York Mitchell Sports League - Under-13s
Pocklington faced a Copmanthorpe team in buoyant mood having defeated York RI and pushing for second place in the league.
A potential banana skin for unbeaten Pock and the need to be fully focused was impressed upon the team. It was an inauspicious start for Pocklington as Adam Falkingham was injured during the warm-up and was unable to play.
Pocklington were surprised by the pace and tenacity of Copmanthorpe who were immediately on the attack. A long through ball dissected the Pocklington defence and only the alertness of James Snowball saved the day. Another surge from Copmanthorpe led to a last-ditch tackle from Josh Craven.
Pocklington were struggling with a very aerial, direct approach and initially responded with the same tactic, but showed their attacking threat after a through ball from Litherland saw Connor Marshall shoot just wide. This was soon followed by a seemingly goalbound effort from Litherland which hit the post.
Copmanthorpe replied with a concentrated effort of their own, but Litherland immediately responded with a shot which was saved. The deadlock was broken by Elliot Russell, following some good work by Marshall. The relief was shortlived, however, as Copmanthorpe hit back with a scrappy goal from a goalmouth scramble and a fortuitous rebound.
Slowly but surely, Pock started to assert some degree of control, and started to string their passes together. Litherland and Russell received more ball, thanks to Booth, Snowball and Frasier surging forward, with Smith and Pearson embroiled in a real battle.
Litherland came close and had an effort saved, and a surging run and pass by Snowball led to Russell’s second goal, to settle the nerves. Marshall came close on two more occasions from crosses from Litherland.
Half time 2-1 to Pocklington.
The second half led to a superb goal from Russell following a Booth pass after only 20 seconds. Copmanthorpe visibly wilted and Pock now took control. Some nice passing between Litherland and Cahill led to another shot from Marshall, quickly followed by Russell firing over after more good work from Booth. Goal number four came from a Marshall penalty after Russell was brought down.
Richard McKay had come on for Alex Smith and settled down well in defence. Copmanthorpe were now restricted to only occasional forays into Pocklington’s half as Litherland, Marshall and Snowball all peppered the Copmanthorpe goal.
A flurry of injury-induced changes followed and Pock were caught on the break only for Jack Potter to make a superb reflex save. Marshall scored number five, and his first in open play, after a determined run and accurate pass from Snowball.
A comfortable looking scoreline after some early scares, but a stern test that Pocklington passed with flying colours.
A well-deserved man-of-the-match award went to Elliot Russell.