York men’s thirds edged out a dogged Lancaster side on 22 Acres last Saturday, in a close-fought game which certainly won’t go down as a Roses classic. However, the team’s efforts in the first half were enough to ensure that they took the point on offer and complete an unbeaten year for UYAFC and UYWAFC at this year’s tournament.
The Red Rose started off as the better side on Sunday afternoon, in what was a lethargic affair with York having already done enough to reclaim the Carter-James Trophy from Lancaster. The opening stages were notably scrappy, and as the away side applied pressure, some good work in and around the box ensured that the away side won the first corner of the day.
However, York keeper Jamie Colman came to collect well, and launched an attack which saw Dyaus Gohil-Patel – who enjoyed a good game for the White Rose – pump an accurate ball into the Lancaster area. However, it was to no avail and the danger was averted.
Colman was called on again shortly after as he saved a stinging free kick from around 20 yards on the left, before Elliot Testor broke, and switched play over to Gohil-Patel, who worked his way into the box. However, although York were enjoying plenty of possession and making good use of both flanks, there was a lack of any real drive in either sides’ play, and chances were few and far between.
Conor Boyle struck the ball well from distance to test the Lancaster keeper after he did well to steal possession, before Charlie Dunning teed up Testor to go on a mazy run. However, the latter’s shot was relatively weak and posed no real threat to the Lancastrian goal. On the balance of play, York were the better side and carved out a couple of decent chances from set pieces.
The deadlock was eventually broken shortly after the half-hour mark after a good team move; Gohil-Patel did well to spot Testor’s run, who subsequently teed up captain, Joe Watkins, to thump the ball home from inside the area. York were probably worthy of their lead, but Lancaster were by no means out of the game and quickly responded by testing Colman’s reflexes at the other end of the field. The shot-stopper parried a powerful shot into the path of an onrushing Lancaster striker, but he fluffed his lines and sent the ball into North Yorkshire’s airspace from six yards out.
In the final point of note in the first half, Gohil-Patel made a good run, before squaring the ball for Dunning inside the area. Although the Halifax man’s shot was a good one, the Lancaster keeper pulled off a fantastic close-range save to keep his team well in the game at half time.
If the first half had been scrappy, then the second half was extraordinarily dull, with chances at either end coming at a premium. However, it was a professional performance from the home side to see the game out. York’s shape was slightly too compact early on, and there was plenty of room on the flanks that could have been exploited, but the White Rose also had more pace in their ranks which they used to good effect as the match wore on.
Good football was difficult on a hard surface, as demonstrated by the dust rising off the surface in the middle of the park. With their slender lead, York seemed happy to keep possession and dictate the pace of play, and the introduction of both Thomas Jobling and Lukas Girzadas offered something different for the home side.
Large periods of the second half were concentrated in the middle of the pitch, although Lancaster had an opportunity to equalise when Colman conceded a corner and the ball in was a good one. Boyle fed in a good ball to Gohil-Patel late on, but his first touch was a little heavy and the ball ran away from him, before Tom Benney pumped a great ball into the path of George Waring. However, the front-man couldn’t get there in time and Lancaster cleared their lines.
The last chance of the match was a repeat of the penultimate one, with Benney providing the ball in, but no-one could capitalise on it, and Watkins’ first-half goal proved enough for the win.
York: Jamie Colman, Tom Benney, Oli Marsh, James Lewis, Jack McConnell, Conor Boyle, Joe Watkins (C), Elliot Testor, Charlie Dunning, Dyaus Gohil-Patel, George Waring. Subs: Lukas Girzadas, Michael Garn, Thomas Jobling, Will Knifton-Smith.
Man of the Match: Dyaus Gohil-Patel.