Pocklington Town U14s........3
To date, Pocklington’s only victory of the season had been at home to Brayton and with both sides joint bottom at this stage of the league campaign the importance of a win was not lost on anyone.
Pocklington have had a disruptive season with long-term injuries and a depleted squad.
But away to York Cubs last week in appalling weather conditions with just 10 men, and against Brayton, Pocklington have dug deep and pulled together as a team with a desire and determination not to let this season go out with a whimper.
Right from the off, Pocklington attacked with Alex Ashby going close. Charlie Watson then put in a good header to Alex Silva-Durrant whose ball to Ashby again saw the latter put in a testing shot for the Brayton keeper.
This was then followed up by Caleb Condon and Scott Walker creating opportunities.
The first Brayton attack saw the partnership of Jack Smales and Sam Pattison dealing with the threat confidently.
The opening goal came courtesy of an attack by the visitors. In their attempt to try and stop the threat, the hosts conceded a penalty and Condon stepped up to consummately put the ball away.
Pocklington could have added to that score with Rory Stephenson and Tom Broadbent working hard to open up the home defence, whilst Jamie Bray worked well as a holding midfielder.
Brayton, though, equalised when confusion in the visitors box saw the hosts scramble the ball over the line.
Broadbent and Smales created a couple of chances for Pocklington before Brayton again attacked, which required Brady Durkin to pull off the first of what was to be a number of key saves.
With Brayton starting to get into the game, another good save by Durkin saw him despatch the ball to Smales whose run resulted in a corner for the visitors.
A well-taken corner by Ashby saw Stephenson poke the ball in to make it 2-1 to the visitors. This was shortly followed by a lovely move from the back by Pocklington involving Silva-Durrant, Condon, and then Smales.
A push in the box on a Pocklington player saw the second penalty awarded with, again, Condon stepping up to claim his brace and Pocklington’s third to give some clear blue sky between the sides at half time.
It was envisaged that Brayton would come out with purpose and, to be fair, they increased their share of possession without offering any sustained or cutting threat, courtesy of a well-drilled and effective team response by Pocklington.
The visitors were often first to the ball, ready to fight for every throw and free kick and closed down quickly whilst keeping the home defence busy by hanging on their shoulders.
Broadbent worked hard both for himself and his team mates to create various openings with Walker making some excellent runs down the right wing and putting in some lovely crosses.
Stephenson was unlucky not to get a brace when a shot by him was scrambled off the line. What threat Brayton did offer was dealt with confidently by Durkin and, with it, Pocklington’s 3-1 lead at half time was not only protected but rarely threatened.
And thus they claimed a much-deserved victory and their second win of the league campaign.
There were many candidates for man of the match but, in the end, it was deservedly shared by Scott Walker and Jack Smales.
Pocklington Under-14s are sponsored by Sinks-Taps.Com.