North Cave 1
Pocklington Town 0
A close contest between two well-matched teams ended in defeat for Marshal Tyres sponsored Pocklington last Saturday.
With Town missing Haigh, Scott and Drobac, their resources were stretched thinly as they looked to improve on last week’s poor effort against Sculcoates, and this wasn’t helped by Hind failing to turn up for the meeting time, leaving them with only one sub. A good team talk and warm-up sent Pock out in a positive frame of mind, though, and they carried this forward in the opening period.
A Rob Gibson pass on eight minutes put Craig Hargreaves away down the left and his cross into the Cave six-yard box had to be cleared under pressure. Cave countered with a passing move down the inside left channel and Gibson had to be alert to snuff out the danger with a timely challenge. Martyn Day put the Cave left back under pressure but could only play his cross behind Sam Taylor’s run. Cave were enjoying space in the channels and it needed a good track back by Tom Rogers to block a shot away for a corner. Rob Kunkel had to make a good save from another ball behind the centre backs but Town reorganised to close the space down and deny Cave this avenue of attack.
A pass from Mark Watkinson played Day in again and he set up Taylor for a shot that needed a good save from the Cave keeper. Day then latched on to a ball from Hargreaves but, again, Pock couldn’t quite make the half-chance count as the game was played at a high tempo by both sides.
John Heads was unlucky with a bad bounce on the bobbly surface from a flowing move between Day and Taylor, preventing a shooting chance from the edge of the area and another raking crossfield pass from Lewis Cant picked out Hargreaves at the far post. His superbly-struck first-time volley needed an excellent save by the Cave keeper to prevent a quality goal and, with Cave enjoying more time on the ball, they were denied chances by Pock’s defensive organisation and work rate.
Rogers was adjudged to have conceded a foul on the edge of the Town area in the 40th minute, needing Kunkel to make another good block from the free kick as Pock defended well as a unit. But they were forced into making a change at half time when, right on the interval, Cant went into a 50/50 challenge and picked up an injury.
Ben Alport replaced him as Pock were put under pressure at the start of the second half with Cave quickest out of the blocks as Town were forced to play on the counter attack, and an excellent shot by Heads from the edge of the Cave area needed a fingertip save around the post for a corner from a quick break.
Stu Lawson and Gibson had to make a couple of well-timed last man tackles as Cave pressed while Day and Heads again created chances that needed good defending from the home side. Cave scored on 70 minutes when a spell of pressure brought them another corner. The ball was played in and Cockin was able to turn and find the narrowest of gaps between several Pock defenders for a shot into the bottom right corner to put the home side in the driving seat. The game opened out as Town went after the equaliser, allowing Cave space to attack on the break.
With Rogers carrying an injury after picking up a strain, Pock did well to press Cave back, Heads again the main threat with a shot turned away for another corner, and the home side were forced into desperate defending as the ball got played into a crowded area.
Cave could have made the game safe on 88 minutes when they attacked and, after Watkinson cleared the ball off the line, a goalbound follow-up shot was blocked by another Cave forward only for the third effort to be blazed over the bar from six yards out for a major let off for Pock.
Despite four minutes of added time, and a lot of pressure, the Cave defence held firm to claim all three points in an excellent game of football from both teams.
Pock have a free weekend this Saturday before taking on Hornsea Town at home on Wednesday 21 March, with a 7.45pm kick off.