West Riding County FA: County Cup Final 2012/13 – FC Halifax Town v Guiseley AFC

Coral Windows Stadium, Valley Parade: Bradford City AFC

Tuesday 14 May 2013


The first winners of the County Cup were Leeds United Reserves in 1927 and apart from 1932 and the period from 1934 to 1949, it has been played for every season since. Goole AFC have won the trophy on most occasions with 13 wins, the first of which came in 1951 when they were known as Goole Town. Their last Cup win was in 2007 at Woodlesford (West Riding County FA Headquarters), when they beat Guiseley 3-1 with goals from Andy Parton and a brace from Duncan Bray.

In order to raise the profile of the competition, the Final has since 2011 been played at the home of Bradford City AFC and Guiseley have found this to their liking, after beating Thackley 4-2 (AET) in 2011 and Bradford Park Avenue 1-0 last year, at the home of The Bantams.

In terms of the 2012/13 competition, the round-by-round results have been as follows:


First Round

Armthorpe Welfare                    (1) – (4)        Barnoldswick Town

Farsley AFC                                  (1) – (4)         Albion Sports

Garforth Town                             (3) – (5)        Liversedge

Goole AFC                                     (1) – (0)        Pontefract Collieries

Knaresborough Town                 (3) – (2)        Brighouse Town

Ossett Albion                                (2) – (0)        Selby Town

Sildsen                                        Walkover        Askern Villa

Thackley                                        (1) – (2)         Tadcaster Albion

Wakefield                                      (1) – (5)         Ossett Town

Yorkshire Amateurs                    (2) – (5)         Harrogate Railway Athletic


Byes: Bradford Park Avenue, Eccleshill United, FC Halifax Town, Glasshoughton Welfare, Guiseley AFC and Harrogate Town.


Second Round

Albion Sports                                (3) – (0)        Glasshoughton Welfare

Guiseley AFC                                 (4) – (1)        Bradford Park Avenue

Harrogate Railway Athletic        (4) – (3)        Barnoldswick Town

Liversedge                                      (0) – (7)        FC Halifax Town

Ossett Albion                                 (0) – (1)        Harrogate Town

Ossett Town                                   (3) – (2)        Goole AFC

Silsden                                             (0) – (3)        Knaresborough Town

Tadcaster Albion                           (2) – (1)        Eccleshill United  [AET]


Quarter – Final

Albion Sports                               (0) – (2)        FC Halifax Town

Harrogate Railway Athletic       (3) – (2)        Tadcaster Albion

Harrogate Town                           (0) – (5)        Guiseley AFC

Ossett Town                                  (2) – (1)        Knaresborough Town [AET]


Semi- Final

Guiseley AFC                                 (5) – (0)        Harrogate Railway Athletic

Ossett Town                                   (0) – (1)        FC Halifax Town


playoffThe results meant that Guiseley made it to their third successive Final against fellow Blue Square Bet North opponents FC Halifax Town. During the season the two sides had met on four occasions. The first two meetings were the League encounters with both fixtures ending 1-1. As Guiseley finished second in the table and FC Halifax Town finished fifth the clubs faced each other in the Play-off Semi-Final. In the 1st Leg game at The Shay in front of a 2,367 crowd, Town went ahead with a penalty from Dan Gardner, only for Danny Ellis to equalise in the second-half to bring about a third successive 1-1 outcome between the teams. Something had to give in the 2nd Leg and it did as Town took the game with second-half goals from Alex Johnson and Lee Gregory to seal a 3-2 aggregate win. The teams were as follows:

Guiseley AFC – (1) Steve Drench, (2) Aaron Hardy, (3) Rhys Meynell, (4) Andy Pearson, (5) Danny Ellis, (6) Matt Wilson, (7) Jack Rea, (8) Andy Holdsworth, (9) Josh Wilson, (10) James Walshaw, (11) Gavin Rothery. Subs: (12) Mark Bower, (14) Jake Lawlor, (15) Seb Carole, (16) Phil Marsh, (18) Jacob Giles.

FC Halifax Town – (1) Matt Glennon, (2) Ryan Toulson, (4) Scott McManus, (4) Liam Hogan, (5) Matt Pearson, (6) Danny Lowe, (7) Liam Needham, (8) Sean Williams, (9) Alex Johnson, (10) Dan Gardner, (11) Lee Gregory Subs: (12) Phil Senior, (14) Jon Worthington, (15) Gareth Seddon, (16) James Bolton, (19) Adriano Moke.

Whilst there was huge disappointment for Guiseley, The Shaymen went on to seal promotion to the Blue Square Bet Conference Premier Division with a 1-0 win over Brackley Town. Now both sides had one last fixture at Bradford; for Halifax the chance to end the season with a ‘double’ celebration, whilst for Guiseley the opportunity to gain a consolation in terms of a third consecutive County Cup win.

For the Final the crowd was only admitted to the lower tier of the Co-operative Stand, so for the spectators it was an eerie scene looking out on the rest of the ground where the claret and amber seats were empty.  It was also hard to imagine that this was the same stadium where 28 years ago so many were tragically killed and injured in the Bradford fire, as all the old terraces and stands have since gone and been redeveloped. There is a feeling of lop-sidedness about the place now, as the main stand and Kop dwarf the Midland Road and TL Dallas stands, which was accentuated by the fact that these areas were empty for this game. Given that the season was at an end and the volume of games played on it, the pitch was in pretty good condition and certainly did not have any significant areas which were devoid of grass.

In the previous two Finals to be held at Valley Parade, the attendance had topped the 1,000 mark, but was on this occasion lower at 766. This may have been down to it coming just two days after Halifax gained promotion at Brackley and that it was a pretty chilly and damp evening. However, also part of the equation unfortunately, will be the fact that fans don’t see it as a priority and at the end of a long season, despite adult entry being only £7, people couldn’t be lured out. The reality is that all Cup competitions now suffer lower crowds which have hit the (Carling) League Cup and the FA Cup in recent years.

Whilst the fans may not have seen the Final as a being significant, it was a credit to both FC Halifax and Guiseley that they put out strong line-ups. Of the 32 players named in the Final, 22 (11 from each side) appeared in the 2nd Leg Play-off game at Guiseley. For the Final the teams were as follows:

FC Halifax Town: (1) Phil Senior, (2) James Bolton, (3) Jason St. Juste, (4) Ryan Toulson, (5) Matt Pearson, (6) Danny Lowe, (7) Adriano Moke, (8) Sean Williams, (9) Danny Glover, (10) Jon Worthington, (11) Gareth Seddon. Subs: (12) Matt Glennon, (14) Osebi Abadaki, (15) George Wysocki, (16) Josh Messer, (17) Alex Johnson

Guiseley AFC: (1) Steve Drench, (2) Andy Holdsworth, (3) Andy McWilliams, (4) Jack Rea, (5) Matt Wilson, (6) Mark Bower, (7) Seb Carole, (8) Gavin Rothery, (9) Josh Wilson, (10) James Walshaw, (11) Phil Marsh. Subs: (12) Wayne Brooksby, (14) Macaulay Parkinson, (15) Zack Dale, (16) Jacob Giles, (17) Luke Porritt.

004While the team lined up to be presented to the guest of honour, the Town fans made themselves heard with a chorus of “…Stand-up if you’re going up…”, just to make sure their opponents hadn’t forgotten the events of the last few days. Guiseley kicked off and had the better of the opening couple of minutes in terms of possession. However, it was Halifax who had the first attempt on goal of the game, when Gareth Seddon had a volley comfortably saved by Steve Drench. Encouraged by this Town started to dominate proceedings, with Glover prominent down the middle for The Shaymen and Moke getting wide. With nine minutes gone Halifax won the first corner of the game after a Seddon shot was deflected away. From the corner and play that switched across field, Seddon blazed the resulting effort over the bar. Halifax were growing in confidence and on twelve minutes, Adriano Moke collected the ball out wide on the left, cut in and curled his effort onto the bar. Guiseley struggled to get any foot-hold in the opening fifteen minutes, with their attacks limited to long balls forward which were often over-hit. However, on seventeen minutes The Lions at last fashioned a decent chance, as a shot from Seb Carole was parried but gathered at the second attempt by Town keeper Senior. This seemed to settle Guiseley as they had their best spell since the opening minutes of the game. However, Halifax stormed back and on nineteen minutes an excellent position from a free-kick was spurned by the taker Williams. Just three minutes later an ever better chance went begging when Seddon miskicked when well placed in the six-yard box. When Guiseley did get possession, they were unable to capitalise as they continued to give it away too easily. However, on the half-hour mark, The Lions had a shout for a penalty, as a shot from Josh Wilson struck Town defender Bolton who was on the ground; the referee rightly turned down the appeal. Halifax upped the tempo as in the space of five minutes they worked the flanks well to create good crossing opportunities, the first of which was well intercepted by Steve Drench and the other too long for the intended target Seddon. With ten minutes to go Guiseley created their best chance of the first-half as good work by Marsh released Walshaw who wastefully lashed the chance over the bar. It was certainly not a case of the half petering out quietly, as with thirty eight minutes on the clock, Town’s Seddon provided a knockdown for Moke which was drilled wide and then was quickly followed by a free-kick opportunity which was unfortunately wasted by St. Juste. Then with a minute to the break, Seddon disposed Guiseley keeper Drench, rounded him but saw his effort rebound back of the post, with nobody able to apply a finishing touch. It was by far the best chance of the half; in a forty five minutes which Halifax had created the better openings.

005Guiseley made a substitution at the start of the second-half with Phil Marsh replaced by Wayne Brooksby. Halifax kicked off and were immediately on the attack through Gareth Seddon, but his cross came to nothing. This was typical of the play in the opening five minutes as neither team settled into any sort of rhythm. However, on fifty one minutes the first corner of the second period was won by Guiseley; Gavin Rothery took it but the opportunity was wasted as it cleared the box and went straight out. Town responded immediately as after good work by Jason St. Juste out wide, Seddon had a shot on goal which was deflected for a corner. Moke took the kick, but the header from Bolton was off target. It was a good little spell for Halifax as they played on the break and created shooting opportunities for Sean Williams and Adriano Moke. As the game started to open-up, Guiseley countered with a period of pressure themselves, as James Walshaw had a shot from inside the box deflected for a corner. However, as with earlier in the half, a poor delivery meant the chance was wasted. With the game approaching the hour mark, The Lions kept up the pressure with an effort from Gavin Rothery, but it was straight at the keeper and easily gathered. Back came Town with two chances in a minute, but the efforts from Worthington and Seddon were comfortably dealt with by Drench in the Guiseley goal. On sixty six minutes, The Shaymen made their first substitution of the night as Danny Glover was replaced by Alex Johnson. Town continued to press and Moke created a shooting chance for St. Juste, but the effort drifted wide. On seventy minutes Town were forced into a second change, as the injured Worthington was replaced by Josh Messer and Guiseley also made a change with James Walshaw taken off (much to the delight of the Halifax faithful), with Zack Dale coming on. The substitutions and the persistent rain seemed to have a dampening effect on the game, with the play decidedly disjointed and even the hard-core fans of both sides reduced to barely a murmur. The gloom was broken by jeers from the Town fans when on seventy four minutes a free-kick taken by Guiseley’s Rothery saw the player slip over and end up on his backside. A couple of minutes later Halifax had an excellent chance to take the lead when substitute Messer found himself one-on-one with Guiseley keeper Drench, but the shot lacked strength and was easily gathered. Indeed as the game entered the last ten minutes it was The Shaymen who looked more likely to grab a winner with Moke a constant threat and shooting chances for Seddon, Williams and St. Juste. Guiseley struggled to get any possession in the closing period, but had a chance two minutes from time with a free-kick in a good position. However, the effort from Josh Wilson was high and wide and extra-time loomed ever closer. As the game went into the final minute of normal time, Town’s Moke provided another shooting chance for Sean Williams, but the effort was blocked. With the ninety minutes up, there were two minutes of time added-on for the teams to break the deadlock and once again Moke created the opportunity for The Shaymen after good work by him resulted in a corner. Jason St. Juste took the kick, but substitute Alex Johnson could only glance the header wide and so it was extra-time.

With the rain continuing to fall, Halifax started the first period the better of the teams, getting forward and maintaining possession. Five minutes in, Town appealed for a penalty when Matt Pearson went down after a challenge by Jack Rea, but the referee quickly turned it down. A couple of minutes later Guiseley had their first chance in extra-time, however, Josh Wilson pulled his shot wide. That was a rare moment of pressure from The Lions as Halifax continued to hold the upper hand and with the game entering the hundredth minute, the dangerous Moke got wide and crossed invitingly into the box. Despite having space, Alex Johnson could only head wide. Guiseley then made their last substitution with Jack Rea making way for Macaulay Parkinson. The rain was making conditions difficult and both sides hit a scrappy spell. Just when it looked like the game was going to remain goal-less at the end of the first period of extra-time, The Shaymen struck. Alex Johnson played a through ball to Gareth Seddon who collected it and from just inside the box, beautifully curled his shot into the top corner; a moment of quality which gave Halifax a 1-0 lead.

In the second period, with Guiseley in need of an equaliser, Seb Carole prompted The Lions search, but the Halifax defence held firm. However, for all their pressure and domination of the opening ten minutes of the half, Guiseley couldn’t turn their possession into actual chances. As the clock showed there were just five minutes to go, Halifax dug deep into their reserves and mounted some pressure of their own. First Alex Johnson was released on goal, but was flagged off-side and a couple of minutes later, Seddon had a long-range effort charged down. The Lions weren’t done though and with three minutes to go, Halifax just about cleared a corner from Guiseley. The final minutes proved to be nervous for Town as Guiseley continued to press with even keeper Steve Drench going forward. However, it was not to be for the team from Nethermoor and at the whistle it was Halifax who celebrated.

For Town it was the second occasion they have lifted the West Riding FA County Cup, whilst for Guiseley there was no third successive win. Both sides now look forward to the summer break. When the 2013/14 season kicks-off, The Shaymen will be just one promotion away from a return to the Football League. For The Lions, they will look to regroup and see if they can make it out of the Conference North after the Play-off defeats of the last two seasons. But for now, goodbye to the 2012/13 season…

Book Review: Bradford City AFC – A Season Re-visited 1969/70 by Raymond C. Maule

The first thing to say about this book relates to the cover, where the phrase “…less is more…” rings true. The classically all white cover is interrupted only by claret and amber bands (depicting the Bradford City colours), details of the books title and a team picture from the 1969/70 season. On the reverse, a brief synopsis of the publication sits below two programme covers from the season and a view of the Valley Parade ground. The final detail relates to the fact that proceeds from the book are in Aid of the Bradford Cardiac Unit.

Once inside the book, the author explains in the “Dedication” and “Acknowledgement” the reason for this publication and how it came to fruition. “…The seed of an idea for this book was planted while recovering on a cardiac ward in a Bradford hospital. I decided that I wanted to say thank you in a more tangible form, to those who nursed me through a difficult time, and hopefully give something back in return…”

In the “Introduction” the reader is given a brief review of the 1969/70 season in terms of the White Rose County and its clubs and some snippets of what was happening in England at the time. The listing of the television viewing schedule from Christmas Day 1969 makes very interesting reading indeed!

So to the main body of the book, which is a diary based format of the 1969/70 season. The source of the information is match reports from the Yorkshire Post and the local papers of the Bantams opposition. The focus is on the City first team, although there are brief details about the reserves and other games that have a West Yorkshire interest. In addition to the match reports there are “Notes from the day” which include a round-up of the other fixtures in Division Three on that day and or more details and observations about the game Bradford were involved in. The reader will notice that the journalistic style is somewhat different to that of the sound-bite manner of today. The one-word headline to introduce a new paragraph is a format that has long since disappeared from sports reporting. For much of the season the Bantams were in and around the promotion spots, but no wins from their final eight games, left Bradford in tenth place. In the League Cup and FA Cup, City had decent runs, including a win at Roker Park against Sunderland, who just four years later won the FA Cup. The book closes with a “Who’s who of Bradford City’s personnel 1969/70” providing a useful summary of some of the key personalities from that season.

From a personal perspective I would have liked to have seen more match action pictures or programme covers to supplement the text. However, the lack of photographs from the respective fixtures may be down to the fact (as the author explains), “…many newspapers have disposed of their photographic archives and rely on scans taken from hard copy…”

It is a book that can be picked and put down and acts as a point of reference. It was interesting for instance to see three managers detailed in their playing days, those being Ian Branfoot (for Doncaster Rovers), Graham Taylor (for Lincoln City) and Neil Warnock (for Rotherham United). There are also various other gems in this book and a couple of my favourites are as follows:

Friday 23 January 1970

Mr John Parker, Labour MP, for Dagenham began an attempt at modifying the “Sunday Observance Laws” and so legalise the charging of admission prices at fixtures played on Sunday’s. It was an idea being closely watched by sporting bodies throughout the country, especially football being the biggest money-spinning sport.

The idea is said to have government approval and if all goes well by this time next year Football League clubs may well be playing League and Cup fixtures on a regular basis on Sundays.

In fact it was another four years before football was played on a Sunday, when on January 6th 1974 four FA Cup Third Round fixtures were played, the first being Cambridge United v Oldham Athletic which kicked off in the morning.

Later in April 1970 the following is an extract from the match report for the Walsall v Bradford City fixture:

Bradford goalkeeper, John Roberts was struck in the back by a full large-sized tin of soup (tomato flavour!) thrown from behind his goal just after the restart.

Whilst it may seem comical to read, it should be remembered that hooliganism was very much on the rise during this period and that there are a number of reports in the book which highlight trouble on the terraces and from fans travelling to and from games.

As a book I believe that it will appeal to City fans old and new, fans of other clubs who played against Bradford that season and indeed anyone who wants an insight into that period in English football. Share in Bradford City’s up and down return to Division Three, the glory of the Cup runs and revisit football and an England as the swinging sixties gave way to the seventies.


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Book Review: Glorious 1911 and Bradford City’s Golden Age 1908-1915 by David Pendleton

This labour of love from David Pendleton was written to commemorate the centenary of Bradford City’s FA Cup triumph in 1911 and compliment the exhibition, When the FA Cup Came Home, which ran at the Bradford Industrial Museum from 19 March – 12 June 2011.

The first thing to say about this publication is that this 104 page hardback book is wonderfully researched and illustrated and is a credit to all the writers involved – David Pendleton, David Markham and John Dewhirst. History can be a pretty dry subject, but the use of team pictures, match action and player portraits help to enliven the details of Bradford City’s Golden Age.

In format terms, the book flows chronologically from City’s entry to the Football League in 1903, through season by season chapters from, A First Great Escape: 1908/09 to The Beginning of the Fall: 1914/15. As the title of the book suggests the focus of this publication is the FA Cup triumph in 1911 which is dealt with in Chapter 3 – Glorious 1911: 1910/11.

There are some real gems throughout the book. The first, explains the current exhibition title (When the FA Cup Came Home), as it details how in 1910 the FA required a new design for the FA Cup trophy, as the previous cup,

“…was being retired and being presented to Lord Kinnaird in recognition of his services to the sport. The Bradford jewellers Fattorini’s submitted the winning design. However whilst the new trophy was designed in Bradford a shortage of skilled silversmiths meant the manufacturing of the trophy was sub-contracted to a Sheffield firm…”.

Secondly, there is the player profile of Richard “Dickie” Bond in the Chapter – The Cup Winners, who is described as “…one of City’s greatest, albeit most controversial, players…”. We might think that players’ misdemeanours are confined to the era of modern day players. However, Bond missed out on playing in the 1911 FA Cup Final “…following a suspension after using ‘improper language’ to the crowd at Arsenal…”. His suspension caused him to miss the Quarter and Semi-Finals and despite regaining his place in the League team he was just a travelling reserve for the Final. It wasn’t Bond’s first indiscretion at the club, as he was also. “…suspended following a ‘wild night out’ in Otley during December 1910 (with fellow players) Jimmy McDonald and Robert Campbell…”. Bond later joined the Bradford Pals in the First World War and after returned to City before transferring to Blackburn Rovers in 1922.

There is an honesty about this book which is evident in the Conclusion, as Pendleton acknowledges that Bradford City’s history has been a chequered one and he ponders what might have been if in the early days that City and rivals Park Avenue has joined forces to create one club in Bradford. The book highlights that prior to the First World War, City were a leading light in the (old) First Division and that with the 1911 FA Cup win this was indeed the clubs Golden Age.

Fellow writer David Markham wraps up the book with Postscript – More pain that glory, which summarises events at Bradford City from 1915-2011 to the point at which Peter Taylor was appointed.

This book is essentially aimed at Bradford City fans and will provide so much about the clubs early years and of course the FA Cup win. However, I do believe it has a wider appeal and not just to football fans in general, as the book provides a glimpse into Edwardian life – football and social history and the impact of the First World War. This is a celebratory book about Bradford City’s finest hour, but does so with a pride that is balanced by the history of more downs and ups over its 108 year history.

Book details

Glorious 1911 and Bradford City’s Golden Age 1908-1915

David Pendleton

Bantamsport Publication

ISBN: 9780956698407

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