York Mitchell Sports League - Under-12
A top-of-the-table clash, warm spring sunshine and, with Flamingoland just a stone’s throw away, a rollercoaster of emotions.
The first few minutes of the game saw the home side pressing and the Pocklington defence of Parker, Watson, Binns and Pattison had to be effective and determined to stave off any threat.
Pocklington, though, slowly grew in confidence and belief. The first real attack came courtesy of a long kick by Durkin to Condon whose shot went just wide. Condon again threatened after a through ball by Smales. Ashby, Stephenson, Broadbent and Walker all pressed and tested the home defence.
However, it was an attack by the home side which was to prove a turning point. The Pikes were awarded a free kick, which Binns charged down to Parker. His kick up the pitch was picked up by Walker, whose cross was met by Stephenson to slot the ball past the keeper and give the visitors a precious lead.
Broadbent, Ashby and Smales all created further opportunities, whilst the home side came close from a corner which was well-saved by Durkin and cleared by Watson to ensure that the visitors retained their lead at the break.
In the first minute of the restart, Pocklington went close to increasing their slender lead. However, two generously-awarded free kicks to the home side threatened the visitors’ hard work. The first free kick, from an innocuous position, found its way through to an unmarked Pickering player who duly equalised. This was shortly followed by another free kick, which was poorly dealt with by the visitors and the tide had appeared to have turned in favour of the home side.
For a few minutes Pocklington struggled to contain the midfield and the defence were being stretched. However, this rollercoaster of a match took another twist. Just as it looked as if the home side would extend their lead, a good save by Durkin resulted in a ball out to midfield which was sent through for Mullarkey to poach and gave the visitors a lifeline as they drew level.
From this point on, Pocklington took control. The home side were increasingly frustrated and the visitors started to impose their fluid passing football, for which they have become renowned. It was justice done when Condon, who had worked tirelessly throughout, produced a moment’s brilliance by firing a shot from outside the area to fly over the keeper and into the top corner of the net.
The visitors’ midfield now had control, with the home defence being repeatedly stretched. Eventually, the pressure told and the game was wrapped up for the visitors when a ball from Smales to Ashby, out wide to Walker, was duly crossed for Condon to collect his brace and Pocklington’s fourth, sending the visiting fans into rapture and, with it, give Pocklington the advantage at the top of the table.
This was a superb team display by the Pocklington under-12s against worthy opposition, ensuring an exciting and entertaining game. Man of the match was awarded to Condon.
Pocklington U12s are sponsored by Sinks-Taps.com.