one way traffic, then at half time the team identified the problems and as a result improved greatly in the second half. Final score 6-2 to Wigton.
Newly promoted U17s first game in Division 1 was a reality check for many of our players. After being unbeaten - and never really stretched - in the league last season, we were outplayed for long periods by Pannal Sports Lions, going down to a 6-0 defeat. We didn't think fast enough, we disn't close the opposition down fast enough and we never really tested their goalkeeper.
Action from the U17s match at Pannal Sports Lions
Saturday 8th August - Football's (finally) come home
March 15th was the last time we saw any football at Grange Park. 146 days later, and thanks to a lot of hard work behind the scenes to ensure that all necessary measures in line with the FA guidance for restarting competitive football are in place, we are finally back on the football pitch. A warm summer's morning welcomed a number of our teams back to training, with more to follow in the coming weeks, and a return to competitive fixtures on the horizon.
Managers and coaches, players, parents and carers will have noticed some changes at Grange Park, with one-way systems, traffic cones and hand sanitiser dispensers in place. We ask you to please follow these precautions in the interest of everyone's safety and continued good health.
Welcome back everyone.