UNIVERSITY OF YORK MEN’S 1STS 4 – UNIVERSITY OF BRADFORD 1STS 0
Northern Universities League, Saturday 1 November 2008
A flood of goals for the University of York Football Club saw both the first and second teams romp to resounding victories in their Northern Universities League matches against Bradford today.
Veteran striker Mark Gouland notched a brilliant hat-trick as the first team strolled to a 4-0 scoreline that belied their dominance across all areas of the pitch. Having controlled possession for most of the game, York could and, perhaps, should have scored more.
But the victory will provide York with a useful confidence boost as they return to the bread and butter of BUCS next Wednesday against Durham 1st in the Northern Conference 2B.
Anton Murphy will once again be attempting to open his account after another frustrating day on the 22 acres. Murphy’s athleticism caused numerous problems for the defence but the ball just wouldn’t go in for the Derwent man and he was guilty of wasting a number of guilt-edged chances.
His partner in attack, though, was in top form; the highlight of Gouland’s three goals a delicate lob over the Bradford goalkeeper from just outside the area after an Andrew Emmerson clearance landed at his feet.
Greg Gardner fights for the ball with a Bradford player (Alexandru Hristea)
The NUL is often regarded as an afterthought for the football teams, but York captain Matt Witherwick was keen emphasise the importance such games.
‘We take a great deal of confidence into BUCS after a performance like this and it provides a good chance for the newer players to get used to the surroundings,’ he said.
‘We need to play with a bit of grit this season and I’m trying to instil that mentality into the team. But we also have some great ball-players, especially in Mark McLeod, and we can play some good stuff at times, as we showed today.’
McLeod was instrumental again for York and is fast becoming the focal point of all the team’s good work from his deep-lying position in central midfield. Along with Witherwick and Tom Wilson, York now boast a healthy-looking balance in the central areas.
Another plus point was the performance of Greg Gardner. A peripheral figure last year, Gardner’s impressive displays in recent games have made him a first choice at centre-back. The defence, though, was largely unchallenged in a comfortable afternoon for the home side and Tom Wilson wrapped up the points for York with a curling free-kick five minutes from time.
Elsewhere, York’s second team strolled to a 6-0 victory against Bradford 2nds in what should be their easiest game of the season. A Dan Cox hat-trick and a brace from Luke Molineux put the game beyond Bradford’s reach with captain Alex Richards also on the score sheet. It meant the second half turned into an exhibition match for York, and the home team was not punished for squandering numerous opportunities to add to the total.