Football Sport

Disappointing cup exit for football firsts

It was a game there for the taking, with a place in the semi-finals of the BUCS Cup at stake, but York's football firsts slumped to a 2-0 loss against Leeds Met Carnegie thirds yesterday. (Thumbnail credit Justyn Hardcastle)

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LEEDS MET CARNEGIE THIRDS 2 vs UNIVERSITY OF YORK FIRSTS 0
BUCS Cup Quarter-Final, Wednesday 18th February 2009

It was a game there for the taking, with a place in the semi-finals of the BUCS Cup at stake, but York's football firsts slumped to a disappointing 2-0 loss against Leeds Met Carnegie thirds yesterday.

York arrived in Leeds unbeaten in three, and with good previous round wins against Sheffield Hallam and Northumbria, but lacking match practise after recent adverse weather conditions handed them an enforced a three-week sabbatical. Even so, York made a bright, promising start and had the better of the early exchanges against a team a BUCS league below them.

But a stunning free-kick on the half-hour mark changed the outlook of the game. Twenty-five yards from goal, Laurie Swan was punished for soft foul and the resultant free-kick was pinged into the top corner, giving goal-keeper Andrew Emmerson no chance.

The first goal proved the key to the game, as Leeds Met's regimental organisation continually frustrated York. The home team sat back in shape to protect their slender advantage and York struggled to break their way through. As the game wore on, York pushed hard for an equalizer, throwing men forwards at every oppportunity, but couldn't find an opening. York's final ball, at times, was most agonisingly absent, and Leeds Met punished their profligacy in attack, countering and wrapping up the tie with a late second goal.

York did have opportunities to find a way back into the game, with the best falling to Mark Gouland. But he could only nod over from five yards after Tom Wilson's shot rattled off the post and into his path. Such chances, though, were few and far between for a York side looking decidedly rusty after their weather-necessitated break.

"We were under-prepared having not played for three weeks and it definitely affected our game," said wing-back Ed Murrills after the match. "We were probably the better side in terms of ability, but they came out extremely well organised and with good discipline, and we couldn't break them down."

More disappointing for York was the manner in which the first goal was conceded, with the culprit, Swan, adament that the referee had made a poor decision, claiming it "was never a foul".

It was a flat performance for a York side, out of keeping with their recently improved form. The team's fixture list has been affected worse than some, with the many postponements leaving six league games out of the ten still to be played. Whilst a good cup run can inspire confidence, this defeat does give them the opportunity to place their entire focus on the league, which is now a necessity as they lie rock bottom in Northern Conference 2B and without a win this season.

York Line-up (3-5-2)
: Andrew Emmerson: Jonny McWilliams, Laurie Swan, Shaun Evans; Ed Murrills, Ian McKellow, Mark McLeod, Matt Witherwick, Tom Wilson (Joe Brennan); Mark Gouland (Anton Murphy), Dom O'Shea

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