League and Cup success for Todmorden

All-conquering Todmorden Sports Centre under 13s completed a league and cup double – winning every game in the process.

Sports wrapped up the League two weeks ago and clinched the League Cup last week, beating closest rivals, Boothtown, 3-1 at the Shay.

“The lads have been fantastic this season,” said manager, Lee Pearson.

“They have all worked incredibly hard and been a real credit to themselves.”

The season was cut short because of the poor condition of pitches but in 20 games Todmorden scored 118 goals, conceding just 21. Top scorer was Benjamin Pearson who netted 45, followed by winger Henry Antemes with 33.

Team selection varied little through the season with Thomas Stansfield in goal, Charlie Mariani and Jack Crummett at full-back, Alec Hodkinson and Conor Shapland at centre back and a tremendous pool of midfielders including Jack Pearson, Callum Bailey, Christopher Reeder, Lewis Porter, Jack Denton, Sam Foster and the unlucky Jake Nyari who picked up a knee injury and missed several matches.

“The whole squad has played its part,” added Pearson. “From Thomas in goal through the whole team the commitment and performances have been first-class.”

Fittingly the cup final was the best-fought match of the season. Boothtown hit the bar from an early free-kick and then worked hard to close Todmorden down.

Thomas Stansfield suffered a broken cheekbone in a collision with a team-mate but valiantly played on. He was regularly called into action, collecting crosses and sprinting from his line to clear.

Tod then hit Boothtown on the break, Benjamin Pearson scoring twice to open up a 2-0 half-time lead.

Boothtown pulled one back early in the second half and then launched waves of attacks. The defence held firm with Hodkinson and Shapland remaining strong, supported by the tireless closing down of Reeder, Foster, Denton, Bailey and Jack Pearson.

With just minutes remaining, the ball fell into the path of Lewis Porter and he coolly rounded the keeper to notch one of the best taken goals of the season.

CLIFTON Rangers under 15s’ slender hopes of regaining the Huddersfield League Division One title are still alive after a narrow 2-1 victory over Hepworth.

A tight first half saw few chances for either team, but the breakthrough came midway through the first half with keeper Smith’s long clearance finding top scorer Matty Rowles who fired his 20th goal of the season to give Clifton the lead.

Clifton continued to press after the break and a superb strike from Billy Gaylor was pushed over the bar by the Hepworth keeper. Hepwoth pulled level with 20 minutes to go and Rangers title hopes looked to be over.

However, with 10 minutes remaining Ryan Thompson received the ball from a throw in and his hopeful shot just beat the keeper to give Rangers the victory.