A pivotal weekend for football in England also produced a pivotal game in the U11 schoolboys’ race for the league title. Whilst games up and down the country were being postponed, COVID-19 couldn’t halt this clash of the titans as the top two in the league, separated only by 1 point, went head to head.
The last time these two teams met in the league it produced a titanic tussle, and this game followed suit, picking up where that game left off. Good conditions, a lovely pitch and two teams in top form produced a very tense, tough tackling and entertaining game. Both teams were up for this and the referee had his hands full as these young lads rose to the occasion.
York were getting some early joy from the long ball out of the back from stalwart Bobby Moore, who turned in a determined and disciplined defensive display. An early chance when through on goal for Oliver Boast was uncharacteristically spurned, but he would still turn out to be a decisive player in the outcome of the game. On the wing Logan White was coming in for some rough treatment but was a constant threat with hard running, getting in behind the East Riding defence on many occasions. Bodhi Justice, playing upfront was a constant menace and should have put York ahead but for the East Riding goalkeeper denying him. Charlie Calderwood and Thomas Holtby were providing width and poise in midfield as both teams fought hard to gain a foothold in the game.
At the back Zac Watson was quick off his line and his handling was excellent while Theo Clarke, Michael Kydd and Joe Turbine were worked very hard by the East Riding attacking pair, but were equal to the task. The latter’s set piece delivery from deep was another weapon in the York arsenal.
0-0 after the first twenty frantic minutes, Finn Davis coming on for York to provide further running and pressing up front. A free kick to York expertly taken by White was spilled by the East Riding keeper and Boast was on hand to tap in the opener. It was a game where clear-cut chances and goals were at a premium so this was a huge moment in the game. York saw out the second period to head into the final twenty with a slender lead.
East Riding were throwing everything at York and eventually got their reward when York failed to clear in their own box for the East Riding player to level the score despite claims for offside from the York players. The referee was unmoved but shortly after reached for his card as White was hacked down on the halfway line. Ten minutes to go and all to play for.
Then came the moment that could have a massive say in the destination of the title as Turbine’s long delivery was flicked on by Moore into the path of Boast who produced a spectacular shot across the goals to nestle in the far corner, restoring York’s lead. Back came East Riding who almost levelled as their number 9, a constant threat all game just pulled an effort wide when through on goal. At the other end Davis shot over the bar as York were happy to see out the final minutes with the ball in the East Riding half. Both teams had given everything, but this time York prevailed.
As COVID-19 takes hold of football, the country and the world, York & District Schoolboys keep calm and carry on.
Scorers: Boast x 2