THERE’S no crisis at Kirkburton.
That’s the claim made by secretary Ian Daffern after the West Riding County Amateur League club were unable to raise a side for their Premier Division derby against title-chasing Bay Athletic.
Daffern says he’s “deeply disappointed” at Burton’s failure to fulfil the fixture, but is confident it was a one-off and that top-flight survival can still be clinched under recently-appointed manager Paul Jenkinson.
The former Lower Hopton and Eccleshill United chief, whose third-bottom side are four points above the drop zone, faces a key clash with second-bottom Ardsley Celtic on Saturday week as well as derbies against Huddersfield rivals Bay, Golcar United and Meltham.
“It’s been a difficult season, but we’re optimistic that we’ll get through the closing weeks and then be able to regroup and plan for a better campaign under Paul next time,” added Daffern.
“Premier Division status was hard won and we don’t want to give it up.
“We had a number of last-minute hitches, and because we had no second-team game, those players had already made their own plans, so couldn’t de drafted in.”
Burton entered the County Amateur League in 2005 and won promotion from Division I under former Emley and Accrington Stanley player Dean Calcutt in 2008.
Calcutt stood down earlier this season, paving the way for the appointment of Jenkinson, who led his side to a vital 2-0 win at former club Hopton last Wednesday.
Burton weren’t the only top-flight side who failed to play, with fourth-bottom Brighouse unable to make their game at leaders Albion Sports.
The Bradford side have a 10-point lead over third-placed Bay, but have played five games more. Campion, held 3-3 by Golcar United, are in second spot, four points above Bay having played three more.
Storthes Hall, who were flirting with relegation earlier in the campaign, climbed to fourth by winning 3-0 at Ardsley Celtic while fifth-placed Marsden came a real cropper in their derby at Meltham, who won 9-1.
The Hall impressed on a hard surface and Jamie Miller (twice), Matt Mulvihill and Alex Slack came close before Andy Haigh forced home a 24th-minute opener after Mulvihill’s header was cleared off the line.
Ardsley’s keeper blocked Mulvihill’s effort early in the second half with his legs, then Haigh hit a post before Michael Tunnacliffe came close.
The second goal finally came in the 72nd minute when Haigh netted after a one-two with Mulvihill, who claimed his second and his side’s third four minutes later.
Tom Mathews was the scoring star for Meltham with five goals against Marsden. Adam Mathews, Ben Traynor, Chris Kaye and Lucas Lee got the others with the Colne Valley side’s consolation coming from Dave Conway.