U12s Doncaster 4-2 York

Scorers : Browne, Rennocks

York slipped to a disappointing defeat at Doncaster in a game that, at one stage, they looked like winning comfortably.

Playing uphill and into the wind, York started brightly. In the first attack of the game, Alex Widdup played a lovely, cross-field ball over the left back and into the path of Arthur Jefferson-Hallet who fired across goal – Kiam Browne agonisingly close to getting a touch to prod it home.York’s next attack saw the same players combine – Jefferson-Hallet’s sharp strike going just wide of the post. York were confident and comfortable, despite the difficult conditions, and continued to press forward. Jack Redman looked strong in midfield, sticking close to the opposition to win back possession and get the ball forward.

Unfortunately for York, they were soon made to pay for not making their superiority count. Doncaster picked up a loose ball in midfield, played the ball down the left wing and a chipped cross was headed home. 1-0. This shocked York and within five minutes, they found themselves further behind. A mix up in the York defence saw a foul on a Doncaster forward and a penalty was awarded. Goalkeeper Jacob Bryant had no chance as the spot kick was confidently despatched. 2-0 to Doncaster.

Despite this setback, York dug in to prevent Doncaster extending their lead. Billy Hobson, Seb Holowkiewicz and Harry Shane tackled, headed, blocked and worked hard to soak up the pressure that mounted as their opponents tried to take advantage of a strong tail wind. Bryant marshalled his defence well – clearing up through balls and maintaining calm at the back. Ben Armitage, playing a lone role up front, worked tirelessly to unsettle and dispossess Doncaster’s defence and play York’s wide men and midfielders into the game. York went into the break trailing 2-0, confident they could turn things around.

Second half and York took the game to Doncaster. They created a couple of half chances but nothing that concerned the opposition keeper. York pretty much pinned Doncaster in their own half, and five minutes into the half they got a deserved reward. Kiam Browne was brought down in the box to earn his side a penalty. The same player saw his spot-kick saved but followed up to slot home the rebound with a left foot finish. 2-1 and York fancied now it. An equaliser was on the cards. James Rennocks, forcing his way through from the right wing position, cut in and hit a sweet shot across the goal that arrowed into the bottom corner of the net. 2-2 and, at this point, there looked to be only one winner. Moments later, Jefferson-Hallet showed good close control to work his way through on goal – his shot just clearing the bar. It’s probably fair to say that had York taken the lead at this point, it’s likely they’d have gone on to win convincingly. However, Doncaster had other ideas and managed to take advantage of space in behind the York defence to create a chance out of nothing. A cross from the left was headed in for 3-2. York’s energy and enthusiasm seemed to dip. Doncaster were getting to the ball first, picking up possession on second balls, coming out on top in fifty-fifty challenges and generally showing more aggression. They made this tell, scoring again to make it 4-2 with just under 10 minutes remaining. Unfortunately, York struggled to regain their momentum and the game slipped from them. Their misery was compounded when their second penalty, the third of the match, was blazed over the crossbar with a few minutes remaining.

York will no doubt look back on this match as a win that got away – and with it, their chance to cement a top two place in the league table.

York’s MOM : Ben Armitage – tireless, selfless, gave it everything