U13s Nottingham 1-5 York

Team:  Jackson; Jones, Whalen, Morgan (Fash), Evans; Richardson (Clark), Clarkson, Chan, Myers, Boyeson (Parkinson); Almond (Sorgie).

Both sides started slowly, York’s excuse possibly being their departure from York at the crack of dawn. Once they had woken up, York were the first side to threaten and Adam Clarkson, found by the busy Bobby Boyeson, sent a looping volley wide.

Joseph Richardson then set the tone for his first half as he ran at and past his full back repeatedly providing a supply line from the right wing on which York failed to capitalise.  Clarkson had another near miss from a Ben Myers corner before Luca Chan released Boyeson on the left and his early cross picked out Will Almond perfectly and he volleyed home smartly to give York a deserved lead.  York then relaxed into their game and played some excellent passing football. Ryan Evans joined the attack from full back and slalomed past a few Nottingham defenders before curling his shot just over the bar.

By half way through the first half, there was concerted pressure on the Nottingham goal and a second goal seemed inevitable. It duly came when Evans overlapped again on the left and his cross found Boyeson who took aim and arrowed his shot through a forest of Nottingham defenders. York maintained their momentum and added a third when Clarkson, who was having a typically dominant game in the centre of midfield, fired home.

York ought to have finished the half 3-0 up but, with the final move of the half, a hopeful ball forward by the home team was not dealt with by the York defence but gathered instead by the Nottingham striker who had shown good pace and a good touch. He held the ball up well and his pass (adjudged onside by the vigilant linesman) released the right winger who stuck an unstoppable low drive to give Nottingham hope at the break.

The second half started in a similar fashion to the first with neither side taking control.  Nottingham did start to have more of the play and their first really fluid attack was thwarted only by a last-ditch block by Chan.  Henry Jackson was called into action a couple of times as Nottingham tested him with long range shots from free kicks before making a stunning reflex save which proved to be the turning point of the match. Henry’s heroics seemed to serve as a wakeup call and York finally asserted themselves in the second half.  A cross from Sam Clark was headed just wide by Kean Sorgie (who had replaced Almond up front) before Clark crossed again only for first the Nottingham keeper and then a defender to block efforts from York’s other half time arrivals, Mitch Parkinson and Oliver Fash.

By now, Jack Whalen had stepped out of the back four into central midfield and Myers had switched to full back. Despite the substitutions and positional changes, York continued to dominate. They did, however, need a trademark saving tackle from Dylan Jones to prevent Nottingham from reducing the arrears. His challenge was surprisingly deemed a foul by the referee but Nottingham were unable to beat Jackson whose goal kick found Clarkson. He surged forward and picked out a pass to Clark on the edge of the penalty area and he curled a beautiful, arcing shot into the top corner to make it 4-1.

In the final minutes, Noah Morgan intercepted a Nottingham through ball and played the simple pass to Clarkson. He set off from the half way line on yet another run and seemed to have the ball for an eternity before arriving at the edge of the home team’s box and driving a low shot into the bottom corner to cap a fine individual performance and a convincing 5-1 win for York.York were supported throughout by an impressive (given the very early start) contingent of away supporters none of whom provided more encouragement than star supporter, Amelia Richardson.