Catterick Garrison Football Centre took on Carperby Rovers in a game which was the last in the league for both teams – Catterick requiring a win to cement third.
In a game that saw a goalkeeper shortage for both teams, Robbie Tunstall valiantly volunteered to put the gloves on for Carperby because “he once played there as a child”.
For Catterick, Lee Mckenny’s status as player/manager was hanging in the balance having not played all season.
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However. due to the top three in the goal keeping pecking order all missing for various reasons, it was the turn ‘Fat Cat’ Mckenny to don the gloves in his first ever game in goal.
He was to be a spectator all of the first half as Catterick purred and swept into a 5-0 half-time lead.
Luke McCormack continued his fine form with the first from close range after a twisting run and cross from Dougie Carson.
The second was created by Stephen ‘Flemo’ Fleming drifting in from the left and gliding past two men before his driven cross could only be cleared against Daniel Deeney’s backside.
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The ball flew in the corner to make it two.
Catterick scored two more goals in two minutes to make it 4-0.
Luke laid a ball into Liam Walker’s path that was dispatched low into the bottom corner through a crowd of players.
90 seconds later Carson found himself wide left.
He burst past his man and clipped a wonderful back post cross over that was similar to Emson’s goal for Mavs against CGFC in the Medals Final.
This time it was Carson’s cross that flew in the far corner.
The fifth was scored after Deeney’s wicked corner could only be flapped to the edge of the six yard box.
McCormack reacted quickest to score his 28th in just 20 appearances.
The second half was a huge improvement from Carperby as Catterick’s finishing deserted them.
A combination of that wasteful shooting and 5 or 6 excellent saves from replacement Craig Marshall – who looked at home in between the sticks – meant it was a frustrating second half for Catterick.
Midway through the half Carperby gained a free-kick fully 30 yards out centre of the goal.
Pickard took advantage of some lazy organisation and hit a low shot through a non-existent wall.
McKenny’s excellent immune system meant he hasn’t caught a cold recently and unfortunately his attempt at catching this low shot had the same effect.
Matt Guy beat his own player to the rebound and the ball was drilled past an embarrassed McKenny.
Max Landau forced McKenny into a spectacular low full stretch save that many suggested they could have caught on their neck it was that simple.
A free-kick was awarded to Carperby wide in the last third which was swung into the box.
As the ball dropped Catterick’s Damian Hargreaves attempted to block and as the ball fell lose.
He unfortunately slipped and Rob Tunstall slotted the ball under an advancing McKenny for 5-2.
Carperby had another chance when Landau drove into the box. But he sliced his shot wide and the went over under pressure from the superb Jonny Holmes.
To everyone’s amazement, including Landau’s, a penalty was awarded.
After some chat about a hat from the cat, it was Pickard who was to step up for the kick.
McKenny’s mind games paid off as Pickard refused to go the way he was being told was his favourite and the overweight centre midfielder McKenny dived low down to his right to keep the ball out of the corner and make up for his earlier fumble.
Flemo was to wrap the game up with goal of the game after he drifted out to the left and came in an curled a right footed short beyond Marshall into the far corner for 6-2.
The goal cost Gavin Rose Rudd a pint as he secured that important tenth league goal and 11th of the campaign.
Carperby ended the season in defeat but put in a spirited second half display to ensure they finished with some respect.
Carperby’s season is now over but Catterick face Colburn in the Dales semi-final in a 1.30pm kick off at Catterick Village next Saturday.
With both Catterick and Colburn now having finished league affairs it will be third against fourth with a chance for one team to extend their season by one more game.
After a heavy downpour pre-kick off, the game between Colburn & Academy at Easby pitch was played in very soft, muddy conditions and the centre of the pitch got churned up quickly.
Town arrived for the final game of the season on the back of wretched run of home form which has seen their only win coming on their alternative pitch at Richmond School.
Such form that may well see them decide to move away from their Easby home before next season begins.
Starting with their usual 3-5-2 formation town gave a full debut to Gary Eggleston Junior who was given the unenviable task of marking Joe Woodhall who had already tortured the young side twice over the past month.
Town started brightly but Colburn soon got into gear.
A shot from Callum Bishop was deflected over the bar and a Tom Sweeney free-kick crashed back off the post.
Then Nige Cole’s had a shot straight at the keeper, and an effort from Craig Teasdale was comfortably saved.
But on 20 minutes the pressure told when Brandon Bishop’s tentative through ball found Sweeney, who made room to slot the ball home.
Sweeney was on course to finish league top-scorer (unless Luke McCormack bagged a hat-full against Carperby).
Then it was Joe Woodall who made a surging run in from the left, only to have his shot saved.
His frustration was short-lived for on 25 minutes Teasdale crossed the ball from right to left to Woodall, whose deft touch over the keeper made it 2-0.
Almost immediately the ball was in the net again when a ball into the box was headed down by Cole for Shane Parkinson to score; but it was ruled offside.
New dad Rory Wallace had his goal celebration planned, but was thwarted when shooting right across the goal, and there was time before the break for Parkinson to put an effort just over.
Shayne Ketley sent over a low corner towards the end of the half but it evaded everyone when just needed a slight touch to get the young side back in the game.
The second half followed a predictable theme of the Academy playing some good neat approach play before being hit with sucker punch after sucker punch as the lethal Colburn forward line counter attacked at pace.
Meanwhile, the half time message from Colburn had been ‘more of the same’. Parkinson was replaced by Jamie Dempster at the break, and after a Sweeney potshot was tipped over Dempster had a shot saved.
Academy’s keeper Ken Mudd was putting in a man of the match performance.
Teasdale drove one narrowly wide but five mins after the interval, Cole set up Sweeney, who rifled one home.
Two minutes later came the goal of the game when Sweeney switched play from left to right and found Teasdale running in on goal.
Teasdale’s effort was pushed out by Mudd only for Wallace eagerly following up to knock the ball in – he then wheeled away with his pre-planned celebration (thumb in mouth, followed by the baby rocking – nothing new there then.)
Turnbull and Mann came on to add some fresh legs for Academy and there was a moment of real concern as Turny seemed to have been shot by a sniper hiding in the Easby foliage.
Early fears soon turned to relief when the watching crowd realised he had simply tripped over his own laces which scampering through the heavy turf.
White played a 1-2 with Joe Ramsay but the latter’s low shot was saved easily by the Colburn keeper.
Colburn’s Craig Nisbet was replaced by Chris Symonds, who announced his recovery from injury by sweeping the ball out of play, taking an Academy player out in the process.
Then on the hour Callum Bishop, who had moved to right back to accommodate Symonds, played a delightful ball through to Dempster, who buried the ball to bring up the fifth goal.
Five minutes later the same two players combined to produce a sixth; Bishop’s cross in from the right found Dempster at the far post rising to head it home.
Academy’s veteran centre back Paul Ramsay will be disappointed with his defending for both goals, twice losing his man at the far post.
The final 15 minutes saw Colburn take their foot off the gas, becoming sloppy in possession and lazy when Academy had the ball. Sweeney did manage to drag an effort wide, and had another well saved by Mudd.
Then Brandon Bishop played a ball through to Woodall, who knocked his attempt over the bar.
As the game approached the final whistle Ketley hit a low cross which was turned in by Lee White for his first goal for the side with what turned out to be the last kick of a difficult first season for the youngsters. Final score 6-1.
Elsewhere, any hopes Hawes may have had of Richmond Mavericks slipping up against Reeth were quickly extinguished.
Mavs took a 13th minute lead and were two up three minutes later.
Only a minute after that, they took advantage of loose play in the Reeth midfield, to steal the ball and score their third.
A 33rd minute shot made it 4-0 and with a penalty after 39 minutes, Mavs ended the half 5-0 ahead.
Three second-half goals saw the visitors romp to an 8-0 final score, with Adam Emson claiming a hat-trick.
In the league’s only other game, Leyburn beat Unicorn 3-1 – a result that highlights the fact that you never know what you are going to get with either team – including the filing of a match report.