York school boys u12 played host to Barnsley in the semi-final of the Michael dale trophy. The semi-final was the third time the two teams had met this season with the spoils been shared and Barnsley inflicting Yorks only defeat of the season up to present.
From the first whistle both teams looked to take control of the game with a fast tempo and crunching tackles with both midfields having to battle just to get a foot hold in the game.
Yorks first chance fell to Elliot Heath with a shot from the edge of the box that had the away keeper scurrying across the goal only to see the ball go wide.
This was a proper semi-final with no one giving an inch, every attack been fought for and earned the game was not for the purist or faint hearted.
The home sides defense of Tingle, Meehan and Turbine were kept busy without been stretched and with twenty minutes gone neither side had really created any clear cut chances with the home side probably having just the better of the encounter at this point, as York looked like they were getting on top, Barnsley had their best spell of the game and could have taken the lead when the away sides striker was put clean through on goal, Todd Edgar the minster men’s keeper was off his line to make a point blank save to keep his team level.
Five minutes later from a free kick wide on the Barnsley left the away side had the ball in the back of the minster men’s net only for the referee to cancel out the goal for a deliberate hand ball which can only be described as a superman punch which any prize fighter would have been proud of.
Will Hollings was doing his best to keep the home side on the front foot and was aided by Harry Tinker who was scrapping for every ball. Both teams were using all their subs to try and create any form of a chance and get fresh legs on the field Joe Roughly was forced off for the home team with a dead leg the same injury which saw him carried off last week, Taylor Bell who had been outstanding in recent weeks ran himself into the ground with Oliver Kilvington replacing him.
As the game entered the last quarter you could feel the tension in the crowd and on the pitch with the fear of extra time and penalties looming no one was taking a back foot, so as the ball found its way out to Jack Lowe on the York wing he played in Hollings who found Lewis Humphreys inside the box, Humphreys made no mistake smashing the ball home to give the home side the lead.
This opened up the game with Barnsley who now were throwing everything at York school boys, Ben Hudson was in fantastic form marshalling the troops around him to keep Barnsley at bay.
York now playing on the break had a couple of long range shots both on target but not really troubling the keeper.The away team with five minutes to go resorted to the long ball, from one of these punts they got a corner and sent up the entire team, three corners later with The Minster men firmly camped out in their own box the referee blew for full time.
Barnsley deserve a lot of credit for how they played the game hard but fair. York school boys showed desire, determination and a team spirit that just wouldn’t let them get beat.