York hosted Spen Valley in the first round of the Michael Dale Trophy. In very difficult, windy conditions, York started brightly and took the lead in the first minute – Kiam Browne with a good finish after being played in by James Rennocks.
York improved their lead 2 minutes later, Rennocks this time setting up Harry Fort for a smart finish. York continued to dominate proceedings, Jack Redman keeping things tidy in midfield and prompting attacks with his positioning and short passing. Ten minutes in and York deservedly scored again. Browne – playing in a more advanced position – struck a controlled volleyed into the top corner of the net to put his side into a 3-0 lead.
York continued to attack with confidence, creating a number of opportunities, only to find the Spen Valley goalkeeper in good form. Any attacks Spen Valley did mount were quickly ended by the combined strength and pace of centre backs, captain Harry Shane and Billy Hobson. On the rare occasions he was called into action, keeper Jack Yates looked confident and secure with his distribution and choice of balls into wide areas.
After 20 minutes, Rennocks set up Browne with a delicious clipped ball, the goalkeeper pulling off a good save. Ben Armitage then teed up Alex Widdup who forced the keeper to pull off a superb top-corner save. Just before half-time, York scored again. Fort pounced on an error to hit a right-foot shot into the bottom corner of the net. 4-0 at half-time.
Second half and York were now playing into the strong wind. Smart passing, however, made light of the conditions. Joseph Meek found Rennocks with a clever pass and, after dribbling past two defenders, he finished at the near post. 5-0. York continued to look strong and created a number of further chances but just weren’t clinical enough in front of goal. Meek and Arthur Jefferson Hallett then began to combine well on the right to cause problems for their opponents. These two exchanged quick passes to play in Browne, who completed his hat trick with a cheeky chip over the advancing keeper.
Even though York dominated possession, they found themselves having to deal with occasional attacks from Spen Valley, aided by a tail-wind. Again, the defence looked solid and dealt with everything thrown at them. Jacob Bryant, on at half-time for Yates, dealt admirably with the testing conditions and high bouncing balls and started a number of York attacks with short passing to his defenders.
York progress to round 2 as very convincing 6-0 winners following a hard working performance.
Scorers : Browne (3), Fort (2), Rennocks.
MOM : Billy Hobson – quick, controlled, composed, aggressive when required.