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York Cubs U16’s 2 - 4 Pocklington Predators U16’s

06 Oct 2013

Pocklington Predators travelled to The Knavesmire on Sunday afternoon looking for back-to-back league victories.  Bizarrely they found themselves on a pitch that looked as though it was storing cut grass for  horses competing in Friday’s Finale Stakes: pitch marks obscured by random drifts and mounds of clippings did little to support Town’s floor based football.

The Predators didn’t start well and within 2 minutes found themselves a goal behind against a team they perhaps  thought might offer little resistance.  Manager Joe Cooney observed later that something just wasn’t quite right at the start.  He made a few minor tweaks in positions and Pocklington started to take control. When,  5 minutes later Joe Milner whipped in a free kick from the right-hand side with his left foot, a misplaced slice from an unfortunate Cubs defender wiped out their early gain.   Cubs were shell shocked and from the restart immediately gave the ball to Pocklington for whom Milner found Connor Wade whose excellent finish took the reds 2-1 up.

The Cubs played long-ball football and found the resolute Stuart Wright and Eric Hogan in the Pocklington back line impenetrable and on the odd occasion that the ball came through, Sam Flinton commanded his area well.  Town looked for a third with Huw Jones, Wade and Milner all chancing their arm from distance.  Ed Borrie’s anticipation on the right-hand side often regained possession for Pocklington he was quick to find the offering George Pilkington and Sez Altin,  the former unlucky when driving past three defenders before firing just over.  On the left-hand side Milner constantly troubled the Cubs backline and when fed by Elliott Russell with 10 minutes of the half remaining, went close.   Town went into the break leading 2-1.

The second half started as the first with Town taking time to settle: too much time and on some occasions over-complicating their  football when their quick  pass and movement often looks so dangerous. Almost inevitably, after first going close, Cubs drew an equaliser  popping away a scramble in the Predator’s box.  Pocklington immediately responded, Fraser Hansen finding Pilkington whose effort was blocked for a corner.  Pilkington then fired a long range effort narrowly over the bar as the Predators entered their strongest period of the match.  Altin too fizzed a shot  over the bar and Milner too having been found by Borrie.  Town now looked more comfortable at the back and Hogan in particular had a strong game.  Ben Potter added some bite into the middle of the park and Pocklington turned the screw.

15 minutes into the second half had passed when Town regained the lead.  Pilkington turned on a sixpence and instantly fired in a pin-point cross from the left which perfectly found Wade’s head as he guided the ball into the bottom right corner.  Cubs hospitably replaced their one dangerous striker and the Predators dealt more comfortably with less pressure on the back-line.  Building from the back, Borrie found Altin whose well placed pass found Wade who helped himself to a deserved hat trick with another neat finish.  Predators winning 4-2

Jim Hansen

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