Mens 1's Match Report - 8th December 2018
By Henri Williams
Driffield M1s 2 Vs Sheffield University Bankers M2s 2
Driffield came into the game hoping to cement their position in the middle of the North 2 East table with another win against Sheffield University Bankers, a team that were yet to earn themselves a point so far this season. However, Driffield were fully prepared for this to be a tough game against a fit and well drilled university side and that is exactly what they were to get.
Driffield started the first half very brightly and, despite some good movement and from the Sheffield team, were looking much the better team. The Woldsmen were creating a lot of chances on the Sheffield goal from the wide areas of the pitch where the wingers, Martindale and Dewhirst, were being fed into plenty of space by Needham and Lee. Occasionally Bankers did counter attack against the run of play but this was met with some stern defence from Driffield, with one particularly uncompromising sliding reverse stick challenge from Jackson on one of the Sheffield students.
But the half came and went with neither team managing to score but Driffield were looking much the more likely to take the game in the second half and Gate’s advice at half time was to keep calm and the goals will come. Unfortunately things did not go to plan for the Woldsmen as they soon found themselves 1-0 down following the restart after a scrappy Sheffield short corner saw the ball pushed over the goal line following a good save from Falkingham. Then just moments later Driffield found themselves down to 10 men after Miller rather lost his temper with a Sheffield player following a clumsy challenge and was rewarded with a yellow card and time in the sin bin.
But Driffield regrouped and continued to play some top class hockey that continued to open up the Sheffield defence and the goal that was coming finally arrived from a powerful Gate drag flick off a short corner that was deflected into the top corner of the goal.
The game then played out onto a very impressive display of hockey from both sides with some exciting end to end stuff and it was Driffield who were to take the lead after Jackson cleared the ball from central defence out wide to Dewhirst. The veteran winger still had enough fuel in the tank to beat his player down the wing before slipping the ball inside to Cherry who stormed past 3 Sheffield defenders before slipping the ball round the keeper to Levitt to finish. Undoubtedly one of the best and most electrifying team goals of the season.
With just 5 minutes left of the game Driffield nearly extended their lead to 3-1 after a penetrating ball from Gate into the Sheffield D found Robson, whose deft touch just missed the outside of the post. Soon after Dewhirst received the ball in space in midfield with 3 unmarked Driffield players in the Sheffield D but his attempted aerial ball was spectacularly off target. However, Driffield were now visibly beginning to tire and this wasn’t helped when Shephard had to spend some time in the sinbin for one too many overly enthusiastic challenges.
With just 2 minutes left on the clock, Sheffield threw everything they had at the Driffield defence and managed to bundle the ball over the line for a second goal following a goal mouth scramble. The final whistle then blew at 2-2 and both teams will be proud of how they played, but Driffield created many more chances on goal than Sheffield and will be more disappointed not to have taken the 3 points.
Driffield stop for the Christmas break now and aren’t up again until 19th January when they make the journey up to Morpeth to start the second half of the season.
Thanks to shirt sponsor Yorkwold Pigpro and the hospitality of the Spead Eagle Pub
Team: Falkingham (GK), Needham, Lee, Gate(C), Jackson, Bell, Robson, Shephard, Dewhirst, Miller, Levitt, Martindale, Cherry.