‘Foss Pay the Penalty
Wilberfoss AFC 2 v 2 AFC North (AFC North progress following 3-4 penalty shoot-out)
This week saw Yewtree Associates sponsored ‘Foss back in East Riding Country Cup action against an unknown quantity in the form of AFC North from Hull. Having easily seen off their Scarborough opponents in round one, it was clear from the early stages that ‘Foss were in for a harder afternoon especially with the heavy underfoot conditions. Changes were made in the ‘Foss line-up as they looked to return to winning ways; Howatt, Thompson and Vale all returned to the starting eleven with new signing O’Reilly also slotting straight in to lead the line.
Early exchanges were evenly matched with both goalkeepers having a relatively untroubled first 25 minutes. It was from the first chance that we saw the afternoon’s first goal as ‘Foss forward Vale neatly played O’Reilly through to break the deadlock on the half hour. AFC North were back level 5 minutes later however, Cole unable to keep out the advancing forward with both the ‘Foss team and support feeling very aggrieved not to hear an offside whistle. The fiercely fought and physical first half ended level with the referee struggling to keep control in the final exchanges, AFC North failing to be punished for ever increasingly dangerous tackles.
Manager Walker’s halftime team-talk focussed on improving concentration and getting better control of the ball. Thompson also made way for Houlder, the referee informing both teams that rolling subs were allowed for the match.
AFC North started the brighter of the two teams following the interval, Cole at his best soon after the restart to deny a North forward when one on one. The match descended into confusion after 55 minutes, ‘Foss being awarded a free-kick in midfield only for the official to reverse his decision a minute later without explanation. As the ‘Foss defence stood baffled by events the free kick was chipped into their box and finished well via the head of a North attacker, the home team again expecting an offside whistle that wasn’t forthcoming. As the second half progressed manager Walker introduced Haughian and Meredith as ‘Foss pressed for an equaliser, O’Reilly particularly unlucky not to get his second when meeting a well struck O’Brien free kick. Foss’ eventually levelled after 75 minutes, a neat reverse through ball from Walker putting Houlder through on goal. The forward had been denied by a great last-ditch tackle 5 minutes previously and he wasn’t in the mood to be denied a second time, finishing calmly. Tired legs were evident in the closing stages as the game failed to deliver any chances of note, eventually ending level and progressing to an immediate penalty shoot-out. Despite successful spot kicks from O’Reilly, skipper Newby and Meredith plus two saves from Cole, ‘Foss eventually lost the shoot-out 3-4.
This week’s man of the match, sponsored by Pocklington’s Asbestos Management Consultancy, was awarded to debutant O’Reilly for strong and commanding play as well as his well taken goal.