Old Boys manager Phil Garbe is likely to rest a number of players as his side wrap up their West Yorkshire League campaign at rock-bottom Pool on Saturday.
Garbe is aware that his players have endured a punishing schedule and wants them to be fresh for next Tuesday night’s Albert Crabtree Halifax and District League Cup Final against Calder ’76. at the Shay (7.30).
The game was originally booked for The Shay but then switched to Brighouse Town’s Dual Seal Stadium.
However, the game has now been switched back to its original venue.
“On Saturday we’re away to bottom of the table Pool, but with little to play for now in the league I’ll probably rest some of the players,” said Garbe, who saw his side draw 1-1 with Ripon City last weekend.
Garbe was very pleased with the performance against Ripon and although he says they were still not at their best, the players could count themselves unlucky not to take away all three points.
“It was good to have Damian Place back in the squad. His experience and calming influence certainly rubs off on the other players,” said Garbe.
“We met top of the league Bardsey last night (Wednesday) who we beat at home earlier in the season, but we went into the game without keeper Jason Hibbert, defenders Andy Hall and Luke Johnson, midfielder Place and forward Lee Burgess, all through work commitments.
“I’ve also got Rob Kenny struggling again with a recurrent hamstring problem. However, I’m confident we’ll have put in another good performance and will hope they are available for the final.”
Place, starting his first game for the Old Boys first team after an injury lay-off, seemed to provide the inspiration that has been lacking recently.
On the 20 minute mark a superb through ball from the back by Andy Hall released Rob Kenny, who had beaten the Ripon offside trap, to take the ball on and slot it past the ‘keeper.
Shortly afterwards Matty Roy then took the ball past three Ripon defenders but his powerful shot went wide.
Ripon were much improved in the second half, but the Old Boys continued to look likely to increase their lead. However, with 20 minutes left centre back Andy Hall was adjudged to have handled and from the resulting free kick the ball took a massive deflection off the wall and looped into the opposite top corner of the net.
Old Boys continued to look the more dangerous and could have won it near the end when Lee Burgess’ powerful shot just scraped the top of the bar.
The reserves are at home to Wetherby Athletic this Saturday (2.30) and the Huddersfield League team have now finished their season.