Under 16s Boys Football
Shiptonthorpe Utd 2
Potential HBSFL Wyke league winners Withernsea became the only team to have done the double over 4th placed Shipton this season in a fast-paced end-to-end contest.
The closeness of the game was not reflected in the scoreline as Withernsea were made to fight hard for their victory and got the lucky breaks that can tip the balance one way or the other in a match this close.
For their penultimate game of the season, ongoing injuries and holiday absences to key squad members saw Ship only able to find one and a half subs – centre half Liam Odell still suffering slightly from a muscle strain suffered early in the away fixture against the same team but willing to appear in a “ break glass in emergency” role!
The match started at a frantic pace, with Ship determined to reverse the defeat from a few weeks ago and forcing a corner after two minutes.
Minutes later they followed this up with a free kick which was headed off the line.
Ten minutes in, a Withernsea attack brought an excellent save from Nathan Redpath as he dived full stretch to turn a fierce shot round the post for a corner.
Ship cleared the corner, launching a counter attack to win a corner at the opposite end.
However, Withernsea broke the deadlock with a long ball over the top, allowing their top scorer to race clear of Ship’s defence and fire home.
Ship then suffered their second blow of the game as centre half Sam Morrell was withdrawn due to injury.
The game continued to ebb and flow from end to end at a furious pace, the referee at times struggling to keep up with the rapid changes of direction.
Both keepers pulled off some excellent fingertip saves and Withernsea conceded numerous corners which their defence were able to deal with comfortably, due to a significant height advantage.
Withernsea doubled their lead on the half hour when a series of missed tackles by Ship’s defence allowed a ferocious shot to be unleashed which Redpath flung himself at but could only parry away for a simple tap in from the rebound.
Still full of self-belief , Ship continued to mount attacks, getting their due reward when Callum Hatton was tripped as he made yet another surging run into the area.
In the absence of regular penalty taker Richard Strudwick, Mikey Morford stepped up to the spot to calmly tuck the ball into the bottom corner to bring the half time score to 2-1.
With the next goal likely to be crucial, Ship came out by far the better team at the start of the second half, playing some quality passing football from midfield to get their wide players running at Withernsea’s defence.
Morford jinked past the right back time after time and saw two great attempts on goal tipped away for corners.
From one of these, Hatton helped the ball on with a header to Matty Adamson, standing on the goal line, who flicked a back header towards the back of the net where the keeper appeared to push the ball away while a yard inside the goal.
With the ref unsighted and both teams furiously claiming opposing views, he gave the benefit of the doubt to the keeper.
With Withernsea restricted to playing long hopeful balls over the top, comfortably dealt with by Redpath and Ship’s defence of Jack Thompson, Johnny Dowson, Elliot Dobson and Liam Odell, Ship looked the most likely to score.
However, 25 minutes into the second half a game-changing incident occurred. The referee was unable to get out of the way of a big clearance and the ball rebounded behind Ship’s defence, allowing Withernsea’s striker to nip in and place the ball beyond the reach of Redpath.
Two minutes later, Withernsea took their tally to four when a terrific looping shot from 25 yards beat Redpath as it dipped in under the bar.
Ship continued to battle, reducing the deficit 10 minutes before time when Hatton, who had been nursing an injury for well over half the game, broke down the left before squaring the ball to strike partner Harrison Dunn.
He made a great run into the box to get across his marker and tap home a consolation goal.
The man of the match for Shipton was Johnny Moxon for a great battling performance in centre midfield.