Photos: Jack Western
There was a point apiece for table toppers UYAFC and their Teesside counterparts in a 1-1 draw on the 3G this afternoon. James Davies led by example, thumping the ball home to give York a much needed advantage, but they failed to seize the initiative following the goal. The opposition capitalised, beating Luke Bradley just before the break to peg the hosts back. What ensued for the remainder of the match was sloppy and arrhythmic football- in which neither side merited more than the point they achieved. UYAFC will feel aggrieved though, as this was a match they really should have won.
The opening ten minutes was the Connor McCoy show- the left winger found himself first flashing a low shot into the side netting following good work by supporting full-back Dan Jones, then minutes later stirling work from Mirhile Overo-Tarimo on a gut busting run down the right flank permitted a cutback which found McCoy in acres of space on the left side of the box. He had almost too much time to think about a finish, and when it came, it cannoned back off the post with the Teesside ‘keeper well beaten.
York’s incessant pressing came to a head around the twenty minute mark, when a slide rule pass from Joe Easter freed James Davies, the skipper having the ball gallingly nicked off his toe by the Teesside ‘keeper as he rushed out to clear the danger. The captain would not be denied for long, however, and in the twenty-eighth minute a goalmouth scramble following a corner let the ball find its way to Davies, who needed no second invitation in gleefully drilling it into the net from point-blank range.
The goal provided the Black & Gold with a great opportunity to take control of the game, and they contrived to pin the opposition progressively further into their own half. They could not force a second goal for all their hard work however, and they would rue their profligacy in the thirty-seventh minute, when a cute clipped through ball found a clever diagonal run from a Teesside striker.
Luke Bradley would get some purchase on the ball as the striker’s chested control looked to take the ball too far ahead of his leading foot, yet it was not enough, and the man in red stabbed the ball home with consummate ease. There would be time for Alex Tringham to see a goalbound header loop unfortunately off Eddie Fotheringham and over the bar before the half-time whistle shattered York’s building momentum.
After the interval, Teesside seemed to grow in confidence, with a breaking forward stinging the gloves of Luke Bradley at his near post before a winger on a surging run rounded the York stopper only to dally too long on his cut back, forcing Bradley into the most pedestrian of saves. Beyond this flurry of opportunism from the visitors, neither side created much in the way of clear cut chances as the midfield battle grew increasingly tense. Substitute Kieran Coley-Lynch would whip in a tantalising cross for James Davies, who disappointed with a weak far post header, then himself side foot straight at the keeper as he ghosted onto a low pass across the box.
There was precious little else worthy of mention- save for a contentious decision by the match official to award UYAFC a free kick right on the edge of the box when the foul certainly looked to have been committed past the 18 yard line- and a long awaited return from injury for Dave Belshaw, making a cameo appearance in the centre of defence in the closing minutes. A disappointing match all told, and one which York will see as two points dropped rather than a point gained.
VISION MOTM: Mirhile Overo-Tarimo
UYAFC captain James Davies: ‘First of all we didn’t get the ball down and outplay them, we usually do it against most teams, and you saw it for the first ten minutes. We didn’t take our chances when we were on top, then after they scored we just didn’t seem to be in the game. We now need to make sure we win our next few games. Had we won today, and won next week, we could have gone to Hull needing just a point to win the league- but now we have to win next week, and at Hull to be at the top.’
UYAFC (4-2-3-1) Bradley, Jones D., Brandreth, Tringham, Harrison, Osborne, Overo-Tarimo, Davies, Easter, McCoy, Fotheringham
Subs: Belshaw, Coley-Lynch, Bew