York U11 Schoolboys suffered their first home defeat of the season in all competitions losing 1-2 to a well drilled Leeds A side. York went into this important game without their prolific striker Will Jarvis. Having scored over 50 goals this season; the Leeds team seemed buoyed by the knowledge.
From the kick off Leeds A attacked York but for some great defending from Liam White, Alfie Evans, Tom Eaton and Luke Jones and some spectacular saves from Nathan Storr, Leeds could have been two or three goals to the good. It was from one of these attacks, midway through the first period, that was broken down by Liam White on the left, who started what was York’s best play of the first period releasing a great ball down the left wing to Elliot Oliver on controlling the ball put in a great pass into the centre of midfield to Luke Jones cleverly hitting a first time pass to the right wing into the path of Josh Hall who driving at the Leeds defence hit a stinging shot low to the left that was palmed away by the diving Leeds keeper, with Declan Racher the first to react to the rebound, masterfully stroked the ball into the net making it 1-0 to York somewhat against the run of play.
This should have settled York; but Leeds were still controlling the game and pushing for an equaliser. With York pressed back into their own half and the midfield of Jimmy Gore, Elliot Oliver and Declan Racher doing some sterling work helping out the defence, as it was all hands to the pumps as the Leeds attacks were relentless. But in the final minute of the first period Leeds were controversially given a free kick following a brilliant challenge by White. York’s inability to clear their lines led to the Leeds equaliser with a tap in from two yards making the score 1-1 at the end of the first period.
The start of the second period saw York settle into the game and start to pressure the Leeds goal to try and restore their lead. Some great passing and work from the York midfield and attack saw shots from Josh Hall, Max Rigby, Luke Jones and Declan Racher finding the Leeds defence and keeper resolute and up to the job . However following a brilliant run from Hall and having rounded the keeper was brought down for what seemed a certain penalty. To Hall’s and York’s dismay the referee waved play on. Leeds managed to ease the pressure with some attacking football of their own midway through the second period but found the York defence of Simeon Hopkinson, Alfie Evans, Liam White and keeper Nathan Storr as resolute with the scores level at the end of the second period.
The third period started well for York and were on the attack when the Leeds left back cleared the ball up field for the winger to cross into the box first time. As the York defender went to clear the ball the ball stopped dead in front of the goal, which allowed another easy tap in for Leeds to make it 1-2 to Leeds. With Alex Kemp and Bankole Claudius–Cole working hard down the wings and Josh Hall and Max Rigby down the centre, York went in search of another equaliser with Jimmy Gore, Liam White and Josh Hall going close. But again York couldn’t find a way through the Leeds defence and keeper. With York pushing high up the field Leeds were trying to add to their tally by catching York on the break with York holding firm giving the final score of 1-2 to Leeds.
With six wins and two losses in their first season in the West Yorkshire League means that York are currently top of the league by one point. Should Sheffield beat Hull then York will be crowned Champions. If Hull draw or win then York will be runners up.
Managers Comments (Matt Gore): Leeds were at their best today but we feel 4 decisions decided the outcome. The free kick that led to the goal, not giving the penalty and two poor defensive decisions cost us the win which would have seen us champions. It’s still a possibility but Hull are now firm favourites. We will see what happens but will now focus on the Cup Final v Hull. The York boys have been superb all season and deserve to finish with silverware.
Man of the Match was deservedly awarded to Liam White for his outstanding display in defence.
Squad: Storr, Hopkinson, Evans, Jones, Eaton, Oliver, Gore, Racher, White, Claudius-Cole, Hall, Kemp, Rigby, Hodge