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Pocklington Predators U16’s 2 - 1 Cottingham Rangers

03 Nov 2013

The Predators tested the depth of their squad for this Cup match against Cottingham Rangers with injury and illness ruling out the influential George Pilkington and Connor Wade.  But such is the style of play that Joe Cooney has installed in his squad that even after a pack shuffle the Predators can be a slick passing team with a threat in all areas of the pitch.

It’s said that much of the strength of a side comes from its central spine and this performance was surely evidence of this with Eric Hogan and Harry Crusher in the centre of defence.  The fulcrum in the side was Huw Jones who controlled the central midfield as well as fashioning three attempts on goal himself.  Upfront the tireless Joe Milner outran the Cottingham back line and on another day could have had a hatful. 

Pocklington controlled the majority of the match and looked strong down the left and the right-hand side with Ed Borrie and Sez Altin finding space: the latter proving effective when coming in from the flanks across field, whilst Borrie looked to get behind the back-line.  Ben Potter and Elliott Russell stifled Rangers mid pack and their quick footed left-winger was kept in check well by Matthew Terry whilst Stewart Wright let nothing past the right-hand side.

Predators early efforts were from long range with both Jones and Milner testing Rangers keeper whilst Jones also fired an effort just over. Rangers offered little in return at this stage and it was no surprise when the home side took the lead.  Milner was felled in the box by a clumsy challenge and Crusher calmly stroked the spot-kick home.  The game turned a little scrappy as the break approached, but Potter’s strength kept Predators in territorial advantage and Jones continued to test Ranger’s keeper with one double effort producing an outstanding save early in the second half.

Pocklington had chances to extend their lead,  Milner again close and then Fraser Hansen saw his effort saved when released by Altin’s cross field run.  Still  Predators pushed forward and from a corner on the right and with the wind in assistance, Altin’s corner sailed into the net with no further contact to extend the lead.  Slowly Rangers started to come back into the game, but Alex Varley’s timed interception nullified their efforts until with five minutes to go a hopeful push forward found the away team’s striker in space and he finished well.

Pocklington closed out the match calmly and were well worth their progression through to the next round.

Jim Hansen

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