York & District Schoolboys Football

U15s York & District 1-1 Harrogate (League)

York & District v Harrogate
Date: 2nd March 2024
Venue: York

Team Lineup: Ben Alder, Luca Long, Matteo James, Sam Parris, Oliver Waygood, Charlie Anderson, Isaac Arif, Harry Waines, Bodhi Justice, Finn Davis, Ewan Daly, Olaf Gorczyczewski, Matthew Orr, Dara Sanusi

After a number of weeks of cup action, York returned to the league on Saturday with a game against Harrogate. Although the game was originally planned to be at Harrogate, a late reversal switched the game to York. Both teams were evenly matched and played out an entertaining draw that was probably a fair reflection of the game.

Due to the weather, the pitch was heavy underfoot which made for slippery conditions for the players. York started slightly brighter than Harrogate with a beautiful cross field ball from Ewan Daly switching the play to Finn Davis who was thwarted by the Harrogate keeper. At the other end, the Harrogate winger was causing problems and the York defence had to be alive to his runs and passing. Sam Parris, Luca Long, Oliver Waygood and Charlie Anderson had to deal with their pacey forwards. Ben Alder in goals was marshalling the defence very well.

The midfield of Harry Waines, Isaac Arif and Olaf Gorczyczewski were working hard, but the football wasn’t yet flowing as previous weeks. Dara Sanusi was leading the line up front, holding the ball up well and pressing from the front. But it was the excellent Daly who was the main source of threat for York, with superb wing play, whipping in crosses and bringing other players into play. It was through this route that York took the lead, when a viscous cross from Daly caught the keeper out at the back post. It was a fortunate goal, but also just rewards for the hard work he was doing on the wing.

However, it was a lead that didn’t last long as York conceded within minutes, disappointingly from a corner. It was a simple goal to concede as Harrogate’s big defender leaped highest to equalise. York then lost Parris to a muscle injury with Matteo James in and he certainly did his part to keep the scores level when he cleared the ball off the line putting his body on the line as he collided with the post. Harrogate were now on top as York struggled to gel across the pitch. Bodhi Justice and Matthew Orr were now on. Orr had an immediate impact as he pressed the Harrogate defence, winning the ball back regularly through his energy and hard work. Unfortunately he had to leave the field shortly after his introduction due to an accidental knock to the head. The teams went into half time level at 1-1.

Second half York edged it as they upped the tempo and Arif found his touch and started driving with purpose into the Harrogate defence. Waines was again instrumental in winning the ball back in midfield and pushing York forward. Davis and Daly on the flanks were also in the thick of the action, and it was Daly again who whipped in a fantastic cross after beating his man but Orr just couldn’t get on the end of it. Orr, who had now recovered from his knock was pressing very hard and running the channels. Gorczyczewski was also increasing his influence on the game and arguably should have had a penalty when the goalkeeper hauled him down, but somehow the referee decided to wave play on.

Harrogate still remained a threat and Alder had to be very quick off his line to deny a counter attack. James was also a strong influence in defence with some timely interceptions and building the play from the back, and alongside Long they were holding Harrogate at bay. Full backs Waygood and Anderson were providing the defensive cover and also backing up the wingers with Anderson jinking through the Harrogate defence on a few occasions. Sanusi was also back on the pitch and weaved his way through the defence but couldn’t get his shot away.

With minutes remaining Gorczyczewski showed his desire and commitment to the York cause by putting his body on the line when defending a Harrogate corner. It resulted in a bad clash of heads and he had to leave the field of play with blood gushing from his head. Thankfully a quick trip to A&E and he should be back in action in a few weeks. A quick reshuffle of the team but the neither York nor Harrogate could find a winner.

In the end a fair result in a very tight game. York’s attentions now turn to the Champions Cup Plate semifinal before finishing out their league season away to Doncaster.

Final Score: York 1-1 Harrogate
Goal Scorer: Ewan Daly