Liversedge gear up for tough tests

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LIVERSEDGE FC are gearing up for a gruelling festive period against two of the leading sides in the Northern Counties East League Premier Division.

The Clayborners are due to entertain Staveley MW tomorrow and after making the short trip to Brighouse Town on Boxing Day, Eric Gilchrist’s men face a return trip to Staveley on January 29.

Staveley lie fourth in the table but are not the force they were last season when The Welfare reached the FA Vase semi-finals, before losing a two-legged tie to Dunston.

They are on something of an indifferent run having won two, drawn one and lost one of their last four matches and Liversedge will be looking to cash in on home advantage tomorrow.

While Sedge were losing 2-1 away to lowly Armthorpe last Saturday, when they conceded two late goals following the sending off of Chris Hirst, the Reserves were defeating Harrogate Railway 4-2 in the Lancashire Reserve League.

However, both teams had originally been reluctant to play the game in wet conditions and the Clyaborn pitch cut up further during the game.

Liversedge Under-19s saw their Northern Youth Alliance League Pat Rice Cup tie against Yorkshire Amateurs postponed for a sixth time on Tuesday.

The club are hoping the decision to call off that game will help the pitch recover in time for tomorrow’s clash against Staveley, which will be the final first team game of 2012 at Clayborn.

There is a quick turnaround for the players, who make the short trip to third placed Brighouse on Boxing Day.

James Rothell’s 23rd minute goal had looked to have put Liversedge on course victory at Armthorpe until Steven Garner equalised with an 80th minute penalty after Hirst was sent off for a second bookable offence and Richard Smith then bagged a last minute winner.

After the three games over the festive period, Sedge will have just 16 more games to play and will look to climb the Premier table.