Humber Premier League
– Premier Division
MARSHAL TYRES sponsored Pocklington’s Humber league season finished with a defeat to probable champions Reckitts at Hull University last weekend and, although nothing should be taken away from the lads who played on the day, having to field two players on debut for the final game spoke more about some of those who called off rather than those who put in an excellent shift against vastly more experienced opponents.
With only nine players confirmed at 11am, manager Rich Bower was glad to have Ryan Garget and Jim Drewery to call on as he travelled with 12, hoping to make it difficult for a Reckitts team who had won their last 13 league games.
But despite Pock’s pre-match team talk, the home side opened the scoring on three minutes. A long ball caught Town square, and although Stu Lawson recovered to concede a corner, the inswinging cross could only be tipped on to the far post by Rob Kunkel and a Reckitts player was first to the rebound to force home from three yards out.
Pock weren’t put off their game though, and with three 16 year-olds and a 17 year-old in their ranks, worked hard to get back on level terms. A one-two pass from James Haigh set up Tom Rogers for a shot that needed a defender to block it away, while John Heads also saw a long-range effort threaten the Reckitts goal. The home side almost doubled their lead on 16 minutes when a deflected effort just went past the far post and, with the home side on top, it needed solid defending from Lawson, Garget, Drewery and Rob Gibson to prevent the home side making it two.
In midfield, Lewis Cant, Ben Alport, Rogers and Haigh were putting in a shift to close space down and this created Pock’s equaliser on 28 minutes when a Gibson free kick was partially cleared to the edge of the Reckitts area. Rogers picked up the loose ball and played Haigh in down the left and his cross caused confusion in the home defence, with a Reckitts full back touching the ball past his keeper to make it 1-1. Town’s joy was shortlived though when Kirk Blake twisted and turned past the attentions of Cant to put in a cross that was met by a powerful header into the bottom corner to put the home side in the lead at the break.
Town started the second half well and enjoyed a spell of pressure that saw Reckitts forced to defend desperately as a series of free kicks and corners tested their composure. But a break on 57 minutes saw another cross headed in to give them a two-goal cushion. Pock worked hard to get back into the game, but when Reckitts beat the Pock offside line on 82 minutes, Kunkel could only parry a close-range shot and, when the rebound was forced home, Lawson reacted instinctively to parry the ball off the line, conceding a penalty and collecting a red card for his admittedly excellent effort. The penalty made it 4-1 and Reckitts bagged a fifth in stoppage time as Pock tired from a hard game to put the gloss on a scoreline that didn’t reflect the effort from both sides.
Credit must go to Garget and Drewery for excellent performances while Rogers, Lawson, Gibson, Haigh and Heads showed the quality that they had provided all season for the team. Losing eight of their last 14 games has seen Pock drop from top six to 10th and this is not a good return for a club hoping to challenge the top four.
A long hard look will be taken at the squad and, with the expectation of adding several players for next season, there is a good base to build on. Alport and Cant can look at their efforts this season with pride and will be given more chances to establish themselves.
Particular thanks go to coach Kev Graham for the attitude and organisation brought to this young team.