Grimsby Men’s 1s 9
Driffield Men’s 2s 1
YHA League Division 1
Saturday 19th October 2019
Grimsby Institute & University Centre, Grimsby
GK. Adam Chard ©
2. Callum Seers
3. Sam Smith
4. Matthew Knapton
5. Charlie Hall
6. Jack Hardeman
7. Ashley Ewbank
8. Charles Porter
9. Harry Billam
10. Reece Goatley
11. George Morgan
On a slightly wet October day, second-placed Driffield Men’s 2nd XI travelled across the Humber Bridge to take on Grimsby Men’s 1st team.
Due to player unavailability and some bad luck in the injury department, Driffield managed to scrape a starting eleven together with at four 3rd team regulars being drafted into the team. Of those players, defender Sam Smith and attacker Reece Goatley were making their debut at this level. With a lack of experienced defenders, Callum Seers, who usually plays in attack, volunteered to take on a defensive role.
To begin with, Driffield stroked the ball around the back line patiently, hoping to draw Grimsby out and create space in midfield. However, the home side were quick to pounce on any mistakes and soon had the visitors on the back foot.
On 10 minutes, Grimsby scored with their first meaningful pressure on the Driffield goal, working the ball into the circle, before being tapped in by an unmarked man on the back post. It was a double blow just 2 minutes later, as the Driffield defence found themselves outnumbered and the Grimsby striker unleashed an unstoppable shot from midway inside the circle.
The Woldsmen did their best to get back into the match, with Jack Hardeman and Ash Ewbank combining well in midfield. Harry Billam was his usual energetic self, closing down defenders and releasing Reece Goatley to advance on goal. Despite the effort, Driffield were unable to work the goalkeeper at any point.
The home side won several penalty corners but Seers, Smith, Knapton and Hall were able to repel all efforts on goal.
Just a couple of minutes later, Driffield weren’t so lucky as another tricky dribble into the circle saw Chard drawn to the ball, before finding an unmarked man on the back post for number 3. It was a theme that was repeated throughout the afternoon, as Grimsby scored three more in the first half.
Half time: Grimsby 1s 6 Driffield 2s 0
At half time, stand-in captain Adam Chard explained that Driffield now had to play for pride and aim to win the second half. With these words ringing in their ears, they set out to do just that.
After just 5 minutes, Ewbank robbed a Grimsby attacker and set Harry Billam on his way. Billam slipped the perfect ball to Reece Goatley who outpaced his marker, before cooly going round the diving keeper before slotting the ball home on his reverse stick, in what was possibly the best move of the whole match.
Youngsters Sam Smith and Charles Porter matured as the second half progressed with better positional awareness, looking much more at home at this level. Grimsby huffed and puffed but still couldn’t get past the backline, with Matthew Knapton and Charlie Hall putting in some splendid tackles.
Both Callum Seers and George Morgan were proving good outlets on the flanks, whilst Harry Billam was now playing a bit deeper and supporting the defence.
It took the home side until the 55th minute to claim their next goal. Again, slack marking allowed a free man at the back post to stroke the ball home.
As the eleven men of Driffield looked visibly tired, Grimsby got an eighth goal, which Adam Chard managed to get his stick to but, frustratingly, could only deflect the ball into the back of net.
Grimsby apparently scored a ninth goal, according to the result they submitted, but there was no recollection of this one from the Driffield players.
The whistle really couldn’t come quickly enough on a day to forget.
Full time: Grimsby 1s 9 Driffield 2s 1
After a much more encouraging second half for this depleted and unbalanced side, Driffield can look to the introduction of new, young players as a positive sign for the future. Hopefully, this is just a temporary bump in the road for this Driffield side.
Man of the Match: Reece Goatley—a wonderfully composed goal and solid performance upfront on his 2nd team debut.
As always, thanks go to sponsors YorkWold PigPro and the Spread Eagle for post-match teas.