Hawes Utd lost their 100 per cent record in some style on Saturday when their bogey team Colburn put six past them without reply.
Not since Colburn’s five-nil win in the 2014 Medals Shield final has it felt this bad to be a blue, said Hawes midfielder Andre Fagg after the game.
The game was played at Askrigg’s ground as Hawes’ pitch was unplayable.
On a beautiful winter’s afternoon Colburn were sharper, fitter, more clinical and more organised.
The calamity of the sixth goal summed it up. Keeper Jonny Guy received a long back pass. He didn’t want it because his back had gone. He fired the ball into the Colburn striker bearing down on him. The ball looped up towards the Hawes goal and came to a stop a yard out.
The lad in pink ran to the ball and belted it into the net. The cries of delight from the Colburn players were a torment. Those lads properly rub it in with their celebrations – but then why shouldn’t they?
The first ten minutes saw Colburn’s doughty defence, featuring recent transfers Tim Bishop and Dean McCormack, slotting in seamlessly into a back five, with Luke Hamilton, Nige Cole and Rory Wallace, repelling several Hawes attacks.
Hawes had an early chance when Scott Guy’s shot from the edge of the box bounced up off the turf, striking Colburn keeper Bishop in the head.
Tom Bishop in Colburn’s goal pulled off some marvellous stops during the match, making himself big to block short range shots from Jonathan Champion and then Tommy Calvert.
One shot bounced up in front of Tim Bishop and flew to safety off his head. But then the snow stopped, the sun came out to play, and so did Colburn.
The goals went in far too easily for Hawes’ liking. After 12 minutes, Hawes attempt to clear the ball fell to Tom Sweeney, just outside the area.One shot bounced up in front of Tim Bishop and flew to safety off his head. But then the snow stopped, the sun came out to play, and so did Colburn,
The goals went in far too easily for Hawes’ liking. After 12 minutes, Hawes attempt to clear the ball fell to Tom Sweeney, just outside the area. It went in off the post. Hawes failed to close him down quickly enough in the penalty box.
Seven minutes later, the lead was doubled, as another Colburn new signing, Bishop, claimed his first assist. His clearance cleared Hawes’ defence, Sweeney pounced and cleverly lifted the ball over the onrushing keep
Those two goals seemed to knock most of the stuffing out of Hawes. Defensive frailties were there for all to see, and Colburn were keen to take advantage.
Three minutes just before the interval, Colburn’s lead was increased as Craig Teasdale sent a searching cross over from the right wing – Stuart Murray, restored to the starting line-up after several weeks out with injury, deftly headed the ball over the last Hawes defender and knocked it home.
The second half began like the first – a couple of Hawes free kicks causing concern in the Colburn defence, but Bishop was determined to mark his Colburn debut with a clean sheet.
Having got his hat trick, Sweeney was then withdrawn, allowing Josh Crisp an outing in midfield, after his recent sterling efforts as Colburn’s stand in keeper.
That made it four-nil and from that point Colburn really started to enjoy themselves.
It took less than five minutes for Crisp to make his mark – Murray played him in, his blocked shot came back to Murray, who scored comfortably.
Hammy Hamilton then made two more tactical changes, bringing Murray and Teasdale off, replacing them with Brandon Bishop, another Christmas transfer, and Tom Bentley.
Colburn’s varying methods of attack had caused Hawes no end of problems, whether it was McCormack and Gary Hutchinson linking down the left, Wallace and Teasdale down the right, or Ashley McInerney and Mark Jamieson surging through the middle.
Colburn’s sixth, and final goal, was all down to Jamieson’s persistence, as his pressure caused Hawes hapless keeper to knock the ball out to him. Jamieson walked the ball to the goal line, and gleefully thumped it into the roof of the net.
There was just time for Bentley to lose out in a one on one with Hawes keeper, and for McInerney to see one last free kick fly high over the bar, before the final whistle was blown.
Hawes were always bound to lose a league match sooner or later.
That it came after a period of six weeks without playing should come as no surprise. Hawes will have a chance to show their character and make a come back next week at Unicorn.
For Colburn, it keeps alive their hopes of making a real challenge in the next part of season.
Richmond Academy played current champions Mavs on a game switched to Richmond School.
The pitch looked okay before kick off but within five minutes it became a quagmire that didn’t suit either side’s usual passing style.
From the sidelines it looked literally like men against boys as each player in tangerine seemed to tower a good six inches above their opposite number.
After a few lively early exchanges Academy took the lead when Nathan Simpson swung over a corner and the unmarked Ronan Donoghue calmly volleyed past the keeper.
As the conditions worsened both sets of players struggled to play and kind of flowing game and the match became a midfield battle that was epitomised by the ongoing dual between Smurthwaite and the more senior Donoghue brother, James.
Academy defended resolutely under some resilient Mavs pressure with Mackintosh and Spence throwing their bodies in the way of shots and keeper Mudd making a couple of outstanding saves.
Mavs went 3-1 up before Academy introduced first team captain Scott Ryan to try and add some fresh legs to their tiring side.
Ryan was quickly involved and squeezed between two Mavs defenders before crashing to the floor with a dive that Jurgen Klinsmann would have been proud of. The fooled ref pointed to the spot without hesitation. Lewington stepped and gave the keeper no chance from the spot.
For the next 20 minutes it seemed to all watching that the young side would at least get an equaliser against the tiring Mavs but on came talismanic veteran Layfield to steady the ship and put Mavs back in control.
Ten minutes of madness cost Academy dearly as they conceded four quick goals to produce a rather flattering scoreline for the champs.
Richmond Buck started brightly in their game against Reeth when a Michael Ingram cross was met sweetly by Liam Ryan who saw his shot cannon off the bar after five minutes.
Reeth competed well and looked to play some good football, forcing Buck keeper Mark Biggs into a fine low save down to his right on ten minutes.
Buck then had two big chances to take the lead around the half hour mark with Danny Allen forcing Reeth keeper Mark Butcher into a close range save and the rebound just escaping the middle of Allen’s boot.
Shortly after Mark Swanwick was put clean through but slightly to the left of goal and he took his chance first time with his left foot only to see his shot slice wide of the left post.
Buck got the goal they felt they deserved just before half time when a fine Liam Ryan corner was met by Ryan Howe’s forehead, heading the ball down into the goal.
There was still time for a Buck flowing move which was almost converted by Allen and a Ryan Howe free kick skied before the half time whistle.
Buck’s lead was doubled ten minutes into the second half when another fine Liam Ryan in-swinging corner was flapped at by the keeper, who felt he was impeded, and went straight in.
Buck keeper Mark Briggs was having a quiet afternoon and made the most of any action that came his way, showing quick feet to beat on rushing attackers and, on 65 minutes allowing a through ball that was 70/30 in his favour become the sort of 50/50 crunch challenge he relishes.
Buck had a lot of success with long balls up to the front men and balls into the channels.
A Ryan Howe ball over the top released Danny Allen who forced Butcher into another save when one on one.
A minute later another ball up to Allen in the penalty area brought about a clumsy challenge from the Reeth defender.
The resultant penalty had to be retaken for encroachment, saving Stewart Fotheringham’s blushes as his first attempt hit the bar.
He made no mistake second time round to all but finish the game as a contest.
Else where in the league Spennithorne and Harmby beat Carperby 6-2 with two goals from James Smith, and one from Jake Gamble-Schofield, George Shaw, Luke Wilkinson and David Burnside securing the points for Spenni.
Two Creamery League teams were in North Riding Cup action, although both lost their tough away fixtures.
Leyburn were beaten 7-2 by Lingdale while Catterick Garrison lost 3-0 to West Pier.
Results – 6.1.2018