NCEL Division One – 6th October 2020
After looking like they might have just have turned a corner on Saturday, The Robins were back to square one tonight. Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong, and Town were deservedly well beaten. After an unheard of, in recent times, fifth straight loss, Town are rock bottom of the table without a point.
The players are playing without self-belief, and it is obvious that a monumental effort, from all at the club, is required to turn things around.
Injuries to Ryan Gothard, and George Bissett, and the absence of Nick Kennedy, meant a new centre back pairing of Brett Lucas, and Cam Collins. The only other change was the welcome return of fans favourite Joe Dale, Jon- Paul Vass being the unfortunate man to make way. Liam Flanagan was captain for the night.
The match was a rather scrappy affair at the start, with neither side creating very much. Liam Preston made a run up the right wing, only for his cross to be too near the goalkeeper, and Joe Dale had a shot, which unfortunately didn’t trouble Aidan Smith in the Armthorpe goal.
Armthorpe were pressing the ball high, the fashionable gegen press, and soon were able to push Town back, almost onto the toes of their own goalkeeper. Much backwards, and sideway passing, almost inevitably lead to a long, hopeful punt up to the front men. Easy meat for defenders meaning that The Robins created very little of note.
Lack of confidence is clearly an issue, with players, who really are so much better, unwilling to take responsibility for the ball. The football was being passed like it was a hot potato, and all too often defensive clearances were coming straight back at them.
As Armthorpe exerted control, a Cameron Collins interception prevented a forward getting behind the defence. A shot flew over Dylan Parkin’s bar, and he was required to claim two dangerous crosses into his box.
Struggling to come to terms with the opposition, Selby were dealt an injury blow. Left back, Luke Sellers, who only returned from injury last Saturday, was forced to leave the field, to be replaced by Jon-Paul Vass.
Cam Collins was again to the fore with a good block, whilst a rare piece of good football saw Charlie Clamp feed Liam Flanagan, who was just unable to reach Zeph Thomas with his cross.
Armthorpe were in full flight now, and a good passing move was spoiled by a shot over the top.
Only a matter of minutes after Luke Sellers had to leave the pitch, Selby suffered another injury blow. This time it was Ryan Cooper who limped off to be replaced by Joe Matique. He played in a forward role on the right, with Liam Flanagan dropping deeper. This did not help the Robin’s cause as Armthorpe continued to dominate, although Joe Dale managed to get a shot off, forcing the Armthorpe ‘keeper into a sprawling save. Certainly the only menacing shot Selby had all half.
If Town thought things could not possibly get worse injury wise, they were to be mistaken, as this time it was Myles Lawman who hobbled off. He was replaced by Reuben Pearse. Less than half an hour gone, and Town forced into making all their substitutes. The writing was on the wall.
There was almost nothing by way of a Selby Town attack, the ball spending almost all of the time In the Robin’s half.
Town were lucky to get away with giving away the ball cheaply in midfield, allowing an Armthorpe man to stride forward, and unleash a shot, which flashed just wide. There was no doubting that Cam Collins, Brett Lucas, and Dylan Parkin were the most overworked players on the field, but despite their dominance, Armthorpe were not able to create clear cut chances.
Just as it looked as if Selby Town might make it to half time on level terms, Armthorpe took the lead well into injury time at the end of the half. The ball was played back to Adam Lee, in a central position about twenty five yards out, and under no pressure. He fired in a shot that absolutely flew past Dylan Parkin’s despairing dive.
The second half started with it looking like The Robins were to play with more energy and intent. However, they were still lacking the guile to open up Armthorpe, so chances were few and far between. A Liam Flanagan shot was clearly deflected wide of goal by an Armthorpe player. That a goal kick was given, just about summed up Selby’s night. Joe Dale combined with Liam Flanagan, whose shot was wild, and over the top of the bar.
There were signs that Town’s good intent was fizzling out, with Armthorpe regaining control. A shot cleared Dylan Parkin’s bar, when perhaps better might have been expected. Sure enough Armthorpe extended their lead. Dylan Parkin pulled off a superb point blank save to deny a forward through on goal. Unfortunately, the danger was not fully cleared, and the ball was worked from Selby’s right side to their left. Harry Brown received the ball with the space, and time to smash the ball home from the edge of the area.
Heads were well, and truly dropped, and it looked likely that The Robins would be overwhelmed by their opponents. Armthorpe attacks continued unabated, but without creatingreal chances. However the pressure told after a mistake by Reuben Pearse, who gave away a penalty, and earned himself a booking to boot. Adam Baskerville gave Dylan Parkin no chance from the spot.
It was now looking like Selby had lost all fight, and were allowing Armthorpe to ease their way to victory. Joe Dale was given a harsh yellow card, whilst Zeph Thomas flicked a very rare corner into the side netting.
Armthorpe had the luxury of making substitutions. One of those substitutions was Luke Williams, who always seems to be a thorn in the Selby Town side. Sure enough, not long after he had come on, he cut inside from the left, before rifling the ball past Dylan Parkin.
After barely threatening the Armthorpe goal, Town fans were at least able to celebrate a shot on target ten minutes from the end. Liam Flanagan dribbled across the edge of the box, before firing in a shot that the Armthorpe goalkeeper did well to beat out. Typically, the rebound did not fall to a Selby forward, and the ball was cleared.
The final whistle couldn’t come quickly enough for the Robins, as the players trooped off disconsolately.
At the moment, it is not known whether Saturday’s FA Buildbase Vase match against 1874 Northwich is on. If it is, Town’s remaining fit players will have to play without fear. They will have to be braver on the ball, and will need support to do so. If you get the opportunity, please be there to get behind the team.
Selby Town: Dylan Parkin, Liam Preston, Luke Sellers, Myles Lawman, Cam Collins, Brett Lucas, Ryan Cooper, Charlie Clamp, Liam Flanagan, Zeph Thomas, Joe Dale.
Subs: Reuben Pearse, Joe Matique, Jon-Paul Vass, Harvey John, Harry Bissett.
Armthorpe Welfare: Aiden Smith, Tyler Walker, James Arnold, Chris Bilton, Steve Garner, Conner Williamson, Harry Brown ,Sean Dickinson, Adam Baskerville, Adam Lee, Paul Sherburn.
Subs: Luke Williams, Jordan Lee, Josh Bowkett, SisquoBlake, Richard Watson (GK)