UNIVERSITY OF YORK FIRSTS 1 UNIVERSITY OF NORTHUMBRIA FOURTHS 0
BUCS Cup (Men’s Football) Third Round, Wednesday 10th December 2008
A mixture of nauseous refereeing and sulky opposition turned this BUCS Cup fixture into a farce, a late Joe Brennan goal the only high point in what was a lacklustre York display.
York certainly started the brighter of the two sides; winger Ian McKellow saw his right-footed curler tipped round the post only three minutes into the game. Northumbria had clearly set their stall out early on, defending deep and forcing the home side to speculative efforts from outside the box.
November saw York defeat Northumbria seconds 3-0 in the same competition, so it was expected that the visitor’s fourth side would be given a football lesson. Fifteen minutes in and York’s confidence was quickly quashed as Northumbria broke on the counter, firing just wide inside the box.
The Tynesiders found it difficult to build upon this early attack and stuck to their gritty defensive work with the result that York’s chances were few and far between and the two sides went in at the break honours even.
The second half was all one way traffic, with ‘The Yorkies’ having more than the majority of possession though chances remained rare as the firsts seemed to want to walk the ball into the goal. Dom O’Shea was one of the closest to score, his 10-yard slam causing the crossbar and the home fans agony.
Northumbria became flustered as York held onto the ball, showing great touch and technique at times. The away side responded to this with two-footed tackles and by throwing their rattles out of the pram, the referee lost all control.
Midway through the second half, Mark McLeod won a fair free-kick to the despair of the Northumbria players who abused the referee, calling him some particularly creative names. This resulted in one of the Northumbria players, as well as his manager, being sent off.
The visitors continued serenading the official who eventually sent off another Northumbria player with five minutes remaining. His manager remained vocal from the touchline, leaving fans bewildered and confused at his earlier sending off.
A football game did continue throughout this theatre and, with only a few minutes left, midfielder Joe Brennan hit a beautiful shot from inside the box – which was far too hot for the opposition keeper to handle.
This was much to the joy of the winning goal-scorer, “I hit it sweetly so I’ve gotta be happy”. Brennan remained humble, as did his captain Matt Witherwick who was out with illness.
“Nothing much to smile about with that performance, at the end of the day we’re better than that, but we’re through which is good.”
York line-up: 1.Andrew Emmerson, 6. Greg Gardner, 2. Shaun Evans, 4. Laurie Swann, 3. Ian McKellow, 5. Jonny MacWilliams (Sub: Ed Murrils), 7. Mark McLeod, 8. Tom Wilson, 11. Joe Brennan, 10. Dom O’Shea, 9. Mark Gouland (Sub: Anton Murphy)