12th March – Match reports

Premier Division

Rustons United 0

Ivy Tavern 1

In what was billed by the visitors to be one of their toughest games of the season it turned out to be that way but the Ivy secured an important three points against Rustons United.

In a game where goal action was at a minimum the Ivy deserved to take home the spoils following a bullet second half header from James Stokes. The Ivy made a couple of changes from the previous week’s victory over Scothern. Craig Rhodes continued between the sticks and looks to be growing in confidence as the games go on whilst Jordan Curtis continued at right back and was his usual tenacious self. Scott Birdsall came into the team at left back and dealt with everything that came his way. Their strongest centre back pairing was available with Chenko and Stokes commanding everything in the air and on the deck. The Ivy are delighted to see two recreate last season’s impressive partnership with Stokes showing his desire again in abundance. George Asplin and Callum Dye played on the flanks with both players giving their respective opponents a morning they will want to forget, particularly Asplin. Joe Mackie continued in central midfield and with the energy of Elliot Dye they always got top side of the midfield battle. Steven Swinburn provided the cover in the middle after returning to the fray and he showed his experience with a good performance. Sean Cann once again led the line, although he wasn’t his usual self in a game that was a rarity for him not to notch a goal, however his presence alone kept the Rustons’ defence occupied in the final third. A couple of forced changes by the management, as has been the case so often this season, saw them once again get things spot on, with the players coming in giving a good account of themselves. This was another big league game chalked off as the title holders now focus on their next game in two weeks time which sees them with the return fixture against Scothern United up at Yarborough.

Division Three

North Lindum Hawks 1

Turks Head 1

Turks Head had a Man of the Match performance from goalkeeper Martin Ziller to thank for a share of the points against their young hosts in this Division Three clash. The game started with the home side camped out in the away half, looking to press high up the pitch, whilst Turks were happy to try and play out from the back. With various injuries and unavailable players Turks lined up with none of their strongest back four in the team. Devoid of any recognised centre backs holding midfielder Alex Knibbs and left winger Tom O’Rourke were selected to play in there and both performed brilliantly against the pacey forward line of the home side. The scoring was opened on the 20 minute mark by Turks Head, somewhat against the run of play, as top scorer Steve Foley outfoxed the Hawks defence before finishing from a narrow angle. This spurred the home side on who resumed their attacking play but unfortunately for them they found the makeshift back four, and in particular the goalkeeper, in no mood to roll over. With the numbers committed forward by the home side a break always looked likely, and the visitors were agonisingly close to doubling their lead following excellent work from ball-playing midfielder Josh Leay. This saw experienced winger Chris Egan blaze his effort over the bar with the goal gaping.

Half time arrived with the score still at 0-1 and with Turks feeling satisfied with their first half performance. The second half was a scrappier affair, with some needless fouls committed by both sides as the referee began to find his grip on the game being challenged. The hosts pulled back level midway through the half, an excellent cross was fizzed in from the right and tucked away neatly by Hawks’ number 9. Hawks then sent forward wave after wave of attacks but were unable to carve out any more clear cut chances, often restricted to shooting from distance, which was never going to trouble Ziller in the Turks Head goal. As the game neared its conclusion the hosts forced a succession of corners which saw the crossbar rattled and then the visitors almost snatched it right at the death, Foley electing to shoot when two other players were well placed if he had squared instead. Had that chance gone in it would have been incredibly harsh on the home side who had battered on the door all game and created many more chances but were unable to convert more than one. So a point a piece and the visitors certainly the happier of the two sides, especially as they travelled with a bare 11 players and had to play several players out of position.

Division Four

The Blue Lion FC 2

Railway Inn United 9

This game proved to be a very disappointing day in the eyes of the Blue Lion boys, They started well in a game that remained extremely competitive throughout the first 10 minutes only to see them fall at the hands of school boy errors. After the first goal the visitors took complete charge and controlled the game putting in 8 further goals. The Blue Lion did find a goal back through Richard Wood after he slotted the ball comfortably into the bottom corner.

The game continued to flow Railways’ way with patches of attacking football from the home side which also created a second goal once again put away nicely by Richard Wood. The game finished leaving the home side extremely disappointed with themselves knowing that performances have to improve if they want to register their first points of the season.

Richard wood and Josh Wray both put in a brilliant shift today in this game and deserve recognition for doing so. The Match Official, Mr Danny Topliss also deserves a special mention for his performance which the home side described as brilliant from beginning to end.

The Shed FC 0

Broadley FC 6

Fresh from their money-spinning appearance on Soccer AM and trip to the Emirates Stadium the day before the visitors defeated their opponents 6-0 to go 3 points clear at the top of the league.

Some superb passing football brought first-half braces from Stevie Stallard and Craig Tysoe to put Broadley 4-0 up at the break, including a fine Tysoe finish for his second goal of the game, and a volley straight from Soccer AM the previous day from Stallard for his second.

Broadley managed to score half as many in the second half – James Gray fired home from 25 yards straight at the Shed ‘keeper, who managed to let the ball go straight between his legs and into the net, before Stallard bagged his hat-trick with his 20th goal of the season in spectacular style, rifling into the top corner from outside the area. A Special mention must be given to Robbie Stallard who made a few great saves to secure his clean sheet too!

Ian Stephenson

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