York U14s hosted Harrogate & Craven in the league, with Harrogate kicking off the first half. It was York who started the game the brightest as Liam Whites shot was blocked on the edge of the 18-yard box after stealing the ball in midfield and driving at the Harrogate defence. The visitors survived some early scares as a Luke Jones shot when narrowly wide, and his cut back across goal shortly afterwards saw a chance go begging as Liam White couldn’t get on the end of it.
Harrogate settled into the game, creating their first chance in the 5th minute with the resultant shot wide of the right upright. With Harrogate now putting the pressure on the York goal the back four of Ben Rhodes, Leo Jones, Ben Fawcett and Olly Hanley stood resolute denying Harrogate & Craven any shooting opportunity. The midfield was fierce battle between the two sides with Harvey Stephenson, Ben Calam, Elliot Oliver and Charlie Fort working hard to release the York strikers, who also found the Harrogate defence resolute, as both sides cancelled each other out and unable to trouble the keepers in the first half.
Harrogate took the early initiative at the start of the second half but were unable to break down the York defence of Joshua Byfield, Leo Jones, Ben Fawcett and Olly Hanley aided by Charlie Fort, Elliot Oliver, Liam White and Ben Calam battling hard in midfield. It took until the 52nd minute for the first strike on target which was comfortably saved by Joseph Hodge in the York goal. York, at the other end, also struggled to breakdown the Harrogate defence with Ed Hammond and Luke Jones running the channels.
The game increased in tempo in the last ten minutes, as both sides looked for the breakthrough, the Harrogate striker saw his goal bound effort cleared of the line by the sliding Ben Fawcett before Joseph Hodge pulled of a great save to deny the Harrogate winger, diving low to his left as the winger shot after cutting in from the right flank.
As York countered attacked Liam White hit his shot wide from the edge of the penalty area. Ben Fawcett headed just wide of the top left corner from a free kick delivered by Ben Calam, rising the highest in the centre of the penalty area. In the dying minutes, another free kick from the left side of the penalty area again falling to Ben Fawcett 15-yards out who dragged his shot wide whilst trying to thread the ball through the crowded penalty area, leaving the full-time score 0-0.
Managers Comments: – (Alan Oliver / Neil Stephenson): Well done to the ref first of all today for dealing with some hostile comments from Harrogate parents as well as coaches. I recommend Harrogate look at the FA respect code towards referees and learn from that.
A big thank you to all our parents at York for respecting referee decisions.
Well done to my lads today. Great respect to them for listening to the game plan and If Lady Luck would have been on our side today we could have been 2 or 3 -0 up at half time.
Second half was end to end football and could have gone either way with both keepers making saves.
Really proud of the York boys for battling and giving 100%. Man of match: Ben Calam for his outstanding work rate today.
Let’s move on for next week.
Man of the Match: – was awarded to Ben Calam for his outstanding work rate today.
Squad: Hodge, Leo Jones, Rhodes, Fawcett (C), Hanley, White, Calam, Stephenson, Oliver, Fort, Luke Jones, Hammond, Byfield. (Unavailable: – McCoy, Ryder, Claudius-Cole, Storr).