York Mitchell Sports League - Under-13
Eleven games and 11 wins, but this was a strangely disjointed, scrappy performance despite the emphatic scoreline.
Pocklington were without three players, goalkeeper Jack Potter, right back Will Frazier and sweeper Joe Cahill, with Adam Falkingham deputising between the sticks. The necessity to re-jig the team undoubtedly had an effect and, although a number of players had good individual performances, the team never quite gelled.
Fourth-placed Rawcliffe, who had the home advantage, at times pegged Pock into their own half for long periods - a rare event this season.
Pocklington started brightly, with Connor Marshall having two shots within the first three minutes, although the first goal came after five minutes when a teasing corner from Elliot Russell caused panic in the Rawcliffe defence leading to an own goal.
Pocklington withstood periods of pressure but, fortunately, Rawcliffe lacked guile in front of goal and the defence coped well. Richard McKay at left back and George Booth at right back looked alert and quick. James Snowball, with Alex Smith alongside him, in the centre of defence also looked assured. Alex Smith is prospering in defence and looks to have a cool head and does the simple things well. Jonty Peters had a mixed game, at times playing the pantomime villain with some tough tackles and a physical approach, with flashes of sublime skill.
Matthew Pearson stuck to his task well and battled hard. Dan Litherland on the left wing, and Elliot Russell on the right, exerted more of an influence as the game wore on. Matthew McGurk also battled hard against a determined Rawcliffe midfield. A cross from Dan Litherland led to a shot on goal from McGurk and a spate of corners by Pocklington led to near misses for Marshall and Peters and another well-placed Russell corner led to a game of pinball which only ended when Litherland finally put the ball in the net.
Half time and 2-0 up, without looking convincing, despite shots from Marshall, Pearson and Litherland.
In the second half, things improved with fewer long balls, close passing and more confidence. Marshall came close within a minute of the restart and another Russsell corner created panic and a desperate clearance. Pearson had a couple of shots and showed more confidence in front of goal. Litherland also shot just wide, as did Marshall.
The third goal came from Peters with a flash of individual skill. Pocklington piled on the pressure, with Peters denied by a great save. Substitute Josh Craven also had a shot which was just wide, and Peters had a shot saved. The fourth goal came from Litherland, quickly followed by two goals from Marshall in quick succession.
A number of late substitutes saw Matthew Reaney latch on to a Russell pass, only to be denied by the keeper. Marshall and Peters also had shots saved, as did McGurk. Litherland was switched to centre midfield and enjoyed seeing more of the ball and, linking well with Russell in particular, had a shot which was just wide and then fed the ball to Russell who unleashed a powerful shot for goal number seven, which was the pick of the bunch.
A tough game next week against York RI will require an improved performance and hopefully a full-strength team.
Man of the match was Alex Smith.