City aim to end 2013 on a high

hsb  Ripon City v Kippax.  (131005M3d)
hsb Ripon City v Kippax. (131005M3d)

Ripon City are hoping to end the year on a high before starting their cat and mouse chase in 2014.

The Mallorie Park outfit entertain big-spending league newcomers Shelley in the West Yorkshire Premier on Saturday.

They will be looking to make up some ground in the division after the weekend’s league trip to Brighouse Old Boys was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

Shelley have made a stumbled start to life in the highest West Yorkshire League, despite splashing the cash to attract top talent.

City beat the Huddersfield side 2-1 in November thanks to goals from Darren Simpson and Matt McGlinchey.

And Saturday’s visitors have lost ten matches so far this campaign and lie tenth in the table.

In contrast, City have pulled their questionable start around to move up to sixth with games in hand on most of their top of the table rivals.

“We have to be beating teams like Shelley,” said City boss Charlie Brown.

“It would be a real disappointment if we don’t pick up three points.

“We are unbeaten in the last seven or eight, the only blip was the League Cup game against Robin Hood.

“It’s a case of keeping that consistency going. We are on course for that top four position we want.”

Victory over Brighouse would have pulled Brown’s sixth-placed men four points clear of fierce rivals Boroughbridge.

City are also 20 points beneath table-topping Bardsey, who have finished their league fixtures until January.

And City would narrow that gap to eight points if they won their four matches in hand.

“We would take that,” added Brown.

“Having to catch up, it’s a bit of a worry.

“Coming to the end of the season, we are quite fortunate down at Ripon with the pitch.

“We don’t get many games called off so we don’t have to play the midweek games.”

But Brown shared his worries concerning the playing surfaces at opposing ground.

“Other pitches don’t hold up as well as ours,” he said.

“If games get called off, the last thing we want at the back end of the season is to be travelling a couple of time a week for midweek games.

“We don’t want to get too far behind.”