Hockey: Top-tier gate slowly closing on York stay

City of York I’s Rich Cockram shoots against Gateshead goalkeeper Peter McEwen

City of York I’s Luke Steveley battles for the ball with Gateshead defender Jack Williamson

City of York I’s Mike Carter fires the hosts ahead

Published in Sport

WOES deepened for City of York Hockey Club men’s first XI after they crashed 6-1 to fellow North League premier division strugglers Gateshead.

York started well, as they have throughout most of the season, and went 1-0 up through Mike Carter at a well-worked short corner. Despite their fluent, passing hockey, they were unfortunate to concede a goal just before half-time.

The second half couldn’t have been more different. York struggled to string passes together and maintain possession.

Gateshead soon added a second and it was one-way traffic from then on.

York imploded in the second half, with the pressures of this misfiring season taking its toll.

City of York II beat hosts Leeds Gryphons 4-2 for a fourth Yorkshire League premier division win out of the last five outings.

Mindful of losing to the university-based side 5-2 earlier in the campaign, City took control and dominated the first 20 minutes.

Despite carving out promising openings City weren’t clinical enough, perhaps through a lack of match sharpness.

City eventually got the goal their play deserved, when James Wickham, playing his last game before leaving for a tour of Afghanistan, touched home Rob Newton’s penalty corner.

City made the perfect start to the second half, when Dave Rogers converted a penalty corner. The lead was extended when the Gryphons ’keeper kicked the ball back into play. Newton teed up Dan Tompkins to slot home.

Gryphons replied, but nerves were settled five minutes from time when Alex Fletcher’s pass was put home at the back post by Sam Engleman.

Gryphons were able to score a second in the final minute.

There was a last-gasp blow for City of York III who perished 3-2 at division two title-chasers Wakefield.

Early chances for Hugh Richards and Tim Lister were narrowly off target, while goalkeeper Brian Ignjatovic made two fine reflex stops.

Wakefield broke the deadlock on 25 minutes with the only goal of the first half.

The second half started with York the better team and forcing the Wakefield ’keeper into a series of saves.

A penalty flick after a foul by Alex Herriott doubled the hosts’ lead.

York continued to press and were rewarded when an unmarked Lister deflected the ball into the net.

With five minutes left, man of the match Lister’s tireless running took him past two players and also the ’keeper only to be felled. Herriott calmly dispatched the penalty flick.

It looked like York had done enough to ensure a point, but sloppy defending found two Wakefield players running in to the D to execute the winner.

In a 12-goal division three thriller, City of York IV shared the points with visitors Tadcaster I after squandering a four-goal lead.

York started off in a lively fashion to lead 3-0 through Danny Vaughan and two Greg Sykes’ goals.

By half-time the advantage was 5-1 after Sykes completed his hat-trick and Phil Hughes added another.

But, by five minutes from full time, Tadcaster had restored parity.

York went up the other end and pulled ahead again through Russell Bowry, but Tadcaster also struck a sixth for a share of the booty.

In division six north, City of York V lost 1-0 at Airedale 2nds.

There was a heftier defeat for City of York VIII. They crashed 5-1 at Boston Spa IV in division six north.

An evenly-contested first half was edged by the home team, who took their chances while York spurned theirs to trail 2-0.

Despite Adam Iyer converting a fine run and cross by Andy Dent midway through the second half to bring York back into the game, it was not enough.

Boston Spa added gloss with further goals for an emphatic 5-1 win.

The final 5-0 margin of defeat did not do justice to City of York’s Development (Badgers) side at the hands of Harrogate.

York played some good hockey against Harrogate and, without some great saves from the Harrogate ’keeper, could have finished the first half ahead.

Harrogate opened the score with a deft deflection from their centre forward.

York went close to equalising several times – both Jack Fletcher and Ben Mould going close.

Harrogate broke clear with a couple of early goals in the second half but York continued to press with George Good and Callum Ross opening up the game and creating several chances before a late Harrogate flourish.

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