Saturday 23rd January 2016
York Minster Engineering Football League – Reserve C
FT: F1 Racing Reserves 2 – 3 Cliffe FC Reserves
A late comeback from 2-1 down sees Cliffe FC Reserves win 3-2 at a strong F1 Racing Reserves, a winning start to 2016 for Dave Hebson’s men.
Malcolm Bryce writes…
With the Cliffe FC First Team game called off for waterlogging once more, Malcolm Bryce was able to resume Media Duties for Saturday’s game and travelled with Dave Hebson’s 2ndXI squad to New Earswick.
Having not played for over a month, Cliffe were worried their fitness would be tested but the conditions would test both sides – a wet, but playable pitch presented for both teams on the day – which the weather held out and remained nice throughout.
Both sides had good spells during the first half, but the first goal fell the way of the visitors – the ball breaking to Joe White on the edge of the box who unleashed a low left-foot drive through the crowd of players and past the ‘keeper for 0-1 – another special goal from the big man, having scored a nice goal at Civil Service earlier this season. F1 responded and had the equaliser, a deflection dumbfounding Ally Harris in Cliffe’s goal and then after making a good save found himself literally stuck in the mud for a simple tap-in for the home forward, 1-1. It remained level at the break, probably a fair reflection on how the game ebbed and flowed – Cliffe’s Shane Horner header being cleared off the line minutes before the break, 1-1 HT.
Cliffe wanted to come out the better side second half, and take all the points from an F1 side that has stayed in touch with runaway leaders Osbaldwick since the start of the season. But midway through the half, it was the home side that took the lead – a corner finding its way onto the F1 skipper who hit a shot into the bottom corner for 2-1 – Cliffe now needed to respond themselves. White and Glynn Richardson continued to impress in the middle of the park, and a motivated Aaron Lees at wide midfield summised the effort and endevour that Hebson wanted from his squad. Hebson made a set of changes, introduced Ed Butterfield for his outfield debut and pushed the dominant Tom Hogg forward – the two would combine to get Cliffe back into the game – Hogg breaking down the right wing, squaring the ball for Butterfield who took a touch, settled himself and calmly put the ball past the ‘keeper for 2-2, a vital equaliser with less than 10 minutes left and a perfect first pair of first touches for Butterfield. Hogg hadn’t finished his say in the game, and another driving run past F1’s defences would lead to the winner – the referee playing a superb advantage as Hogg was fouled in the area but still managed to get to the ball before any recovering defenders, and square the ball for the impressive Richardson who finished first time with a scooped shot over the ‘keeper and defender to make it 2-3 with only injury time remaining – a delightful celebration from Richardson’s father on the touchline that will go down in Cliffe folklore on the sight of his son scoring the winner – what a way to open his goalscoring account for Cliffe FC. An edgy 60 seconds followed as F1 searched for the equaliser, but Cliffe held out and earned all three points, 2-3 FT.
A superb win for Cliffe FC, a needed morale boost as the fixtures will now seem to come thick and fast for all three senior sides.
The New Inn Cliffe FC MOTM: Joe White.
Next week, Cliffe FC welcome Easingwold Town to Oxen Lane in Division One action – and Cliffe FC Reserves aren’t back in action until 6th February.
Cliffe FC Sundays, again defeated by the weather this week, should be in action but fixture could either be Dunnington away or Wentworth at home – TBC.