Under-12s wrap up season of success

York Mitchell Sports League - Under-12s

Brayton...............................................................................3

Pocklington Town..............................................................2

With promotion and league sewn up, Pocklington went in to this knowing that the last remaining objective was to go through the season unbeaten. However, this had the feeling of ‘after the Lord Mayor’s show’.

In truth, Pocklington probably had 80 per cent of the possession, but they lacked the usual cutting edge and fluidity and, whilst Brayton were restricted to a few shots from outside the area, they capitalised on all of them. It was the visitors who opened the scoring. Mullarkey and Smales started the move through the middle and, with three players descending on the goal, Ashby found the net. A long ball from Durkin again saw Ashby collect and shoot and Silva-Durrant created a chance for Stephenson. Watson, who usually holds a place in defence, moved into midfield and put a lovely ball through to Ashby but, on a one-to-one, the keeper did well to force him wide.

Broadbent then set up Mullarkey who was unfortunate to add to the scoreline. Brayton had largely been penned back in their own half, however, a speculative shot from distance eluded both defence and keeper to make it 1-1 just before half time.

Pocklington again took up possession in the second half with Stephenson, Broadbent, Pattison and Mullarkey all forcing openings. Pocklington, though, seemed to seek that extra touch. Whereas they sought to walk the ball into the net, the home defence, though busy, were largely able to handle what was thrown at them. Brayton relied on the counter-attack.

A long ball collected by one of their forwards, found space between the visitors’ midfield and defence and, from distance, put the home side into the lead. Pocklington immediately went forward. A Condon corner into the box was dealt with by the Brayton defence but an oncoming Ashby claimed his brace after hitting a lovely ball into the net to equalise.

With time running out, and just as a draw looked the likely outcome, another shot by the home side from outside the area ended up in the net to give the hosts the points and Pocklington’s first and ultimately only defeat in a very successful season. Though Pocklington lacked some of their usual rhythm, they still dominated the play and created chances in what was an entertaining match.

Rufforth.............................................................................0

Pocklington Town..............................................................7

In the most appalling of weather conditions, and the final game of the season, it is credit to both these sides that they played. Pocklington were missing some players and down to 10 men from the start, but were nevertheless the stronger side, creating opportunities throughout.

It was Hill who opened the scoring, after Ashby put him through and beat a static defence. Mullarkey worked hard down the right wing, often cutting in to create a number of opportunities for himself or his team mates. A well-taken corner saw an effort from Parker go just wide. The score was doubled when a lay off by Ashby to Smales saw the latter strike a lovely lob from outside the box to beat the keeper. Silva-Durrant then hit a long ball from the left to Ashby who beat the defence and saw his strike hit the corner of the net to make it 3-0.

With the conditions worsening by the minute, and in an effort to get the game completed, the half was brought to an abrupt end followed by a quick turnaround. Durkin swapped his usual goalkeeping position with Smales and, from kick off, duly went on to claim Pocklington’s fourth. Hill, Mullarkey and Stephenson had a number of efforts and Watson, Parker and Binns were all pushing up to support the midfield and attack.

The fifth goal came courtesy of a penalty award. Silva-Durrant stepped up to take it and, though the keeper did well, he made sure from the rebound. Despite the conditions, Pocklington were playing some lovely passing football. Binns was running down the wing with increasing regularity and it was a lovely cross by Watson to Parker which resulted in Pocklington’s sixth. Rufforth, who have conceded heavily throughout the season, created a couple of half chances before Pocklington were to claim their seventh after a corner was collected by the reliable Binns to score what was to prove the final goal of the game and the season.

With rain lashing down and a howling gale, time was given by the league to present Pocklington with the division two trophy and shields. Rufforth, for whom credit should be given for the manner in which they have stuck with it, despite some heavy defeats, were awarded the fair play trophy. This has been an immensely successful season for the Pocklington Under-12s and credit has to be given to the coach Neil Durkin, his assistants, Simon Smales and Steve Ashby and, of course, all the players both past and present who have worked hard and been focused throughout to deliver this success. At this level, football relies heavily on the contribution that parents, supporters and sponsors make week in and week out to help fund and support the team and club, as well as, of course, the officials who ensure that the games can take place. Congratulations to Pocklington Under-12s, who have been sponsored by Sinks-Taps.com.