Connor looking to lift the gloom by springing League Cup shock

OVENDEN Amateurs boss Danny Connor is hoping that a cup upset tomorrow will bring a bit of light into what has been a gloomy season for the club to date.

Ovenden take on high-flying Lee Mount on Savile Park with a place in the final of the Bridge Balti League Cup at stake.

And while it is a massive ask for Connor’s men to overcome their in-form rivals, he is adamant that his players will give their all in what should be a fascinating encounter.

“All the lads are up for it even though we are well and truly the underdogs,” said Connor. “We are at the bottom and Lee Mount are flying.

“It is going to be very difficult to beat them but stranger things have happened, particularly in Sunday football.”

Tomorrow’s game will bring some relief from the stresses and strains of a Division One campaign which has seen Ovenden suffer a number of problems.

They have been deducted points after fielding ineligible players and currently sit one place off the foot of the table, although they are still in touch with a number of teams ahead of them with a handful of games left to play.

“It has been a tough one not made easier by one or two problems throughout the season,” added Connor. “When you’re at the bottom it makes a big difference.

“As a unit we don’t want to get relegated but if it happens it happens. It could be a case of taking a step back to move forward.

“Getting to the final would be good but really the priority this season has been getting a settled side and getting the players to gel.”

Ovenden have had 40+ players on their books but Connor says he now has a core of 15 which is proving easier to manage.

“It has been ridiculous really but it is a lot easier now,” he added. “We have a settled core of players and the fact that they turn up week after week is worth its weight in gold.”

Connor is relishing the chance to take on Mount with both clubs enjoying a healthy rivalry. He is also hoping that with Lee Whitton’s side still chasing honours on three fronts they might take their eyes off the ball.

“They might underestimate us which could work in our favour, but we have to accept that they are a very good side,” said Connor.

“A lot of the lads know each other from playing on a Saturday and there is a good rivalry. It is almost a derby match really.

“We have a couple of 16 year olds in our side and this will be their first taste of an open age semi-final, so that should be a good experience.

“I am looking forward to a good day and hopefully the right result.”

Barclays Premier League: West Brom v Newcastle.

npower Championship: Birmingham v Cardiff.

Johnstone’s Paint Trophy: Chesterfield v Swindon.

Bridge Balti Halifax Sunday League.

Premier Division: Bradshaw v Carrington Rangers, FC Bowling Green v Elland Sports, Mount Tabor v Engineers, Shoulder FC Northowram v FC Royal of Pellon, The Vine v King Cross CB & AC.

Division One: Cock & Bottle v Old Pond, Halifax Rangers v Waiters Arms FC, Oddfellows v Thornhill Briggs, Queens Head v Hollins Holme.

Division Two: Hebden Bridge AFC v Triangle, King Cross CB&AC Reserves v Greetland Goldstars, Rastrick Bowling Club v The Vine Reserves, Royd Club FC v Top Club, Ryburn United v Stallions FC, Ryburn Valley v Halifax Rangers Reserves

Bridge Balti League Cup - semi-finals: Ovenden Amateurs v Lee Mount, Sun Inn (Rastrick) v Elland Sports Reserves.