York & District Mitchell League
Under-14s cup semi-final
On an afternoon when a long-gone winter seemed to make an untimely reappearance, the Pocklington Predators showed, in no uncertain terms, just who was going book their place the York City & District Association Football Minor League final.
As the sleet and snow lashed the pitch, Pocklington took first blood in the opening minutes with a shot from Rob Cooney from 25 yards out, beating the keeper. He repeated this again several minutes later, virtually verbatim.
By half time, Pocklington were 4-0 up, with Rob having notched his hat-trick and Ben Potter, ever-present and pressing the Osbaldwick defence, found the back of the net from a deep cross from Nathan Smith.
Despite the goal difference, Osbaldwick didn’t let their heads drop and pushed Pocklington to their limits. This commitment eventually ended with a penalty to Pocklington as Jamie Harvey was brought down in the goal area.
The penalty was dispatched quickly and effectively by Nathan ‘Salty’ Saltmer, increasing the home side’s lead to five.
Perhaps the unluckiest Predator on the day was Nathan Smith, who managed a resounding four shots on goal but managed to hit the post twice and found two unwanted deflections.
Osbaldwick’s tenacity, however, was rewarded with a quick flourish that found the chink in the Predators’ defence to take the score up to 6–1, with Rob having scalped yet another net. Now buoyed by their goal, Osbaldwick stretched themselves to extremes. Sometimes this proved too much as Pocklington were awarded another penalty, this time taken by the sure foot of Oli Hughes, popping it into the top right corner, leaving the keeper with no opportunity of a save. In a startling turn for the books, Osbaldwick took the ball and scythed through the Pocklington defence to gain their second, but this display of talent was overwhelmed by the strength and depth of the Predators side.
The Predators’ teamwork has definitely characterised their play this season, and the supporting build-up allowed Jamie Harvey to the take the next, followed on by a squared ball from Nathan Smith to Ed Borrie, taking the final score to 10–2 to the Pocklington Predators, taking them through to the final on 9 May against Wigginton Grasshoppers at Bootham Crescent in York.
The Pocklington Predators are sponsored by Footloose.