Cliffe FC Reserves succumb to a 4-1 defeat away to division leaders Osbaldwick Reserves. Sunday morning saw Cliffe FC Sundays travel to Haxby United in a double-header, with two tightly contested games, three goalscorers, and one scoreline – 4-3 & 4-3, saw Cliffe take all the points.
Malcolm Bryce writes…
Saturday 13th February 2016
York Minster Engineering Football League – Reserve C
FT: Osbaldwick Reserves 4 – 1 Cliffe FC Reserves
After last week’s heavy defeat at Civil Service, Dave Hebson needed to see a response, and an away trip to the unbeaten Reserve C leaders was a huge test of character.
Cliffe had the matching of the league leaders for the opening half-hour, but a long free-kick that was prodded home by one of the dangerous Osbaldwick forwards to put the O’s ahead, 1-0 – albeit Cliffe protestations of a high foot in the build up. Osbaldwick had an opportunity to double their lead from the penalty-spot after a foul in the box, the spot-kick crashed against the post and clear to leave the score at 1-0 at the break. Aaron Lees had the best chance of the half for Cliffe, but saw his attempted lob saved from close range.
Cliffe rallied and wanted to push this Osbaldwick side further than any side had tried to this season, and again matched their opponents – but concentration and off the ball work meant the league leaders picked Cliffe off, to extend their lead – and just like that the O’s were 4-0 up – Osbaldwick punishing Cliffe on possession turnovers, and using their Leicester-like transition play. Mick Carmody impressed on his first outing in a Cliffe shirt, but was pipped to man-of-the-match by Phil Newstead – Newstead grabbing a consolation for Cliffe in the dying embers of the match – curling a shot from outside the area and under the crossbar to make it 4-1 FT.
Cliffe FC 1stXI served a free-week this weekend, but next weekend are away to third-placed Poppleton – some of Cliffe’s senior ranks were in action for Selby Town over the weekend (Chris Jackson with a goal, and a Tom Hogg cameo) but far better to play than rest at times so no problem seeing players excel at NCEL level, especially after the postponements over the past couple weeks. Cliffe FC Reserves aren’t in action until 27th February, against Wilberfoss Reserves.
Sunday 14th February 2016
YSML Football League – Division Two – “Double-header”
Game 1: FT: Haxby United 3 – 4 Cliffe FC Sunday
Game 2: FT: Cliffe FC Sunday 4 – 3 Haxby United
After a ruling by YSML to backlog of fixtures played by the end-April deadline, double-headers will now take place on Sunday mornings – and Cliffe FC Sunday travelled to Haxby United to play their first of four double headers to be played between now and end-April. So a Valentine’s Double-Date was set up between Haxby and Cliffe – Both games saw a full-time result of 4-3, Cliffe shading both games to take home 6 points over the course of Sunday morning. The first game saw Cliffe take an early lead from Aidy Wood, 0-1, before Haxby rallied and scored two goals to make it 2-1, a James Gallagher equaliser for 2-2 from close range, again Haxby re-took the lead with a superb free-kick, 3-2, but a Nathan Parker brace saw Cliffe scrape the first game 4-3. Remember those scorers…
The second game was like ground-hog day, another 4-3 game developed – Parker this time scoring the opening goals, to put Cliffe 2-0 ahead, before Haxby pegged Cliffe back to 2-2, Gallagher popped up again for 3-2 and Wood restored the two-goal cushion, 4-2. Haxby scared Cliffe once more with a late goal to end the game 4-3 to Cliffe.
“Despite the targets we set out before the games, we strayed from the plan and made hard work of it. Haxby put more in to it and were perhaps unlucky to at least get a point from one of the games. Having said that, if we’re to be successful then we have to expect to have a bit of luck sometimes and grind out a result, today’s proved that.”
~ Jackson Lucitt, 14th February 2016.
Next Sunday, Lucitt’s men hope to finally complete a League Challenge Cup Quarter-Final, against Beeswing, that was drawn in December – but likely that fixture will take place at Beeswing instead of a home-drawn tie as Oxen Lane still recovers.