ROBBIE FIELD will be wary of Meltham’s desire for revenge when he sends his Storthes Hall side into big-match action at the Galpharm Stadium on Monday (7.00).
Huddersfield’s West Riding County Amateur League rivals are ready to fight it out for the District FA Challenge Cup.
Long-serving boss Field would love to get his hands on some more silverware, and after a 3-0 league victory over Meltham earlier in the season he knows his men have the measure of their opponents.
But he’s also acutely aware of Meltham’s attributes – underlined by their progress to the West Riding FA Challenge Cup final as well as the Huddersfield showpiece – plus their desire to prove that previous result was a blip.
Ahead of today’s matches, Meltham were fourth to Storthes Hall’s eighth in a County Amateur Premier League table topped by another Huddersfield club, Bay Athletic.
And Field, whose side must go to Meltham for the return league fixture next month, accepted: “Their league position shows that when they play to their capabilities, they’re a good side.
“We played particularly well against them, and they had a bit of an off day, and losing to us will give them even more incentive, so we’ll have to be ready.”
Field also believes that had his side not suffered from so many injuries this time, they would be higher up the standings, and success in Huddersfield local football’s premier knockout competition would be much prized.
The Hall boast former UniBond League players in Jamie Miller and Mike Jefferson, who were both at Mossley, and have a rising talent in Oliver Taylor.
The centre-back skippers the Greenhead College side also coached by Field as well as the West Riding FA and West Yorkshire Schools’ Under 18 representative teams.
Field, meanwhile, is well aware of the ability of Meltham frontman Tom Matthews, a former Greenhead student.
“He’s a great lad and a very good player, and one who would be more than capable of playing at a higher level,” he noted.
“The fact he has stayed with Meltham, shows what a good spirit they have there.”
Matthews is this season’s 30-goal top scorer for Meltham, whose second team won the Barlow Cup by beating Heywood Irish Centre 2-1 at the Galpharm on Wednesday.
Mark Rowlands, who scored the winner, has been named in the Meltham squad for the Challenge Cup final, one of five the club have reached this season (Bay are the opponents in the County Amateur League Premier Division Cup final on Monday, May 4, while the thirds are through to the District FA Challenge Trophy final on Friday after beating Netherton 6-0 in the semis.
Meltham are capably led by experienced former Emley player Paul Hutson, their player-manager and captain who operates in central midfield.
Much of the service to Matthews, who has netted seven goals in the Challenge Cup so far (Meltham have netted 30 goals in five ties all told), comes from brother Adam and fellow wideman George Dawson.
The team also have a solid central defence partnership of Sam Wardill and Tom Shaw, in front of superb shot stopper in Adam Lawlor.
Storthes Hall: Lee Pollard, Mike Jefferson, Richard Bray, Lee Mozley, Dion Smith, Oliver Taylor, Rob Morris, Andrew Haigh, Chris Drew, Michael Tunnacliffe, Liam Coughlan, Matt Mulvihill, Jamie Miller, Jason Battye, Chris Margis, Alex Slack, Levi Maturine, James Roberts.
Meltham: Adam Lawlor, Paul Waddington, Chris Kaye, Tom Shaw, Sam Wardill, Adam Matthews, Paul Hutson, Ben Traynor, Tom Matthews, Jonathan Newiss, George Dawson, Domonic Blain, Sam Phillpot, Mark Rowlands, Michael Foster, Murray Hill. Managers: Chris Brammall, Paul Hutson. Coach: Gareth Walker. Physio: Rachael Lawrance.
Referee: Paul Wilkinson. Assistants: Ian Mellor, Ian Daffern.