4 weeks ago
By Mike Rushmere
Played on a dry pitch and no rain, but fairly windy.
Thirsk 3 lined up against Harrogate 6 without a point between them, both keen to break away from the bottom of the league.
Apart from a few long aerials from the Harrogate defence, there was little early threat from the opposition as Thirsk dominated possession and territory. Fine movement off the ball, particularly Owen Reed, Joe Tart and Jeremy, was giving the ball carriers plenty of passing options and creating plenty of action in the opposition D, leading to plenty of goal mouth action and several short corners, but alas no finishing touch, consistent with previous weeks.
Keeping with consistency to previous weeks, Harrogate then scored against the run of play, but Thirsk kept on, with its younger legs testing the older Harrogate defenders for pace and skill, eventually resulting in an equaliser by Tom Crack after the rotating the Thirsk substitutes. Quickly thereafter, an attempted shot from the edge of the D by Patrick Hunt found Ollie Dale at the far post to score his first ever goal for Thirsk.
Arthur Webster-Jones then moved up from defence to put some fresher legs into centre midfield and Thirsk continued to pressurise Harrogate, Fred Hunt driving up the right from defence and finding some good passes into the D, with Jack Foxley and Ollie Dale continuing to run circles around the opposition. Just at half time, Thirsk won another short corner, half stopped by Jack Foxley, the ball deflected to Patrick confusing the defensive runners and allowing time for a considered shot and goal.
The second half was more evenly balanced with attacking pressure from Harrogate but Mike Rushmere belied his 70 years to regularly steal the ball and Jack Devlin was calm in possession, even in difficult situations. The few occasions when Harrogate beat the defence, Andy Watson was quickly out of goal to close the angles and snuff out the opportunity.
During the second half substitutions, Thirsk had lost players from midfield to the forward line giving Harrogate more time in midfield to pick out passes and run at the defence, but once the structure was re-balanced, Thirsk were back in control, eventually closing out the game with a fourth goal, scored by Connor Wilkinson.
Excellent performance from all.
Joint Man of Match: Jack Devlin and Ollie Dale.
Updated 20:57 - 14 Oct 2018 by Mike Rushmere