Easingwold U14 5, Pocklington Town U14 1
Pocklington Town finished the season with a 1-5 defeat at Easingworld although the result flatters to deceive. In truth Pocklington battled against strong winds in the first half, only to find they subsided early into the second leaving them unable to equally use the conditions to their advantage.
Pocklington look safe and appear to have avoided relegation following their recent strong performances against their fellow strugglers York RI and Brooklyn and the performance in this match and also last week against Poppleton does suggest that Town have something on which they can build next season.
In recent weeks the partnership at the back between George Booth and Brett Cox has strengthened the defence which has allowed James Snowball to move into midfield. Booth was again outstanding in this match perfectly timing numerous interceptions and also bringing the ball from defence when able. Cox too was strong and supported at right back by Will Frazier and left back by Josh Craven and also Richard McKay for the second half.
The strengthening of the back-line over recent weeks has enabled Pocklington to stabilise their performances and whilst earlier in the season teams broke through the middle, the doors have been mostly closed in recent weeks. But the whole Pocklington team still have their Achilles heel in their struggle to defend from corners and free kicks. The earliest visibility of this came after two minutes when Easingwold opened the scoring and two further goals came from similar situations.
Pocklington’s centre midfield battled hard through the entire match, particularly Connor Marshall and man of the match Elliott Russell who played alongside Matthew Pearson. The trio often combined with Snowball on the right and Litherland on the left to build play, but the final ball just ran away too quickly. Marshall himself was unlucky midway through the first half when his powerful free kick was blocked on the line.
Pocklington’s only goal came just before half-time. Russell and Snowball combined to feed Marshall who slotted the ball through to Fraser Hansen who lobbed the oncoming keeper. At 1-3 at half time Pocklington still had a chance to get a result.
The second half saw the conditions change. The winds dropped and Easingwold had the run of the green. Matthew McGurk in his best performance of the season saw two efforts saved and Dan Litherland also had one effort saved. Adam Falkingham in the Pocklington goal made two fine saves during the game; firstly a double save and then showing bravery on the edge of the area.
A battling performance from Pocklington and whilst it ended in defeat the signs are more encouraging for next season.
Pictured is Pock’s man of the match Elliott Russell