Ex-York City star to help Wetherby Athletic bid

Jon Maloney
Jon Maloney

Wetherby Athletic have penned Harrogate Railway captain Jon Maloney as emergency cover for their relegation scrap.

The ex-York City man has signed on dual registration terms and will be available for Hunslet Club’s visit on Saturday.

Athletic missed an opportunity to claw back to their nearest rivals on Saturday, as a last minute Whitkirk Wanderers goal denied them victory.

The Tangerines led 2-1 into injury-time after goals from Jed Vale (penalty) and Danny Coates, but a deflected leveller for 10-man Whitkirk sneaked into the corner in added time.

The hosts were reduced when their ‘keeper brought down Vale for the second-half penalty.

The 2-2 draw meant Athetic’s long wait for a league victory extended to ten league matches, but ended their nine-match losing streak in West Yorkshire Premier.

The Ingsmen welcome Hunslet on Saturday, a team they beat 4-1 in September.

While time is running out for Athletic’s drop battle, boss Mark Forster still believes his side can drag themselves out of the relegation mire.

He said: “We do find ourselves in a pretty precarious position.

“I am confident we are good enough individually, and collectively. We have good players.”

“Unfortunately, confidence is massive and it’s a long time since we last won.

The players have been terrific, always giving 100 per cent, but we are just not getting what we deserve.”

Joe Barden and Josh Buckley will return for Athletic on Saturday.

Forster confirmed he was hoping to secure the services of two more players to add to Maloney’s entrance. Maloney works alongside Athletic’s chairman Angus Taylor, and Forster believes the link could be crucial to his side’s hopes.

The boss added: “John will have a massive influence.

“He’s a great footballer but because he’s a captain, he’s also a leader on the field.

“There’s a limit to what you can do on the side on a windy day, we need his experience.”

“We had five teenagers playing on Saturday.

“Maybe we have shown a little bit of naïvety this season.

“We don’t have that 28-year-old centre-forward to get us goals. Instead, we have 18 or 19-year-old lads.”

Meanwhile, runaway leaders Bardsey were again without action after their clash at Boroughbridge was postponed.

Lee Barraclough’s men host East End Park on Saturday.