West Yorkshire League: Ripon city manager ‘convinced’ of safety

NARG 150117AM1 Boroughbridge V Ripon City. Boroughbridge's Barry Price and Ripon City Bev Regan.  (150117AM1)
NARG 150117AM1 Boroughbridge V Ripon City. Boroughbridge's Barry Price and Ripon City Bev Regan. (150117AM1)

Ripon City manager Steve Donoghue said he remains ‘convinced’ his side will avoid relegation after drawing 2-2 with Bardsey on Saturday.

Bardsey ran out comfortable 7-2 winners when the sides last met in September but Ripon, now managed by Donoghue, gave a much better account of themselves in this reverse fixture.

Goals in either half through Duncan Terry and Luca Crompton looked to have given Donoghue his first win since November with 10 minutes remaining.

However, despite being one player light after having a man sent off, Bardsey rallied and responded with two late goals to leave Ripon nine points from safety.

Donoghue admitted that his side were naive to chase a third goal in the game but took positives that his side had climed off the bottom of the table.

He said: “We should have run down the clock but you can’t take anything away from Bardsey, they really did fight back but we have now got off the bottom of the table.

“When we went into the changing room it seemed like a defeat but, when people reflected on it, it’s not as bad as it seems in terms of the performance.

“They could see we deserved a draw and I can’t see us losing another game now. We have to make sure against Brighouse and East End Park that we pick up full points.”

While Boroughbridge’s 2-1 defeat at home to Brighouse on Saturday allowed Donoghue’s side to leap-frog them, the result widened the gap between Ripon and safety.

Donoghue is now hoping to capitalise on a run of home games for his side but said that he needs to be able to pick his strongest starting 11 if they are to survive.

He said: “I had two people drop out between half 10 and 11. Both of them have played about two or three games for me so far but they came down with an illness.

“I’m happy now with how we are progressing but we need players on the bench to change the game at the crucial moment in the second half. If I have got those subs then we can get them on at the right time.

“If I had our best team out then we would be winning these games. If I could guarentee we had those players a week on saturday I would be very confident against Horbury.

“It was a little bit disappointing to see the Brighouse result. The best case scenario would have been a draw but the worst case was them having a big win.

“I think we will do just about do enough to go above East End Park and reach Brighouse but we are relying on other teams beating them.

“We have to make sure we go out there, play like we can and we will pick up points.”