U12s York 1-6 Leeds (MDT Semi Final)

Scorer – James Rennocks

York crashed out of the Michael Dale Trophy at the semi final stage following a comprehensive defeat at the hands of a very strong and well-organised Leeds team.

York found themselves under pressure right from the kick-off with Leeds passing the ball quickly and confidently. York struggled to get out of their own half in the opening 5 minutes, but the back three of captain Harry Shane, Seb Holowkiewicz and Ben Armitage maintained their positions, kept their focus and stuck to their task to keep out and frustrate their opponents. Keeper Jack Yates was called on to make a couple of saves before York managed to string a few passes together of their own and work their way up the pitch.

Wide men James Rennocks and Arthur Jefferson-Hallet began to see a bit more of the ball and tried to attack both full backs. York were gaining in confidence with Jack Redman and Harry Fort working hard to close down the Leeds midfield and minimise the threat from that area of the field. After around 10 minutes, the ball was won in midfield and Rennocks flicked a through ball to send Kiam Brown beyond the last defender and in on goal. The Leeds keeper rushed out to clear but Browne managed to get a block on his clearance, the ball heading towards goal but went just wide of the mark. Unfortunately, this was Browne’s last involvement in the game as the clash with the keeper resulted in an injured knee for the York player and he was unable to play any further part.

Moments later, Jefferson-Hallet found himself through on goal but the Leeds keeper blocked his effort. Leeds kept up their quick passing and upped their efforts as the first period drew to a close. A shot from the edge of the area was brilliantly tipped by Yates on to the right post, the ball bounced along the goal line, struck the other post and was cleared to safety by a relieved York defence. York had time for one more push. A long pass from Shane caught out the Leeds back line. Rennocks managed to pick up the loose ball, skilfully beat the goalie and finished coolly from a tight angle to give the home team the lead. 1-0.

The second period start pretty much like the first. Leeds soon got on top, their movement and link up play causing York problems and keeper Jacob Bryant, on for Yates at the break, was soon called into action. He showed good awareness and positioning to sweep up a couple of times to help maintain his side’s lead. Unfortunately for York, the Leeds’ pressure eventually told and the away side deservedly equalised with a smart finish. Shortly afterwards, the Leeds right winger picked up the ball and finished confidently to put his side in the lead. Seeing their lead overturned so quickly seemed to affected York’s concentration and discipline and they soon found themselves trailing 1-4 as Leeds turned the screw and became more clinical with their finishing.

York began the third period a little better. They found the energy to face up to Leeds, tackle and close them down a little better in a bid to claw back the deficit. Up front, Alex Widdup worked hard to split the defenders, maintain possession for his side and bring fellow attackers Rennocks, Jefferson-Hallet and Joseph Meek into the game. Bryant got a finger-tip to a long-range strike to push it on to the bar but, unfortunately for York, the damage had been done in the second period. Leeds created a number of further chances, taking two of them to run out convincing, deserved 6-1 winners.

MOM : James Rennocks – kept going despite the tough task, took his goal well