Cliffe FC Sundays have a cup final to look forward to, after dispatching Brayton 5-2 in the semi-final of the Challenge Trophy. Saturdays wasn’t a day to write home about, 1stXI losing 1-0 at Sporting Knavesmire, and Reserves losing 3-1 at Rufforth United.
Saturday 12th March 2016
York Minster Engineering Football League – Division One
FT: Sporting Knavesmire 1 – 0 Cliffe FC
An improvement from their nightmare at Poppleton United, but Cliffe FC lose 1-0 at Sporting Knavesmire – a first half penalty the difference between the teams.
From the get-go the game was a scrappy affair, with neither team really settling in the opening exchanges. A crowded midfield saw a tetchy affair develop as a flurry of early cards from the referee set an air that a decision would decide the close game. The decisive moment came around 10 minutes before half-time, Scott Jackson adjudged to have handled the ball whilst blocking a shot in the area – the resultant spot-kick was converted and Sporting took a 1-0 lead. Cliffe had their better spell at the end of the first half, a penalty shout turned down, and a run of successive corner kicks, but the score remained 1-0 at the half-time break.
Cliffe defended adequately in open play, a defensive improvement Malcolm Bryce needed to see from the last game played, and Dave Laverack in Cliffe’s goal wasn’t tested really – same could be said for the Sporting ‘keeper as again the congested midfield meant both sides only showed glimpses of what they were capable of. Said willingness to show cards from the referee came back to haunt Cliffe towards the end of the match, a strong challenge from Andy Addison judged to be reckless from the referee after huge vocal protestations from the Sporting touchline – the referee agreed with the home side’s opinion and Addison was dismissed from the field of play, Cliffe down to 10-men. Cliffe reverted to a three at the back formation for the remaining 10 minutes and did create a set of half-chances as the game opened up for the away side at the end of the second-half – Cliffe couldn’t get a goal and Sporting wasted a chance to seal the points and the score was 1-0 at full-time.
Next week, Cliffe FC will be looking for all three points as they face Heslington – Cliffe winning the previous game 6-3 back in February. Bryce will be hoping to put a strong squad out and get the result his side need – Cliffe still playing catchup on the other sides in Division One, Saturday marking the half-way mark for their season, they now have 10 league games remaining.
Saturday 12th March 2016
York Minster Engineering Football League – Reserve C
FT: Rufforth United Reserves 3 – 1 Cliffe FC Reserves
Cliffe FC’s second string also tasted defeat on Saturday afternoon, succumbing to a 3-1 defeat. Manager David Hebson found himself on emergency goalkeeper cover, and didn’t get much wrong, nothing he could do about any of the three goals conceded. Cliffe’s consolation goal came from a linkup between two youngsters, Liam Tomlinson setting up Shane Horner for Horner to score.
Next weekend, they are away to Poppleton United Reserves – Hebson also hoping to put a strong side out and get some more points on the board.
Sunday 13th March 2016
York Sunday Morning League – Junior Challenge Trophy – Semi Final
FT: Brayton 2 – 5 Cliffe FC Sunday
What seemingly is becoming a home-away-from-home ground for Cliffe FC Sundays, Brayton hosted the Challenge Trophy semi-final at Denison Road, Selby – the two sides second meeting in three weeks, a 1-1 league draw a fortnight ago.
A Tom Collins freekick gave Cliffe an early lead, but a bottom corner effort that squirmed under the ‘keeper rather than a trademark top corner effort from Collins, 0-1. Brayton had the equaliser after Cliffe switched off for a moment, a close range effort for 1-1. Celebrations were cut a little short as Cliffe re-took the lead 90 seconds later, Tom Hogg lifting the ball over the on-rushing ‘keeper for 1-2. Nathan Parker’s day wasn’t one to remember for the Cliffe striker, first a stray ‘keeper punch to the side of the head, followed by a number of chances that wouldn’t go in for him – he did have the ball in the net but was penalised for climbing on a defender’s back. Cliffe led 2-1 a the half-time break.
Cliffe extended their lead early in the second half, a set-piece ball eventually breaking to Dan Richardson who’s rising effort nestled into the top corner for 1-3. Another set-piece saw Cliffe go 4-1 ahead, a powerful header from Hogg after escaping his marker, 1-4, Hogg clearly delighted with his second goal of the game. Cliffe now looked like they’d romp into the final, but a set of wasted chances and another lapse at the back saw Brayton claw a goal back for 2-4, a glimmer of hope maybe for the team in green. Parker’s day in front of goal remained a frustrating affair, ‘keeper saves. narrow misses, blocks and even hitting the foot of the post all stopping Parker from getting on the scoresheet. Cliffe talisman, who played well both on Saturday and Sunday morning, Kevin Taylor got a deserved goal – breaking in from left, chesting the ball down and hammering the ball past the ‘keeper for 2-5 – the final goal of the game, FT.
YSML Junior Challenge Trophy – Final
Cliffe FC Sunday vs. NUR
Sunday 8th May 2016 – Venue TBC.
A welcome result for the club, manager Jackson Lucitt clearly delighted to get to his first final since founding Cliffe FC Sundays last season.
“What a performance, we’re still not at our best either!”
~ Jackson Lucitt, 13th March 2016.
Next Sunday will be an interesting once, both finalists meeting each other in league competition – Cliffe FC Sunday travel to NUR in a league double-header.
NUR progressed 4-3 against York Medics after extra-time on Sunday to setup a 8th May final date.