CLEE Hill United manager Wayne Whitbread will be hoping his charges benefit from a day at the races this weekend, after being knocked out of the HFA Charity Bowl.

United dominated the first half to lead 3-1 at the break on Saturday, with Whitbread adding, his side 'should have been, probably, a couple more goals in front'.

But with a Craig Breakwell brace and a goal from James Clifford having put the hosts in the driving seat, United failed to resurface after the break, and allowed Herefordshire County FA Saturday Premier leaders Wellington Reserves to hit three without reply and turn the cup tie on its head.

“We didn’t come out, second half,” said the Clee Hill boss, “and conceded three very sloppy goals, through individual mistakes. We couldn’t get ourselves going at all somehow. We didn’t show at all.”

There is no chance for Whitbread’s players to bounce back this weekend as the league newcomers have been granted a Saturday off so the players can make their annual trip to Cheltenham racecourse.

The flexibility shown by the league, says the Clee Hill manager, is one of the reasons the club is so happy with the move over from the Shropshire County League last season.

“It’s well run and they couldn’t be more helpful,” said the United manager, “we’re very happy in this league and have been impressed with the other teams and facilities.”

A lack of spectator and referee toilets at Clee Hill’s Knowle Sports Playing Fields base meant a step up to the West Midlands Regional League was not an option after 15 years in the Shropshire competition, and Whitbread said there are no plans to go up even if Clee Hill win the title this season.

“We’re very happy where we are,” reiterated the United manager, whose side sit second, five points behind Wellington but with two games in hand – although that gap may have stretched to 11 points and four games by the time Clee Hill return to action, at home to struggling Tenbury Town a week on Saturday.

In Division One, promotion-chasing Ludlow Town Colts were left kicking their heels at the weekend, as planned visitors Belmont Wanderers were unable to raise a team.

The visitors have suffered a three-point penalty and been fined £20 and the fixture will have to be rearranged.

Colts will be hoping their opponents are more successful at rounding up players this weekend, as they are due to play the reverse fixture at Belmont on Saturday, and will be keen to get the match staged as victory could take them top, depending on how leaders Hinton Reserves get on at Bartestree Reserves.

Orleton climbed the table with a 3-1 win at Hereford City but can expect a tougher challenge this weekend, when they visit a third-placed Wellington Colts team who could go top with victory.

In Division Two, Orleton Reserves recorded a 2-2 draw at Malvern Vale at the weekend, and will host Ross Junior Reserves on Saturday.