Due to all the recent cold and wet weather, York Schoolboys U12s had not had a match in a month but returned to action with an away league fixture at East Riding.
The opening stages were keenly fought, with few clear-cut chances. York’s first good chance came when Paul Iggulden lofted a free kick beyond the East Riding back line for Liam Mainprize to run on to, the East Riding keeper was quickly off his line to narrow the angle and make a save, the rebound fell to Liam who picked out Jamie Hudson on the edge of the box, but his shot was well saved by the East Riding keeper who had scrambled back on to his line.
After 18 minutes, an East Riding attack down the left resulted in a direct free kick from quite a tight angle. York lined up a defensive wall, but the East Riding midfielder hit a powerful shot past the edge of the wall which went in the near top corner and gave East Riding a 1-0 lead.
York went in search of an equaliser and Adam Clarkson was unlucky not to get it when his near post header from a Ben Myers corner went narrowly over the bar.
York then put together their best move of the match which resulted in a right wing cross from Ronnie Kelly, which Liam Mainprize would have turned in from close range, but for some excellent, brave goalkeeping from the East Riding keeper who dived out to cut out the cross.
In the last 15 minutes, York began to push more players forward in search of an equaliser. However, they nearly got caught out on the counter attack following a York set-piece. Dylan Jones was the last defender and was faced with three East Riding attackers, but he managed to hold them up before making what was probably a match saving tackle, before Jamie Hudson and Ben Myers got back to complete the clearance.
York continued to push forward and in the last 10 minutes won a succession of right wing corners. Ryan Evans delivery for each one was top class. The first was met by Paul Iggulden, who saw his header cleared off the line. The second was again met by a header from Paul and this time it brushed the top of the bar.
With 3 minutes to go York finally got the goal that their pressure deserved. Another Ryan Evans corner saw Paul Iggulden jump above two defenders to head towards goal, the ball bounced off a defender and fell to Reuben Pugh who smashed it in from six yards out. York’s players went wild in celebration as the goal had preserved their long unbeaten record in league and cup matches.
The game finished as a draw which was a fair result in a tense and entertaining game. Credit must also go to the referee who had an excellent game, particularly in his communication and encouragement of the players on both teams.
Man of the Match – Liam Mainprize.
Liam was simply immense in this game in terms of his work rate, desire and energy. He was constantly winning tackles and breaking up play and then made numerous intelligent runs into the attacking third of the pitch. On another day, Liam would have come away with the couple of goals his performance deserved, but for some excellent goalkeeping from the East Riding keeper.