York thirds held to draw in crunch game with Teesside

BUCS Northern Conference 6B

Images: Agatha Torrance

In what was effectively a title deciding match, York needed to win to draw level on points going into the last fixture of the season. Their general play warranted them taking all three points but somehow Teesside held on for a draw.

York hit the woodwork twice and created the better chances throughout but were made to pay for not being clinical in the final third when chances came their way.

The men in black and yellow started tremendously, with some beautiful football being played throughout the team which eventually led to the opening goal being scored by top marksman James Offord.

The move started with the goalkeeper Jonny Sim, who distributed quickly to the right hand side, before Dave Lewis passed it inside to Gio Pilides who slipped it through for Offord to calmly slot under the keeper. The celebrations were wild as York knew the potential scale of the goal, which would have put them top of the league.

From this point on in the first half, York seemed to sit too deep and invited their opponents onto them. Teesside were creating chances but Sim was not tested by the long range efforts at his goal.

Teesside were getting a foothold in the game as their three central midfielders outnumbered Pilides and Sam Earle in the York midfield, allowing them to create one good chance before half time, but Sim was more than equal to the attempt.

The second half started with York clearly stirred by the half time team talk. They were noticeably sharper on the ball and crisper with their passing.

The next goal was going to be crucial and there only looked to be one team who were going to get it. York were dominating and almost doubled their lead when the ball was rolled to Jon Gill, who struck his shot perfectly, curling away from the goalkeeper only to be denied by the post.

Wave after wave of attacks came from York, with full backs Matt Darling and Luke Gardener finding themselves in acres of space to cross into the penalty area.

The next real chance for York came when Pilides took a free kick from just outside the area, which clipped the bar on its way over.

Then, against all the odds, Teesside stole a goal. After good work from their right winger who beat two men, he whipped the ball into a dangerous area. Nick St George just couldn’t get enough purchase on his header and the incoming attacker wrong footed Sim to equalise.

From this point on the game was end-to-end. York went to three at the back and either team could have won it. However, the game was destined to be a draw, a result which Teesside celebrated jubilantly at the end of the match.

Captain Matt Bainbridge, who managed his team from pitch side during the match, summed up his feelings by stating that it “was a poor first half, we didn’t get our foot on the ball. In the second half we gave everything but it just wasn’t to be. We deserved to win the game from our second half performance but looking back on the season we can be proud of everything we have achieved.”

With one game to go, York face a trip to Teesside to take on their fourth team, while Teesside thirds take on Sunderland thirds. With the two teams competing for the league playing at the same venue, York will hope Sunderland can shock Teesside to give them a chance of winning the league.

Man of the Match: Matt Darling

York: Sim, Gardener, Astbury, Hyde (St George), Darling, Lewis, Earle (Postings), Pilides, Dean, Gill, Offord

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