Under 19’s County Trophy Second Round

Thursday 18th December 2008
Northallerton College 4
Harrogate Grammar 2:
GOALS – Sam Bainbridge, Tom Joel

THIS match must surely rank as the most angriest and fierce that HGS have encountered this season. Playing in front of a gloating and intimidating crowd, did not scare the team but only added anger and frustration to the equation.
After such a promising first half display, you would have thought that HGS could have hang on to that lead. However some sloppy and absurd defending cost HGS the game which has put them out of the County Trophy competition.

The team made the trip to Northallerton with plenty of cheer and spirit. Once again, Manager, Mr Hodgson made sure that an away trip into the obscurity was greeted with a pre-match trip to a supermarket. This time, it was Morrison’s with some of the team playing street football, much to the alarmism of the elderly.
This game was never going to be a joke though. The ‘fun’ pre-match banter and spirit always goes down a treat but when the going gets going, things get serious. Enter a barrage of shouting and a fistful of action that will get everyone talking on both sides of the Dales.

Grammar looked composed at the start of the match, although there were a few times, the opposition looked like scoring as they ran fluidly with the ball. Sam Bainbridge, however unleashed a 40 yard screamer for Grammar from just past the halfway line to make it 1-0 much to the delight of Manager, Mr Hodgson.
The lead sadly was not to last, as the tempers started to flare. Ben Dyason and Louis Anderson were the culprits as their vocal and tackling sides of the football park made sure, the game would be played at a fierce level.

Much to the despair for HGS, a penalty kick was awarded to Northallerton after Carey-Williams made a brutal challenge on his man. The former Crewe Alexandra youth academy player, protested against this decision with the tackle being made outside the box. However, it was to no avail as the College equalised from the spot, past Proctor. Grammar however retook the lead with a Taylor free kick unluckily hitting the post but coming right off for makeshift forward, Joel to strike the ball sweetly into the net.

There was still some ferocious slide tackles going in from both sides, but HGS were made to feel like victims from a referee which was deemed to be biased. However, these sliding tackles which left the HGS players on the deck when they made them, were to cost them the game later on.

At half time, a necessary message from the manager was made to calm down the team. This worked for a while until the players once again made the same mistake of sliding for the ball past the halfway line allowing the opposition to stride with the ball cleanly. This cost Grammar with a 40 yard screamer from Northallerton going into the top left corner of the net on a counter attack which left Proctor with no chance.

Things were to get worse for Grammar after another penalty kick was awarded to the opposition. This time, Anderson was the culprit with the latter already close to exploding due to the decision by the referee. As it was, Proctor made a fine save from the spot but couldn’t stop the rebound as Northallerton despairingly took the lead.

A fourth was soon added as the second half turned into an angry encounter. Once again, HGS dug themselves in a hole with the slide tackles. However, the challenges from the opposition became even more desperate with Holgate being completely sliced by a challenge on the touchline similar to that of Carey Williams.
As the full time whistle blew, you could sense that HGS had been unlucky but there was to be no excuses with the fact that they had gifted the game away.
Harrogate Grammar School coach, Mr Hodgson believed the team were unlucky to lose the game. ” The Referee lost it at the end. I believe there were some players in our team that had a very good game. However, we can’t keep committing ourselves to the tackle past the halfway line “.
The game could well spark a debate. Was it the Northallerton players who were the vicious ones or did HGS dig themselves in the foot? The reality is, is that the team are out of both County Cup and Trophy competitions with the League now a foregone conclusion.

Only the Area Cup competition remains in store, and it will take some various tactical work on the defending and perhaps a few friendlies to give us a chance against Aidan’s.

HGS: Stuart Proctor, Sam Cox, Tobin Carey-Williams, Louis Anderson, Ed Holgate, Ben Dyason (sub: Dan Birch), Sam Bainbridge, James Taylor (sub: Tom Shiel), Henry Weemes, Tom Joel, James Auckland