Athersley Recreation have made an impressive start in their quest to become the highest-placed non-league team in Barnsley.
Rec were accepted into the Northern Counties East League this year and have moved up to second in the fledging table with two comfortable wins over the Bank Holiday weekend.
The first was a 3-0 defeat of local rivals Worsbrough Bridge in front of a decent crowd of 302 – the highest Division One attendance of the season. Athersley then beat Appleby Frodingham 4-1 on Monday to put themselves one point behind leaders Clipstone Welfare with 12 points from five games.
Worsbrough followed up their derby defeat with a 1-0 loss at Bottesford Town and are now in 18th place with three points from four games.
Athersley dominated the fesity local derby on Saturday and should have taken a first half lead but Jason Bentley blazed a penalty over the bar after Richard Green was fouled in the box.
Worsbrough started without the influential Adam Podmore and Liam Tinsley then lost Danny Cawley with an ankle injury on 30 minutes. They struggled against the pumped-up hosts and conceded three second half goals.
Scott Alcock headed in the first from a free-kick before former Bridge player Craig Wilkinson tapped in the second. Athersley rounded off the win in injury time when they were awarded a controversial second penalty and Bentley made amends for his earlier miss.
Two days later Rec stormed into a 4-0 lead after 38 minutes at home to Appleby Frodingham.Darren Shirt, Wilkinson, Jack Briscoe and Jamie Sutton netted before Rec’s Tom Harban put through his own net late on.