Mens 1's Match Report - 29th Sept 2018
By Henri Williams
Driffield M1 3 vs Gateshead M1 2
Driffield Mens 1s hosted Gateshead 1s on Saturday, marking the first time the two teams have met since the Geordies were demoted from North One last season. Driffield were also not able to rely on their star striker, Ed Cherry, who was unavailable this week.
From the first 10 minutes of play it was clear that both teams were trying to sum the other up and initially Gateshead were looking to be the stronger team, capitalising on some nervy Driffield play.
However, as against SUBHC the previous week, Driffield quickly played themselves into the game and began to show Gateshead the quality of play that they are capable, moving the ball round the back 3 of Lee, Jackson and Needham and linking up well with Gate, Bell and Dewhirst in Midfield.
The Driffield midfield were then able to start distributing the ball out to the young wide players, Voase and Martindale who did a great job at either recycling the ball back into midfield or found outlets to Levitt and Shepard playing high up front. Gateshead were visibly on the back foot, trying to deal with this dynamic play from the Woldsmen and soon found themselves 1-0 down when Martindale bounced a ball off Dewhirst to see him clear with the ball in the Gateshead D. The young striker cleverly slipped a dangerous ball onto the Gateshead P spot where a goal line melee ensued that allowed Wallace the opportunity to slip the ball over the goal line.
Driffield continued the excellent play after the restart and within minutes had extended their lead to 2 goals when a powerful shot from Dewhirst was parried by the Gateshead keeper into the path of Levitt who characteristically smashed the ball back into the Gateshead net to make it 2-0.
With 5 minutes left of the half Driffield were keen just to take their 2 goal lead into the break but Gateshead had other ideas, employing a high press to put the pressure back on Driffield. This worked very effectively and Driffield began to look nervy again and were no longer able to hold on to the ball like they previously had. Just before the whistle for half time Lee received the ball at left back and a misplaced pass to Jackson sent 2 Gateshead forwards clear at Falkingham in goal who was unable to prevent them passing the ball round him to take the score to 2-1.
In the 2nd half Driffield were able to compose themselves and despite Gateshead continuing with the high press were able to dominate the play again, creating a series of chances at goal and winning a number of short corners. With 15 minutes left on the clock they managed to extend their lead to 3-1 when Robson managed to wriggle the ball into space in the Gateshead D and reverse flicked the ball powerfully over the keeper’s left shoulder- a truly masterful finish from the veteran.
With just 12 minutes left of play and 3-1 up Driffield should have closed out the game and even extended the lead, but the Woldsmen never like to make it too easy for the home supporters. Gateshead started to push hard to salvage something of the game and Driffield started to pay the price for not holding their shape well enough and with just 5 minutes left on the clock Gateshead released one of their pacey midfielders through on goal unmarked. Jackson tried to catch him but the Geordie was allowed to fire an accurate shot from the top of the D just inside the left post of Falkingham, to reduce the deficit to 3-2.
Unfortunately, Driffield never quite seemed to regain their shape and Gateshead were allowed to pose a constant threat at the home team’s goal in the dying moments of the game. However, they ultimately ran out of time as the final whistle eventually blew with the scores at 3-2 and Driffield were absolutely delighted to take their season’s points tally to 6 out of 6.
Next week Driffield will host another unknown quantity at the leisure centre, in the form of Leeds Adel 1, who were promoted from Yorkshire Premier this season and look to be a strong outfit. But Driffield will take confidence from this game against Gateshead and will be working hard to build on the performance and maintain their position in the top 3 of North 2 East.
Thanks as always to the sponsors Yorkwold Pigpro and Cherry Hire and to the hospitality of The Spread Eagle and also to the home supporters.