York were defeated 6-2 by formidable opponents FC Baltic in their final home game of the season in the National Futsal Super League.
After some manful defending kept the score down to 2-0 at half-time, early and late on in the second half Baltic netted quickfire doubles- either side of a brief York comeback- to secure victory.
The visitors started the contest in the ascendancy, crashing the bar with a hurling drive and forcing Jonny Sim in the home net into a flying save down to his left. Only some heroic defending from Adria Marti Gonzalez on the goalline, refusing to allow Baltic to apply a close-range finish, kept the game goalless.
Jackson, Yu and Bazurto were introduced from the bench and shortly after, Baltic scored their first of the afternoon. Sim was drawn to the ball and the opposing player laid it off to his team-mate, who completed the simple task of making it 1-0.
The Black and Gold enjoyed their fair share of good chances, without necessarily having the transitional precision to punish Baltic’s rare errors. The outstanding Ruben Folch found himself through on goal but showed a moment of hesitation in letting go of possession, which saw the chance go begging. Nathan Jackson’s through ball to James Grey only saw the experienced Baltic keeper make a good save down low with his chest.
Alas, it was 2-0 when York captain Jamie Hallas was unable exert enough pressure on his mark to prevent a low shot, hit from the tightest of angles, nestle in the far corner of Sim’s net. Although the deficit could have been greater than just two, as Baltic had cursed the woodwork on several occasions, half-time offered Junior Roberti’s side a chance to convene and regroup.
Although their BUCS campaign has been highly successful, the standard of opposition in the Super League has been much higher and consequently, York find themselves bottom of the table with just one win. This gulf was illustrated as Baltic issued a reminder of their class in the moments after half-time.
After Raphael Yu’s inventive long ball was intercepted, the away side bounded up the field in an assertive counter-attack. Their number 5 struck the post with his first effort, and was fortunate in that the rebound fell to him to make it 3-0.
There was nothing fortunate about their fourth, which came from a well-worked free-kick routine. The taker played a wall pass to his colleague, who was enmeshed in York’s defensive wall, opening up the angle for a player in space to slot efficiently into the bottom left corner.
Jonny Sim made some incredible saves, none more so than a double save midway through the second half. He blocked a powerful long-range shot from just inside the halfway line, and then almost instantaneously raised himself to scramble away the rebound with his legs. Without Sim, the scoreline could have been far more punitive.
This seemed to galvanise York, who got themselves going through topscorer Folch. He stayed forward, intercepting the Baltic goalkeeper’s errant pass and poking home an early shot on the run for 4-1.
From here, Carlos Pavon Bazurto received a pass in a threatening area and showed great control, not to say composure, to round the keeper and make it 4-2. Folch’s shot hit the post seconds later; had this gone it to take it to 4-3, things could have been very different and the momentum would have remained with the hosts.
Cruelly, though, Baltic took the game away from the Black and Gold with two late goals on the counter-attack. A fifth and sixth took the sting out of York’s riposte and ensured the win for a team currently placed second in the Super League standings.
On the day, this was a tough result to take, given the extent to which York held their own against very strong opposition. Particularly impressive was their dogged defending, which was a constant for the whole 40 minutes. Overall, this has been another season of progress for a Futsal club going from strength to strength.
York: Sim (GK), Gonzalez, Jackson, Folch, Grey, Yu, Bazurto, Hallas (c), Konishi, Chadwick
Man of the Match: Ruben Folch