York Mitchell Sport League - Under-13s
Pocklington began brightly and with confidence in their quest to extend their unbeaten run to 12 games, as Connor Marshall forced a save within a minute of kick off.
Pocklington had a re-shaped line up due to missing players. Josh Craven slotted in at right back and George Booth moved to midfield, playing just behind Matthew Pearson and Matthew McGurk with Dan Litherland on the left and Elliot Russell on the right. Connor Marshall played up front in his accustomed role. James Snowball and Alex Smith played in the centre of defence with Richard McKay at left back with Jack Potter in goal.
The first goal came from Dan Litherland after five minutes, following a clever pass from George Booth. Pocklington soon added a second after some neat passing between George Booth and Elliot Russell leading to a neatly taken goal by Booth. Marshall soon added a third, and the fourth also came from Marshall after some nice work by Booth revelling in his new role.
At 4-0 and coasting, the game suddenly changed as the curse of rolling substitutions struck and, with George Booth rested, Pocklington lost all cohesion and struggled to string their passes together. The defence looked out of sorts and often looked outpaced and Poppleton pulled one back. A poorly defended corner was punished as the score read 4-2.
A resurgent Poppleton, sensing the disarray in the Pocklington ranks, soon added a third, and an upset was on the cards. George Booth came back on and, with James Snowball looking in good form, started to reassert themselves and the passing improved.
Marshall looked a threat as he started to receive more passes from Booth and Russell, in particular, while Litherland was rested. Marshall and Russell both had good efforts, and a powerful Marshall free kick was well saved. Russell and Booth, in particular, showed a good understanding and worked well together.
George Booth eased the frayed nerves with his second to make it 5-3. Connor Marshall scored his third after some neat passing between himself and a very pumped-up Booth. After a surging run, beating several tackles, Booth’s accurate shot forced a corner, from which Marshall made it 7-3.
Pocklington’s final goal was from a Marshall solo effort and showed his skill and determination to good effect. Dan Litherland, now playing on the right, had the last meaningful shot of the game after a neat pass from Pearson.
An emphatic score line, but only the deadly finishing of Marshall and the determination of Booth, Russell and Snowball, in particular, helped ‘paper over the cracks.’
With York RI to face next week, a full-strength fully focused team will be required. Joint men of the match: George Booth and James Snowball.