Hellifield Sports 0 v 2 Grassington United (Pre-Season Friendly)
Hellifield Sports Football Club returned to competitive action last night as local rivals Grassington United arrived at Thorndale Street for the first pre-season friendly of the 2021-22 campaign. Paul Dawson had a number of first team players missing including striker Will Beresford as well as midfielders Rob Hayes and Jonny Dawson as the game kicked-off in temperatures of around twenty-six degrees.
Grassington United who play in the Skipton Body Repair Centre Craven & District Football League Premier Division, which is two divisions above their host Hellifield Sports had the better of the first-half in terms of efforts on goal. However, the home side kept their shape and defended their area well, whilst creating a number of break away chances of their own.
Despite having the majority of possession in the opening twenty minutes the visitors first real effort on goal came on twenty-two minutes, when a long ball over the Hellifield Sports defence bounced at the edge of the six yard box and instead of catching the ball the home goalkeeper Ward tried to head the ball clear. Unfortunately his clearance hit the visiting striker Green, who controlled the ball before hitting a right-foot shot off the Hellifield post.
Hellifield Sports had a chance to take the lead minutes later on the counter attack, as the ball was played down the right-hand for Tom Beresford to collect. Having beaten the full back his cross from the corner of the penalty area went over everyone including Hawkins in the visitors goal before going narrowly wide of the far post and out for a goal kick.
On the thirty minute mark, the visitors won a soft free-kick on the edge of the Hellifield area, however Grassington United wasted the opportunity sending the free-kick high over Ward’s crossbar without trouble the goalkeeper. Grassington United should have taken the lead two minutes later, when Green collected the ball down the right-hand channel before making his way into the area and firing a right footed shot against the post for the second time in the match.
Hellifield Sports then had a ten minute spell were they took possession of the ball in midfield and controlled the game with some excellent defence splitting balls and good work down the left wing. Unfortunately, we a number of key players missing including Will Beresford the home side just failed to find that final pass or shot that tested the Grassington United goal.
The visitors broke the deadlock on forty minutes, as once again it was a long ball over the Hellifield Sports defence, Green collected the ball on the right-hand side before running into the area and turning the last defender on the edge of the six-yard box. He then fired a right footed shot passed Ward in the home goal to make the score 0-1.
At half-time, both teams made a number of changes firstly due to the heat and secondly to give all of the playing squad a run out and a chance to win a place in the first team starting eleven for the opening game of the season. Once again the people of Hellifield came out to support the team with about thirty members of the public attending the match.
Despite the changes the second-half started much the same as the first with the visitors on top and looking to add a second goal, which they should have done about five minutes into the half. When a Grassington United striker found himself one-on-one with Ward at the edge of the six yard box following a one-two with Greenwood, but with only Ward to beat the shot went all the way across the goal and out for a goal kick.
Grassington United doubled their lead on the hour mark as a long ball from the halfway line over the to central defenders to the far post found the right-winger unmarked and he slide the ball past ward in the Hellifield goal to make it 0-2.
Hellifield Sports responded well to going two-nil down and for the final thirty minutes the home side took control of the game, by keeping possession of the ball and forcing the away side to chase the ball. Hellifield Sports did create a number of good opportunities to score in the closing stages of the match, but they didn’t manage to take the chances and the full-time score finished 0-2 to the visitors.
Hellifield Sports will have a chance to get back to winning ways on Saturday as they will play their second pre-season match of the campaign at home to Barnoldswick Wanderers with a kick-off of 2.00pm. Both sides met in the mini league last season with Barnoldswick coming out on top by the odd goal in a high scoring fixture.
Speaking after the match manager Paul Dawson said, “I thought the match went really well, it was a brutal evening in terms of the temperatures. However, I am pleased as I don’t think we will play a better team then Grassington United this season, they are an excellent footballing side who knock the ball around well. Grassington were on top at the start and it gave us a chance to work on our defensive positions, but the lads really grow into the game the final twenty minutes we were well on top, need to give a big shoutout to Tim Beresford today because he was outstanding as a make shift striker this evening.
Hellifield Sports – Ward, Hulse, Wroe, Galloway, Sharp, Beresford, Walton, Hordern, Clarke, Runciman, Moorhouse, (Subs) Wroe, Procter, McKillican, Dawson
Grassington United – Hawkins, N.Wright, P.Wright, Smithson, Speak, Craven, Hunn, Webster, Green, Pow, Shaw (Subs) Binns, Gill, Breckon, Hayton, Fowler, White, Moon, Midgley, Greenwood
Goals – (Grassington United) Green, Moon
Attendance – 30