UNIVERSITY OF YORK SECONDS 1
UNIVERSITY OF SUNDERLANDS FIRSTS 0
A well taken penalty-flick from James Wilson was enough for the men’s hockey seconds to defeat Sunderland firsts as they continue their late season push for promotion from the BUCS Northern Conference 5B.
With the season drawing to a close and every result becoming more important, York skipper Thomas Chevins was extremely pleased with his side’s determination to get a result, highlighting York’s resolute pressing defence as key in an important victory. His side’s efforts today will continue to pile the pressure on free-scoring and serial table toppers Bradford firsts , who York seconds play next week in a winner-takes-all promotion fixture.
Should they get promoted, they might look at this result as being their springboard to a closing flourish. Despite a single goal victory, York dominated possession for much of the game, Sunderland restricted to long balls in an attempt to catch York on the counter attack – but their speedy counter almost paid dividends inside the first five minutes. A hopeful drive across the York goal from Sunderland forward Duncan Stevens only required the slightest of touches to see it find the net, but with a finish lacking, this was as good as it got for the visitors as the game descended into a midfield slog for possession.
Images: Justyn Hardcastle
As a disciplined York began to ably control the exchanges, they soon started to create the better chances in what was a dour first half. James Wilson forced Sunderland keeper Glen Olsen into a smart save from close range, before Olsen produced another excellent save minutes later from a penalty corner, getting a strong hand to a Harry Bercis thunderbolt which looked destined for the roof of the net.
Despite the exceptional play of Olsen, who was keeping the visitors in the game, York would get their just reward for their relentless pressure in attack midway through the second half. James Talbot’s jinking dribble from the left wing saw him felled in the box by a clumsy challenge by Olsen, Wilson keeping his nerve to duly drill the ball into the bottom left corner to put York in front.
Even with a numerical disadvantage, Joe Walsh heading to the sin-bin for a deliberate block, York were always in total control and should have made the game safe in the closing minutes. Wilson was again given time to fire a stinging drive towards goal from just inside the area, only for it to be blocked by some last ditch Sunderland defending, before the third James in the York attack, James Lewis, was denied by an acrobatic block from Olsen from almost point blank range.
YORK TEAM: Thomas Chevins (GK), Alex Alonso, Thomas Harcourt, Harry Bercis, Dan Forshaw, Joe Walsh, Sam Unsworth, Duncan Sills, James Talbot, James Wilson, James Lewis, Simon Murphy, Dan Steele, Dougie McAteer