Mediocre Albion Ladies aim to improve in 2017

MID-TABLE Ossett Albion return to action this week after their lengthy holiday lay-off.

They welcome second-placed Westella and Willerby in the North East Regional League Southern Division on Sunday.

This season’s competition has thrown up a strange-looking league table, with Farsley Celtic winning 10 games out of 10 at the top, which has given them a 10-point advantage over their closest rivals, Westella and Doncaster Belles. Below them nine points separate the next seven clubs.

Albion are handily placed but a defeat this week, and against bottom club Harrogate Railway next, would plunge them back into relegation trouble, so they will have to be focused and at their very best.

Things look ever more bleak for Ossett Town and Battyeford in the Premier Division of the West Riding County League. An 8-0 defeat for Battyeford, at the hands of fellow-strugglers Bradford Park Avenue, has left them bottom of the table, level on points with an Ossett side who were without a game.

On Sunday Battyeford have a difficult game at Hemsworth Miners Welfare, while Ossett Town, with only seven games to play and only one win so far this season, are aiming to beat visitors Brayton Belles in a bid to avoid the drop this year.

In the Second Division, Dewsbury Rangers, in joint third place with games in hand on Leeds City and Clifton Rangers above them, take on third-bottom Ossett Town Reserves knowing they desperately need to win to keep their promotion hopes alive. A win for Ossett is no less important as Crossley and Amaranth below them have games in hand.

Promotion and relegation issues in this division could be very tense in the final run-in, and the same applies to the third tier, where Lower Hopton were denied a great chance to go joint top after their game against lowly Durkar was postponed.

Meanwhile Middleton and Ripon City had to settle for a point in a top-of-the-table 3-3 draw.

This week third-placed Lower Hopton entertain fourth-placed Ilkley Town, needing another win to maintain their title challenge.

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