By Tim Drew
Football: York 2’s v Sheffiled 2’s
York: Marsh (35); Maney (77)
Sheffield: Dimir (12), (75)
The black and yellow stripes of York 2’s played the yellows of Sheffield in a game that which seemed from the outset that it was never going to be a smooth ride. Putting aside the clash of colours in both sides kit, and the fact the Sheffield team got lost on their way to the pitch, the match started with the expected intensity of a competitive BUCS match.
Evenly matched in midfield, the opening 10 minutes were characterised by good possession play by both sides. Brief glimpses of goal were created by York winger Mikey Garn, threading a ball through to striker Andy Naylor who was called offside.
York’s captain/manager for the day Euan Bell’s presence on the touchline was being felt as he commanded York to keep control of possession.
The match’s first goal was only able to come about, in this tight game, by a mistake by York in midfield giving the ball away to Sheffield player Dimir who delightfully curled the ball past Max Donnell’Ford in goal- 0:1 (12).
Following the opener the game became instantaneously more open with Sheffield looking to inflict another blow to York, with their right wingers far too easily getting past the fullbacks, leading to a cross that was met by a fortunate miss-header by Sheffield.
By this point the elements were in control of this clash with rain, wind and sunshine all mixed into one tough environment for the players and referee; who was beginning to be questioned for a few decisions going against the home team.
York showed signs of getting back into the game with winger Billy Bruce getting his first chance to terrorise the Sheffield right, cutting inside and supplying decisive balls to the forwards. It was inevitable the Bruce was going to be a part of a York comeback, and in the 35th minute his own corner came back off the crossbar to be expertly dispatched by centre back Oli Marsh -1:1 (35).
The match resumed its previous cagey atmosphere with both sides defending solidly, the changing of the ball after a row z clearance the most interesting event in the minutes following the goal. The last chance of the half fell to Sheffield with a teasing ball across the box left the keeper in no-man’s-land, with York owing the score being kept at 1:1 to the covering fullback Lukas Girzadas.
The second half commenced in dire conditions, with the wind beginning to be the key player for both sides. This did not stop Garn from continue to grow into the game on the wings, with some slick dribbles past the Sheffield midfield. The need for the ball to be played on the ground in the conditions was not understood by some, with possession becoming sloppy by both teams.
The introduction of substitute Omar Chadli for Cameron McClarty (60) re-invigorated York’s push for a second goal, with the striker breaking into space on multiple occasions with pace and good timing.
As the final 20 minutes started, each team had brief spells on top, neither making the most of it, with free-kicks and corners having little effect due to the strong winds at play. Magical play from Mikey garn proved the highpoint of York’s brief dominance, winning a corner after a mazy run from midfield.
All the York pressure was in vain as Dimir got his second for Sheffield with a beautifully sculptured finish, dribbling around the York defenders before slotting home in the bottom corner from outside the box- 1:2 (75). The goal was worthy of winning any game, however could be argued to have gone in against the run of play.
York did not rest on their laurels with an instant reply in the form of a magnificent goal by the second substitute Angus Maney, whose goal eclipsed Sheffield’s second. Maney had only been on for 5 minutes before he picked up the ball outside the box and dispatched a delightful strike into the top corner past the helpless keeper- 2:2 (77).
The floodlights signalled a last attempt for either side to take the 3 points, with York adding pressure on the Sheffield defense, Maney hitting the side netting and having a half-shot cleared on the line. These chances proved to be the last of a game overshadowed by the weather as the referee blew for fulltime as the score remained 2:2.
I spoke to Captain/Manager Euan Bell after the game;
“It was a tough first half, we couldn’t get our heads in the game right”
“I thought the substitutes who came on did very well, with the whole team priding themselves on hard work”
“It’s a shame we didn’t get the win, it’s just a few mistakes that lead to the draw”
“I’ll give MOTM to Mikey Garn, he picked up the ball nicely and ran at the defense positively throughout”
F/T York 2:2 Sheffield
MOTM: Mikey Garn
Referee: Peter Hartley
Donnell’Ford(C); Girzadas; Tuite; Marsh; Lewis; Boyle; Knifton-Smith; Garn; Bruce; McLarty; Naylor