Civil Service 3 v 5 Wilberfoss AFC
A new look Wilberfoss AFC kicked off their York Minster Engineering Division 3 campaign with a hard fought win on a sunny afternoon at York College the home of Civil Service. The first team squad on the day featured five players making their league debuts for the club as well as four former players making a return as ‘Foss looked to improve results following successive relegations.
It was Civil Service however who drew first blood when an uncontested ball in midfield was fed to the lone Civil striker whose neat control and tidy finish gave ‘Foss goalkeeper Rich Cole little chance of stopping. With so many new faces it was understandable that ‘Foss took time to warm to their task but warm they did. Firstly, clever work from Joe Drydal resulted in a trip in the box with the resulting kick being calmly despatched into the net by Keiron O’Brien. On the half hour mark ‘Foss took the lead when a deep Sly Houllder corner was easily nodded in by the head of Robin Walker from a yard as he rich vein of goal scoring continued. Other chances followed with both Drydal and Houlder denied by instinctive saves by the Civil keeper from one-on-one opportunities. Civil’s task got infinitely harder after 40 minutes when their goalscoring striker went from hero to villain following two yellow cards for a brace of reckless challenges on the unfortunate Jimmy Howat & Tom Chelin. However, the teams went into half time level when a free kick late in the half resulted in a goalmouth scramble with the final shot finding a Foss hand. Keeper Cole went the right way but failed to keep the ball out the net as the well struck kick found its way into the corner to make it 2-2.
The Foss half-time team talk focused on improved pressing and retaining possession and it worked the oracle after 50 minutes when they regained the lead; a deep O’Brien corner finding the head of Mark Willoughby from close range. With the lead regained against ten men ‘Foss would have hoped to gain control of the match but that wasn’t the case. The dogged Civil team kept up their impressive work rate leading to a scrappy ten minute spell and another equaliser on the hour mark as ‘Foss failed to clear their lines. With the game finely poised at 3-3 ‘Foss manager Bri Walker made the decision to switch tactics and try to make the man advantage count. The substitution introducing Neil Watt to the field combined with the switch to a 4-4-2 formation yielded an instant result as an exquisite Willoughby through ball found skipper Oli Newby on the right wing, his low drilled cross causing trouble for the Civil defence and eventually found Houlder who despatched it into the roof of the net. With the lead restored, Chris Turpin was introduced for Carl Wormsley as ‘Foss looked to sure things up in the last 20 minutes of the match. Civil’s chances had been few and far between in the second half, though they did force a corner after 75mins that resulted in a superb fingertip save from keeper Cole diving high to his left. Three points were sealed for ‘Foss with 80mins on the clock as an excellent passage of play involving James Haughian & Chelin released Houlder for his second of the match.
Although they made hard work of it, it was a positive start for Yew Tree Associates sponsored ‘Foss who will look to again inflict defeat on Civil Service when the teams meet next week in the cup.
Man of the match this week went to Mark Willoughby who looked after the ball well and deserved his goal.