THACKLEY manager Pat McGuire has lavished praise on teenage talent Asa Mitchell, who netted an extraordinary five-minute hat-trick in midweek against Campion in the West Riding County Cup Second Round.

He admitted there is a lot of competition for places in the Dennyboys' attack, but joked that Mitchell has probably secured a spot in the line up for tomorrow's tricky trip to Garforth Town in the Toolstation Northern Counties East League Premier Division after his cup heroics.

Mitchell ended up with four in the 6-1 win over Campion, and McGuire said: "He's still young and there's so much quality and potential there.

"We'll be aiming to get him playing at a higher level.

"We took him from Farsley (Celtic's) Under-17s last year on the recommendation of one of our players and he did well.

"Because of that, they called him back, but with them now promoted to the step above (National League North), he needed to be playing regularly again.

"His performance against Campion wasn't a huge shock because in training he regularly smashes the net to pieces. He's got quite the strike on him.

"He's shown glimpses of it in matches too. He got a fantastic goal against Penistone Church the other week.

He laughed: "In general, there's fierce competition for places with our strikers, but with Asa producing four goals the other night, he's probably earned a start at Garforth."

Garforth had a dreadful run in September and October, picking up just one point in five league games, but they are back on track now, having won four of their last five.

McGuire is unsurprised that they have turned things round, saying: "Getting a new manager in Paul Marshall has breathed new life into what is already a good squad.

"I really like Sam Barker, who they've picked up from Harrogate Railway Athletic, and I've played alongside him for Yorkshire. They've also got Mark Simpson, who'll always score you 20 plus goals a season.

"But we're pretty much neck and neck in the league (Garforth are eighth and Thackley are ninth), so hopefully we can get a positive result here, after a gutsy win at Maltby Main last week.

"Our next few league games are against teams around us so we want to win those to stay with the top pack. Then you've got that defining period around Christmas, where teams either tend to push on or fall away."

Those games could see some rare starts for Owen Murphy and Australian Seb Scaroni, who both impressed McGuire in the cup win over Campion.

Despite the victory, McGuire admitted the competition was not a priority, explaining: "The FA Cup and the FA Vase are huge financially (compared to the County Cup) and it comes at not a great time of the year, when the pitches are starting to get heavy.

"It was good to give people who needed it game time though and I was pleased with the likes of Owen Murphy and Seb Scaroni.

"Personally, I believe everyone in my squad is a (capable) starter."


National League North

Bradford (Park Avenue) v Leamington

Farsley Celtic v Boston United

BetVictor Northern Premier League North West Division

Brighouse Town v Trafford

Toolstation Northern Counties East League Premier Division

Garforth Town v Thackley

Goole AFC v Albion Sports

Liversedge v Staveley Miners Welfare

Silsden v Eccleshill United

Division One

Parkgate v Campion

North West Counties League Division One North

Steeton v Emley AFC