York Mitchell Sports League - Under-12s
Having achieved promotion last week, Pocklington knew that a point would secure them the championship of league two of the Mitchell League. The fact that they did so is a testament to the hard work and dedication of all the players and coaches involved, both past and present. However, clearly Brooklyn were in no mood to be the icing on the cake.
The first half saw Brooklyn dominate in midfield, apply physical aggression and put a normally fluent Pocklington off their stride.
If there was any doubt about their intent, a fierce tackle saw Walker go off injured requiring stitches. Brooklyn were first to the ball and their tackling was robust and decisive.
Pocklington dug in, and though they were on the back foot, they tried to gain a foothold. Brooklyn had a few half chances and it was 20 minutes before Pocklington, through the tenacious Mullarkey, was upended and Binns and Smales combined to see a free kick float just over the bar.
However, Brooklyn having drawn real blood, drew some metaphorical blood when a penalty for handball was awarded, which they duly converted.
Pocklington were relieved to get to half time. They came out much stronger and began to stretch the visitors and, as space was created, Pocklington were able to pass the ball better and put in some useful crosses. Smales, Condon and Broadbent were starting to carve openings for Ashby and Stephenson to run on to.
Silva-Durrant entered the play and showed the visitors that they did not have a monopoly on decisive tackling. Brooklyn were being pushed back and due reward came to the home team when a lovely ball from Condon to Ashby saw the latter strike a beautiful shot into the lower corner of the visitors’ net. You could sense the relief amongst the home side and their supporters. Pocklington nearly took the lead when another cross evaded the keeper only to be cleared off the line.
Another solid tackle by the visitors saw Stephenson leave the field with a bloodied nose and Hill came on to admirably fill the gap. Pocklington’s defence of Parker, Watson, Binns and Silva-Durrant had to remain firm and some late pressure by the visitors required Durkin to ensure that the home side would achieve the point they sought at the beginning of the game.
This match was another valuable lesson for Pocklington, who will no doubt come up against stern opposition next season. It is a testament to the Pocklington under-12s that they were patient and able to adapt to the conditions and the opposition.
There remains two away games before completion of the season. With promotion and winning the division two title achieved, the target of going through the season unbeaten remains.
Pocklington U12s are sponsored by Sinks-Taps.com.