The Medals Shield quarter-finals were the priority for six of the Wensleydale Creamery League teams on Saturday.
This report is sponsored by:
Hawes United had only ten men available for this fixture with Richmond Mavericks.
However, they came close to winning the match after protecting a one-nil lead for an hour.
Early on Hawes won the ball on the left hand side. Steve Calvert slipped a square pass to centre forward Matt Guy, who moved the ball to his right foot and club hammered it into the top corner from 20 yards.
Hawes then parked the bus. The Mavericks had the lion’s share of possession but could not find a way to get behind the blues.
Although Hawes booted most loose balls to the wings or to touch, there were some pretty moments. Skipper Brett Calvert’s graceful, faint header from a high ball back to keeper Jonny Guy was worth the ticket price alone.
The Mavs were reduced to speculative efforts from outside the box, but in the last couple of minutes of the first half had two decent chances.
A long cross into the box found Reuben Bainbridge unmarked but he put his header over the bar. Then there was a goalmouth scramble from a corner, but the ball was cleared off the line.
In the first half, Hawes at least showed some intent on the break. The Calvert lads down the wings, and Jordan Iveson through the middle, threatened.
But for the first twenty minutes of the second half Hawes barely got out of their own half. It was tough going. Hawes had placed all their eggs in the one-nil basket and it did not pay off.
A Mavs midfielder slipped a ball into the box in the inside right position. A forward scampered on to it and shot across goal and into the bottom corner to make it 1-1.
Hawes showed admirable fight and managed to stage a handful of attacks. Tommy Calvert kicked the floor in frustration when he slightly overhit a pass when his team had a three on two.
New dad Jonny Guy was seeing plenty of the ball in the Hawes net but he exercised outstanding decision making while commanding his box and made a couple of flying saves.
Extra time was a step too far. Hawes were spent. The Mavs scored when a cross was allowed to bounce at the back post. A shot back across goal from short range went through a couple of defenders and into the goal. A third soon followed but this correspondent cannot remember how it went in.
Tensions flared towards the end when Steve Calvert was sent off for kicking out at a Mavs man after the ball had gone.
Hawes had given their all and received tremendous support from the sidelines.
Elsewhere, a young Spenni team struggled to match a solid Buck outfit, despite a number of injuries and work commitments reducing the Buck’s selection options.
Buck were well set by half time at 2-0 thanks to goals from Mark Swanwick, who finished well after a blocked Danny Allen shot, and man of the match Marshal Thorogood who it seems has finally learnt the offside rule.
Two of Buck’s more vocal players Michael Ingram and Danny Allen were also bemoaning handball decisions, one of which against Allen chalked a great Buck goal off the score sheet.
Buck had the match sewn up shortly after half time as a ball over the top from left back Ingram was not dealt with by the Spenni centre back and Thorogood latched onto the mistake and drilled home into the bottom left corner giving the keeper no chance.
Thorogood then claimed a deserved hat-trick and Allen made it 5, both assisted by David Addison who is looking more of a centre midfielder these days.
Buck played the last quarter of the game with 10 men as their stand in keeper Liam Ryan, who played with a torn groin muscle could no longer continue and Buck had already played their two subs.
Spenni’s consolation was a penalty given for a point blank handball.
The decision came much to Buck’s dismay as they were heading for a club record of four clean sheets in a row. Buck await Mavs in the semi-final in February.
In the third cup tie, Leyburn had an easy 7-0 win over Carperby. Two goals a piece from Lee Davison and Kalem Stanger, and the odd one for Keifer Bottomley, Brandon Acton and Darren Enright meant the Leyburn will play the winners of the Colburn against Unicorn game next month.
In the league, Catterick Garrison were relieved to be back on firm ground and able to play to their strengths – quick, short passing and lightening counters.
Unicorn turned up with a strong side and were in determined spirit themselves.
Catterick coped with early Unicorn pressure with keeper Tim Bishop claiming numerous high balls from free-kicks and corners.
The first half was a midfield battle with an energetic performance from Unicorn’s Rory Atkinson being matched by the power and precision of Gavin Rudd and his centre mid partner Jonny Holmes.
The game was combative but clean and there were few chances for either side with Uni’s back three working well to snuff out most attacks and Catterick playing well as a unit.
Half-time came with the sides locked at 0-0.
In the second half Catterick seemed to stop giving away needless free-kicks in their half and the referee used his whistle less
Unicorn’s talented forward Liam Reeves was looking lively, but Catterick’s centre back paring of James Boyle and Andrew Constantine were looking in fine form.
On the hour Catterick made a double change. The energetic Steven Files and Damian Hargreaves had worn their opponents down and were replaced by Neil Jenks Wright and Danny Bailey, whose first impact almost resulted in a goal, Jenks finding Bailey and this time Bailey couldn’t find a finish.
Catterick’s Jez Mortimer was also on goof form, making numerous tackles to stop Unicorn from advancing.
Jez found another substitute Stephen Flemo Fleming on the left. He did well to keep the ball in and dance past three defenders before stinging the keepers hands with a blistering shot.
Then the deadlock was broken. Jez was again provider as he flicked a pass to Jenks. He bundled the ball past two defenders who desperately tried to hang on to the beast. The rhino was soon loose in the box and this season that only means one thing – goal.
Unicorn didn’t give up and accept their fate though. Reeves hit the outside of Bishop’s post from a tight angle and Bishop also making a smart save when one-on-one late on.
Catterick also looked likely to score and kill the game but loose touches and some poor decision making meant they didn’t add to their lead and the game finished 1-0 to the home side, meaning Catterick regained the top spot from their rival.
Unpleasantness after the final whistle mean the Unicorn’s Paul Brown was given a red card for his review of the referee’s performance.
Reeth made it two wince on the bounce with a 4-3 victory away at Richmond Academy.
With skipper Mackintosh failing a late fitness test, Academy started the game with the oldest outfield player being 17 and 16 year old Zach Sadler captaining the side – surely both firsts in Wensleydale League history.
Academy were warned of complacency after a comfortable pre season win against the Reeth team and seemed to react as they completely controlled the first half.
Reeth keeper Short was repeatedly called into action and made a fantastic save from a Joe Ramsay shot that was heading for the top corner.
On 30 minutes Academy took the lead when Ronan Donaghue crossed from the left and Tom Carengie-Brown brought the ball down before finding the bottom corner.
FIve minutes later Academy thought they should have been awarded a penalty when Tyler Spence made a burst into the box and went down going past the last man but the ref waved play on, much to the anger of the home side.
On 40 minutes Oli Mann was brought down on the edge of the box. Ramsay curled an effort towards the bottom corner and Ethan Rowland followed up to score after a smart save from Short.
Reeth spurned some good chances late on themselves so the half ended 2-0.
Academy seemed to be cruising but a moment of madness on 60 minutes let Reeth back in it; Connor Metcalfe charging down the Richmond goalkeeper’s kick and seeing his block bounce into the empty net.
Two minutes later, they were level at two all; Darren Smith nodding in a Kris Barker free kick.
Alex Mattin stabbed in on 76 minutes as Reeth took the lead for the first time.
With five minutes left, Kris Barker’s penalty put Reeth 4-2 ahead. Again the decision was questioned by Academy. They thought Jacob Steed won the ball with a shoulder but the ref pointed to the spot.
Steed was then given a straight red to go with his earlier yellow after protesting with a couple of expletives.
On 87 minutes Academy’s Donaghue was brought down in the box and Eddie Lewington stepped up to score, but the visitors held on well in the dying minutes to claim the win.
Leyburn Town 7 – 0 Carperby Rovers
Richmond Mavericks 3 – 1 Hawes United
Spennithorne & Harmby 1 – 5 Richmond Buck Inn
Catterick Garrison Football Centre 1 – 0 Unicorn FC
Richmond Town Academy 3 – 4 Reeth & District Athletic Club
Fixtures – November 25
Catterick Garrison Football Centre v Richmond Buck Inn
Leyburn Town v Unicorn FC
Reeth & District Athletic Club v Hawes United
Richmond Mavericks v Carperby Rovers
Spennithorne & Harmby v Colburn Town