York travelled to Calderdale and continued their recent run of good league form, coming away with a deserved, hardworking victory against a strong, well organised outfit.
On a very difficult surface and in extremely windy conditions, both teams worked hard to make the best of the circumstances. York played ‘down the slope’ in the first half, with a very strong tail wind pushing them on – it was clear that they would need at least a couple of goals in the bank before half time. Unfortunately, a combination of rushed passes from York and good defending from Calderdale meant that the game was still scoreless midway through the half. Joe Meek looked lively on the left, making a number of skilful, darting runs and striker Lleyton Brown showed good touches in and around the penalty area but, despite York’s best efforts, they couldn’t break down their opponents. Ben Garbutt-Smith changed this on the twenty-minute mark. He latched onto a loose ball just inside the box and fired low and hard under the Calderdale keeper. 1-0 to York and they went looking for more. Two minutes later, Seb Holowkiewicz whipped in a corner from the left that curled in at the far post to double his side’s lead. In a half dominated by York (and the weather) Ben Whitehead scored a welcome third just before half time when he fired a lovely, dipping shot over the keeper from just inside the area.
3-0 to York at half time, but they knew a Calderdale onslaught was coming!
Passing the ball to feet and focusing on maintaining possession, York started the half with confidence. They were soon rewarded for their positive approach when Harry Fort gained control of the ball and played in Garbutt-Smith who beat his man and finished well, firing in from a tight angle to make it 4-0. York seemed to grow in energy and strength – they closed down quickly, blocked, competed and worked back to deny Calderdale any clear-cut opportunities to force their way back into the game. Leo Littlewood, Ben Armitage, Fort and Whitehead grafted hard in the midfield engine room to close down their opponents, win tackles, regain possession and push their team forward. On the fifty minute mark, York grabbed a fifth when Billy Dickinson reacted quickly following a Holowkiewicz free kick to score a well deserved goal. Calderdale kept coming back at York; the blustery conditions making things increasingly difficult and helping to put the York defensive line under pressure. Jacob Bryant stood firm in goal, saving bravely and showing his composure and good handling on a number of occasions. Eventually, Calderdale broke through the York rear guard, scoring directly from a corner. They scored a second in the final ten minutes but York were not to be denied their deserved and hard won victory. Special mention must go to York’s defensive unit – Jack Cottam, Jack Redman, Billy Hobson and skipper Holowkiewicz – who stood up to be counted, stuck together and put their bodies on the line when it mattered most to repel and deal with the second half onslaught brought to them by their opponents – and the unforgiving weather conditions.
Scorers : Garbutt-Smith (2), Holowkiewicz, Whitehead, Dickinson.