Categories: General Date: Oct 13, 2017 Title: U16s and U18s v North YorkshireMixed fortunes in first County games of 2017-18 season
NSFA U18 6 N.Yorkshire 2
NSFA U16 1 N.Yorkshire 4
The season opener saw both boys’ teams played North Yorkshire last Saturday at Newcastle University’s Cochrane Park. While the Under 18s cruised to victory, a rude awakening to the rigours of Inter-County Football awaited the Under 16s.
Jack Butler (KEVI Morpeth), an England Schools’ International last season, was the star turn for the Under 18s and opened the scoring inside 15 minutes. Jonny Fox (Monkseaton) quickly added a second and Butler scored twice more to complete a first half hat-trick. The Tykes started the second half brightly and gave the North. defence a much more difficult time, quickly reducing the deficit, and it took an outstanding save from goal-keeper Callum Harley (Tyne Met) to tip another goal-bound effort over the top. Butler soon added another to restore the four goal lead, but the visitors refused to lie down and scored again to make it 5-2. At this stage another Yorkshire strike could have made it an anxious last ten minutes, but a fine reflex save by sub keeper Will Hogarth (Ponteland) maintained the lead before Butler popped up again to complete his haul and ensure a convincing victory. Notable contributions from Vinnie Proudlock (QE Hexham), Cam Cunningham (Tyne Met) and Jamie Henderson (Monkseaton) underpinned the solid team effort needed to produce a great start to the new season.
Meanwhile, the Under 16s had found themselves 2 goals adrift in the opening 10 minutes after the visitors had exploited some defensive errors. Danny Anderson (NCEA Ashington) soon reduced the arrears from the penalty spot, but shortly afterwards North. goal-keeper Hugo Banks (QE Hexham) who had been in excellent form was injured and took no further part. In the dying seconds of the first half, North Yorkshire were awarded a penalty and converted it to go in 3-1 up. Northumberland found their feet better in the second half, but the visitors continued to dominate and went close on several occasions, with sub keeper James Anderson (Kenton) making some fine saves. A sixtieth minute strike increased their lead and despite some late chances for North., the final score was a fair reflection of the game which will be giving newly appointed Manager Kevin Hodgson plenty of food for thought.