York & District Schoolboys Football

U15s (League) Salford 4 – 3 York & District

Salford Schools v York & District Schoolboys
11 November 2023
Venue: Salford

Team Line Up: Ben Alder, Sam Parris, Harley Waddington, Oliver Waygood, Charlie Anderson, Luca Long, Bodhi Justice, Dara Sanusi, Harry Waines, Isaac Arif, Matthew Orr, Finn Davis, Ewan Daly, Olaf Gorczyczweski

A slow start was the downfall for York, as their respectable start to the league campaign was undone by a determined Salford team on a sunny, but chilly Saturday morning across the Pennines. It took York until the second half to awaken from their slumber, but by then the damage was already done as they left themselves too much of a mountain to climb despite putting in a spirited comeback.

The game got off to the worst possible start as Salford scored with their first attack in the opening minutes. It was a rude awakening for the York boys, but just shows that you need to be switched on from the very start. To their credit they quickly got a hold of the game and started to have some good possession with Finn Davis and Ewan Daly making good progress on the flanks. Harry Waines was starting to get to grips with midfield and Olaf Gorczyczweski was becoming a stronger influence up front. Great work from Davis brought York’s first real chance where his great cross was just glanced wide by Daly. However superb pressing by Daly on the subsequent kick-out brought the York equaliser as he dispossessed the centre back to slam the ball into the net.

A great response from York, but it was quickly undone when an attempt to play out from the back was executed badly and Salford scored an easy second. Clearly York were suffering from lethargy in the first half as they struggled to clear corners, win headers, win 50/50 tackles and needed to up the energy and aggression levels to compete. Ben Alder was rarely being tested in goals, and was his usual solid self, but there was an unusual tentativeness about the defence.

Matthew Orr fired over from close range when he burst forward from the left wing, and was the closest York would come to another goal in the first half. Defensive hesitation again caught out the York defence as Salford got in for a third before half time. A poor first half for York and they needed to change to get anything from the game.

Important for York was to score the next goal of the game, but an unfortunate deflection took the ball out of Alder’s reach into the top corner to give York a mountain to climb at 4-1. A change of shape put more bodies into midfield, and across the pitch the intensity and pressing increased. Bodhi Justice, Isaac Arif, Dara Sanusi were now all getting on the ball and Arif in particular covered a lot of ground with high intensity pressing along with Daly and Gorczyczweski putting constant pressing on the Salford keeper that almost paid dividends. Sam Parris at wing back was providing great service into the channels for Daly and the pressure was starting to tell. Gorczyczweski pulled one back for York through sheer persistence. He then almost had another with a superb freekick rattling the crossbar.

At the back York had to take risks and Charlie Anderson was superb to make a goal line clearance to keep the game alive. Oliver Waygood, Harley Waddington and Luca Long were now growing in confidence getting on the front foot. More half chances came as York chased everything. Waddington now pushed into midfield, and scored the 3rd goal when Parris released Gorczyczweski down the wing who turned provider for Waddington to slot the final goal of the game. Time was now York’s enemy and there simply wasn’t enough left to push for the equaliser.

A disappointing result and an opportunity lost for York to keep pace with the league leaders. Masters of their own downfall in the first half, they left themselves with too much to do. While there was plenty to learn from the defeat there was also plenty of positives in the spirit of their fightback and with a little more time they may have pulled it back. Instead they headed back home over the Pennines with nothing to show for their efforts.

Final Score: Salford 4 – 3 York
Scorers: Daly, Gorczyczweski, Waddington