Tadcaster U18's 5 Stocksbridge PS U18's 2
By: Dave Rhodes
There must be a time in a young footballers development when really the result becomes an insignificance, hard to say I suppose, but the experience, the chance to perform, the aspirational element in such surroundings for individuals to consider, is a worthy argument when we look long term for these lads. Of course we all want to win but do we really mind losing against such a good side?
But my word did we give them a scare and credit to Paul Staniland and his staff for sticking to their guns tactically when an easier option may have been to change things earlier as Tadcaster passed intelligently through the 3 ranks of the away sides defence, kept possession of the ball as they dominated first half exchanges with extra men in midfield. Apart from a few flurries of counter attacks from the Steels boys the home side were mostly well on top during this time.
Again I think nerves had such a lot to do with the first half an hour or so as we continually gave the ball away cheaply and couldn’t keep hold of it, which was so unlike this squad.
But it was Adam Morley, on 30minutes, running onto a great through ball from Jack Merrick who drove an angled right foot shot past the outstretched home goalkeeper into the bottom corner of the net from the edge of the area. The goal was a welcome equaliser after Tadcasters lively number eleven had passed the ball high
into the net on 15 minutes finishing off a good all round move from the right.
Morleys goal gave the away side a little more belief, they started to relax more and came more into the game. Tom Stanilands terrific dead ball deliveries were causing problems but Tadcaster were always a threat going forward...concentration at this level was key for the Steels boys as they went in at half time 1 – 1.
Steels lads came out more determined, they were not to be controlled and were committed to chase every ball, to win every tackle and to play as they know they can. They pressed high, they dominated the early part of the second half and deservedly went in front when Rodney Bruce hooked in a right foot volley from close range after Morley had picked up a second ball and drove a shot into a crowded 6yard box.
Forced errors from the home side now as they became a little ruffled gives credit to our boys for the hard work and immense effort they were putting in to stop Tadcaster from playing. Steels looked comfortable and had come to grips with the game. Simpson and Glaves, second half substitutes gave the side a steadying influence at the back, Morley and Cloete, Steels bright attackers always looked as if they might just extend the lead with penetrating last third runs... but a killer blow on 80 minutes as a left wing Tadcaster corner floated over the excellent Roberts, who got a touch to it, into the far corner of the net off the post. So unlucky for Steels.
Morleys terrific run and volley on 85 minutes just going over the bar would have certainly been the winner but extra time was looming.
Tired legs and minds were evident as both teams toiled to find the creativity to open up defences. A trip just outside the box gave the home side free kick and a chance to drive at goal. The kick was hit at the wall only for the ball to deflect into the path of an onrushing Tadcaster player who calmly slotted the ball home.
Steels were almost dead on their feet with the home side looking fitter and stronger at this point. It was no surprise when a tired ball back to Roberts didn’t make the journey and with Roberts committed the Tadcaster player nipped in and scored an easy goal into an empty net.
The fifth goal was a mess of a goal really with Steels boys expecting the home player to pass the ball out of play with Kerry lying on the floor injured. He didn’t, and shot into an open goal. The referee had no option than to give it.
With cramp setting in on many players the final whistle would have been a welcome sound.
It was a great performance from the boys overall, they should be proud of their efforts individually and collectively, Paul Staniland and staff proud of them too as we are as a club.
With all due respect to Nostell this was certainly a step up...a taster for some of our boys and I am sure that some will look at it in the cold light of the day and think that they may want more of it!
Good luck in the next round to the Tadcaster lads and Staff and thanks for a great evening.
Full Time: Tadcaster Albion u 18s 5 – 2 SPS U 18s