The table is starting to take shape with early pacesetters Unicorn remaining on top but Richmond Mavericks – who are still to drop a point – are hot on their heels.
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Academy hosted last year’s league champions Colburn on an almost perfect playing surface at Catterick Village on Saturday.
Early exchanges saw both sides attacking and creating half chances without troubling the keepers. Simpson was causing problems down the left wing and the pace of Deeney was unsettling for the experienced Colburn back line.
After eight minutes Colburn’s Brandon Bishop played a ball through from his own half. The defenders let it bounce, and Sweeney turned and rifled in.
Colburn had chances through McCormack, Joe Woodall and Ashley McInerney whose freekick fizzed narrowly wide, while Nige Cole headed over from a Craig Teasdale corner.
There was a moment of controversy on 30 minutes when Colburn skipper Cole went in for a meaty challenge on Carnegie Brown which the home side felt deserved more than the yellow card produced.
For Academy, Smith, Carnegie Brown and Weatherall linked up well in the centre of midfield throughout the first half and one smart exchange ended with a good effort from town’s podgy attacking midfielder.
The half finished with a strong challenge from Spence on Luke McCormack which signalled the end of any meaningful input from either payer, with Spence forced off with what seemed a minor injury but transpired to be a broken ankle and the latter seemed to fade out of the game despite previously producing some moments of magic throughout the first period.
The Colburn manager’s message at half time was a plea to keep pressing, and to keep the ball down, as the Academy’s tall central defenders were finding it too easy to deal with high balls down the middle, or crosses from the flanks.
For Academy, Andy Davidson replaced Spence at half time and joined his brother in the heart of the defence.
Andy put in a naughty challenge within ten minutes but the ref only showed yellow once again.
Colburn sub Hutchinson made an immediate impact, pressing more forcefully down the wing, and stretching the Academy defence.
Colburn were still pressing, but the lack of a second goal was making them a little desperate, which meant they started trying to force things to happen and Academy fullbacks Sadler and Gredziak ensured that they couldn’t demonstrate their usual impressive wing play.
On 75 minutes, Carnegie Brown went up for a high ball with the Colburn keeper and came away with the ball before being hauled down for a penalty
Weatherall stepped up and fired low to the keepers right making it 1-1.
Both sides pushed for a winner, Deeney brought a smart save from Bishop before Spensley also made a great save down low.
The game ended with a draw but Colburn thought they had been unlucky and deserved more.
White van man Shaun Charlton led the herd of table topping Unicorns over Catterick tops for their encounter with an improving Carperby side.
James “Pulis” Anderson had a near full strength side to pick from, one notable absentee however was Rory Atkinson.
Congrats to Rory on their new born, more good news as the unicorn youth policy continues to go from strength to strength.
Unicorn started the game brightly as they moved the ball around well and it was soon 1-0 as Handley, returning after a long absence due to weight gain and heart break, brought the ball out from the back and clipped a delightful ball over the top for Stu Adams, Adams ran through and finished well into bottom corner.
The Unicorn defence turned providers again on 23 minutes. It was the other centre back Adam Gray this time who managed to make room in the area to pull back to Sims, who then fired into the top corner.
The horned beast was well on top, however Carperby were playing some nice stuff at times and nearly got back in the game on 35 minutes. As tricky winger Luke Morland ran towards the goal, Stu Brown attempted to stop him but only managed to find himself nutmegged and on his rear end right in front of his on looking fiance.
Fortunately, Handley was on hand to get a toe in just before the winger could pull the trigger.
This spurred Carperby on and they fashioned out another couple of chances as John Pickard fired wide when one on one, and Paul Stevenson then hit the bar from distance.
But the team in yellow were made to rue these chances as Unicorn put the game to bed.
The chizzled figure of Unicorn pin up Tom Keegan won the ball back in midfield. He found Luke Dent who in turn played Reeves in. He finished well to make it 3-0.
It was 4-0 before half time. Sims sniffed out half a chance by chasing down a lost cause, before and driving forward and finding the bottom corner.
The second half started slowly with both teams knocking the ball around well at the back but the end product was missing from both sides.
But Unicorn did add to their tally on 61 minutes. Adams whipped a ball in and Sims got a head to it, it looped high over the keeper and into the net to make it 5-0.
Carperby then nicked one back three mins later. A good moved ended with the Luke Morland running in at the back post unmarked to finish well from a Pickard cross.
Sims then had to leave to field due to injury, the ball was played through and as Simms set off after it he pulled up instantly with no one around him, they are always the worst type of injuries. Everyone at the Unicorn wish Sims a speedy recovery from a suspected chaffed nipple.
His replacement Shaun Charlton was soon in on the act as he bundled the ball home from close range to make it 6-1, and the goal of the game sealed the scoring and the win as Greek god Tom Keegan found Reeves just inside the Carperby half.
He looked up and spotted the keeper off his line and lobbed him from a good 45 yards out.
Unicorn will hope to continue their winning run next week ahead of their annual cocktail night. Could this be their year? Probably not.
Late arrivals of their kit and a corner flag disrupted Buck’s pre-match preparation and they took a long time to warm into their game against Catterick Garrison.
Catterick Garrison deservedly went a goal up but in controversial fashion as Jez Mortimer controlled a ball over the top, first with his foot and then with what Buck players believe was his hand.
The ball fell nicely for him and he finished well past Liam Ryan in goal for the Buck.
Buck struggled to get two or three passes going as Garrison were hot on their heels and finding lots of space in midfield to work their approach play.
Buck grafted and saw off the Garrison storm and were rewarded with an equaliser from the penalty spot, Luke Pearson going straight down the middle after good work from Josh Wooff who cleverly drew the foul.
In the second half Buck looked more comfortable, holding a tight back line, Matthew Dixon in particular impressing, making his second debut for the Buck.
A nicely worked move saw Josh Wooff receiving the ball up-field and his pass was dummied by David Addison for Luke Pearson to take a touch and shank the ball in off the bar leaving Steven Files no chance.
Garrison put Buck under pressure in the final 20 minutes and they thought Damien Hargreaves had nodded the equaliser but the ball had gone out for a throw in, which the the Garrison lino sportingly confirmed this to the ref.
Richmond Mavericks are yet to drop a point and may have expected the visit of Hawes to prove challeneging.
However, they ran out conformable 5-1 winners.
Owen Kelly passed to Nathan O’Connor who scored the opener, before Daniel Richardson pulled one back for the visitors after a daft freekick was given away by Owen Kelly on the edge of the box.
Mavs then lost Ian Smurthwaite to what looked like a bad achilles injury.
After 40 minutes Priotchard made it 3-1, before a ball whipped in by will Gardner was met by O’Connor to knock in
A Chris Greig through ball allowed O’Connor to get his hat-trick.
Leyburn are riding high in the table and comfortably saw off Reeth.
Reeth spurned the the chance to take the lead just after the quarter hour, as forward Josh Hammond put a penalty kick over the bar.
A few minutes later, Leyburn had a spot kick of their own and made no such mistake, to go one up.
The visitors increased their advantage as the half wore on, with Reeth unable to cope with their counter-attacks and crosses. By half-time, they were 5-0 ahead.
The home side stemmed the tide a little after the break, but still conceded a sixth goal on 50 minutes.
Further goals in the 62nd and 70th minutes rounded off a comprehensive 8-0 win.
Carperbu 0-7 Unicorn
Reeth 0-8 Leyburn
Richmond Buck 2-2 Catterick Garrison
Richmond Mavericks 5-1 Hawes
Richmond Town Academy 1 -1 Colburn
Fixtures – 29.9.18
Colburn v Carperby
Hawes v Richmond Buck
Leyburn v Richmond Mavericks
Spennithorne v Richmond Town Academy
Unicorn v Reeth