Predators welcomed York Cubs to The Balk on Tuesday evening in a tightly-fought close match.
Pocklington had the best of the early exchanges with Joe Milner twice going close; his second effort following some neat interchange play from Sez Altin and Fraser Hansen on the left. The home side looked equally as dangerous on the opposite flank with George Pilkington and Huw Jones linking well and, from a corner, Eric Hogan headed just over.
Pilkington at right back probed forward, releasing Ed Borrie, and his crosses caused the away side problems with Milner, Altin and Hansen all sending shots over the bar. At the back, Predators were solid with Harry Crusher and Stuart Wright covering when required; the latter cutting out a dangerous Cubs break on their right hand side. Sam Jefferson had one final chance for Predators before the half-time break, but his low effort was saved.
Immediately after the restart, Cubs pushed forward and were early benefactors of a corner from which a scramble ensued and the ball was stabbed home.
Pocklington were going to have to come from behind and indeed they did. Jefferson broke forward and accelerated past the static Cubs midfield. His neat through ball found Milner who beat the keeper with style to draw level. Ten minutes later, Milner was again free in the box and, turning sharply, he drew a clumsy tackle and the referee pointed to the spot. Crusher stepped up and neatly slotted home to grab a victory for the Predators.
On Thursday, Predators travelled to Brooklyn, a side whom they have already beaten at home in the league and also in a recent cup semi-final.
The home side knew they were going to need something special to turn around the form if they were to take something positive from this game. Remarkably, their good fortune came from a bizarre performance from the referee.
Predators lost two players to injuries early on; one high kick to the face was rewarded with a drop ball, whilst most Pocklington challenges appeared to result in free kicks being awarded to Brooklyn.
To their utmost credit, amongst overriding challenging conditions, Predators kept their cool and tried to play football on the ground whilst Brooklyn played the long ball game.
Huw Jones scored an excellent opener for the Predators, driving home from a narrow angle and, to their credit, Brooklyn’s equaliser was as aesthetic, with a volley drawing them level.
A Brooklyn free kick flew straight into the net with no contact, from which a goal kick should have been awarded; the referee instead choosing to award a goal to the home side.
Predators players and management managed somehow to keep their cool and, whilst travelling home without points, took a moral victory.