Photos: Zoe Bennell
And so the title was won. The Black & Gold made hard work of this one, but when Jamie Trant forced home a corner deep into the second half to add to a James Davies first half double, the celebrations could begin. UYAFC will be playing in the BUCS Northern Premier Division 2B next season, but this encounter with Leeds Met was the old cliche of a game of two halves. They were superb in the first half, lacklustre in the second- but it was job done.
York started with an impressively high tempo, Josh Spurling impressing with his endeavour in the middle of the park. Alex Tringham would tease his way inside to let fly with a well struck effort which whistled wide of the left post in the first chance of note. Leeds Met had plenty of endeavour themselves, but were sloppy on the ball when transitioning between defence and attack. Due to this, and the high pressure approach of UYAFC, the visitors found it difficult to get a foothold in the game.
It was only a matter of time until York took the lead. Connor McCoy battled his way down the left flank to draw a foul, and from the resultant free kick a corner was won. The ball, when swung over, was met with no clearance of conviction. It fell to captain James Davies, who made no mistake in lashing the ball high into the net to grab a nerve settling goal.
What followed was an exceptionally poor series of errors from Leeds Met. Jamie Trant was able to confidently beat the goalkeeper to a speculative through ball and cut back to Josh Bew. With the goal at his mercy, Bew should have reacted quicker to score, but ultimately his sidefooted effort was well cleared by a scrambling defender. The resultant corner again found Bew, who could only find the post on the turn from the most acute of angles.
With the host of chances York were creating, 2-0 came as no surprise. Dead ball specialist Alex Tringham whipped in a free kick which found Tom Brandreth on a well timed run at the far post. The centre-back headed back across goal and James Davies was on a run of his own. Forehead met ball, ball met net, and UYAFC were two to the good.
There were simply too many chances for a third before the end of the half. Connor McCoy found the side netting after solid interplay from James Davies and Josh Bew, Davies himself hit the post moments later before beating the erratic Leeds Met sweeper keeper to another through ball and flicking it back to Alex Tringham.He couldn’t dig the ball out of his feet in time though, flicking harmlessly wide as he was closed down just inside the box.
Davies would go on to hit the bar after another strong run, and Jamie Trant would see a header cleared off the line, but it would remain 2-0 at the break. After a first half in which chances flowed like water, it was a complacent York side which re-emerged after the interval. Leeds began to get a foot on the ball and created a couple of chances, but each were met with profligate finishing and an ultimate clearance. York began snatching at chances as the minutes ticked away. It would honestly be easier to give here a list of players who spurned chances by hook or by crook as Leeds Met threw bodies left right and centre in an attempt to stem the flow.
Then the vital third arrived. A corner caused chaos in the box, and it was Jamie Trant who forced the ball in at the second attempt- the ball taking what seemed like an age to cross the line. It was in though, it was all over, and the title was in the bag.
VISION MOTM: James Davies
UYAFC (4-2-3-1) Bradley, Tringham, Brandreth, Osborne, Harrison, McCoy, Overo-Tarimo, Spurling, Trant, Davies, Bew
Subs: Mann, Easter
UYAFC captain James Davies: “That was another good performance, we pressed them well and grabbed ourselves two goals. In the second half, we created more than enough chances to seal the win but didn’t take them, which made it a very nervous last few minutes. We got the third in in the end though. It’s great to know we’re promoted and in Division 2 next year, it’s just a shame that I won’t be around to play for us then!”