Grassroots football ready to resume in Wakefield Sunday League
Football is set to resume in the Wakefield & District Sunday League, but the 2020-21 season has been declared null and void as the stop-start caused by lockdowns saw only a third of fixtures completed.
With only a limited number of fixture dates available, a decision was made to cancel the matches that remain in the current season.
But within the remaining window period, the league has introduced some structured football in the form of an inter-league group competition after grassroots football was given the go-ahead again and a majority of teams in the Sunday League indicated they wanted to get back playing.
The two top tiers of the league are forming three groups while the lower two tiers replicate the format in three more groups.
The first set of fixtures start this Sunday, giving teams a minimum of five matches with all of them being played on consecutive Sundays.
The teams who make up the new groups are:
Group One: AFC Ackworth, AFC Chickenley, Frickley Colliery, Nostell MW, Ryhill FC, Travellers Stanley, Whitwood Metrostars.
Group Two: AFC Viaduct, Fryston AFC, Kirklands FC, Peacock FC, Shepherds Arms, Wakefield Athletic.
Group Three: FC Rothwell, Horse & Jockey, Pontefract Sports & Social, Rock Inn, Stanley United, Wrenthorpe Rangers.
Group Four: Brierley FC, College FC, Great Preston FC, Kirklands Reserves, Shelley FC, Travellers Stanley Reserves.
Group Five: Chequerfield, Crown Scissett, Hemsworth MW, Navigation Tavern, Wakefield Athletic A, Westgate Common WMC.
Group Six: Dewsbury Rangers, Glasshoughton Rangers, King George, St Ignatius, Wakefield Athletic B, West End Terriers.
Wakefield Athletic’s three sides returned to the football pitch for their first games in four months when they used the Easter Sunday break to pick-up some valuable matchday fitness with three post-lockdown friendlies.
The first team lost 6-3 to Westgate Wellington.
They recovered from a 3-0 deficit at half-time to haul themselves level at 3-3 with goals from Ray Cheng, Danny Young and Mamadou Touray. However, fatigue proved costly as the Athletic outfit went on to concede three goals in the last five minutes to complete a disappointing re-start to their football.
Wakefield Athletic A were held to a 1-1 draw against College FC.
Kabir Bashir gave Athletic the lead before Dan Hayward equalised on the half-hour. However, the scorer suffered a freak injury (fractured fibular of his leg) sustained following sliding on his knees in celebration of the equaliser. An ambulance was called and the player was taken to A&E where he required a metal plate inserted.
Wakefield Athletic B went down 4-0 against a strong footballing Navigation Tavern side.
This Sunday the three Wakefield Athletic sides play AFC Viaduct (away), Crown Scissett FC (home) and St Ignatius FC (home) respectively in their group games.