Men's 2s slip to defeat at Ramgarhia
By Adam Chard
Tough away day for a young and relatively inexperienced Driffield side.
Ramgarhia Men’s 1s 5
Driffield Men’s 2s 1
Scorer: Needham W
YHA League Division 2
Saturday 10th November 2018
The Co-operative Academy of Leeds, Harehills, Leeds
5. Hickie ©
8. Needham W
9. Billam H
When the fixture list came out at the start of the season, it threw up several new and unknown opponents for Driffield Men’s 2nd XI. The trip to Ramgarhia, based in the Harehills district of Leeds, was just one of these fixtures.
With several players unavailable for selection, Driffield called up a number of younger players from the 3rd team, including George Morgan, Charles Porter and David Clifton. Will Needham and Charlie Hall also made the step up from the 3rd team.
Despite being an unknown quantity, Ramgarhia had started the season well, with 5 wins and only one actual defeat—a narrow 3-4 loss to second-placed Ben Rhydding 2s. So, it could prove a tough day for this young and relatively inexperienced Driffield side.
In the opening exchanges, Driffield battled for dominance in midfield. Matthew Knapton led the line well, holding up the ball and releasing Callum Seers and Will Needham on the wings. Despite this, Driffield were turning over possession all too frequently and it wasn’t long before the hosts had their first meaningful attack of the game—Adam Chard saving a strike from the right-hand side of the circle.
The back line of Graham Hickie, Joseph Watson, Jonathan Trowsdale and Marcus Chacksfield were being made to work very hard. Hickie showed his experience, channelling and shadowing the home side’s big centre forward.
After a fairly even opening 15 minutes, Ramgarhia finally breached the Driffield defences. An accurate aerial ball out of defence found one of their strikers on the run, who quickly fed the ball into their pacey winger. His snapshot beat a disappointed Adam Chard at his near post.
Driffield didn’t take this set-back lying down and attacked with purpose at the next opportunity. David Clifton and Charles Porter made some good in-roads into the circle, however the Ramgarhia defence were very experienced and tackled well.
Ramgarhia continued to probe and press the Driffield back line, winning a succession of penalty corners. The Ramgarhia tactic seemed to consist of passing the ball to their large forward, who would then shield the ball whilst moving forwards at a slow pace, before flicking towards goal. Luckily, Adam Chard stood his ground and made the save each time. After another save, the ball broke to a Ramgarhia attacker whose shot hit the post and rebounded of Charlie Hall’s stick to safety. The big forward protested too much, somehow thinking the ball had hit a foot, before being green carded and sin-binned by stand-in umpire Adam Saltonstall.
On 25 minutes, Driffield deservedly got back into the game. The hard-working Harry Billam played a pin-point ball to Jonathan Trowsdale whose run along the back line found Will Needham. The winger smashed the ball past the floundering Ramgarhia keeper for his first second team goal.
Unfortunately, inexperience told for the Woldsmen as they gave up the lead just a few minutes later. Yet again, a swift counter-attack caught Driffield napping and an accurate reverse strike found the side of the back board, making it 1-2.
Half time: Ramgarhia 1s 2 Driffield 2s 1
It was a disappointing way to end the half and Driffield knew they would have to summon all their energy and speed to get back into the game.
Ramgarhia continued with their robust manner of play, which, at times, the young side had no real answer to. So, it was no surprise when the home side stretched their lead further. Again, an accurate ball out of the midfield gave their striker time and space to pull Charlie Hall one way, then the other, before striking well past Adam Chard in goal.
The home side kept the pressure up, resulting in an injury to Charlie Hall, who had to leave the field. This left no defensive subs for Driffield to call upon, meaning energy levels were running low.
With the defence visibly tiring, Ramgarhia got their fourth goal of the game. The same tactic from the penalty corner finally paid off, with some lacklustre challenges being made.
Harry Billam was a bright spark up front, making some great runs and dropping back into the heart of the defence to collect balls and relieve the pressure. Marcus Chacksfield, at right back, also showed experience beyond his years to time his tackles to perfection before breaking down the wing to join the attack.
At this stage, the Woldsmen could have easily capitulated, leading to a rout. However, it was to their credit that Ramgarhia broke through only one more time—producing a carbon copy of the second goal.
The home side were now content to give the ball to their big forward, who, frustratingly, continued to manufacture fouls and run the clock down, rather than playing meaningful hockey.
With the rain beating down, the match fizzled out into a heavy defeat for Driffield.
Full time: Ramgarhia 1s 5 Driffield 2s 1
This really was a game of two halves for Driffield, who played well in the first 35 minutes but were taught a lesson in the second period. Despite this, the relatively young Driffield side will have learnt a lot about game management, which will put them in good stead for the more winnable fixtures this season.
This coming weekend, the Woldsmen travel away again to take on Wakefield 3s.
Man of the Match: Harry Billam—constant running and willingness to drop back, helped relieve pressure.