Under 18A - Report
|Arnold Town||1||vs||1||Southwell City U18A|
City battle out a draw with Arnold Town
City U18’s were resilient against a rampant Arnold Town side to secure a point and maintain their lead at the top of the League.
Everyone anticipated a game of high quality football from the two top teams but they were sorely disappointed. Arnold played a consistent long ball game, using their aerial power to good effect, and City only showed flashes of the passing game that has seen them win 6 from 6 so far this season. A fairly strong breeze and a small pitch combined to favour the Arnold’s tactics and apart from the opening 10 minutes they dominated possession and territory. Having said that, City could have scored in the opening seconds when Will Machin’s pace was too much for the Arnold full back but Elliott Brown just failed to connect with his fiery cross. City had some pleasing and promising moments shortly afterwards but it was Arnold that slowly got themselves into the game and for long periods were camped securely in the City half. The inevitable goal came when City failed to defend yet another long ball from the back. No challenge for two headers allowed the Arnold striker through with only Max Danby to beat and he managed to dribble the ball just inside the post. It was then backs-to-the-wall stuff from City for the rest of the half who weren’t helped by the loss of Nick Winn with an ankle injury after 35 minutes and midfielder Reece Self clearly struggling with his ankle. All in all City were happy to go into the break only 1 goal down.
Matt Harmer and Jacob Yoemans, who didn’t feature last week against Netherfield, replaced Nick and Reece and from the restart the side looked revitalised. Matt provided some much needed solidity at the back and Jacob was always busy down the right flank and linking up well with Ben Cree and Elliott Brown. City’s early second half pressure was rewarded with a penalty when Will Machin was clearly clattered in the back with only the keeper to beat. Dan Gleeson stepped up to smash home the equaliser from the penalty spot and the game was back on. City should have gone ahead shortly afterwards when Yoemans released Brown down the right wing but his low driven cross was skied over the bar by Machin who was charging in at the far post. It was the best move of the game by a long way and could have brought the impetus City needed to go in and secure all the points. However, it was Arnold that picked up the pace and fired everything into City’s penalty box in attempt to win the game. City put a stout and brave defensive display and at times looked shambolic as they threw themselves into every tackle and blocked every shot. However, you couldn’t fault the effort and commitment from all 11 players and for that alone they deserved to get the draw they achieved from this game and were all awarded MOM as a consequence.
It’s a good sign that City did not play well but still came away with a valuable point; a testimony to the spirit and never-say-die attitude of this squad.