The Trojans made the long trip to North Yorkshire face what was on paper arguably their toughest trip of the season…the “experts” title favourites Pickering Town…on their own patch.
Traffic problems meant a late change to the starting line-up and after arriving five minutes before the kick off Robson Doolan moved to the bench and Callum Mawbey started the game instead, otherwise Staveley apart from a few positional changes were the same as the defeat against Hemsworth in the previous game.
A change of ends heralded the start of the game and Pickering went for the throat straight away launching it out wide, eventually forcing a corner which Matty Leese in the Staveley net claimed comfortably.
Staveley gave as good as they got however and Josh Barker worked the ball down the left and found Ash Rawson via Callum Mawbey. Rawson typically tried to bustle his way through the home defence and looked to have won a corner but not according to the officials and Tom Ellis produce a good defensive header as Harry Andrews in goal for Pickering looked to set his side on a direct attack once more.
The pitch at Mill lane has a very distinct slope running down the far side and the home side used the knowledge of it to their advantage and a crossfield ball from right to that left found Eddy Birch with all the time in the world to cross into the box which was deflected over for a corner which was taken short to Russell Parker and in acres of space he worked a shooting opportunity which Matty Leese dived to his left to keep out.
Still only ten minutes in and the Trojans this time used the slope to their advantage with Josh Barker switching play from the left to the right to Josh Schofield who managed to find a dangerous looking cross to the near post but the Staveley forwards were caught napping and didn’t make the most of a good chance as Harry Andrews claimed.
Around the quarter of an hour mark Staveley looked to be getting some joy down the left hand side where a neat bit of skill from Callum Mawbey took him past George Bissett where he looked for Tyla Bell inside the box but won a throw instead after the ball cannoned off a defender and out of play. Bell did eventually get the ball and his quick feet enabled him to turn inside the crowded penalty area but he screwed his shot just wide of the far post.
Twenty minutes gone and still neither team had stamped their authority on the match Russell Parker was next to try his luck but his shot / cutback from the byline was smothered by another good Matty Leese save at his near post and Tom Ellis mopped up.
Officiating a game of football is a difficult job and sometimes we’re critical of referees that give yellow cards out like confetti wanting them to let the game flow or just give the freekick, the man in the middle in this game was the exact polar opposite however and although he was giving the merited freekicks he was allowing one robust challenge after another go without further sanction and each one was getting progressively worse… Kurtis Morley was the recipient of one such challenge from Sam Denton who would later have to leave the field with an arm injury following a subsequent fifty fifty challenge with Morley.
That little contretemps preceded an incident packed last fifteen minutes to half time in which Pickering goalkeeper looked to have handled the ball outside of his area as he thwarted Kurtis Morley who was about to go round him and later Andrews produced an acrobatic save to tip over a flicked Tyla Bell header…The good work up to now though was undone on thirty four minutes when Ryan Blott turned and rifled a shot into the bottom corner from just outside the area.
Pickering Town 1 – 0 Staveley MW
Blott was fouled soon after inside the box but birthday boy Matty Leese dived to his left to push away the resultant spot kick form Lewis Taylor to to keep the Trojans in it.
HT: Pickering Town 1 – 0 Staveley MW
Just like the first half, the home side went for it..Russell Parker on the right hand side squared the ball across the box for Ryan Blott but he perhaps tried to be a bit too clever and ran over it expecting better placed teammates to run on and score only to find they had all run past the initial ball and it went harmlessly out for a throw to Staveley, and just before the hour Blott headed wide after a series of dangerous looking corners had threatened to increase his sides lead.
Staveley stood firm however and started to create some chances as the game went on, Harry Andrews just managed to get to a raking Liam Nelthorpe pass before Tyla Bell and Ash Rawsons looping header only just dropped wide of the far post.
They were getting close and went closer still in the sixty third minute when a throw was tossed into the box and Callum Mawbeys snap shot hit the crossbar and came back out to Tyla Bell who then headed the rebound over. And the pressure paid off fifteen minutes later when Kurtis Morley bustled his way through and with only the keeper to beat he was hauled to the ground surely a penalty and a possible red? Alas the referee deemed a yellow card sufficient and gave a free kick just outside the box…penalty? or not as was the case – the end result was the same Kurtis Morley bent it round the wall and into the far corner.
Pickering Town 1 – 1 Staveley MW
What would’ve been a brilliant away point nearly become all three and then become none in the last three minutes when Robson Doolan burst through the home defence and saw his shot low from a tight angle saved pushed out for a corner by Harry Andrews which was then claimed easily by Andrews once more who rolled it out to Nick Thompson who carried it forward before passing to Ryan Blott who found Callum Terrell one on one with Matty Leese who came out to narrow the angle but to no avail as Terrell went round him and rolled it into the net, to break Staveley hearts after what had been up until that moment a very good performance.
FT: Pickering Town 2 – 1 Staveley MW
Team:1.Matty Leese.2.Matt Robinson.3.Josh Barker.4.Ash Rawson.5.Josh Madin.6.Tom Ellis.(15.Jake Allen).7.Liam Nelthorpe.8.Robson Doolan.9.Kurtis Morley.(14.Micky Collins)10.Tyla Bell.11.Josh Schofield(.12.Robson Doolan)
All Subs used
.Man of the Match: Tom Ellis