Harrogate and District League: Hampsthwaite end 15-year wait with rise

Hampsthwaite United
Hampsthwaite United

Hampsthwaite United have won promotion back to the Harrogate and District football league Premier division after a 15-year absence.

Promotion was sealed with a thumping 6-0 victory over AFC Hillside last week, with goals for Adam Pawson, Jason Rowe, Nathan Graham, Karl Wilkinson (2) and Charlie Harteley.

United have a 17 point lead at the top of the table, with three games left to play. Closest rival’s Kirkstall could still possibly take the title, as they have eight games left of their campaign, but Hampsthwaite have secured at least second place in the league, and manager Jono Way was over the moon with his team’s performances

“We’re delighted to return to the Premier Division, we set high standards of expectation here at Hampsthwaite and that was an emphatic performance.” said Way.

However, Way is determined to see his team go on to secure the League title as well.

“We want more than just second place, therefore our foot will remain firmly on the gas!” added Way.

United have won 11 games in a row, and Way was full of praise for his squad.

“Eleven wins on the trot speaks volumes about their ambition to achieve,” said Way. “I think what I’m most proud of is the fact we’ve managed to go through four divisions with a number of the same players.”

Way also gave a special mention to club captain Andy Spencer, who has been playing for the club for the last 10 years, and has led the side through every division along the way.

Bedale secured at least a top three finish for the 2014/15 season with a hard fought 4-2 victory over Pannal Sports.

Danny Baxter and Ross Hodgson got Bedale off to a great start, as they raced into a two goal lead in the first 25 minutes. Then, on the stroke of half time, they conceded a soft penalty to leave the score 2-1 at the break.

Bedale began the second half slowly, and were punished for their sluggish play when they conceded the equaliser with 20 minutes left to play.

They finally found their feet again in the last 10 minutes, with Baxter scoring a second before they rattled in a fourth with a few minutes left to play.

Despite the victory, manager Steve Reed was left a little disappointed with the result.

“We should have done better, and we should have won the league this season. With the facilities we’ve got we should be playing in a higher division.”

Looking ahead to their last game of the season, against mid-table Harlow Hill, Reed knows his team need to win.

“The last game is really important,”said Reed. “We need to go out with a bang.”