Doncaster Men’s 3s 5
Driffield Men’s 2s 0
YHA League Division 1
Saturday 2nd November 2019
Doncaster Town Fields Sports Club, Doncaster
GK. Adam Chard
2. Michael Hirst
3. Graham Hickie ©
4. Matthew Knapton
5. Charlie Hall
6. Jack Hardeman
7. Noddy Lamb
8. Callum Seers
9. Harry Billam
10. Reece Goatley
11. George Morgan
12. Sam Smith
Driffield Men’s 2nd XI travelled to Doncaster, hoping to kick start their season back into life. Despite a promising start to the season, injuries and unavailability have led to a run of 3 successive defeats.
Goalkeeper Adam Chard returned from injury, whilst Driffield looked to youth in the form of Reece Goatley, Sam Smith, Callum Seers and George Morgan, to provide fresh legs around the pitch.
The incessant Doncaster drizzle certainly didn’t help, as Driffield acclimatised to the slick and bouncy pitch. The home side set their stall out early, pressing high and not allowing the Woldsmen any time and space on the ball.
The very strong looking home side were soon in the ascendency, forcing Adam Chard into a save low to his right.
Captain Graham Hickie certainly had his work cut out, marking Doncaster’s speedy winger but more often than not coming away with the ball.
Whilst the Driffield defence weathered early pressure, they still looked dangerous on the break. In the 15th minute, the ball was played around quickly by Hirst and Morgan on the left, before being shifted across goal by Reece Goatley to Callum Seers, whose shot flashed wide of the post.
Despite this, Doncaster maintained possession well and forced several penalty corners. Michael Hirst, putting his body on the line, did well to break up the initial play, whilst Knapton, Hickie, Smith and Hall used all their experience to read Doncaster’s routines. Hirst and Chard both combined to keep out a powerful drag flick to the left hand side, keeping the score to nil.
As the half wore on, the home side were visibly frustrated and Driffield grew into the game. Noddy Lamb and Jack Hardeman were combining well in the middle, whilst Harry Billam was unlucky not to connect well with a decisive through ball.
Half time: Doncaster 3s 0 Driffield 2s 0
It was more of the same after the half time break, as the technically superior home side maintained pressure in the attacking third, with the penalty corner count racking up.
Despite holding out for 55 minutes, the home side finally made a breakthrough, ironically with one of the scrappiest penalty corner moves of the day.
Doncaster pushed for their second goal, which saw Charlie Hall hobble off injured to be replaced by Sam Smith. The home side finally got their reward, as a reverse stick strike found Chard unsighted, rebounding off his stick and into the goal.
Driffield defenders were falling like nine pins as Sam Smith took a nasty blow to the head, after the ball ricocheted off Chard’s kicker. From the resulting penalty corner, Doncaster scored from a set piece, which wasn’t without controversy as the Driffield defence claimed third party obstruction. After conferring, the umpires decided there had been no foul play and, after making a comment, Noddy Lamb was shown the yellow card.
With Driffield down to 10 players, they actually created their best chance of the half. A penalty corner was played back out to Harry Billam who didn’t connect cleanly and saw the ball dribble behind.
By now, Doncaster’s numerical and technical dominance was telling and it wasn’t long before they scored their fourth from another penalty corner routine.
With just seconds on the clock and a scramble in the circle, the home side adding the icing to their cake with a fifth, which made the scoreline a little flattering.
Full time: Doncaster 3s 5 Driffield 2s
This was another sharp learning curve for this young Driffield team. Coming up against very strong teams like Doncaster, who can rely on experienced and talented players, they can take solace from an impressive defensive display under enormous amounts of pressure.
Man of the Match: Adam Chard—back from injury and in the thick of the action throughout.
As always, thanks go to sponsors YorkWold PigPro and the Spread Eagle for post-match teas.