NCEL Division One – 13th April 2019
It is a reporter’s nightmare, that there might be a match with nothing to report, and for long periods, this match looked like it was such a match. Fortunately, a scrappy, largely nondescript, game came to life in the last ten minutes, with The Robins doing just enough to claim all three points.
Armthorpe Welfare 1 Selby Town 2
Craig Aspinall 89 Ryan Woodhead 81
Gary Collier 84
It was a sunny, spring day, as a much changed Selby Town team took the field in front of a crowd, with a good proportion of the fans having made the short trip from Selby.
Zac Lawrence returned at left back, with Joe Dunnett back, alongside him. Jordan Snodin returned to midfield duties, with Chris Bilton and Charlie Clamp. Ryan Woodhead, Gary Collier, and Fraser Hansen made up a front three. Although Selby named five substitutes, only Reuben Pearse, was actually available on the bench.
Town were resplendent in their black and white away kit.
A minutes applause was held in memory of John Steeples, who died recently. He had served both , Armthorpe Welfare, and Selby Town, with distinction.
A bucket collection raised £80 for the mental health charity, Mind.
The game kicked off, and Selby took general control, of what was a very scrappy game of football. Selby were generally in charge of proceedings at the back, and in the midfield, but were not able to find the right passes to penetrate up front.
Gary Collier was played in by a good passing move only to spoil things with a miscued shot. Ryan Woodhead shot straight at the ‘ keeper, who was later forced to make a good sprawling save from Gary Collier. Jordan Snodin ,and Zac Lawrence tried their luck with long range free kicks, but to no avail.
Armthorpe struggled to create anything, and were largely restricted to playing long balls over the top of the Town defence which coped readily with the threat. The Armthorpe forwards were regularly caught in the offside trap, and it wasn’t until just before the halftime whistle that Armthorpe had an attempt on the Selby goal.
It was certainly no surprise, that the game was goalless at halftime.
Before the second half commenced, The Robins were requested to change their tops, and so played the second half in Armthorpe away shirts.
This did not materially improve the game, although Armthorpe were much improved. They were having more of the possession, and were looking more threatening going forward.
Pete Lawrie was forced into making a save, and Selby were glad to scramble the ball away as it bounced around their penalty area. Town were fortunate as an Armthorpe player failed to connect with a cross, with only the Selby ‘keeper to beat. Armthorpe had the ball in the net only to be caught by the offside flag, yet again. Josh Dacre put in a timely block to intercept a goal bound shot.
Going forward The Robin’s were even less threatening than they had been in the first half. Armthorpe were in the ascendency, so meaningful Town attacks became a rarity. Josh Dacre headed over from a free kick when well placed.
It seemed as if neither side would find enough, to score the goal the game so desperately needed.
However, that all changed just over ten minutes from the end. Selby had not had, an on target, attempt at goal all half, but managed to score from their very first. The ball was played up to Gary Collier who had his back to goal. He did well to half turn, and play the ball into Ryan Woodhead, as he made a run towards the Armthorpe goal. Running behind the Armthorpe defence, Ryan Woodhead coolly slipped the ball past the advancing goalkeeper, and watched, as it rolled into the opposite corner of the net.
As is often the case , the goal prompted a flurry of activity. Armthorpe pressed forward in an attempt to get back on terms, allowing Selby to capitalise by scoring a second goal.
The ball was played forward into space, and Chris Bilton who seizing his chance, charged through the space in the Armthorpe defence, bearing down on goal. As he advanced, he drew the Armthorpe ‘keeper, before squaring the ball to Gary Collier, who made no mistake.
Far from giving up, The Welfare redoubled their efforts and managed to immediately reduce the arrears. A ball was played in behind the Town defence. Pete Lawrie came way out of his goal, but was beaten to it by Armthorpe substitute,Craig Aspinall, who simply poked the ball past the goalkeeper, and into the net.
This led to a nervous last few minutes for those of a Selby Town persuasion, before the relief of the final whistle, and a welcome three points.
The Robins head to promotion chasing Hallam next Saturday, for their last away fixture of this season. Town will know that they need a point to guarantee at least a ninth place finish. They will be well aware, that anything less than their very best game, will likely result in a mauling, at the best home team in our league.
Selby Town: Pete Lawrie, Will Ramsay, Zac Lawrence, Charlie Clamp, Josh Dacre, Joe Dunnett, Ryan Woodhead, Jordan Snodin, Gary Collier, Chris Bilton, Fraser Hansen.
Sub: Reuben Pearse.
Armthorpe Welfare: Alfie Stevens-Neale, Kyle Wesley, Lee Betts, Josh O’Neill, Steven Garner, Joshua Bucknall, Joshua Dodd, Joshua Paskell, Darren Mansaram, Luke Williams, Paul Sherburn.
Subs: Christopher Simpkins, Craig Laight, Craig Aspinall, Leon Loftus, Matthew Greaves.