Back down to earth with a bump at Ben Rhydding
By Adam Chard
High-flying Men’s 2s taste defeat on the road
Ben Rhydding Men’s 2s 5
Driffield Men’s 2s 1
YHA League Division 2
Saturday 13th October 2018
Ben Rhydding Sports Club, Ikley
5. Hickie ©
9. Billam H
Just 4 years ago, a strong Ben Rhydding Men’s 2s side finished 4th in the Yorkshire Premier Division, 14 points behind champions Driffield Men’s 1s. So, it is testament to the progress that the Driffield Men’s 2nd XI have made that they now face the same opposition.
An away trip to the Ilkley-based club is never easy, so a selection dilemma was to make things decidedly more difficult. With just 11 players available, some reorganisation was required. Defender Danny Bell stepped down from the first team, whilst impressive youngsters Callum Seers and Charles Porter were drafted in from the thirds. Michael Hirst came back into the side to play in the back four and Jonathan Trowsdale formed a midfield partnership with Ashley Ewbank.
While the rain stayed off, Ben Rhydding began to pour forward in number, swamping the Driffield circle from the get-go. With just a few minutes on the clock, the home side came close with a hard run into the circle which Graham Hickie defended superbly.
Out on the left flank, Joseph Watson certainly had his work cut out and coped admirably against a very pacy winger. Michael Hirst, playing in his first real defensive role of the season, was also put under considerable pressure.
Despite much of the play being focused around the Driffield third, they did manage a few breaks of their own. Callum Seers put in a lovely ball to Mike Sowersby, who couldn’t quite find the right touch to steady himself before shooting.
Jonathan Trowsdale and Ashley Ewbank found themselves having to drop deeper to collect the ball and tackle back when possession was lost. Indeed, Trowsdale made several last-ditch tackles, straining every sinew in the process.
The home side piled on the pressure and Driffield conceded a succession of penalty corners. Despite some slick set moves, Ben Rhydding were unable to convert.
The Driffield defence finally cracked on the 20 minute mark, when a mis-trap feel nicely to the Ben Rhydding attacker, who made no mistake from 10 yards out.
Driffield rallied and attempted to shift the ball along the wings with Callum Seers and Charles Porter offering blistering speed. However, it was Ben Rhydding who doubled their advantage. A quick ball from the midfield saw the home attacker clean through on goal. Chard came sliding out but didn’t get enough on the shot to prevent it from going in the goal.
Ben Rhydding had several additional chances, however Danny Bell and Graham Hickie used all of their vast experience to break up the opposition attacks. Adam Chard was having a busy day in goal, making a couple of reaction saves with his arm and shoulder.
Driffield were finding it increasingly hard to clear their lines and it wasn’t surprising when Ben Rhydding got their third with a quick cross and shot.
Half time: Ben Rhydding 2s 3 Driffield 2s 0
Driffield desperately needed a response in the second half and they got one almost immediately. A beautiful bit of interchange between Harry Billam and Mike Sowersby, saw the big striker slot the ball home to cut the deficit.
The home side weren’t going to take this lying down and forced a growing number of penalty corners. Time after time, Driffield got a stick in the way and kept their confident opponents from scoring.
Driffield managed to win a penalty corner of their own, however Danny Bell’s drag flick was well saved by the Ben Rhydding keeper and hacked away to safety.
As the game wore on, the eleven men of Driffield visibly tired, leaving more room at the back. A fourth goal was sadly inevitable, as the home side crowded the circle, sensing blood.
Despite the scoreline, the Woldsmen continued to work hard, with Ashley Ewbank making a couple of fine runs into the heart of the home defence.
With just a few minutes on the clock, the Ben Rhydding winger shook off a couple of challenges from the weary Driffield defence and slammed home a fifth at Chard’s near post.
Full time: Ben Rhydding 2s 5 Driffield 2s 1
Driffield were brought down to earth with a bump in trying circumstances. However, there were still plenty of positives to take out of what was a real “backs to the wall” performance, not least the stunning consolation goal fashioned by Harry Billam and Mike Sowersby who have upped their game significantly with each passing season.
This coming weekend, Lindum 3s travel from Lincolnshire to take on the Woldsmen at Driffield Sports Centre.
Man of the Match: Graham Hickie—for the second week running, “G-bang” led by example with a commanding performance.