York travelled to East Riding for their Yorkshire Cup fixture and played out what was a very competitive, pulsating and entertaining game against their Humberside neighbours.
York, as they often do, started well with Ben Armitage going close in the first minute with a volley which was well saved. Both sides worked hard and closed each other down in the opening exchanges and set the tone for a hard-fought game. Adam Nganga, deployed out on the right, looked sharp and dribbled this way through the home defence. This forced the first corner of the game which was delivered with accuracy by skipper Seba Holowkiewicz into Enzo Nunnari. The frontman showed sharp movement to evade and get in front of his marker, flicking the ball high into the net to give York the lead. East Riding replied, applying a great of pressure as their forward line showed quick, clever movement. The York defensive line of Jack Cottam, Ben Garbutt smith, Billy Hobson and Holowkiewicz had to stay to alert and remain focussed to keep them at bay. Jack Yates in goal was forced to make a number of close-range saves and blocks and showed assured handling to back up the great work of the boys in front of him. York carved out a good opening with some good interchange between the skilful Joe Meek and Armitage, setting up Harry Fort for a left footed effort which was saved by the keeper. York managed to extend their lead partway through the half when Armitage lifted the ball over the keeper and scored with an audacious chip. York almost made it three when Nunnari, racing onto a measured through ball from Rory Thornton, showed his composure to chip the ball over the advancing keeper, only to see the ball go agonisingly over the bar.
Second half and York went on the attack. Joe Meek, with his close control, drove into the box and fired in a dangerous cross – unfortunately, despite his desperate lunge, midfielder Leo Littlewood was unable to steer the ball goalwards. York were feeling confident. Nganga then set up Littlewood, who saw his strike well saved before good hold up play from Nunnari saw York force a corner out on the left. Holowkiewicz picked out the ever dangerous Billy Dickinson, who flicked the ball on and Cottam hooked in from close range to make it 3-0 to York. Unfortunately, this prompted East Riding to raise their game and efforts. They counter-attacked shortly afterwards to reduce the arrears to 1-3. Back came York, desperate to add to their lead. Nganga’s strength and power allowed him to create a chance which he finished expertly with his right foot, low and hard into the bottom corner of the net from outside the penalty area. At 4-1 up, York were looking good but seemed to lose their concentration, allowing East Riding to score two quick goals and set up a final, end to end, twenty minutes where both sides felt they could win. During this period, York had to dig in and show a fantastic commitment to one another and the team as a whole to see things out and claim a 4-3 victory.
York held on to maintain their good run of form this season and, despite not being quite at their best, they found the grit, determination and desire to see them through a very tricky fixture. Notable performances from midfielders Dickinson and Littlewood, who worked tirelessly and intelligently to track, cover and create when and where required to ensure that their team were not overrun by the quick, clever passing and movement of their opponents.
MOM: Ben Armitage – showed his improving and consistent quality when deployed across a number of positions; he is a vital part of the team and capped off a solid display with a fine goal.
Scorers:- Nunnari, Armitage, Cottam, Nganga