York Schoolboys U12s were back in action after the Christmas and New Year break with a friendly at home to Barnsley. York quickly began to dominate possession and territory and forced an early corner, from which Jamie Hudson met Dan Gallagher’s cross and was unlucky to see his header flick off the top of the bar and go over.
York’s next good opportunity came when the ball dropped to Ben Myers 20 yards out and he hit an excellent left foot shot that was heading for the bottom corner of the net, but the Barnsley keeper made an excellent save diving away to his right and turning the ball around the post for a corner. Ben took the resulting corner, which was met by Liam Mainprize with a header that looked to be looping into the far corner, but was headed off the line by a Barnsley defender.
York went close again from another Ben Myers corner which was headed down by Adam Clarkson, but was saved by the Barnsley keeper.
Barnsley had a good chance mid-way through the game when one of their midfielders lofted a shot from 30 yards out, but Henry Jackson managed to back pedal and make a fine save to keep the ball out.
York continued to press, but as a team seemed to be lacking some of their usual spark and struggled to get their high-tempo passing game going. Dan Gallagher made some good runs down the wing and from one such run and cross, it required an excellent clearance from a Barnsley defender to keep the scores level.
York’s next good chance came when Liam Mainprize put in a ferocious challenge on a Barnsley midfielder and the ball broke to Ronnie Kelly, but his shot went just past the post.
With 8 minutes left Barnsley had a great chance when a York miskick fell to a Barnsley striker 10 yards out, but his shot went just past the far post.
With 5 minutes left York finally broke the deadlock. The ball fell to Adam Clarkson 2o yards out and his shot was heading for goal, but Liam Mainprize was following in and steered the ball into the opposite corner of the net. Many of the spectators were of the view that Liam was in an offside position when he scored, but the way he ran in from deep, it would have required an assistant referee who was watching both the ball and player, to definitively determine if it was offside.
York created one further chance when Liam Mainprize found Ronnie Kelly, but his shot hit the side netting.
Man of the Match – Liam Mainprize
Liam put in another high energy performance in centre midfield and deservedly came up with the winning goal, as he always gets forward to support the attack and is frequently in the right place at the right time to apply the decisive touch.