York & District Schoolboys Football

U15s Sheffield 2-1 York & District

Sheffield v York
Date: 16th december 2023
Venue: Sheffield

Team Line up: Ben Alder, Luca Long, Harley Waddington, Matteo James, Oliver Waygood, Charlie Anderson, Harry Waines, Isaac Arif, Bodhi Justice, Finn Davis, Ewan Daly, Matthew Orr, Lucas Matthews, Charlie Goodwin, Dara Sanusi

A disappointing end to the calendar year for York & District u15s, as they produced arguably one of their weakest performances so far this season to narrowly lose out to a strong Sheffield side. Although the scoreline suggests a tight game, in truth, if it wasn’t for the excellent Ben Alder in goal and some great last ditch defending the scoreline could have been much worse.

It was a relief to have the sunny conditions after all the rain and postponed games, but the wind blowing hard across the pitch did make for a tricky game for both teams. Sheffield started the brighter and in the opening 10mins worked their right wing well with a pacy winger getting crosses into the box. Oliver Waygood and Harley Waddington had to be alive on a number of occasions to deal with the threat. However the threat reduced as Charlie Anderson got to grips with his opponent and along with Luca Long stopped a lot of the crosses coming in. Throughout the entire game Alder was superb in goal, quick off his line and collecting through-balls, commanding at set pieces and putting his body on the line to block shots.

York were edging their way back into the game and were beginning to create some scoring opportunities themselves. Charlie Goodwin had an early sighter of a shot that he didn’t quite get hold of to trouble the Sheffield keeper and Ewan Daly managed to get on the end of a cross but his looping header was well dealt with by the goalie. Anderson managed to sneak in at the back post from a Finn Davis corner but his shot rebounded off the keeper as well. So York were well in the game but still struggled with any real cohesion in terms of a passing game.

Bodhi Justice took some heavy treatment on his back in midfield and Lucas Matthews and Isaac Arif worked hard to close down the opposition and get the attack going. Harry Waines worked hard in winning back possession and being progressive. However York fell behind when a cross evaded the defence and keeper for a simple tap in. It was a set back but didn’t deter York who continued to force corners and scoring opportunities until half time.

With a second half against the wind, York struggled to contain Sheffield as their midfield really kicked on. Credit to York for persistence in playing out from the back, but the pressure on midfield was starting to tell and it was wave after wave of Sheffield attacks with Matteo James now in defence and Alder standing firm. Resistance was finally broken when Sheffield scored a second and ultimate winner from a corner.

It was rare for York to get any attacking momentum with Daly getting the odd break on the wing to attempt to set up an attack, and his good work set Matthew Orr up to bare down on goal, unleashing a shot that was always rising. It was encouraging nonetheless and a reminder to Sheffield that York could still create moments in the game. Good midfield work from Dara Sanusi, resulted in a thrown in that put Waines in who got to the byline and pulled the ball back for Daly who couldn’t connect.

A last throw of the dice saw Arif move upfront who was getting some space to use his pace, as York finally began to create some attacking momentum. Daly and Matthews combined, to set Sanusi up on the edge of the box for a shot that was spilled by the keeper for a goal to York. Too little too late, however as the final whistle blew moments later. A disappointing result in the context of the league and also from the second half performance that was well below the recent standards of the team.

A little time off over Christmas before a return to action in the new year with the knockout phase of the Champions Cup at home to Leeds.

Final Score: Sheffield 2 – 1 York
Scorer: Dara Sanusi