WOW! What a first game in charge for the new management team of Jose Holtby and Claudio Deakin. Escrick had a new look team going into this fixture with a superb mixture of youth and talent. There are promising years ahead with year 3’s and 4’s, earning their first call ups. It shows that commitment, effort and perseverance pays off.
Anyway, onto the eagerly anticipated fixture vs. Riccall. The last meeting had been a close encounter (No, not the aliens from year 3/4) ending in a 4-3 victory for Escrick in the reverse fixture. This game looked as though that would not be the case…
Miss Wilde has clearly been working the year 6’s very hard as Escrick made a sluggish start. We were 2-0 down with less than 3 minutes played! Escrick looked bamboozled. Cries of “What are we doing?” and “C’mon guys.” Could be heard by the capacity crowd at Carr lane (This pitch was looking magnificent by the way. Applause to the ground staff for that) This prompted Jose Holtby and Claudio Deakin to make changes. Welcome to the field D Petty and J Councell. With Dexter on, Escrick had their very own version of the Neville brothers (They used to play for Manchester Somebody) and instantly Escrick kicked into life. Fash and Petty Snr. Looked menacing in attack while Horner resembled a young Lionel Messi on the wing.
The defence looked tighter too with Fishbach, Steel and Councell numbing any threat Ricall provided. GOAL! Fash with his first of 4. Riccall looked stunned; out of nothing Fash somehow managed to squeeze in an effort despite the keeper’s best efforts. 2-1.
However, something just wouldn’t click for Escrick whose playing style resembled Liverpool F.C. with high pressure attacking but this left us very open and susceptible to a counter-attack. Riccall restored their 2-goal lead. There was nothing Stables, who had pulled off some De Gea-like saves, could do. The Escrick defenders must have gone for a cup of tea and cake because 3 Ricall players faced Josh unopposed before clinically tucking the ball away.
Half time 1-3
The second half kicked off with the same, frantic pace. Both teams were showing real flashes of quality; mixed with grit and determination expected in from a local derby. Escrick were showing more and more moments of quality with Brandom, Steel and Morgan providing the calming influence. In the air, you could feel the winds of change. Escrick clicked (For 5 minutes anyway) as the front 4 of: Fash, Petty Jr., Petty Snr. and Gibson penned Ricall in their own half. 2 quick-fire goals drew Escrick level. Holtby and Deakin began thinking of Barcelona vs. PSG. The comeback was on! But then…Escrick decided to do what Harry Houdini did once…disappear!
Riccall took advantage of Escrick’s new magic act and pounced to score 3 goals without reply. Jose Holtby and Claudio Deakin looked perplexed. Where had the free-flowing football gone? Escrick had become Leicester City. Changes needed again! Petty Jnr. Was back in the action after being awarded the captain’s armband. Fishbach, Gibson and Steel were also reintroduced. A spark! With the score 4-6, Escrick needed something quick and this came through two of our senior players. Petty Snr. and Oliver Fash, who took the game by the scruff of the neck and showed the crowd what they had come to see. BANG! A thunderbolt from Petty almost burst through the net. 6-6. Then, moments later, a magical thing happened as Gibson unleashed a rasping rocket that Riccall’s keeper was unable to keep out. 7-6! The players, management and fans took a breath. This was a good job as the final few minutes didn’t give anyone chance to rest. Escrick had taken control. Fishbach completed the comeback and sealed the victory. 8-6. Forget Barcelona vs. PSG. This was Riccall vs. Escrick (A game that will go down in history alongside: Istanbul 2005, Celtic vs. Rangers and the Milan derbies. Then the cherry on the cake. Fash put the game to bed with his 4th. Congratulations to the players who represented their schools impeccably and we look forward to the next meeting.