Senior Section General Information
U14 Yorkshire League- York 3-6 Leeds
A Friday night fluttering of snow gave way to a crisp Saturday morning as Leeds made the short journey over to York, hoping to replicate their friendly win a couple of months earlier. Like last week, Leeds made a fast start, with Brad Wood crossing from the left and Ben Moss meeting the ball at the near post to flick past the home keeper after only 15 seconds. In truth, that set the tone for the first half in which Leeds dominated large spells. Jamie Preece, who never stopped running for the whole game, was next to get on the scoresheet with a fine finish. Leeds had their tails up now, and fresh from his double against Harrogate, Harley Dean found the back of the net again, lashing the ball past the York keeper after a corner fell to him. Shortly afterwards, relative newcomer to the squad, Francesco Terkper found himself in the six yard box to make it four for Leeds, and the league leaders weren’t finished there, with Ben Moss making it four goals in two games for the roving midfielder. Right at the end of the half, York managed to get a goal back as the first half ended 5-1 to Leeds.
A mixture of York shaking off the shock of conceding five first half goals, and some complacency from Leeds allowed the home side to score early in the second half. Leeds failed to read the warning signs and sure enough, York scored again to give themselves real hope of getting back into a game that looked dead and buried at the break. This seemed to finally wake Leeds up from their second half slumber and when a free kick on the edge of the box presented captain Joe Bedford the opportunity to settle the game, he did just that, curling a delightful effort past the home keeper. Final score York 3-6 Leeds.
U14 Yorkshire League- Harrogate 1 – 7 Leeds
After a break in league action, Leeds set out on the first of five league games in a row by facing Harrogate away on a blustery Saturday morning in January. Both sides had won all their respective league games going into this encounter, so something had to give.
Leeds played with the wind in the first half, and took full advantage with a very early goal from Jamie Preece. A diagonal crossfield pass from Ryaz Johnson found Preece in the box, and still with a lot of work to do, he found the back of the net with a deft flick. One become two shortly afterwards when a long throw into the Harrogate penalty area fell to the feet of Ben Moss who finished well. Harrogate looked shell-shocked and were still finding their feet when an innocuous pass was missed by the Harrogate centre back and Ben Moss once again was the grateful recipient, making it 3-0. Harrogate were spurred into life when a penalty kick gave them the opportunity to get back into the game, which they took. However, any hope of a first half comeback was ruled out by Brad Wood, who controlled a dropping ball with one touch, and with a second touch made it four for Leeds at the break.
The start of the second half saw a resurgent Harrogate try to take advantage of playing with the wind, and an early penalty kick gave them the chance to get a foothold in the game once again. However, the spot kick was spurned as the ball was sent wide of Jude Howes’ left hand post. This seemed to deflate Harrogate, and a mix-up at the back allowed Brad Wood to nod the ball past the onrushing keeper and the ball trickled into the Harrogate net for Leeds’ fifth of the morning. Leeds increased their lead with ten minutes left with a penalty kick from Harley Dean- his second goal of the season and his third wasn’t far away when a sumptuous volley from the edge of the box found the top corner (much to everyone’s surprise!).
A very good win, in difficult conditions and Leeds remain top of the Yorkshire League with five wins from five.
U14 Winter Friendlies Roundup
Leeds 1-2 Knowsley and St Helen’s. With a lull in league action until early January, Leeds U14 played a series of friendly matches, starting with a home game against Knowsley and St Helen’s. A tough game was expected and that’s how it turned out with Knowsley taking the lead and dictating the play for the first 20 minutes of the game. After a few minutes’ break in play to allow the away keeper to receive treatment to an injury, Brad Wood latched onto a long ball and rounded the keeper to make it 1-1 at half time. The second half saw Leeds miss several good opportunities, and Knowsley took full advantage to retake the lead. Leeds pushed hard to avoid what would be their first defeat of the season, but luck wasn’t with them as Jamie Preece and Ben Moss both hit the woodwork. So a first defeat it was, but the boys battled hard against a very good team and look forward to the return encounter in January.
Cancellations due to the weather meant that only two friendly games separated the Knowsley home and away games. Nottingham made the journey up north only to find Leeds smarting from their previous defeat and in no mood to see a repeat result. A well taken hat-trick from Jamie Preece accompanied a brace from Ryaz Johnson and one each from Brad Wood and Ben Moss in a 7-0 win. A week later, again at Wetherby, a five goal salvo from Brad Wood, alongside an Alfie Wardle header ensured a 6-1 victory over York.
Knowsley and St Helen’s 1- 2 Leeds .The final friendly before returning to league action saw Leeds travel to Merseyside to take on Knowsley and St. Helens, hoping to avenge the 2-1 home defeat a couple of months earlier. Leeds struggled in the first half and Knowsley deservedly took the lead. However, despite barely deserving an equalizer, Leeds did manage to level the game before half time, with Joe Bedford scoring after the ball pinged around the Knowsley area. The second half saw Leeds revert to a back four and look much more solid. In truth, the second half was a scrappy, battling affair with Knowsley receiving two yellow cards as the game became quite physical at times. With seconds remaining, Brad Wood latched onto a Harley Dean through ball for his only chance of the game and despite the tight angle, Wood finished superbly to send Leeds into delirium and come away with the perfect start to the new year.
U14 Friendly : Barnsley 0-6 Leeds
A buoyant Leeds travelled to South Yorkshire on Saturday morning to take on Barnsley in a rearranged friendly match. The first ten minutes of the game was nip and tuck, with nothing between the teams. Jamie Preece then latched onto a Brad Wood header and finished well for his second goal in two games. Leeds then took control of the game, with some lovely one touch football from Harry Sutcliffe, Brad Wood and Jamie Preece. Such intricate footwork let to the second goal, Wood finishing a well worked team move. Shortly before half time, Preece got his second of the morning with a thumping effort past the home keeper, and it was four on the stroke of half time, Wood meeting a cross with a first time volley to ensure a comfortable lead at the break.
As always with games such as this, the second half didn’t see the deluge of goals that the first half did. However, there were two very well taken efforts, the first of which came from Ryan Johnson after a slip from a Barnsley defender, and secondly Brad Wood notching his hat trick with a smart finish. Leeds’ fine start to the season continues, but they know that a tough challenge lies ahead with Knowsley visiting Wetherby next Saturday.
U14 North West Cup: Chester 0-3 Leeds
An early start was required as Leeds made the long journey to Chester on a bright Saturday morning. Confidence was high after an excellent start to the season, but Leeds were aware that Chester posed a threat in the first round of the North-West Cup.
The first half saw Chester dominate possession and show that they could hit Leeds on the break with pace in several parts of their team. One weapon in Chester’s armoury was a long throw, deployed several times throughout the half, causing confusion in the Leeds’ penalty area. Leeds defended resolutely and towards the end of the first half could have taken the lead with two good chances. First, Jamie Preece’s header clipped the top of the crossbar and shortly afterwards, Brad Wood’s smart turn and shot was palmed onto the post by the home goalkeeper. No score at the break.
Leeds began the second period the much brighter of the two sides, with Max Pearson, Ben Moss and Harley Dean bossing the midfield and dictating the play. Ten minutes into the half, Brad Wood’s initial shot was parried by the Chester goalie, but Wood didn’t need asking twice and put away the rebound to put the away side one goal to the good. Leeds’ heads were up now and a delightful through ball from Ryan Fitzpatick put Jamie Preece clear on goal, only to be fouled by one of the Chester defenders for a penalty. Preece took the spot kick himself and made no mistake as Leeds tightened their grip on the tie. Chester seemed despondent to be 2-0 down in a game where they had started the stronger and with 10 minutes left to play, Wood made sure of the game as he calmly rounded the goalie and found the back of the net, evading the onrushing defenders. A pleasing away win, and even more pleasing was the clean sheet, with the excellent Joe Bedford organising his back line well. That’s seven wins on the bounce for what is a squad that has seen a lot of changes since the end of last season.
U14 Yorkshire League: East Riding 3- 5 Leeds
Leeds made the journey East on a crisp, sunny November morning, hoping to carry on where they left off against Derby a fortnight earlier. However, on a 3G surface that Leeds weren’t used to, East Riding scored a very early opener, almost immediately from kick off. Leeds started to make forays into the East riding area, with Brad Wood passing up two opportunities he would normally bury. Slightly against the run of play, East Riding broke down the wing, and a simple ball into the box was put away to make it 2-0 to the home side. Hoping to pull one back before the break, Wood was denied by the boot of the East Riding goalkeeper after parrying a Ryhaz Johnson freekick. However, it was East Riding who went into the break on a high after scoring again, leaving Leeds shell shocked and 3-0 down at halftime.
Hoping to make things difficult for the East Riding defence, Leo Hurrell was deployed outfield in the second half. It was captain Joe Bedford who led the revival by nodding in a corner early in the second half to give Leeds a foothold in the game. Leeds were now in the ascendancy, but it took another ten minutes to find their second goal, with Max Pearson slipping a delightful ball through for Wood to finish well. 3-2 and the comeback very much looking possible. The equalizer arrived when Hurrell won a header to set up Wood for 3-3 and his 19th goal of an incredible season so far. There was 10 minutes left for Leeds to find the winner and it was Brad Wood again- this time with a header from a corner. East Riding tried to get back into the game, but were almost caught out when Hurrell was clear and almost chipped the onrushing keeper. The fifth and final goal did arrive in stoppage time with Brad Wood notching his 4th of the morning. Final score, East Riding 3- 5 Leeds. A much improved second half showing from Leeds, but they will know that they got out of jail today and can’t afford to give too many sides a 3-0 start. Next Saturday sees a trip across to Chester in the North-West Cup.
U14 Yorkshire League: Leeds 3-1 Derby
On a crisp Autumnal Saturday morning, Derby made the trip North to take on a confident Leeds side. With four wins out of four so far, Leeds were hoping to continue their fine form. While the first half passed by without any goals, it was not devoid of Leeds opportunities. Bradley Wood spurned two chances and saw the keeper make a smart save from a third, Jamie Preece saw two shots drift wide and marauding wing back Ryan Fitzpatrick also had a shot beaten away in a half in which Leeds dominated, but couldn’t make the breakthrough. Goalless at the break.
Leeds started the second half with an early goal, Brad Wood providing a perfect cross for Alfie Wardle to place a well executed header beyond the visiting keeper to give the home side the lead. One became two ten minutes later when Brad Wood finished smartly. Leeds could have extended their lead further, with chances for Harry Sutcliffe, Leo Hurrell and Fitzpatrick once again. Derby, who hadn’t troubled either Leeds goalkeeper, suddenly found themselves back in the game when a speculative hooked effort drifted over Jude Howes to create a nervy last five minutes. However, much like the previous weekend, a stoppage time goal from Wood ensured Leeds’ excellent start to the season continued. Final score Leeds 3 Derby 1.
U14 Friendly Salford 4 Leeds 6
On a morning in which the weather forecast might have put the game in doubt, Leeds made the journey across the Pennines to face Salford in a friendly in between league matches. Leeds started the game the stronger side, with the effervescent Max Pearson making himself busy in midfield, searching out the Leeds attack with probing balls. Leeds’ early good play paid off in the 12th minute when Brad Wood latched onto a superb headed through ball from Jamie Preece and, despite being at a difficult angle, finished well to give the visitors the lead. Two minutes later, Wood was denied twice by a superb double save from the home goalkeeper to keep his side in the game. With five minutes of the first half remaining, Leeds captain Joe Bedford was adjudged to have fouled a Salford forward in the box. The resulting penalty was coolly dispatched to make the scores even. This didn’t last long though, as almost immediately Wood gave Leeds the lead for the second time in the game, rounding the goalkeeper and expertly finishing, despite several Salford defenders attempting to block the net. Half time Leeds 2-1 Salford.
The second half started as the first had finished, with a Brad Wood goal, this time a superb strike from the left of the penalty area which rocketed into the far corner of the net. Salford found a response not long after with a goal from a corner, but once again, Brad Wood restored Leeds’ two goal cushion with a fine finish for his fourth of the morning. As the heavens opened and heavy rain started to fall, Salford found a second wind and turned the game on its head with two quick fire goals. In tricky conditions, the game was either side’s for the taking and with 5 minutes left of play, Salford hit the post and from the resulting counter attack, a clever throw in from Preece found that man Wood again who slotted past the home goalkeeper- his 15th goal of an incredible start to the season. There was still time for Leeds to score a sixth when Joe Bedford’s stoppage time free kick from the halfway line was caught by the wind and flew into the Salford net. Final Score Leeds 6-4 Salford. Not a game in which either defence will be entirely happy with, but for Leeds that’s a fourth straight win, continuing their unbeaten start to the season and keeping their early momentum going.
U14 Yorkshire League - Calderdale v Leeds
Having opened their Yorkshire League campaign with a 5-0 blitzing of Barnsley the week before, Leeds made the short journey to Calderdale, hoping to pick up where they left off last Saturday.
The first ten minutes saw Leeds have slightly better of the play, without really creating any clear-cut chances. Bradley Wood broke the deadlock when sent clear by the industrious Jamie Preece and finished well. One became two in double quick time with a Leeds’ corner finding the unmarked Harley Dean at the back post who slotted home a rare goal. Leeds’ purple patch continued when five minutes later, Wood pulled the ball back across the box for the late arriving Harry Sutcliffe to fire home his first of the season. 3-0. A fourth wasn’t far off when Wood curled a delightful shot against the bar. This seemed to spark Calderdale into action and only a fine save from Leo Hurrell prevented the home side from getting back into the game. However, minutes later a defensive mix up from Leeds allowed Calderdale to reduce the deficit to leave the half time score 3-1.
The second half lacked the pace of the first as both sides tired in the surprisingly warm September morning. Leeds’ front pairing of Wood and Preece continued to work tirelessly for the away side and the fourth Leeds goal arrived when Wood assisted Preece to make the game safe. Wood missed a chance to make it five when his penalty was saved, but with time running out, he added two late goals which brought his personal tally for the season to ten and six points out of six in the league. Final score Calderdale 1-6 Leeds. Next Saturday sees Leeds travel to Derby in a friendly, before welcoming the same side to Leeds the following week in the league.
U14 Friendly - Leeds v East Riding
A rainy morning gave way to some bright sunshine at Wetherby as Leeds took on East Riding in a precursor to the upcoming league campaign. Despite only having a bare eleven and being forced to play goalkeeper Leo Hurrell in midfield, Leeds started the game well, with lots of early pressure on the visitors. Chances came and went, with Brad Wood forcing a smart save from the East Riding goalkeeper, Jamie Preece firing just over and a snapshot from Leo Hurrell that flew wide.
Against the run of play, East Riding took the lead with a unmarked header from a corner. Would Leeds come to regret not making their early pressure count? East Riding hit the bar as Leeds were caught out on the break in their quest to find the leveller. The first half ended as it had started, with Leeds almost equalising, first through Preece and then Ryhez Johnston. 1-0 to East Riding at the break.
The second half would see Leeds goalie Jude Hows barely touch the ball as the home side put the visitors under constant pressure. Such pressure finally paid off when from a Leeds corner, Brad Wood swept home to level the scores. From then on there was only one side in it, with wave after wave of Leeds attack. With eight minutes left on the clock, Wood took his time with a stray ball and after steadying himself fired home to give the hosts a deserved lead. Leeds could have and perhaps should have scored more than the two they did, but on a day when seven squad members were missing, the boys can be more than proud of their efforts.
U14 Barnsley Tournament
Every new season brings fresh hopes and dreams and the same can be true of the Leeds Schools’ U14 side. A very wet start to the year saw the squad travel to Barnsley to participate in a 6 team tournament. Although missing a few squad players for different reasons, Mr Sweetman was quietly optimistic. The opening game (of 30 minutes) saw Leeds play Sheffield, who traditionally produce strong teams. Leeds dominated the first 15 minutes, but without really carving out a clear cut chance.
With new faces in the squad and having lost a few to pro clubs over the summer, it would take some time to gel as a new squad, but there were plenty of encouraging signs. Leeds took the lead with 4 minutes left to play when Jamie Preece met a knockdown with a sumptuous volley. However, with seconds remaining, a fortuitous free kick from the Sheffield goalkeeper caught the wind and after hitting the Leeds bar, ricocheted in the net off the back of the unfortunate Jude Hows. 1-1 in a game that Leeds could have won.
After a ten minute break, it was back to it with a game against Stockport. A switch in formation due to injury meant a front three including new face Ryhaz Johnson. In comparison to the first game, Leeds were slow to get started and Stockport took the lead after their forward bundled through the box and managed to get a shot away which trickled into the net. From then on though it was all Leeds, with the Stockport keeper making a number of smart saves. Leeds’ dominance eventually paid off when Brad Wood met a superb cross field ball from Ryhaz Johnson and finished well. Leeds pushed hard for a winner but again were left to rue missed chances as the game ended in a second 1-1 scoreline.
With two draws and four teams progressing to the semi finals, Leeds were to face Sheffield again. However, this match was no classic. Leeds were missing both Harley Dean and the creative Brad Wood, both having picked up injuries in the previous game. Neither side imposed themselves on what was a scrappy encounter, but Sheffield missed a chance to win it with a stoppage time penalty which was sent wide. So it was left to a shootout to decide who would make it through to the final, and despite Leeds captain Joe Bedford taking his penalty with aplomb, it was Sheffield who came out victorious.
All in all, a good run out for all the squad in preparation for the league campaign ahead. Definitely lots of pleasing signs for Mr Sweetman, who is sure that this squad can enjoy a successful season ahead.