MARSHAL TYRES sponsored Pocklington Town finally got their season going last Saturday when they travelled to second-placed Hall Road Rangers Reserves and won the game 1-0, after four consecutive defeats.
With the home side starting confidently after three wins and a draw in their opening five games, Town made a nervy start as Hall Road pressed them back with good passing and movement off the ball. It needed good tackling from the defence of Rob Gibson, Rob Eeles, Mark Watkinson and Kev Goodwin to prevent them from turning their advantage into goals as Town defended against the strong breeze.
When the back line was breached, keeper Carl Silburn showed excellent handling to pick out corners and crosses and, once Pock improved the quality of their passing, they started to match the home side. With Dan Boneham, Martyn Day and Nathan Hind a pacy threat in the channels to the Hall Road back line, they started to create chances of their own.
A challenge on Boneham on 15 minutes could have resulted in a penalty but it only took another seven minutes for Town to take the lead. Boneham was again the threat, with a move that started with Silburn and was passed forward through James Haigh down the right wing and, when Boneham beat his defender, his cross was met by Hind, who was quickest to the ball to force it in from six yards out.
Hall Road almost levelled straight away when an exchange of passes around the Pock area needed a smart save from Silburn with a parry to his right. Boneham saw a shot blocked for a corner and Eeles put a header over as Town created chances and a good move picked out Martin Barnes’ crossfield run to the near post.
A mis-kick prevented Pock doubling their lead and Hall Road replied with a long ball over a square defence on 37 minutes. Silburn was quickly out to head the initial threat clear and Town were lucky that the loose ball was lobbed towards their goal but drifted just wide as Pock maintained their lead at the half-time interval.
Hall Road changed things around for the start of the second half but, with Pock matching them, the home side pushed the boundaries with some hefty tackling, with Barnes having a shin pad broken with a particularly nasty foul.
The ref was kept busy and, although he issued four yellow cards to the home side, more should have been used to control some agricultural challenges, with Tom Rogers in particular on the receiving end. It was to Pocklington’s credit that they did not get dragged into it and kept trying to play their football.
They kept creating chances that should have allowed them to increase their lead.
A Gibson free kick was flicked on by Eeles, only for Martyn Day to fire wide of the target, while Hind shot over from another well-crafted move. With Boneham creating runs into space, it needed a good save from the Hall Road keeper from his initial shot, and Haigh’s follow up from the rebound bringing an even better tip over.
At the other end, Hall Road pressed as they piled crosses into the Town area but, led by Eeles and Silburn, a solid defensive effort with headed clearances and catches under pressure, prevented clear cut chances on goal.
Despite nearly five minutes of added time, Pock held firm and recorded their first points of the season to move off the bottom of the table. But they really need to start being more clinical in front of goal to close out games when they are on top or they will continue to struggle.
A man of the match performance from James Haigh, who had an outstanding game in central midfield, was the catalyst for a team performance that, while it wasn’t the best of the season so far, got three vital points.
They took on Westella & Willerby at home last night (14 September) before another home league game this Saturday against Crown FC.
Players meet at 1pm for 2pm kick off.