Predators earn semi-final spot with comprehensive victory

Tadcaster Magnets U16s.......0 Pocklington Predators U16s.3

On 6 April, Pocklington Predators U16s made the trip to Tadcaster for their League Cup third round fixture.

With a strong wind behind them, the Predatorss got the game underway and were soon asking questions of the Tadcaster defence, who were forced to make a series of hurried clearances in the early stages. However, Pocklington were in no mood to allow Tadcaster any time to settle and the home team were forced to concede a corner in the first two minutes.

This early pressure paid dividends for the Predators, as Elliott Russell put a perfect ball to the back post where Joe Milner was lurking, and his header found the back of the net to give the visitors the lead.

Following the restart, the game continued to be played largely in the Tadcaster half and the Predators doubled their lead on 10 minutes with an almost carbon-copy goal: this time Huw Jones getting on the end of another great corner from Elliott Russell.

But Pocklington were reminded that this game was far from over on 15 minutes, when a through-ball gave the Tadcaster centre-forward a chance to half the deficit, but he shot harmlessly wide from a great position.

Despite their early dominance, there was little in the way of clear chances for the Predators until the 25th minute, when a great three-man move from Huw Jones, Ben Potter and Fraser saw the latter put the ball into the net, but he was unlucky to be adjudged offside.

Tadcaster sent a further warning to the Predators on 36 minutes with a powerful drive that just cleared the crossbar, but without any further incident the referee brought the half to a close.

The second half was barely two minutes old when a great low drive from Fraser brought the best out of the Tadcaster keeper, who had to dive low to his right to push the ball around the post.

The resulting corner came to nothing, but Fraser was unlucky again shortly afterwards when his shot hit the post after a Predators’ free-kick caused chaos in the Tadcaster penalty area.

Two chances followed for Tadcaster inside two minutes, but Sam Flinton in the Predators’ goal was alert to clear the danger on both occasions.

However, any hopes Tadcaster had of a comeback were finally ended on 52 minutes, when Huw Jones played a superb through ball to Ed Borrie who, despite the attention of the Tadcaster full-back, showed great determination to get into the penalty area and blast the ball high into the net from eight yards to make the score 3-0.

There was a further chance for the Predators on 75 minutes when Sez Altin and Ed Borrie combined to put Joe Milner in on goal, but his shot was saved.

As the game headed towards the closing stages Tadcaster almost fashioned a consolation goal, when a speculative strike almost caught out Flinton in the Predators goal.

But he showed great determination to claw the ball around the post with the goal gaping.

The match ended with no further incident and Pock Predators now find themselves in the semi-finals of the League Cup, where they will face Wigginton Grasshoppers.