Men’s 2s begin new campaign with a seven-goal demolition
By Adam Chard
Captain Saltonstall leads by example with three assists and a goal.
Driffield Men’s 2s 7
Halifax Men’s 2s 0
Scorers: Seers, Smith, Trowsdale, Ewbank 2, Hardeman, Saltonstall
YHA League Division 2
Saturday 23rd September 2018
Driffield Sports Centre, Driffield
GK. Adam Chard
2. Andrew Wallace
3. Marcus Chacksfield
4. Adam Saltonstall ©
5. Graham Hickie
6. Ben Miller
7. Tom Billam
8. Jack Hardeman
9. Willem Smith
10. Harry Billam
11. Jonathan Trowsdale
12. Callum Seers
13. Mike Hirst
14. Ashley Ewbank
Having been unexpectedly promoted during the summer, Driffield Men’s 2nd XI find themselves elevated to the lofty heights of Yorkshire Division 2 this season, mixing it with a number of first and second XIs from across the county.
Under the captaincy of veteran defender Adam Saltonstall, the 2s can now boast a blend of youth and experience, which saw them finish the previous season so strongly.
The Woldsmen welcomed Halifax 2s to the East Riding, another team to win promotion in recent seasons. Notable absences from the squad included defenders Matthew Knapton, out with injury, and Joe Watson. Utility player Mike Hirst made his league debut alongside promising youngster Callum Seers.
Both teams began tentatively, probing and testing each other’s defences, with very few clear-cut chances created. Halifax were keeping the ball well at the back, playing with confidence, however, the home midfield also looked very assured, snuffing out danger at every turn.
On the quarter hour, the Woldsmen began to dominate the match, passing quickly and not allowing their West Yorkshire visitors to settle. Captain Adam Saltonstall dictated play, along with Graham Hickie, pulling the away side around, before unleashing Andy Wallace and Jack Hardeman, whose trickery was obviously troubling the away side.
The game sparked into life on the 10-minute mark. Some quick play from Ben Miller in midfield saw Willem Smith put clean through. His shot was saved and rebounded to Callum Seers, who slotted the loose ball home for a goal on his 2nd team debut.
Driffield certainly didn’t rest on their laurels and took the game to the visitors. A foot in the Halifax circle resulted in a penalty corner. The routine worked perfectly with Saltonstall trapping the ball, before Willem Smith drag flicked powerfully through the on-rushing defenders—the goalkeeper motionless.
By now, the Woldsmen were running riot and Halifax seemingly had no answer to the pace and power they were showing. Driffield forced another penalty corner. This time, with Smith off the pitch, Saltonstall took the initial strike which was deftly deflected into the roof of the net at the far post by Jonathan Trowsdale.
Like buses, the goals kept coming one after another. Saltonstall, again in the thick of the action, smashed a ball into the circle at shin height, where Ashley Ewbank got a seemingly impossible touch which guided the ball into the bottom right corner of the goal, making it 4-0.
The visitors caused one moment of panic in the home defence, when an aerial ball was deflected into the path of one of their strikers. However, Adam Chard was quick off his line to break up play and the ball was finally cleared away by Marcus Chacksfield.
Just 5 minutes before half time, Jack Hardeman put the game beyond any doubt with a great strike to make it 5-0.
Half time: Driffield 2s 5 Halifax 2s 0
Despite having just the bare 11 players, Halifax came out fighting in the second half. Adjusting to a more attacking formation, they threw caution to the wind and pinned Driffield deep in their own territory. However, with Hirst, Saltonstall, Hickie and Chacksfield, the Woldsmen were in safe hands.
As the game slowed, Driffield found more space around the back and Harry Billam was unlucky not to notch his first goal of the season with a neat shot. Tom Billam was also providing a great outlet for the home side, playing some great balls into the circle.
The visitors’ best chance came during a goalmouth scramble, with the final strike evading the winger at the back post.
Driffield decided enough was enough and roared straight back down the other end. Some quick passing found Ashley Ewbank at the top of the circle, whose strike into the bottom right hand corner was deadly.
The cherry on the cake was a foray into the final third from Captain Adam Saltonstall, whose reverse stick strike was sweet enough to beat the Halifax keeper all ends up.
Full time: Driffield 2s 7 Halifax 2s 0
No one could have written a more perfect start to the season for Saltonstall and his men. A superb team performance, topped off with stunning goals and a clean sheet, see Driffield leading the table after the first round of matches.
There will undoubtedly be tougher challenges ahead, however, this emphatic result will send a clear message to the other teams in Division 2—Driffield are here to compete.
Driffield 2s travel to Airedale next week, hoping to make it two wins from two.
Man of the Match: Adam Saltonstall—three assists and a stunning goal. Not bad for a defender.