High drama in semi-final as Pocklington are victorious

Having failed to beat Reckitts in three previous matches against them so far this season, Marshal Tyres-sponsored Pocklington Town endured a night of high drama and raw emotion to eventually overcome a much more experienced team in the Humber league cup semi-final.

Despite Pock managing to get some of their injured and unavailable players back in their squad for this match, Reckitts showed their winning experience in the opening exchanges and kept the ball well as Pock were set up to contain.

With Pock fielding Kev Goodwin, Ben Alport and Tom Rogers across the middle, with James Haigh and Nathan Hind playing behind lone forward Andy Anderson, Reckitts enjoyed a greater share of possession without looking likely to score. The game came to life when firstly Rogers was forced off with an injury midway through the first half and then, in the 23rd minute, a foul by Goodwin on Reckitts midfielder Kirk Blake saw Reckitts reduced to 10 men after Blake retaliated by putting his head in on the Pock player.

Despite, or maybe because of this, Reckitts continued to attack and took the lead when a Pock goal kick was played back in to the hard-working Shaun Blagdon, who beat the covering full back and turned inside the penalty area to fire home the opening goal. Reckitts were dominating at this point and a deflected shot came back off a Town post while a miss-hit cross bounced to safety off the crossbar.

As the half drew to a close, Pock thought that they had equalised as a cross coming from Alport almost deceived the Reckitts keeper as he just managed to get a hand on to it to prevent the ball dropping over the line. A Reckitts defender completed the clearance as Pock appealed to the assistant, believing that the ball had crossed the line but they ended up a goal down at the interval but with it all to play for.

As the second half wore on, Pock began to use the ball better as they looked to stretch the 10 men but Reckitts defended deeply and kept their shape, coping well with the pressure they were under. Pocklington refused to panic and continued to probe and spread the ball around, introducing subs Dan Boneham and Kalum Horne to replace the hard-worked Hind and Anderson.

Lewis Cant saw a close-range effort headed off the line and Goodwin saw a deflected shot spin to safety off a Reckitts post.

Town threw defender Stu Lawson up front in a final desperate effort. This paid off in the seventh minute of injury time as Lawson made the most of Reckitts keeper Tom Nicholson mis-handling a loose ball, nipping in to square a pass across goal and, in the goalmouth melee that followed, James Haigh fired home a left-foot 15-yard shot into the top corner to keep Pocklington in the game.

In extra time, Pock relentlessly attacked the Reckitts goal as the 10 men began to tire.With just two minutes of extra time remaining though, Town finally took the lead for the first time in the game when Kalum Horne was set up by Boneham and kept his cool to score the second from close range.

He celebrated like the team had won the Champions League, stripping off his shirt and leaping into the large crowd of Pock supporters.But there was still work to be done as Reckitts summoned up one final onslaught on the Pock goal, bombarding them with crosses. Lawson, Fraser Papprill, James Saltmer, Craig Hargreaves and keeper Carl Silburn defended brilliantly to prevent the game going to penalties and seal a cup final appearance.

The man of the match award justifiably went to Stu Lawson for making an impact at both ends of the field and Town will now meet either North Ferriby United Reserves, Scarborough Town or Hessle Rangers in the final, with the date and venue to be confirmed.