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York Minster Engineering Football League – Division Two
FT: Strensall 2 – 4 Cliffe FC
Cliffe FC with only 9-men, 2-1 down, and 65 minutes remaining comeback to win 4-2, a spirited away performance at Strensall.
Malcolm Bryce writes…
“Things looked a little tricky when reduced to nine men but what a fantastic effort from the whole squad to get us those points. A really great result, I’m very proud of everyone’s efforts.”
~ Keith Tiplady, 24th April 2014.
Cliffe FC travelled to Strensall, and apart from a miscommunication about kick-off time, the away side raced out the blocks and opened scoring within the first 5 minutes – Ian Beckram unleashing a shot past the ‘keeper from outside the area to open scoring, 0-1. Cliffe were on top but Strensall equalised against the run of play, the Strensall striker going over Ryan Sedman’s leg to win a penalty that was converted, 1-1.
Cliffe’s task of taking all three points to keep their league title challenge alive then became more difficult just over five minutes later. Strensall beating the offside trap and when ‘keeper Dave Laverack rushed off his line and clipped the forward – the referee awarded a penalty, Laverack was sent-off for denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity – Kev Simpson donned the ‘keeper jersey but was unable to save the home side’s second penalty, 2-1 with over 65 minutes to play.
10-men then were reduced to 9 minutes later, after winning a freekick on the edge of the Strensall box Andy Addison talked himself into a second booking, having been booked during the second Strensall penalty incident. Chris Jackson scored the free-kick to give 9-man Cliffe a chance, floating the ball over the wall and into the top corner, 2-2. It remained 2-2 at the break, HT.
Of course Cliffe’s ranks had to reshuffle and they knew the game was not beyond them, Beckram dropping into defence alongside Wes Pears and Tom Robinson continued to have a great game in the middle of the park. Whilst having two less men, Cliffe still looked the better going forward, Si Houlder hit the crossbar from a looping header in the opening moments of the second half – it would be Houlder who would put Cliffe ahead, beating his marker and lobbing the ‘keeper with the ball nestling in the bottom corner, 2-3. Cliffe then caught Strensall out once more, Jackson breaking down the left to cut the ball back for Andy Kirkham who somehow out-muscled two Strensall defenders to squeeze the ball into the net to extend Cliffe’s lead, 2-4. Cliffe had to see out the remaining half-hour and held onto the ball when required and continued to both defend and counter-attack well, Jackson tormenting the Strensall defenders and Lee Carter coming close with a long-range effort. Two Beckram runs box-to-box saw out the final minutes and Cliffe come away with all 3-points, 2-4 the final score, FT.
Yet another dramatic performance, coming from behind and this time with only 9-men to keep the Division Two title challenge alive – moving into third place, 6 points from the title.
Attention now turns to Saturday’s York FA Cup Final against Fulford, 2pm KO @ Tockwith.
Remaining Cliffe FC Fixtures;
SATURDAY 26th April, 2pm – York FA Jnr Cup Final – Cliffe FC vs. Fulford (@ Tockwith)
TUESDAY 29th April, 7pm – ERCFA Qual Cup Final – Cliffe FC vs. Drum Athletic (@ The Balk, Pocklington)
SATURDAY 3rd May, 2.30pm – Div Two – Cliffe FC vs. Bishopthorpe United
WEDNESDAY 7th May, 6.30pm – Div Two – Thorpe United vs. Cliffe FC
MONDAY 12th May, 6.45pm – League Jnr Cup Final – South Milford vs. Cliffe FC (Venue TBA)
The New Inn Cliffe FC MOTM: Si Houlder.
LRB Trophies Strensall MOTM: TBC.
Laverack, Sedman, Edwards (Hogg), Pears, Simpson, Addison, Beckram (C), Kirkham (Lucitt), Robinson, Houlder (Carter), Jackson.
Unused subs: Taylor, Pearse.
Cliffe FC Goals: Beckram, Jackson, Houlder, Kirkham.