York Mitchell Sports League - Under-10s
For their final game of the 2011-2012 season, Pocklington were away at Heworth. Greeted with warm spring sunshine and a bumpy pitch it was a chance for a few players to shine with a number of regulars away.
Pocklington started brightly with Dan McCrum working up front with Sam Hollands. Dan McCrum chased a long ball forward, keeping Heworth in their own corner and ensuring that Pocklington stayed on the attack. Heworth were, though, going to be tough opponents and it took strong defending and timely clearances from Elliot Driver and Will Ella to keep the danger at bay. Sam Hollands, playing a holding role behind Dan McCrum, was starting to control the midfield and he played a neat through ball to Tom Alston who pushed the ball forward to Dan McCrum. McCrum was just unable to keep the ball in play on the bobbly pitch, but was showing that he meant to keep the Heworth defence on its toes.
Joe Hollands was making his mark in the midfield and started to string a number of good passes together and was chasing all the loose balls. With Heworth starting to attack, it was time for Pocklington to work hard to maintain the score at 0-0. Will Ella stopped another Heworth attack and knocked a neat flick forward to Tom Alston. Alston, in turn, found Sam Hollands who saw the opening for Dan McCrum, who was causing all sorts of problems for the Heworth defence.
With the game going end-to-end it was James Gardner’s turn to be drawn into the game. Playing in goal, he managed to make a number of excellent saves where Heworth had by-passed the Pocklington defence. Again Joe Hollands picked up a loose ball near the Heworth goal and popped the ball to Sam Hollands, shooting just past the Heworth left-hand post.
Back on the attack, Heworth drew further good saves from James Gardner and only strong defending by Tom Alston and Joe Hollands was enough to keep Pocklington in the game. Dan McCrum and Sam Hollands were striking up a good partnership up front and, blasting down the right wing, they won another corner. The pressure was on Heworth and they conceded three corners in quick succession but Pocklington were unable to make their pressure tell. Joe Hollands made a darting run into the Heworth area but one touch too many saw the ball run out of play.
Half time saw the scores at a well-deserved 0-0. Tom Hollands came on for Joe Hollands and immediately slotted into place in midfield. Within minutes of the restart, though, a shot from Heworth saw Pocklington concede a freak goal. The pressure was now on Pocklington to respond, but Heworth kept attacking. Tom Alston and Tom Hollands were defending well and James Gardner had to make a further good save to keep the score as it was. With nothing to lose, Pocklington pressed forward but ran the risk of leaving their defence wide open. Tom Alston spotted the error and sprinted back to again stop a Heworth attack.
Will Ella was determined to try to even the score and, picking up the ball in defence, neatly took it forward beating a number of Heworth defenders. His shot needed a good save to keep it out. Tom Hollands was making his mark on the game and neatly passed the ball to Tom Alston but, unfortunately, the attack broke down. A Heworth corner needed Tom Hollands first to clear off the line and then James Gardner to save the rebound.
Further good wing play between Will Ella and Sam Hollands was again cut out by Heworth and it was looking like time was running out for Pocklington.
Not giving up has become a trademark of the team this season and James Gardner pulled off the best save of the match, diving to his left to keep a fierce shot out.
In the end, and despite never giving up, Pocklington were unable to pull back the deficit. A credit to themselves, the boys may not have ended the season with a win but can be proud of their efforts. Man of the match: Dan McCrum.