After a good run of form and results, an under-par York were brought down to earth with a heavy defeat at the hands of Sheffield.
York started brightly and confidently and played well for the first twenty minutes of the game, pushing Sheffield back into their own half with energy, pressing and by winning the ball high up the pitch. York won a series of early corners but Sheffield managed to block, clear and tackle to limit opportunities. York looked to attack through Cam Wakerley, on the left, and Ben Garbutt Smith, starting out on the right, but a tight pitch and the lack of space inhibited their movement. York had several half chances. Harry Fort played a nice ball into Garbutt Smith who skilfully beat his man and whipped in a cross. Ben Armitage, who had made a clever run to the near post to meet the ball, saw his effort blocked; Joe Meek hit a curling free kick from outside the area which was saved by the keeper, and Armitage hit a first time left footer which as well blocked by Sheffield. Despite their endeavour, York couldn’t make the pressure tell and they were hit by a sucker punch when Sheffield capitalised on a lapse in concentration to create an opening and take the lead. They were soon 2-0 ahead when the striker pounced on an error to double their lead. York appeared to be shocked and had to work hard to stay in the game. Bryn Richardson, making his debut in goal, showed good awareness to come off his line and show good anticipation and bravery when making a number of blocks. Midfield schemer Billy Dickinson drove his team forward, his presence visible in all areas of the pitch, including a dribble into the area which led to his cross-shot being blocked and put out for a corner. Billy Hobson then followed this up with a fierce drive which cleared the bar. Despite a good deal of possession in their opponent’s half, York could not breach the Sheffield goal in an entertaining first half.
2-0 to Sheffield at half-time.
York came out for the second half fired up in the knowledge that the next goal could (and, as it turned out, would) be crucial. Once again, they pinned Sheffield back and exerted a great deal of pressure. Garbutt-Smith on the left looked dangerous. He cut inside, beat two men and sent in a curling effort which just cleared the crossbar. York continued to feed him the ball, in the knowledge that he had Sheffield worried. He then put in a teasing cross which Sheffield did well to deal with. Striker Enzo Nunnari and Wakerley combined well in the area, exchanging short passes to try to find a way through, but the chance was blocked. Nunnari then showed good control to pick up the ball and run at the defence. His low, crisp shot beat the keeper and looked certain to bring York back into the game but it struck the foot of the post and travelled along the goal line to safety. During this period of play, Sheffield still had their moments and were keen to put the game out of York’s reach. At the back, York’s Jack Cottam, Alex Gilbey and Hobson had to show their fighting qualities to dig in and smother the dangerous, mobile forwards and Richardson made a couple of important blocks. York looked confident of reducing the deficit. Seba Holowkiewicz, pushed forward into the right midfield berth, put in a number of quality crosses to help push his team forward and put Sheffield under pressure. However, despite the increased effort, York couldn’t grab he goal that they deserved and they were once again caught out – this time striker breaking free from what appeared to be an offside position to score the home side’s third goal. York didn’t let their heads drop, Leo Littlewood made a run toward the area and hit a shot that the keeper pushed out, Dickinson fired a left foot shot on the run over the bar and Fort volleyed over from inside the area. Towards the end of the game, Sheffield wrapped up the result with two further goals for a resounding 5-0 victory and inflicted upon York their first defeat of the season.
York MOM: Ben Garbutt-Smith – despite the heavy defeat for his team, he maintained his effort and enthusiasm, was a constant source of danger for York and showed his skill and pace on both the left and right flanks.