Predators bow out

York City & District Association

Football Minor League Cup

Poppleton Tigers Under-14s.............................................1

Pocklington Predators Under-14s....................................3

On the first day of British Summer Time, a glorious sunny afternoon, the Pocklington Predators exited the York City & District Association Football Minor League Cup tournament with a 3–1 defeat at the hands of the Poppleton Tigers.

After a disputed quarter-final match resulted in this re-match, both teams were eager for the clash. A tentative start began with both teams trying to get the measure of the other, but first strike went to the home side as a high lob cleared the Pocklington defence, leaving a one-on-one with the keeper.

The second came from an unfortunate handball in a crowded goalmouth which resulted in a red card, sending off, and a penalty, allowing Poppleton to stretch the gap to two goals to nil.

Now down to 10 men, Pocklington dug deep and gathered their resolve. While the ball contained a good deal of bounce due to the hardening pitch, this didn’t prevent several fabulous plays by the visitors, such as the ball Nathan Saltmer placed deep through Nathan Smith, whose cross allowed Rob Cooney to shoot from a volley. It was, however, the cross made by Joe Aconley that gave Ben Potter his opportunity to simply flick it in, in a sublime manoeuvre, closing the gap that Poppleton had created.

After half time, Pocklington again piled on the pressure, creating opportunities, such as the ball played down the wing from Stuart Wright which found Joe Aconley, whose cross allowed Nathan Smith a chance. But it was the Poppleton strategy of lifting the ball high over the Predators defence that proved the more successful on the day, and provided Poppleton with another goal, increasing their lead yet again.

As Pocklington continued their fight to the end, it was all Poppleton’s day, and, when the clock ran out, the 3–1 victory secured them a place in the semi-finals.