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Pocklington Predators U16’s 1 - 2 Poppleton Tigers

10 Nov 2013

Had San Expedito, the Patron Saint of Good Luck been anywhere near Pocklington last weekend, he certainly forgot to visit the Predators as they prepared for their match against table topping Poppleton Tigers.  Joe Cooney’s tight-knit squad was already depleted to the tune of three before the start of the match and an early injury to Matthew Terry was certainly not on his wish list; neither was a head injury to Ed Borrie which saw him leave the game in the first-half.

In truth, the Predators started brightly, with Sez Altin and Joe Milner probing the left-hand side.  Milner went close on the quarter-hour mark when released by the impressive Harry Crusher, but fired over.  Pocklington’s other chances in the half came from distance as they bustled their way through this match perhaps negating the easier option to let the ball do the work.  Poppleton themselves looked dangerous coming forward and Eric Hogan and Stuart Wright were called upon with timely interventions whilst Crusher continued to read the game well with equanimity, sweeping the back-line and building further Predator attacks. 

As the half-time whistle approach the game called from someone or one team to take the match by the scruff of the neck.  The unlikely volunteer was Predators’ keeper Sam Flinton.

The two first-half injuries had forced Predator’s “Clough and Taylor”  management masterminds of Cooney and Jones to bring Flinton out of goal with a more than capable Connor available as replacement between the sticks.  Flinton’s strength took him down the right hand side early in the second half, nonchalantly brushing aside three challenges before finally being tackled for a corner.  From the resulting swinging cross, Flinton rose to head Predators into a 1-0 lead in a move which was not from the training ground.

Poppleton came back into the game and from a free kick a header canned off the underside of the bar and bounced over the line for an equaliser.   The Predators looked weary as Poppleton grew in strength and territorial advantage and despite Connor’s three saves in the closing stages, there was little he could do as the Tigers’ marksman was offered too much time to align his sight in the box before firing into the corner of the net. 

Predators now move on positively to next week and a League Cup 2nd round draw away at Easingworld. 

Jim Hansen

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