‘Foss comeback knocks league leaders off top spot.
Wilberfoss AFC 3-2 Strensall FC
Yew Tree Associates sponsored Wilberfoss AFC were back to winning ways on Saturday as they welcomed league leaders Strensall FC to the Storking Lane Ground. The leaders hadn’t been beaten since an opening day defeat so boss Andrew Palfreyman knew this would be ‘Foss toughest test so far this season. Now in sole charge Palfreyman made a number of changes from the team beaten at Haxby United in the cup the week previous. Returning was Mark Willoughby, Jack Condren and Jack Lockwood with Kieron O’Brien returning to his favoured left back position and ‘Foss captain Oliver Newby being asked to lead the line.
‘Foss started brightly and controlled the early exchanges wasting a number of early opportunities to take the lead. The change of shape and personnel was clear to see as the East Yorkshire men played some attractive free flowing football in very challenging weather conditions.
The Wilberfoss AFC first half dominance seemed to be reward on 25 minutes when Newby was sent through before lifting the ball over the keeper and into the net, only for the referee to rule the goal out as he felt the ‘Foss Captain had unfairly held the Strensall defender off. This was tough on ‘Foss and a soft decision, however one Strensall took full advantage of. A long ball forward found Strensall striker Chris Johnson, and with a suspicion of offside he raced away to give Strensall the lead against the run of play. ‘Foss then has a penalty shout for hand ball turned down before Johnson was at it again. Once again the referee missed the Strensall striker in an offside position before he ruthlessly smashed the ball home to make it 2-0 to away side with only there second real attack of the half.
On the stroke of half time Wilberfoss deservedly pull a goal back when Newby stooped at the back post to prod home after good work by Condren, Watt and Lockwood down the right.
In to the second half and ‘Foss picked up where they had left off in the first half, dominating possession and putting the Strensall defence under severe pressure however poor finishing and brilliant defending kept Strensall’s lead in tact. Matthews missed a good chance when put through by Newby as the front two linked up well again and midfielder Rich Tinson fired over from 7 yards after the Strensall keeper flapped.
On 75 minutes the pressure finally paid when a super in-swinging corner from Kieron O’Brien caused mayhem in the Strensall defence which resulted in the ball curling directly into the net. This gave ‘Foss the boost they needed however also spurred Strensall on as they started to look dangerous on the counter attack.
5 minutes later ‘Foss should of taken the lead when the ball somehow found its way to Newby at the far post but he blazed over from a tight angle. The returning Mark Willoughby who seemed to cover every blade of grass was instrumental in the winner and this time Newby was not to be denied. An inch perfect through ball sent Newby clear who calmed lifted the ball over the on pushing goalkeeper and into the empty net to send the 20 or so ‘Foss fans who had braved the weather in to raptures. Substitute Jed Vale looked lively when he replaced MacAllister on 73 minutes going close on a number of occasions along with Wilberfoss Mavericks U19s youngster Alex Zachariou coming on in the last 10 minutes to make his debut.
Following the game Palfreyman spoke of his delight in beating the league leaders and commented the result did not reflect a game his side dominated. “I was pleased with the work rate from all the boys and it was great to see the character they showed to come from 2-0 down, however we need to be more ruthless in front of goal and take our chances earlier”
MOM: This week was split 3 ways, however could of gone to one of 5 or 6 players – The management in the end couldn’t dived between Oliver Newby, Tom Matthews Mark Willoughby.