A tremendous team effort from the lads today and whatever the league table ultimately shows, they earned the right to stay on Pitch A in my eyes. Today was always going to be tough, a mixed team of players cobbled together from the ranks of the Thirsk A and B teams up against the best of the Yorkshire U12 boys teams for the first time. There was a little nervousness amongst some of the lads having never played on Pitch A but there needn’t have been. With an unbalanced side of largely attack-minded players, some had to accept that they would be playing a more defensive role than they would have liked. To their credit they all played the part asked of them, and, they did this in cold and sleety, wet conditions.
In the first game against Leeds A, Thirsk took the lead with a great piece of skill from Joe Tart who beat three players and calmly slotted the ball in the net. Sadly, despite heroics from Jack Disbury in goal, Leeds found a way back into the game and equalised in a game that ended 1-1. We re-grouped to focus on our next opponents, Harrogate. Thirsk had a great deal of the possession and nearly unlocked the Harrogate defence. Jack Foxley came close off a short corner too. Harrogate were lucky to get away with an infringement in the D which led to the opening goal for them and then they followed it up with a very cleanly hit strike. Thirsk were hanging on by this point and two clearances off the line and saves from Jack Disbury kept the score at 2-0. Next up Wakefield and this time it was the opposition who scored first. The lads all showed great character though and some lovely play between Joseph O’Gorman and Daniel Tideswell in the opponents D resulted in a loose ball that Daniel Tideswell pounced on for the equaliser. A satisfying 1-1 result. Finally we faced Ben Rhydding, widely considered the best team on Pitch A but Thirsk had them on the back foot from the start. Some great build up play and pressure brought about a move which forced a double save from the keeper. Rafi Carus-Huby had made a good run and was well placed to break the dead-lock. Ben Rhydding looked rattled for a while at 1-0 and Thirsk sat back to defend the lead. It looked as though they had done it. There was dogged defending from the whole team, in particular from the back line (Rafi Carus-Huby, George White and Joseph O’Gorman) who all put their bodies in the way of the ball in a bid to hold onto the lead. Alex Glegg, Jack Foxley and Jack Nicholls tried to breakout a couple of times but the ball kept coming back. It was a blow when Ben Rhydding finally managed to sneak the ball past Jack Disbury into the net in the final minute. Thirsk went straight on the attack again but there was not enough time for any more heroics and so it ended 1-1. Still, we had them rattled for a while and that was satisfying!
Every one of the boys should be proud of their team effort today. It is unknown whether the 6 points gained from 3 score draws will be sufficient to retain the Pitch A place for the next outing, but regardless, they gave a good account of themselves. Team as follows:
Jack Disbury (GK) – Manager’s Player of the Day
Joseph O’Gorman (C)
Joe Tart – 2 goals - Player’s Player of the Day
Rafi Carus-Huby – 1 goal