Rotherham hit for six as Driff win on the road
By Adam Chard
A hat-trick for Sowersby and goals from Knapton, Martindale and Seers seal an impressive victory
Rotherham Men’s 2s 2
Driffield Men’s 2s 6
Scorers: Sowersby 3, Knapton, Martindale, Seers
YHA League Division 2
Saturday 27th October 2018
Sheffield Hallam University Sports Park, Rotherham
5. Hickie ©
9. Billam H
12. Needham W
5 matches into the season and Driffield Men’s 2nd XI sit comfortably in mid table after a promising start. The Woldsmen faced a trip to bottom side Rotherham 2s, who were promoted ahead of Driffield, with the chance to make amends for defeat last season.
As usual, Driffield were forced into several changes. Jonathan Trowsdale, Tom Billam and Marcus Chacksfield were unavailable for selection, so George Martindale, Will Needham and Joe Watson were drafted into the side.
On a grey and drizzly day in Rotherham, Driffield started off the brightest, attacking with pace and power from the off. George Martindale looked lively in the centre, whilst Ben Miller and Jack Hardeman moved the ball around both accurately and at speed.
It was speed which unlocked the Rotherham defence on the five minute mark. A fabulous counter-attacking move began with Ben Miller who fed the perfect ball to Harry Billam on the run. Billam then flashed a dangerous ball back across the face of goal which was finished neatly by Mike Sowersby. It was a great start for the visitors, as they continued to dominate much of the possession and territory.
Matthew Knapton, back to his imperious best after a lay off with injury, was able to join the attack, giving winger Callum Seers the freedom to break free at will.
On the ten minute mark, the impressive Ben Miller skipped and jinked his way into the circle, only to be stopped in his tracks by an obvious stick tackle. From the resulting penalty corner, Matthew Knapton sent an unstoppable flick into the roof of the net to make it 2-0.
The Rotherham defence appeared to have no answer to the incessant Driffield attacks. Even when they did make a rare break into the Driffield third, Hickie, Hirst, Knapton and Watson were on hand with solid tackling and experienced play.
Another superb attacking move led to a third goal. Harry Billam and Mike Sowersby pulled the home defence all over the field, allowing Ben Miller to fire an inch perfect cross into the circle which was deftly touched past the keeper by George Martindale.
Despite dominating the match, Rotherham responded brightly to being 3 goals behind. Adam Chard had to be on his toes several times as the pressure mounted. Finally, and controversially, Rotherham reduced the deficit. After skipping past a couple of tackles, a Rotherham striker broke into the circle. Despite the ball obviously striking the player’s foot on the way through, he was allowed to carry on and score past the static defence, the umpire citing “advantage”.
Driffield felt a little hard done by and Rotherham looked to capitalise on this, with some hard challenges flying in. However, it was Driffield who further extended their lead. Callum Seers, who was having a superb game, picked up the ball and ran at a defender, before unleashing an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net.
Half time: Rotherham 2s 1 Driffield 2s 4
After such an excellent opening 35 minutes, it was inevitable that the 2nd half would be slightly more attritional, and so it proved. Rotherham had obviously been given a rocket by their coach and they came out with fire in their belly.
Watson was doing a great job at left back, marshalling Rotherham’s speedy winger, whilst Hirst looked solid at right back. Will Needham also helped to turn defence into attack on numerous occasions.
Harry Billam was having a magnificent game, running himself into the ground to create time and space up front. All this hard work helped Driffield notch up goal number five, when Billam yet again provided the perfect ball for Mike Sowersby, whose angled shot beat the home keeper all ends up.
Rotherham certainly gave a better account of themselves in the second half and should have reduced the deficit, when a good counter-attack found their striker in acres of space. Adam Chard slid back across the goal and saved the resulting shot with his pad, before the ball was scrambled away by Hickie and Knapton.
Ash Ewbank, as is becoming commonplace, was calmness personified in midfield, holding up the ball and making some intelligent runs into the opposition half. On the wing, Callum Seers rode several challenges from the Rotherham defence, before bringing the strikers into play.
With 15 minutes to go, Mike Sowersby put the icing on the cake, with a goal from a penalty corner.
Driffield had a little lapse in concentration as they entered the final few moments of the match. With Graham Hickie stranded up the pitch after a run, nobody picked up the Rotherham attacker, who was alone up front. A quick pass from deep inside the home half found the man in acres of space. He had the time and space to draw Chard from his goal and then pass to a team mate who scored in the open goal.
However, by now this was a mere consolation for Rotherham, as Driffield finished the match strongly.
Full time: Rotherham 2s 2 Driffield 2s 6
A fabulous first half performance from Driffield saw them blow their opponents away. Quick thinking, accurate passing and good ball speed gave the Woldsmen time and space to get shots on goal.
This coming weekend, Driffield welcome Sheffield University Bankers 4s to the East Riding, looking to maintain their unbeaten home record.
Man of the Match: Callum Seers—a phenomenal performance from a young talent, topped off with an excellent goal.