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Pocklington Town 2 - 1 Driffield EI

08 Mar 2014

MARSHAL TYRES sponsored Pocklington Towns Humber Premier team scraped through their Humber league cup game last Saturday but had to overcome a spirited showing from Division 1 side Driffield EI before booking their place in the semi finals on a day when the quality of their finishing fell well below that expected of this squad. With regulars Stu Lawson, James Haigh and Aziz Barakat all missing, this wasn't Pocks strongest possible line up but there was still more than enough quality in the squad to ensure progress.
 
That the game remained so close game was down to wasteful finishing and poor decision making in front of goal from several Town players as they created enough chances to win two games but were left needing some stout defending and good fortune in order to keep one hand on the trophy that they won last season. Pock almost made a disastrous start to the game when Alex Cutts played a short back pass to keeper Adam Thomas and while trying to make the tackle Pocks No. 1 could only foul the Driff forward who would have been through on goal. Only the presence of covering defender Mark Watkinson meant that the referee was correct to show a yellow card but this was a big let off for Town so early on in the game.
 
Pock soon got into their attacking stride though and with Tom Reay, Scott Sullivan and David O'Connor causing problems for the Driff defenders, Town were creating plenty of chances. The opener came from the spot when Sullivan was fouled in the area and Tom Rogers showed his composure by firing home the spot kick. With Town pressing Driff back, they should have increased their lead but denied by a combination of good goalkeeping and poor finishing, failed to add to their advantage. Reay was put in by Jim Drewerys long throw but was denied by the keepers legs while O'Connor saw his snap shot from the edge of the area turned around the post for a corner. With Sullivan hitting the bar with a shot after good approach play from Reay and Chris Saltmer Town only had a single goal to show for their efforts at the break and knew that the game was far from over and having already used two subs to cover first half injuries to O'Connor and Cutts, Pock knew that they needed to improve their quality on the ball.
 
Town almost made a great start to the second half when a cross was headed away at the back post and with Reays follow up corner needing to be headed off the line, Driff were to make the most of this let off as they threw caution to the wind and forced Pock to defend. Robin Walker headed a chance off the line and Thomas made a couple of good saves as Driff really pressed the home side back and Driff levelled the game on the hour when a misunderstanding between Rogers and Greg Nesbitt allowed Driff to break from the half way line. Town still had the chance to prevent the cross coming in but allowed a far post header to level the game up and at this point, the visitors looked the likelier team to go on and win the game. Another Driff break saw them fire a shot that thundered to safety off the crossbar but with George Alport attacking well down the right wing, Town lifted their game as the match opened out as it became end to end with both sides going for broke.
 
Pock made it 2-1 on 73 minutes when Alport was fouled on the right hand side of the Driff area and a pin point Nesbitt free kick picked out Watkinsons near post run for a headed goal. Pock changed to a 4-4-2 formation and set up to consolidate and while Driff enjoyed good possession, Watkinson, Alport, Walker and Jim Drewery worked well as a unit to prevent any serious threats on the Pock goal. Town had more chances to increase their lead when Sullivan and Dan Boneham raced clear on the counter attack but more wasteful finishing ensured that the last 10 minutes were more nervy than they should have been as Pock made it through but with difficulty. Led by a MOM performance from skipper Watkinson, Town closed the game out but know that they had a fortunate win after this somewhat nervy and unconvincing performance.
 
They are back in league action this Saturday with a home game against bottom of the league Westella & Willerby but after Westella recorded the shock of last weekend with a win on penalties over current league leaders Reckitts, Pock know that they shouldn't take anything for granted. Players meet at the club at 12.30 pm please.

Richard Bower

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