It’s Miller time! Midfielder Ben runs the show as Driff beat York
By Adam Chard
Mike Sowersby bags a brace after returning from injury
Driffield Men’s 2s 2
City of York Men’s 4s 1
Scorers: Sowersby 2
YHA League Division 2
Saturday 6th October 2018
Driffield Sports Centre, Driffield
4. Hickie ©
10. Billam H
12. Needham W
With two of the Driffield 2nd XI suffering serious injuries on the road at Airedale, the line-up for their match versus City of York 4s was looking severely depleted. Captain Adam Saltonstall (knee) and midfielder Willem Smith (ankle), would be joining Matthew Knapton on the sidelines, whilst Ash Ewbank, Michael Hirst, Joseph Watson and Tom Billam were all unavailable for selection.
Into their place, stepped Charlie Hall, Will Needham, George Morgan and David Clifton, called up from the 3rd XI, whose game (also against City of York) had been postponed.
City of York 4s were promoted ahead of Driffield last season and had proved tough opponents, despite an excellent Driffield win in their last competitive fixture.
Driffield started the game much the brighter and immediately had the visitors on the back foot with some fine attacking play. Ben Miller and Jack Hardeman were playing in the middle, in a 4-4-2 formation and Miller, especially, was enjoying plenty of possession.
Within 5 minutes, a superb cross field ball from Miller found Harry Billam who had pulled off into space. His quick pass set up Mike Sowersby, who had time to turn and shoot into the bottom left corner.
It was a great start to the game and settled the home side down nicely. Driffield didn’t let York settle on the ball and soon found themselves in another excellent attacking position. Marcus Chacksfield combined brilliantly with George Morgan on the right. The youngster, showing experience beyond his years, sent a fabulous ball across the face of goal, which Billam was unlucky not to convert.
City of York huffed and puffed but didn’t produce any attacking play of note, with Adam Chard in the Driffield goal a mere spectator. There was a little danger when a loose ball found its way to York striker, however both Charlie Hall and Graham Hickie, wearing the Captain’s armband, snuffed out the threat.
On the 25 minute mark, the Woldsmen thought they had grabbed their second goal of the game. A hard ball into the circle from Ben Miller was seemingly deflected off the stick of Harry Billam and into the goal. Driffield ran away celebrating, however the umpire decided that no touch had occurred, much to their disappointment.
Billam came agonisingly close again, as Sowersby wriggled and squirmed into position, drawing the keeper and passing to his team mate, who was unlucky to see a difficult effort go wide.
Driffield were let off the hook on the half hour, when what looked like an obvious foot in the home circle was missed by the umpire. The half ended with the Woldsmen well on top.
Half time: Driffield 2s 1 City of York 4s 0
The second half began in much the same vein. Driffield with plenty of possession and attacking play, and City of York struggling to make any impression up front. Jono Trowsdale and Marcus Chacksford were doing a superb job at left and right back respectively, whilst Will Needham and David Clifton, who had stepped up from the 3rd team, looked very comfortable playing at this level.
Ben Miller was running the show in midfield, ably assisted by Jack Hardeman. His unorthodox aerial balls set Mike Sowersby free and the big striker was unlucky, as he dribbled round the keeper but saw his attempt blocked on the line.
Sowersby turned provider just 2 minutes later, breaking free into the circle, however his final ball was slightly too heavy and Harry Billam couldn’t apply the final touch.
Graham Hickie looked to push up and went on some mazy runs, ending up in the York circle. Sadly, the final ball was lacking.
Thankfully, all the hard work paid off for Driffield in the 55th minute, as Ben Miller picked up the ball deep in his own half. Beating not one, not two but three players, he laid the ball off perfectly for Mike Sowersby who took his time before slotting the ball past the on-rushing keeper for 2-0.
This goal seemed to wake the visitors up somewhat, as they began to attack with real purpose. A loose clearance in the home circle saw a York striker flash the ball narrowly wide of Chard’s post.
York then won a couple of penalty corners, which thankfully for Driffield, came to nothing.
With 8 minutes to go, a crash ball into the Driffield circle, which came through a crowd of players, was saved by Chard. Unfortunately, the deflection landed straight at the feet of a York striker, who slotted the ball home.
The remainder of the game was frenetic and frenzied, as the home side desperately defended and cleared their lines again and again. The final whistle finally blew and the Woldsmen celebrated their second victory of the season.
Full time: Driffield 2s 2 City of York 4s 1
Despite all the injuries and absentees, Driffield put on a masterful display against decent opponents. The players called up from the 3rd team made a big impact, whilst stalwarts like Miller and Hickie controlled the play to devastating effect.
This weekend, Driffield 2s face a long trip to Ben Rhydding 2s.
Man of the Match: Ben Miller—bossed the midfield and created the 2nd goal with an incredible solo run.