Goole AFC 0 Pontefract Colliery FC 1
Missing three out of their four recognised strikers, Goole AFC were always going to have an upward struggle against their higher league opponents in this difficult FA Cup tie. And so it proved.
Despite a battling performance once again, the Vikings went down by the narrowest of margins. Following a difficult first 20 minutes where Goole struggled to move out of their own half, they gradually came more into the game. By half time they were holding their own. In the second half Goole probably had the upper hand, but just couldn’t find the cutting edge that would lead to a goal. An early attack from Goole in the seventh minute saw a lob into the Pontefract area with Liam Parker challenging the keeper, who dropped the ball and, from a very sharp angle, Callum Mcewan whipped a wicked cross across the front of the goal.
Unfortunately, there was no Goole player to connect. Following a period of sustained Pontefract pressure, a low cross from the Goole right was hit into the penalty area in the 18th minute. Unfortunately, no Goole defender was able to clear the ball, and despite being challenged Pontefract’s Redford managed to prod the ball under the falling body of the Goole keeper from a yard out. While Goole had been on the defensive for the most part in the first half, they still managed to threaten the Pontefract Goal.
In the 44th minute Callum Mcewan won the ball on the left hand corner of the Pontefract area, and under pressure from a Pontefract defender shot narrowly over. A minute later Liam Parker chased a ball down the Goole left and passed the ball across the edge of the Pontefract area where it was just missed by the onrushing Sean Dickinson. Callum chased it down, and very close to where he had shot a minute earlier he hit a lofted ball to the far post, where Liam Parker racing in from a tight angle, headed just narrowly over the top.
In the 75th minute another intelligent ball from Callum Mcewan, who seems to growing better every game, played in Liam Parker who having fought his way past the defender hit his shot marginally wide of Pontefract’s left hand post. In the 90th minute, with a Pontefract player racing wide on their right wing, the Goole keeper raced off his line and in missing the ball, unfortunately brought the Pontefract player down. Sadly, the referee had no option but to send the keeper off. Josh Dacre took over the goalkeeping position for the remaining few minutes, and was left untroubled. Just how severe the punishment will be it is not known at this time. In mitigation, the tackle looked a lot worse than it was. The Pontefract player didn’t suffer any injury, and once Mattie had received his red card, he was on his feet, ready to take the free kick. Much of Goole’s football throughout the game was competitive, with all the players being prepared to work extremely very hard for the team, and where required to put their bodies on the line. One of Goole’s failings if there was one, was that they failed to match Pontefract’s ability to “attract” a free kick once they got anywhere near the Goole penalty area. Pontefract did miss quite a few chances, but it has to be said so did Goole. Goole have shown since the start of the season that they can create chances, they just have to maximise them.
The back line while young, is becoming a very solid, organised unit, and learning to play with one another. The midfield is working hard and gradually prising the chances out for the forward line. The forwards are creating the chances, but have not managed to hit the net with any regularity, but I am sure it will come. However, one of the plus points was to see this youthful GAFC team (average age less than 24) compete with a more experienced, and higher league team and come out with merit. This is a team in its infancy, with three 19-year-olds, and three 22-year-olds taking the field, together with the “older” heads, which can only be good for GAFC if they can be kept together. T
he management team of Mike and Jacko are bringing together an excellent group of youth and experience, which Goole hopefully will see the benefit of, in years to come. It was also good to see an increased gate at the VPG. Let’s hope that any “newcomers” liked what they saw and will come back again on Saturday and Tuesday, to support the team in what will be two more tough games against Sherwood (4th) and Silsden (9th), respectively.