Photos: Jack Western
UYAFC 1sts secured their passage to the third round of the BUCS Cup as they held their nerve in a penalty shoot-out against Newcastle 1sts.
Two in-form sides playing excellent football promised a Cup classic in the glaring sunlight of Wednesday afternoon on the 3G- and they certainly delivered in style. Nil-nil all too often means a bore draw, but three top-class saves from the Newcastle goalkeeper and a penalty save from his opposing number Luke Bradley in the York net kept the spectators gripped. Extra time proved frenetic as the play began to stretch, with Newcastle looking like they might grab the winner. Desperately poor officiating threatened to mar the Black and Gold’s stellar performance, but justice was done when Bradley made two more stops in the penalty shoot-out to see his side through to the last 16.
It was the visitors who seized the initiative in the opening minutes, with the dangerous Newcastle left winger Clemens driving a rebound from a Bradley save into the side-netting. The Newcastle attack looked incisive down the flanks, but excellent tracking and support from centre backs Tom Brandreth and Alex Tringham consistently scuppered their forward advances. At the other end of the pitch it was Tringham who would burst forward from the back and find the feet of his captain James Davies. Davies’ initial effort was blocked, but it would rebound to Tringham, who ended up snatching at the chance and watched his effort clear the bar. The White Rose gained a foothold in the half as it progressed, and were unfortunate to see a thumping effort across goal from Davies acrobatically tipped wide by the opposition goalkeeper. Davies was again denied with a low drive minutes later after a goalbound header from the tireless Mirhile Overo-Tarimo was cleared off the line.
Keen to maintain the momentum with which they finished the first half, York players were quickly in Newcastle faces, and almost straight from the restart Joe Easter dispossessed a Newcastle defender, raced through on goal, but could only shoot straight at the ‘keeper. James Davies would continue his assault on the Newcastle goal, with the ‘keeper producing a second phenomenal save to tip his effort from a gorgeous Connor McCoy centre onto the bar. The visitors were convinced they’d scored from a corner against the run of play, but the much maligned referee was having none of it. Moments later, the official seemed far too keen to atone for provoking the angst of the Newcastle players, awarding the most contentious of spot-kicks for a soft foul which certainly looked to be outside the area. For what would prove not to be the last time in the afternoon, Luke Bradley stood tall and justice prevailed, making a great save to deny the Newcastle kick-taker.
Extra time yielded a Newcastle revival, and with York backs to the wall, a number of chances- including a driving run by Clemens denied by a combination of Brandreth and Bradley at the near post- made the last few minutes nervy for the White Rose. A horrendous challenge on York captain James Davies followed, and the Newcastle man should have seen yellow, especially considering the referee had dished out cards to what seemed like half the York team (including an off-pitch substitute) by this point. There was no card to be had, but neither was there a Newcastle goal to be had in the extra thirty minutes as the Black and Gold remained impenetrable. It was time for a penalty shoot-out.
VISION MOTM: Luke Bradley
UYAFC Captain James Davies: “We would’ve liked to have won in 90 minutes, we definitely deserved to. I feel we should’ve had a penalty, but they got one, we didn’t. We did so well to contain them considering they’re a top side. We got on the ball, created chances of our own- we just couldn’t stick it in the net.”
YORK (4-2-3-1): Bradley, Jones, Brandreth, Tringham, Harrison, Overo-Tarimo, Osborne, Davies, Easter, McCoy, Trant
Subs: Kohli-Lynch, Spurling, Gwinnett