Strikers Waite and Harris fire Otley Town to another league victory

Wharfedale Observer: Josh Waite scored twice for Otley Town Josh Waite scored twice for Otley Town

Otley Town 3 Hunslet Club 0

For this festive fixture Otley Town were without two key players, Jamie Simms and James Davies, but were pleased to welcome back Toby Harris and Sam Jewell from suspension and Rob Carr from a hamstring injury.

The Hunslet Club along with Shelley FC are newly promoted to the West Yorkshire League's Premier Division and typically both clubs began the season well.

However it’s a big step up to the top flight and in recent times the early sparkle has disappeared for both as they have struggled for results.

Otley Town on the other hand, after a faltering start, are in a rich vein of form having taken 13 points from their last five games.

For the opening 20 minutes of the game there was very little between the teams, both sides waiting for a mistake rather than taking a chance.

Hunslet hit the bar with a fine snap shot from distance but this was an isolated incident.

For Town Harris was put through on a couple of occasions but snatched at his chances when well placed.

At this stage Town were in control but struggling to break the deadlock.

This was mainly because their two big strikers Josh Waite and Harris were constantly making the same runs and getting in each other’s way.

Town’s management were quick to spot this and Waite was asked to play a little deeper just off the main striker.

In this withdrawn role he was a revelation and would go on to influence the game with goals and creativity.

Waite opened the scoring for Town after 25 minutes when he pounced on an errant back pass, rounded the Hunslet keeper and netted.

This goal settled Town and they began to play some delightful interchange football with Waite, Sam Jewell, Rob Carr and Scott Firth all contributing heavily.

At the back Town still had to be watchful as Hunslet have two dangerous wingers but a watchful defence looked secure with Danny Chadwick, James Davey, Scott Firth and Joe Currie all in good form.

It appeared Town would have to settle for a slender one-goal advantage at the interval but the marauding Harris was having none of this.

He panicked the Hunslet defence into giving the ball away and his low cross was forced home by Waite.

Town remained comfortably in control in the second half. With a little more steadiness in front of goal they might have had five or six.

The goal they did score in the 65th minute came when Waite opened up the Hunslet defence and fed Harris. The big striker still had some work to do but he expertly drew the keeper and scored.

Town saw out the rest of the game with some ease – the only moment of danger being a Hunslet header five minutes from time which gave stand-in keeper Higgins a chance to shine.

This Saturday Town entertain Beeston St Antony’s (2pm).

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