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Aviva U16 0 - 6 Pocklington Predators U16

24 Nov 2013

The Predators moved through round 3 of the York FA Senior Cup with a comfortable victory against Aviva on Sunday afternoon.  Joe Cooney now  has his side playing some slick football, and whilst there is competition for places,  his seamless squad  interchanges adds a different dimension at different stages of the match.

Town welcomed back George Pilkington from injury and he joined Connor Wade in the front line with Ed Borrie and Joe Milner in wide roles.  In the first 5 minutes, it was Borrie who set the tempo for the afternoon  as he collected Wade’s lay off from an excellent Stewart Wright through ball.  His neat finish took the visitors into the lead.  Pocklington quickly took control of the midfield; Sam Jefferson sat in the middle alongside Elliott Russell who had his best game of the season to date as Town kept the ball moving.  Across the back Predators were solid with Harry Crusher alongside Eric Hogan, the latter winning every header during the afternoon and Matthew Terry and Wright at full backs.

Predators has numerous chances to extend their lead in the first 20 minutes.  Jefferson fired an effort over from 25 yards and  after some neat footwork from Pilkington his cross just evaded Wade.  Aviva’s forays forward were few and far between, but when they did they found Sam Flinton in the Predator’s goal both courageous and resolute.  He and  his defence had their focus on a clean sheet.

Such is the pernicious nature of cup football it was important that Pocklington converted one of their chances into a goal and they had to wait until just before the half-hour mark when Wright found Pilkington on the left. His jinking  run  finished with a perfect low  cross for Wade who had lost his markers and he doubled the lead.  Pocklington nearly had a third when Borrie crossed and Pilkington’s excellent lay off was chipped over by Wade. Pocklington went into the break 2-0 up.

The Predators started the second half strongly, substitutes Sez Altin and Fraser Hansen’s interchange finished with Hansen firing at the keeper. Altin made a positive contribution throughout the second half and Wade was unlucky to see his header wide from Atin’s cross.  Pocklington were building pressure and the expectation grew of further goals as the home side lost their shape and gaps appeared.  What transpired was a Pocklington mini goal of the season competition.

Jefferson went first picking the ball up 25 yards out in a central location and he fired home to bring up Pocklington’s third.  Wade’s effort went wide as did Jefferson’s volleyed effort just before Flinton was called upon to make an excellent on-handed save at the other end.  15 minutes into the second half and Pocklington grabbed their fourth.  Pilkington found space on the right and his cross was met by Milner on the edge of the area and his screamer went in off the inside of the right-hand post.  Milner then fired at the keeper and Wade just missed the post as the match was one-directional at this stage. 
Pocklington’s 5th came from the back as Wright came forward and threaded neatly through to Wade who kept his cool and slotted home.  Still the Predators came forward – it was relentless and Milner saw his effort well saved.  

It was pleasing to see the Predator’s youngsters, Hansen and Russell combining for the final goal of the afternoon.  Russell had space and turned left and found Hansen who looked up from 25 yards out and fired into the top corner.  But for some perhaps, the most poignant moment came at the other end in the final minute with Pocklington 6-0 up.  Aviva broke through and Wright drove back to defend and he and Flinton combined to block the effort on goal  -  the manner of their celebration showed this team’s pride in keeping clean sheet whilst also scoring some stunning goals on the way to victory.

Jim Hansen

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