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YSML Football League – Division Three
FT: Selby Olympia 3 – 4 Cliffe FC
Cliffe FC Sundays complete their title winning season with a 4-3 win away at Selby Olympia, Nathan Leach grabbing a late winner for the Oxen Lane club.
Hugo Delgado writes…
With the league title already won, Division 3 Champions made the short journey to play Selby Olympia, a team they’d demolished 4-0 just weeks earlier. Many billed this game as meaningless but the aim was always to take to maximum points from all remaining games.
A fatigued Cliffe team lined up to face what can only be described as a bitter Selby Olympia team. A few notable absentees gave Manager Jackson Lucitt a chance to use the strength in depth he had available.
Olympia kicked off and a string of loose passes on a very poor surface allowed the visibly hungrier Cliffe midfield to win back possession. Some good interplay between Ryan Tiplady, Kieran Dinsdale and Dan Richardson gave the Champions the first opportunity, with Richardson left in a one on one situation before the Referee blew up for offside, a close call.
Neither team could get a hold of the game then after a scrappy encounter out wide, Olympia were allowed through, a cross to nobody somehow crept in to the far corner, 1-0. This seemed to be the ignition Cliffe needed to start the fire, Jackson Lucitt tirelessly chased every ball, regaining possession time after time and breaking up any hope of an attack from the home team. Some more superb trickery from Dinsdale saw the full backs legs wrapped up and a beautifully placed cross made it easy for the returning Dan Richardson. 1-1 and half time.
Olympia seemed to resort to the long ball, but with the vast experience of Captain Mark Bennett and Nathan Parker, the balls were just being headed away for fun, allowing Cliffe to mount their own attacks. It was only a matter of time before these attacks proved fruitful, Parker himself netting to silence the home team. 1-2.
Cliffe seemed to take their foot off the gas despite encouragement from Kevin Taylor. This lack of pressure on the ball resulted in Olympia bringing the game back to 2-2 with some decent runs breaking through the defence. This goal though again only sparked more passion from Cliffe, with Lucitt overrunning the Olympia midfield, allowing Tiplady to launch more and more Cliffe attacks. Some superb footwork from Durham, a wondrous crossed ball to let scorer, Richardson turn provider for the young winger, Dinsdale.
This high intensity was taking its toll on the Cliffe men and tired legs again let Olympia back in the game, 3-3. Minutes later, with an Olympia player clearly letting the excitement of playing the league champions go to his head; the ref gave a straight red card for what can only be described as childish petulance. The loss of this player seemed to allow Olympia to play far better and more constructive football, and if not for Ally Harris making a string of superb saves in one on one situations, Cliffe might’ve seen themselves fall behind.
A few changes in positions for Cliffe due to injuries saw the young Nathan Leach move in to a more advanced role and it wasn’t long before his efforts saw him take on the Olympia defence and calmly slot the ball under the keeper with just minutes to go – pouncing on a short goal kick, winning the ball back of the defender, faking a shot and left foot drilling the ball into the bottom corner. 3-4.
Final whistle blown and Cliffe complete the double over Selby Olympia, taking their total for the season to 37 and winning the league by a comfortable 9 points.
After the game manager Lucitt said;
“Today was a great example of a champions performance, we didn’t play as well as we know we can but we worked hard enough for each other to grind out an ugly win. Club secretary, Malcolm Bryce and I had a clear target to take maximum points from the remaining 4 games and we’ve completed that challenge today. The team today showed that we’ve got a great squad here at Cliffe that oozes ability and the right attitude. It’s been a real pleasure to work with each and every one of the lads throughout the course of the season. We’ll look forward to next season with high expectations of ourselves when competing in Division 2.”
The New Inn Cliffe FC MOTM: Mark Bennett / Ally Harris.
Cliffe FC Reserve Team Summary.
York Minster Engineering Football League – Reserve C
FT: Civil Service Reserves 2 – 2 Cliffe FC Reserves
Saturday saw Cliffe FC Reserves come back from 2-0 down to get an away draw at Civil Service. Cliffe got their goals in the second half with Tom Ellwood making it 2-1 before Lewys Williams’ determination saw him get his second goal in two games to make it 2-2 at the final whistle.
The New Inn Cliffe FC MOTM: Scott McGowan.
Cliffe FC Reserves are back in action tomorrow night (Monday 20th April) when they host Civil Service in the return fixture. 6.30pm KO @ Oxen Lane.