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Staveley Grind Out A 2-1 Victory Over Leeds Met

Thursday 20th January 2011

Staveley MWFC had one hell of a fight to put 3 more points on the board against Leeds Met Carnegie with a 2-1 victory.

It was Staveley's 3rd game in just 120 hours and not surprisingly there were some tired legs after the huge effort from the lads that had seen them put some daylight between them at the top of NCEL Division 1 and the chasing pack looking for promotion.

Leeds dominated the game in 2/3rds of the pitch for large spells of the second half but all too often they came up against a Staveley back line that defended so well.

When the chances came Staveley despatched theirs and Leeds took one of only two real clear cut chances created all night.

It was a fast and furious start and on 4 minutes Andrew Fox burst through into the area and was up ended with the referee blowing, but surprisingly the free kick was given on the 18 yard line much to the surprise of most onlookers.

Aymen Tahar asking the referee for a free kick was allowed to do so and his quick thinking saw his free kick nestle into the bottom corner of the net to give Staveley the lead.

Staveley were on top and looked to be threatening to take the game away from Leeds. Ryan Damms produced a quick instinctive shot from 30 yards that looked goal bound but the Leeds keeper gathered well and then Jamie Smith was denied with a superb block as Staveley were turning the screw.

Staveley were playing well and Leeds struggled to get out of their half in the first half an hour. On 24 minutes good link up play with Tahar and Damms brought the Leeds keeper into action again for another Staveley corner as the pressure was being maintained.

It was a full half an hour before Leeds created a chance and Kyle Hawthorne's jinking run down the left saw his dangerous cross flash across the Staveley area but there was no support for the Leeds striker who looked dangerous on the ball all night.

Staveley sitting back and allowing Leeds to pass the ball in their own half were went in at half time fully deserving their lead but perhaps slightly disappointed that they had not converted their dominance into more goals.

Leeds came out in the second half looking to mean business. The first 20 minutes if the second half Leeds must have held 75% possession but most of that was in the first 2/3rds of the pitch and they were not getting beyond the Staveley back line or creating too many chances in the box.

On 59 minutes, Laurence Matthewson looked to have been fouled from a corner but he recovered well to block the Leeds striker attempt on goal. Joe Thornton replaced Ryan Damms on 65 minutes and Chris Coy who had worked hard on the left hand side went up top.

On 70 minutes Staveley's back line was opened up with a slide rule pass in between the centre back and the full back and Scott McGrory flashed his shot into the net to bring Leeds level.

This woke Staveley up and at long last they started to apply pressure back onto Leeds pushing them back into their own half.

Great work by Chris Coy down the left forced a Staveley corner. Andrew Fox's flighted ball into the box picked out Ashley Foyle whose challenge saw the ball fall to Joe Thornton who scored to give Staveley the lead against the run of play.

Leeds having had the vast majority of possession were down but credit to them they continued to try and play passing football.

Todd Jordan and Adam Houghton, both Staveley U19 players, came on and it was Staveley who looked the more likely to score.

Youngster Adam Houghton's shot looked goal bound but the Leeds keeper saved well for a Staveley corner.

Staveley ran the game out to win 2-1 and continue their recent excellent form.

Possession wise Leeds had the advantage but Staveley have the knack of punishing Leeds with goals and produce 3 superb victories against what manager Billy Fox calls "A great footballing side."

That should not distract from his own teams performance and team spirit that has produced a momentum whereby the last 25 league and cup games have brought just 1 defeat, 3 draws and 21 victories.

Staveley can now sit back on Saturday and enjoy a cup competition game in the knowledge that the chasing pack behind them in the league knows any slip-ups will place yet further added pressure on them.

Something will happen at Yorkshire Amateurs versus Barton to hinder one or both teams promotion push and Pontefract's local derby at Worsbrough looks to be a daunting task for a team who have not played much football recently.

As for Staveley, it's the 4th round of the FA Vase against step 5 side Rye United from Sussex, quoted as 25/1 to win the Vase.

Staveley ranked 3rd outsiders and 30 of 32 to win the competition, seem to have little to lose and the pressure will be on Rye Utd to back up their public statement that they believe that no one will stop them wining the FA Vase in what they say is "their year."

Time will tell. 












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