Haxby Haunt ‘Foss on eve of Halloween
Haxby United 3-1 Wilberfoss AFC
Yew Tree Associates sponsored Wilberfoss AFC travelled to Haxby United on Saturday in the York FA Cup in the reserve fixture from the following weekend where ‘Foss had run out 3-1 winners in the league.
With Kieron O’Brien stepping down as Joint First Team manager due to family commitments, a depleted squad with 8 first team players missing was chosen by Andrew Palfreyman. Rich Tinson returned to the squad along with Neil Watt who had resigned for the club during the week.
Haxby started the game brightly with their route one style putting the ‘Foss defence under a large amount of pressure. The centre back pairing of O’Brien and Haughian dealt well with the physical presence of the two Haxby centre forwards denying some early opportunities.
‘Foss looked dangerous on the counter with the lively Sam McAllister on the left and Dan Gibney on the right. The midfield three of Matthews, Tinson & Newby had a tireless job being regularly overloaded with Haxby often having 4 in midfield. This made life difficult for Newby & Matthews getting on the ball and denied ‘Foss their usual free flowing attacking style.
On 35 minutes a long ball forward from Haxby evaded the ‘Foss defence for the first time in the half and the Haxby right winger nipped in, ‘Foss keeper Cole tried to let the ball run out of play but the United winger poked the ball home from a tight angle. Haxby pressed with further pressure which resulted in a number of home team corners however the Wilberfoss defence stayed strong. Right on the stroke of half time it should have been 1-1 when Jed Vale dispossessed a Haxby defender but his left foot shot was well saved by the Haxby United No.1.
‘Foss started the second half well and took control of the game and following 10 minutes of persistent pressure Foss levelled. An in swinging Vale corner from the left was powered home by the head of the returning to Rich Tinson. Moments later the East Yorkshire men should have taken the lead when Tom Matthews was sent through one on one only to see his shot turned round the post. From the resulting corner, O’Brien curled in one of his trademark corners which was headed agonisingly wide.
It was on 65 minutes when the game took a turn, with Haxby camped in their own half a ball was desperately hoofed forward to a player standing in a clear off side position, with the referee over 6o yards away he waved ‘play on’ and the United striker ran through calmly slotting the ball in the bottom left hand corner to regain the lead. The goal was hard on the East Yorkshire men and against the run of play. The goal ‘knocked the stuffing’ out of ‘Foss as the game reverted back in Haxby’s favour and again they took control again. On 77 minutes Palfreyman replaced Watt at right back and moments later were down to 10 men as Tom Matthews had to leave the field with a reoccurring ankle injury. With only one subsitiute this meant ‘foss would play to the remaining 13 minutes with 0nly 10. With 9 minutes to go ‘Foss started to press forward again looking for the equaliser however it was the home side who broke away with 85 minutes on the clock, and a cross from the left was misjudged by Wilberfoss keeper Cole before being headed home by the Haxby right winger.
Following the game Andrew Palfreyman spoke: “I can’t fault the lads today, they did everything I asked of them but the luck wasn’t with us. Not for the first time this season we have been let down by a poor refereeing decision but take nothing away from Haxby their style of play suited their small pitch. We struggled with their constant route one balls and the two big lads upfront caused us problems all day.”
MOM: Kieron O’Brien – who was superb after being asked to play centre back. Looked calm and collected as ever on the ball and organised the defence well.