It was a battle between two of the sides promoted to the Toolstation NCEL Premier Division last season; and when all was done and dusted, eighth-placed Eccleshill United had seen off League leaders Yorkshire Amateur 2-1 at the Mitton Group Stadium, leaving Ammers Joint Manager, Neil Sibson to reflect on what might have been.
The Eagles led 1-0 at the break, thanks to Ryan Hargreaves after 14 minutes; but when Devonte Newman-Morton levelled the game up with twenty minutes to go, the crowd on the Kingsway probably thought that a share of the spoils was the most likely outcome. But Andy Cooper struck with fifteen minutes left to ensure that Sean Regan’s boys kept all three points.
As always, Neil was his honest self as he reflected on the game with TBG Editor Craig Kendall. “It was a very scrappy and even game with both sides not really creating much,” Neil told us. “We came in at half-time 1-0 down after defending the slope, and with the wind against us, so we were very optimistic at half time that we could turn it around. We managed to get the equaliser through Devonte Morton, and then you would have thought there was only going to be one winner – but we got caught out with a misplaced pass, they broke and managed to squeeze it past our ‘keeper from a very tight angle. It was really their only chance of the second half, but to be very honest, we didn’t really create that much either. A draw would probably have been a fair result.”
Neil had kind word for the hosts before contemplating his own side’s form. “I’m not taking anything away from Eccleshill,” he insisted, “they are a good outfit, as they will show in their remaining games; but we have hit a mini dip – results-wise; every team in this League will go through a similar period if it hasn’t already happened – so all we can do is stick together and come out of it the other end – which I am sure we will do.”
Neil is experienced enough to appreciate the importance of moving on quickly. “At the minute we are not getting the rub of the green,” he admitted, “but it will change soon enough. We had a chat after today’s match and we know where we could have probably done better and we, as coaches, will be ensuring everybody pulls in the same direction next week.”
“In the meantime, we have a County Cup Quarter Final to look forward to on Tuesday.”