It was Medals Shield semi-final day on Saturday and for a Colburn a chance to take revenge on an opposition who had taken four points off them in the league this season.
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The game against Leyburn was played at Carperby’s ground.
The early pressure came from Colburn. A shot from Craig Teasdale was straight at the keeper, who then made a block with his legs to deny Stuart Murray after he had been put in by Shane Parkinson.
After 20 minutes, another Teasdale shot rattled the woodwork, and two minutes later Colburn took a deserved lead.
Some dazzling footwork from Adam Taylor took him into the area, and his squared ball was slotted home by Joe Woodall.
But Leyburn came straight back at Colburn and stand-in keeper Josh Crisp had to make a fine save, diving to his left, to keep one Leyburn effort out.
Colburn continued to press, however, and another pass from Parkinson put his strike partner Murray in, but once again the keeper blocked his shot.
Next it was an Ashley McInerney free kick, played from right to left of the goal area where Parkinson could only divert it wide.
Back came Leyburn on the half-hour. A ball was played down the right wing and from there passed in to Kalem Stanger, who turned his marker and cleverly shot home. There was time before the interval for Nige Cole to head straight at Leyburn’s keeper, from a McInerney corner.
Colburn began the second half in style, regaining the lead after a minute. Callum Sheridan advanced down the left and unleashed a fearsome drive which flew past the Leyburn keeper.
Just before the hour, Rory Wallace was yellow-carded for deliberate handball as Leyburn strove to get back into the game, indicative of a Colburn tendency to switch off after they’ve scored.
Nevertheless, Colburn did pick the pace up again, and after 69 minutes Woodall sent over a cross from the left wing to the far post, where Cole rose like a swallow, directing a fierce header back across a frustrated Leyburn keeper to make it 3-1.
After Parkinson had been subbed for Gary Hutchinson, a McInerney effort crashed off the post.
Next it was Leyburn’s turn to take advantage of slackness in the Colburn rearguard, forcing a great point-blank save from Crisp. On 82 minutes, an absolutely drained Woodall was replaced by Connor Weatherbed, who was straight into action, causing concern among the Leyburn defence.
Another attempt from Teasdale flew just wide, then, in added time, Weatherbed played a ball across the box for Teasdale to fire home Colburn’s fourth.
There was still time for one final twist when Taylor, too tired to bother, left out a leg for the Leyburn attacker to fall over, and with virtually the last kick of the game Lee Davison converted the penalty.
With both Richmond Buck Inn and Richmond Mavericks doing well in the league, anticipation of a high quality close game was high.
Mavs started brightly and looked sharper in their approach play and lively up top.
They struck the first blow when offside calls were not answered by the lino and Richie Bastow showed good control and a calm finish after the ball dropped to him in the box from the right.
Mavs had threatening spells of pressure but the Buck were able to break out and cause the Mavs back line a few problems.
Buck looked most threatening down the wings, with Micheal Ingram eager to be an out ball and get forward from right back to provide extra width.
Jacob Tate and Marshal Thorogood created some half chances but Mavs pressing gave Buck no time on the ball.
The game began to follow a pattern of the Buck surrendered possession and the Mavs breaking at speed.
Mavs made it two before half time when Adam Emson converted a penalty that the linesmen gave after there were question marks over whether a clumsy buck challenge was in the box or not.
Buck knew the next goal would be crucial and it nearly went to them, ten minutes into the second half, when a accurate Thorogood cross was headed straight into the hands of the Mavs keeper at close range by Josh Wooff.
Liam Ryan in the Buck goal was being tested and on 70 minutes when he couldn’t smother a shot.
The ball fell to Bastow who evaded Ryan who tried to recover and blasted home, only for Adam Hodgkinson to make a remarkable goal line block to keep Buck in the game.
The pattern of the game continued and a depleted Buck side were down to ten men because of injuries and looked more vulnerable than menacing.
Time was running out for Buck and on 89 minutes Adem Emson was released and bore down on goal.
Back in the league, Unicorn stayed top with a comfortable 6-2 win at home to Reeth.
Unicorn players were quickly out of the blocks, none more so than Liam Reeves, who raced through in the first minute, rounded the keeper before tripping over his own feet and eating turf.
Five minutes later and with the crowd still in fits of laughter at Reeves’ mishap, Dale Middleton accidentally back heeled a ball into Duckett’s path, who calmly rounded the keeper and slid the ball home.
Unicorn regained possession almost straight from kick off, forcing a corner which Shayne Ketley floated onto the glorious head of Simon McGuinness. This initial effort was blocked, but McGuinness reacted quickly and tapped in the rebound.
Eight minutes later McGuinness turned provider, slicing the Reeth defence open with a ball to Reeves. This time Reeves managed to stay on his feet, sauntering around the keeper before finding the net, from close range.
On the half hour mark Unicorn made it four when Rory Atkinson whipped a dangerous ball into the box from the right.
Liam Reeves was ‘touch tight’ with the defender and worried him enough, to force him into nodding the ball over his own keeper.
Minutes before the break Middleton fizzed in what he claimed was a cross to Ketley, who stooped low with a diving header slamming it into the bag. Half time 5-1.
As the second half kicked off it was hoped that Unicorn would kick on and complete a real romp, however five minutes in Adam Gray conceded a clumsy penalty after centre half partner Swainston had left him one on one while becoming distracted by the rainbow overhead.
As the Reeth man stepped up to take his kick, Mutch, dressed in leprechaun green, looked imposing between the sticks and his mind games worked.
Mutch sprung low to his left saving brilliantly. Moments later Unicorn made it six after some excellent work down the right hand side by Unicorn’s own Paolo Maldini (but better looking) Nick Marshall, who showed great skill and composure before snapping into a tackle and laying the ball off to Atkinson.
Atkinson took one touch out of his feet and pinged a laser guided lob into the far top corner. A contender for goal of the season.
Unicorn had a few more chances to increase the deficit with Keegan ballooning over from eight yards after some neat footwork, while Middleton, much to the frustration of his team mates, chose cross shots over passes countless times; but the best was saved for last, and the game ended as it had begun, calamity and fits of laughter.
Reeves sent in the perfect cross to Andrew Hines. With the goal at his mercy, all he had to do was side foot home, but he sliced the ball wide with the last kick of the game.
With results going in their favour recently and a relatively easy run-in, Catterick Garrison Football Centre are still confident of maintaining a title challenge.
However, Saturday’s 2-2 draw away at Richmond Town Academy did their aspirations no good at all.
With veteran captain Mackintosh away Academy arrived with a squad of 13 teenage outfield players.
The home side started brightly but despite some good play down the wings involving Gilroy, Lewington and Simpson, they were unable to create any chances of note.
Catterick started to win the midfield battle as the half progressed with Tim Holland becoming increasingly influential on the left hand side of midfield.
Holland gave Catterick the lead when he cut inside his man and fired a great effort past Mudd in the Academy goal.
Catterick extended their lead when Holland crossed from the left and found the unmarked Fleming who headed home.
Catterick should have scored another but for a brilliant clearance from Spence before a great move saw Deeney square to the unmarked Fleming on the goal line, who somehow managed to shoot away from goal when it seemed impossible to miss.
It was 2-0 at half time but the away side were much the better side and to all watching it seemed a case of how many they would get.
Academy changed to a 4-4-2 at half time with Sadler brought on to deal with Holland and the move turned the game around.
Gilroy dropped into midfield and put in a superb second half performance as he repeatedly jinked his way through the Catterick defence.
One such run ended with a sublime cross that was gleefully finished by Donaghue a couple of minutes after coming on.
Academy were the better side for the majority of the half and got the equaliser they deserved on 87 minutes when Spence powered home a header from Lewington’s corner.
Hawes United were convincing in victory but had to come back from a goal down in their game against Spennithorne and Hamby.
Hawes went one up after only a few minutes. It was a simple and lovely goal. Scott Guy picked up the ball in front of the Spenni defence. He hovered with it, before slipping in Matt Guy to score with his left foot.
The Spenni players looked defeated during a short spell of rain, but when the sun came out began to look dangerous. The Spenni number 7 Luke Wilkinson pulled the ball down nicely on the left side and beat two Hawes men before crossing for George Shaw to score.
Spenni then took the lead by seizing on a misplaced Hawes pass. Wilkinson went one way then the other before finishing.
Spenni seemed to have too much space. Hawes keeper Jonny Guy had to come miles out of his area to make a last ditch clearance.
But nevertheless it was Hawes making the play. On a bobbly pitch the blues passed it around nicely, with Lloyd Iveson catching the eye with lively runs and interchanges from left back.
Tommy Calvert with that straight-armed bum shuffling run was causing mayhem. He equalised by dribbling and darting down the left hand side and finishing from a tight angle with a beautifully struck left-footed drive. It was 2-2 at half time.
At this point more legs were required in midfield and Andrew Fagg was subbed off for Steve Calvert, with Tommy Wallis switching to holding midfield and putting in a commanding performance.
Calvert made a speedy impact. He picked the ball up from a long pass and beat the left back by dropping the shoulder. He squared his body and blasted the ball into the roof of the net with his right peg.
The game went a touch flat in the second half as Spenni lost their mojo.
Hawes hit the post with a Tommy Calvert drive and had most of the territory and possession. Jordan Iveson made it 4-2 with a short range effort – which he later claimed was a 25 yard drive.
Hawes play Richmond Mavericks in what is a big game for both teams.
Here’s how the table looks after Saturday’s games:
Medals Shield semi-final
Leyburn Town 2 – 4 Colburn Town
Richmond Buck Inn 0 – 3 Richmond Mavericks
Hawes United 4 – 2 Spennithorne & Harmby
Richmond Town Academy 2 – 2 Catterick Garrison Football Centre
Unicorn FC 6 – 2 Reeth & District Athletic Club
Fixtures – 24.2.18
Catterick Garrison Football Centre v Carperby Rovers
Colburn Town v Richmond Buck Inn
Hawes United v Richmond Mavericks
Reeth & District Athletic Club v Richmond Town Academy
Spennithorne & Harmby v Leyburn Town