Golden performance by Pock firsts in encounter with Crown

Crown FC..............................2

Pocklington Town.................4

Marshal Tyres sponsored Pocklington’s Humber team turned in one of their best performances of the season so far to record their first away win against a team that they have traditionally struggled to overcome at their ground. In doing so, they had to put in a spirited and hard-working performance, as well as overcome a torrential 15 minutes of rain that would have forced the abandonment of the match if it wasn’t being played on an excellent 4G surface.

With the squad starting to become more settled and consistent, Pock made a great start and, when Stuart Lawson defended a Crown throw in on the edge of the Town area on three minutes, his pass released Aziz Barakat for a run to the halfway line. His pass played in David O’Connor who, in turn, worked hard to release James Haigh in the inside left channel. Haigh cut inside the full back and let rip with a screamer into the far top corner to finish off probably the best team goal of the season so far. But Alex Cutts sustained a bang to the head when defending a far post header as Crown looked to get back on level terms straight away.

Pock stopped playing their passing game and allowed Crown to press them back, which led to a leveller on 13 minutes when Cutts, still feeling the after effects, misjudged a crossfield pass to set up a well-struck shot off the bar to make it 1-1. Cutts was forced off soon afterwards with George Alport coming on at right back.

But with Crown playing at a higher tempo than Pock and enjoying a strong wind at their backs, they made it 2-1 on 16 minutes when Town switched off at a short corner and the far post cross was nodded down and forced home from close range. Pock responded by getting back on the ball and Barakat set up Tom Reay on the edge of the Crown area for a shot that, although lacking in a bit of power, still needed a smart save from the Crown keeper to prevent the goal.

Pock equalised on 28 minutes when Reay set up Haigh with an intuitive pass for Town’s number 11 to bag his second with another powerful shot that beat the keeper at his near post. And Pock almost took a lead into the break when good approach play involving Reay and Haigh set up David O’Connor for a chance from eight yards out. Unfortunately, Town’s number 9 couldn’t get enough power on the shot to beat the keeper.

But, having finished the first period well, Pock were confident going into the second half. Both teams were forced to endure a soaking for 15 minutes as the heavens opened and only abated just in time to avoid the game being called off.

Crown brought a great save from keeper Adam Thomas when he flew to his left to parry a 30-yard pile driver to safety as Pock were forced to dig deep defensively. But this proved invaluable when Town took the lead on 66 minutes. A long clearance from Thomas picked out Haigh down the left-hand side and his hard work gained a corner. Haigh took it himself and capped a man of the match performance when his perfectly delivered cross was swung in to the near post where it was met by a well-glanced header from skipper Mark Watkinson.

Five minutes later, Barakat was fouled when breaking into the area and Reay stepped up to confidently drive the penalty home as Pock gave themselves a two-goal cushion. But, with Crown committing men forward, they forced Town to defend deep and with a lot of heart as the game entered the last 10 minutes.

Lawson and Watkinson made superb defensive headers to clear the ball off the line, while Thomas made an excellent tip onto and over the bar from a far post header as Town kept their shape and discipline well to see the game out.

They could have made it five when Barakat robbed a Crown defender 40 yards out but his attempted lob beat the keeper drifted wide of the far post. With the final whistle going on a great team performance, Pock can reflect on an excellent afternoon’s work.

They will need more of the same this Saturday when they take on Hornsea Town at home as, having already conceded five goals twice to them in two bad games, they are aware of the dangers that they pose. Players meet at the club at 12.30pm, please.

Pocklington Town’s third team game at home to Tadcaster Magnets was abandoned on 15 minutes with the score at 0-0 last Saturday when the torrential downpour made the pitch unplayable.

Despite the weather, Town’s Driffield league team were able to complete their home game against Sports Club United Reserves on another pitch but went out of the Bryan Pannhausen sponsored league cup 3-0.

This weekend’s fixtures sees the seconds at home to Hamilton Panthers with a 2pm kick off. The thirds are also at home to Holme Rovers seconds in the East Riding Cup this weekend with a 1.30pm kick off, while the fourths are away to AFC Lounge Bar.