Two performances full of positives, but results not what either Cliffe FC side wanted over the weekend. A narrow 2-1 loss on Saturday to Hemingbrough United, and a battling 4-1 defeat at defending champions Wigginton Grasshoppers on Sunday.
Saturday 3rd December 2016
York Minster Engineering League – Division One
FT: Cliffe FC 1 – 2 Hemingbrough United
A narrow derby sees Hemingbrough United come away with all three points, after completing a 2-1 comeback in the second half. The first half was a goalless affair, with the Collins brothers coming closest for both sides – Tom hitting the outside of the post for the team in red on a rare occasion he was able to escape the close attention of Kevin Taylor. Dan had a chance for the home side, a goal kick flicked on by Tom Grundy, Dan rounding the ‘keeper but the ball just ahead of him eventually his shot hitting the side netting. 0-0 was the HT score.
Cliffe had been guilty of starting second halves slowly, but started Saturday’s second-half strongly, and had the lead – Isaac Leach unleashing a shot that found it’s way into the top corner for 1-0. Cliffe knew Hemingbrough would respond, but continued to defend strongly with Paul Brown showing his best performance in a Cliffe shirt since signing. Sadly for Cliffe, man-of-the-match Joe Dack was forced off the field with a foot injury – a motivated Matthew Birch replaced him. Cliffe nearly doubled their lead, Tom Grundy seeing his long range effort hit the cross bar and clear, agonising for the home side. A throw-in from Hemingbrough’s left wing lead to a cross that was flicked into the back of the net for 1-1, Mike Brown claiming it. The game now looked like a draw would be a fair result, with only a special individual effort or error to decide the game, but as Cliffe’s luck this season has been at times this season, a goalkeeping lapse saw the away side get the winning goal – A Guy May shot evading stand-in keeper Scott Birch to put Hemingbrough ahead – a cruel blow. Cliffe pushed for an equaliser but time ran out, 1-2 FT.
The manner of performance is something to work with, and surely the results can improve if Cliffe are to drag themselves up the Division 1 table. Next Saturday it the long trip to Kirkbymoorside – whilst Cliffe FC Reserves will be hungry for a home win against Fulford.
Before Saturday’s match, both sides observed a minute’s silence in honour of in memory of the plane crash in Colombia last Monday which, among others, claimed the lives of players and officials of the Brazilian football club Chapecoense.
Sunday 4th December 2016
York Sunday Morning League – Division 1
FT: Wigginton Grasshoppers 4 – 1 Cliffe FC Sunday
What seemed to look like another morning set up for a poor result, what followed was a galvanising performance that saw reigning champions Wigginton Grasshoppers have to work for their 4-1 win.
It was a cliche Sunday morning to drag a few lads out of bed for the away trip to Wigginton – Cliffe FC’s third trip to face Wiggy this season.
Cliffe defended stubbornly, and outworked the home side for the majority of the first half – Grasshoppers had the lead on the 26th minutes, a counter attack. It was 2-0 at HT, the second goal coming on the 35th minute. Cliffe had their chances, and it could’ve been level at half-time for sure.
Two quick goals after the hour mark saw Grasshoppers leap into a 4-0 lead, 65th and 67th minute penalty. Cliffe scored a deserved goal in the dying embers of the match – a goal from the right wing both Collins brothers claiming, 4-1 FT. MOTM: Matthew Birch.