York U14s resumed their league campaign hosting local rivals Scarborough on a chilly and windy November morning. York kicked off proceedings with the wind behind their back; but in the early exchanges both teams struggled to put any dominance on the game with the wind playing a major part, York struggled with the wind behind them with the wind adding weight to their passes, whilst seemingly holding the ball up for the visitors giving them the edge in midfield. It was Scarborough who came to terms with the elements first as they passed the ball around neatly in midfield but they couldn’t find a way through York central defence pairing of Leo Jones and Ben Fawcett and backs Olly Hanley and Ben Rhodes. It was from a defensive free kick taken by Leo Jones that resulted in the first shot of the game from Edward Hammond in the 6th minute which was well saved by the Scarborough keeper.
Minutes later a pile driver despatched by Luke Jones from just outside the box, that was destined for the top right hand corner, forced an excellent one handed save from the flying Scarborough keeper who managed to punch the ball over the bar.
With Scarborough edging the possession stakes Yorks midfield quartet battled hard to recover the ball with Harvey Stephenson, Elliot Oliver, Liam White and Charlie Fort working tirelessly, hounding the Scarborough midfield. Any Scarborough attack that penetrated the York midfield was swiftly dealt with by Yorks two centre backs Ben Fawcett and Leo Jones, with the latter making numerous perfectly timed trademark sliding tackles to foil the Scarborough attacks.
York were making their attacks felt with Liam White making many mesmerising runs through the Scarborough midfield and defence. As the half wore on chances were going begging for York as the Scarborough keeper made a number of great saves to Keep the scores level, and when York finally beat the keeper with an Elliot Oliver shot destined for the back of the net, somehow the Scarborough defender managed to head the ball off the line with the resultant clearance was turned goalward Luke Jones only to see the Scarborough keeper pull off another fine save to deny York.
York finally found the breakthrough in the 32nd minute, with Yorks best play of the game so far, with Leo Jones’ trademark tackle breaking up another Scarborough attack, Ben Fawcett playing the ball into Harvey Stephenson who pushing it wide right to Charlie Fort speeding down the wing to the by-line cutting the ball back to Luke Jones on the edge of the six-yard box who turned and drove the ball to the right of the diving Scarborough keeper putting York 1-0 up with 3 minutes to play in the 1st half.
From the re-start Scarborough forced York keeper, Joseph Hodge, into action for the first time saving comfortably leaving the score 1-0 at the end of the first half.
Scarborough restarted the game with the wind behind them and both teams having to re-adjust to the elements, it was Scarborough who dominated early proceedings with their best attacking spell of the game forcing a fine save from Joseph Hodge and a number of off-target efforts.
With Scarborough pushing for an early equaliser, a Scarborough free kick cleared by York defender Luke Ryder, picked up in midfield by Elliot Oliver who placing a ball through the middle to Luke Jones who charged through the Scarborough defence pushing the ball to the Scarborough shot stoppers left, to put York on the front foot at 2-0 in the 45th minute.
The midfield battle continued with Joshua Byfield, Harvey Stephenson, Elliot Oliver and Liam White matching the Scarborough midfield, with both sides finding it difficult to release their forwards. As in the first half the wind seemed to favour the team playing against it, holding the ball up in mid-flight deceiving the defence and falling kindly for the forwards. York attackers Ben Calum and Luke Jones took advantage of this with driving runs to the by-line creating chances with Harvey Stephenson and Luke Jones both having shots but finding the Scarborough keeper in top form denying them every chance. A late flurry of attacks from Scarborough found Yorks defence resolute with Ben Fawcett blocking a rare Scarborough shot on target and Leo Jones, Ben Rhodes and Luke Ryder cutting out the crosses the game finished 2-0 to York with the spectators rushing off to the nearest bonfire to thaw out.
Managers Comments (Alan Oliver / Neil Stephenson): A special thank you to those who helped out in the kitchen and also Darren’s son, Edward, for his tea boy duties. We will need more hands-on deck next time especially if we have more teams at home! Also to Josh’s dad – Mark for doing the card, thanks mate.
Match Comments: A great game by both teams who tried to play football on a cold, windy November day. It could have been easy for both teams just to kick long balls but both teams tried to keep the ball on the floor and play football. Big respect to Scarborough as the game was played in good sportsmanship. The lads took a while to get used to the conditions but stuck to the game plan and after the first 15 mins York took control of the game and once the second goal went in never looked back and got stronger and stronger. Well done to all the lads for believing in their football ability. A big shout out to the new members of the team as I have said before, it does take time to settle in and to step up to this level 👏🏻👏🏻. Brilliant lads 😃
Man of the Match was awarded to Elliot Oliver for his assists, work rate and positional play.
Scorers: Luke Jones 32, 45.
Squad: Hodge, Leo Jones, Ryder, Rhodes, Fawcett (C), Hanley, White, Calam, Stephenson, Oliver, Luke Jones, Fort, Hammond, Byfield. (Unavailable: – Claudius-Cole, McCoy, Storr)