York’s first away match of the season was a visit to Wetherby to play last season’s champions Leeds. A bright start from both teams as they battled for control of midfield in a very even opening ten minutes. York were adjusting to the new formation when Leeds exploited a gap created by a quick throw in down the right. A Leeds striker cut inside and hit his shot low past York’s keeper Louis Powell, into the corner to put them ahead.
This early set back spurred York on and they worked the ball about well but without really troubling the Leeds back line. Frankie Cresswell, Ellis Cattaneo & George Harrison seemed to be everywhere controlling the central areas and forcing Leeds to look long on numerous occasions. Despite a very physical approach from the Leeds strikers both centre backs Will Hotson & Archie Brown showed their class and dealt with most attacks that came their way. The home side were building pressure and York were unable to keep the ball in the Leeds half despite playing some expansive football.
The next chance fell to Leeds who forced a great save from Powell before winning a free kick following the clearance from a corner. A powerful shot from the Leeds centre half was high and accurate just beating the visitors keeper. Leeds 2 -0 York. York were determined to continue to play attractive football making Leeds scramble to retain possession, as they tried to create space down both wings.
A determined run by Cresswell put winger Harrison Cain, (replacement for the injured winger Connor Gelder), through on goal and forcing a save from the Leeds keeper.
York enjoyed a lengthy spell of possession and won a corner just before the break. Oliver Swift delivered the perfect ball from the right that somehow evaded three York players in their best chance of the half.
Half time Leeds 2 – 0 York.
York’s approach to the second half remained unchanged, playing the better football for long periods, but still lacking that cutting edge in the final third. Cain linking well with Cole Gayles and Cresswell but the hosts remained strong and options were limited. As expected, the game became stretched as both teams tired with Leeds taking advantage of space down the wings to put pressure on York’s back four. Adam Oxer and Jacob Batty were both called upon to produce last ditch tackles as Leeds pressed for another goal.
Eventually the home side found a precise pass that split the defence down the middle, but Powell produced two superb saves to keep them out. Minutes later York were caught in possession and the resulting shot rebounded from the keeper and was forced home to end the game as a contest. York dominated the final few minutes, but Leeds remained solid at the back as the final whistle blew.
Full time. Leeds 3 – 0 York.
Despite the final score, the York boys could be very proud of their efforts against a strong Leeds outfit. Their positive approach throughout the match was excellent.
MOTM – Frankie Cresswell