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Men's seconds suffer tough defeat

UYAFC Seconds suffered a disappointing defeat against an impressive Newcastle side.

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[caption id="attachment_109442" align="alignnone" width="640"]Image: Petroc Taylor

Image: Petroc Taylor

University of York men's seconds were left shellshocked following an imposing display by their Newcastle opponents. In truth, the away team were much the better side as York struggled to come to terms with their attacking prowess as they slumped to a 3-0 defeat.

However, York began brightly in what was a frantic opening. Oli Bull went on a marauding run down the left flank playing a neat one-two with front man Leo Smithson yet Bull's subsequent cross was easily cleared. Newcastle had an early chance of their own as their striker jinxed neatly into the area before his lofted cross was unconvincingly dealt with by York keeper Charlie Cooper, while the follow up header was then cleared off the line by Mark Askham. Cooper was soon called into action again as he made a supreme one on one save, palming away the ball following a dangerous break by Newcastle.

It was clear that Newcastle were beginning to knock on the door, but the centre-back pairing of Euan Bell and Tom Shelbourn were acquitting themselves admirably as they stemmed the flow of attack. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the White Rose's attacking credentials as, despite often exploiting the right flank, much of their play broke down in and around the final third.

In fact, York's first shot in ernest came courtesy of a rifled drive by Elliot Testor which was blocked by a stern Newcastle defence as the chance came to nothing. It was no surprise, therefore, when Newcastle took the lead. Another dangerous Newcastle cross was tremendously met with a volley that rocketed into the back of the York net.

Chances were soon aplenty for Newcastle as they used width to good effect. York could only muster one more chance before the break as Shelbourn saw his shot on the turn easily gathered by the Newcastle keeper. The half-time signalled with York only a goal behind despite the fact Newcastle had been in the ascendancy for the majority of the half.

The pattern of the second half echoed that of the first with Newcastle seeking to further their advantage immediately. They could have done so following a majestic piece of skill from the Newcastle striker who flicked the ball into the air before his bicycle kick rattled against the bar. It need not have mattered, however, as the away team soon nabbed the goal they deserved. A neat interchange on the edge of the area teed up a one-on-one which was nonchalantly slotted home.

The third followed minutes later after a cross was whipped in from the left flank and headed into the back of the net, leaving York to bemoan their poor marking which allowed such a free header. In what was a good response by York, Shelbourn - now operating as a midfielder having begun the match at centre back - broke free but his shot was smothered by the Newcastle goalkeeper. York were growing into the game all too late with Andy Fernando's strike being tipped wide of the post. The subsequent corner was then scrambled away with the Black and Gold once again frustrated.

Meanwhile, Cooper was in fine form as he denied Newcastle time and time again. He first made a fine close range save from a volley before his ability to read the game was demonstrated when he sprang off his line to clear the ball away from an advancing Newcastle striker. York survived a last minute melee in their penalty area as the full-time whistle ended what was a dispiriting day for the UYAFC seconds.

After the game, York captain Mark Askham spoke to Nouse saying, "Newcastle were sharper to every first and second ball in the first half, that's where we struggled. We were a little bit open second half where we tried to go after the game and it was all over at three nil."

York (4-2-3-1): Cooper (GK); Askham (C), Shelbourn, Bell, Bull; Nestor, Gwinnett; Fernando, Testor, Weighall; Smithson. Subs: Garn, Cherry, Collins.

Man of the Match: Charlie Cooper

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