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U19's end league season with another win

By Bradley Saxton | 27th April 2022

The U19’s ended their league campaign with a 1-0 win over FC Halifax Town at Wigginton Road.

Jonny Shepherd’s goal in the first-half proved to be the only goal of the game as they also extended their unbeaten run to eight league games.

Two changes were made ahead of kick-off from the side that beat Blyth Spartans last time out. Jack Degruchy and George Harrison came into the starting eleven, as Max Ezard dropped to the bench and Jonny Haase missed out of the side.

It was an even opening fifteen minutes between the two sides and the first real chance in the game fell to the visitors as their forward broke clear in the penalty area, but a brilliant tackle by stand-in left back Kieran Clayton denied the visitors from getting a shot away on goal.

The deadlock was broken just after the half-hour mark by Shepherd, as the forward bundled the ball home in a packed penalty area, after Ben Dale headed the ball back across goal from a home side corner.

After a first-half which neither side really got a foothold within the game, it was the Minstermen who nearly found the game’s second goal as they looked to extend their advantage. After receiving the ball deep into the opposition half, defender Elliot Owen drove forward before shooting towards goal from long-range, but his effort went well over the crossbar and out for a goal kick.

A superb save by Maison Campbell minutes later denied the visitors from levelling the game with twenty-five minutes to go, diving to his left to parry away a fierce Halifax Town header from close-range.Three chances in quick-succession came it’s way for City near the end as they looked for a second goal. Shepherd was played through on goal who was denied by the legs of the keeper, Luke Jones’ follow-up effort struck the post before the second follow-up by Shepherd was blocked off the line by a Halifax defender.

City held on for all three points, which sees them remain third in the National League Alliance U19 Academy North table, five points ahead of Chester FC who have two games in-hand on the Young Minstermen.

After the full-time whistle, Youth Team Manager Tim Ryan expressed his delight with how his side have performed over the second-half of the season, branding them as the ‘best team’ in the division since Christmas.“I think the boys have been excellent in the second-half of the season, our form has been outstanding and I think we’ve been the best team in the league since Christmas”, said Ryan.

“We saw the game out today by basically getting over the line really, which is a good trait to have.

“Myself and Dan (Wilson) are really chuffed for the result, but the main positive to take out of today’s game is to look at how far the boys have come on throughout the course of the season.

“It seems like a long-time ago now since we started the season, but the boys have done incredibly well this second-half of the season to come together as a team and play some really good football out there.”

Briefly touching upon his side’s performance against Halifax, he was also happy with how his side achieved another clean sheet which was crucial in them achieving all three points.

“It was a typical end of the season performance from the boys this afternoon”, Ryan added.

“They (Halifax) have got the league cup final next week and they’ve got a big game coming up, the players will want to do well in that and in preparation for that they came here and gave us a good battle in the middle of the park.

I think every single player has played their part this season, but the connection between Maison (Campbell) and the two centre-halves (Elliot Owen and Ben Dale) has been crucial to us, especially in the second-half of the season.

“All three lads have brought leadership qualities to the side and they have helped set the standards which all of the boys have followed brilliantly.”

 

York City U19: Campbell (GK), McLoughlin, Dale, Owen, Clayton, Algar, Gordon, Degruchy (Heaton 59’), Lancaster (Jones 59’), Harrison (Ezard 59’), Shepherd

Unused Subs: Hogan, Magwere

Goals: Shepherd (34’)

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