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Selby High School

Selby High School

Year 11 county cup match

The eagerly anticipated annual local derby against Barlby High school did not fail to provide thrills and spills for those playing and watching on the evening of Thursday 9th October.  The game, which counts as a highlight of most seasons, had added importance this year for a number of reasons.  This would be the last time the Year11 boys’ football team would play against their ‘noisy neighbours’ after four years of highly competitive football matches and expectations were high.  The match also presented the opportunity for the unveiling of the new Year11 football kit that the team have purchased as a memento of their final year of school football.  As if anymore tension needed to be added it was also a North Yorkshire County Cup match.  The atmosphere pitch side was electric.

The Selby boys proudly donned their new kit to take on local rivals Barlby, their smart appearance was fitting to the early exchanges in the first half.  As the teams exchanged chances on each other’s goal it was Selby that took an early advantage through some excellent finishing by James Arnold.  A decisive through ball put Arnold clear for him to deftly beat a defender and slide the ball into the corner of the goal past an outrushing goalkeeper.  Barlby tried to level proceedings quickly but to no avail, Selby held strong to see out the 1 – 0 lead at half time.

The change of half saw a slight shift in the game; Barlby started strongly and gained an early equaliser after some indecisive play by Selby.  This provided a rallying call to the Selby team and within minutes they had retaken the lead after a failed clearance was pounced upon by Corey Littlefield.  The strength of the net was tested by Littlefield hitting a rasping drive into the nearside top corner.  Straight from the kick off Selby were caught off guard and Barlby again levelled the scores.  The game then became a war of attrition with both sides testing defences and the goalkeepers.  An untimely challenge in the penalty area provided the breakthrough for Barlby.  The penalty duly dispatched for them to take a 2 – 3 lead in this tense cup match.  Time was not on the side of Selby as each attack was met with a stubborn defence from Barlby.  A late free kick by Arnold caused confusion in the Barlby penalty area; Littlefield was again on hand to take advantage of a scrambled defence of the free kick.  Scores levelled at 3 – 3 the match suddenly became very open as both teams pushed for that decisive winner.  Both teams pushed hard to secure a place in the next round but normal time ran out and extra time had to be played.  A further ten minutes of extra time could not separate the teams, the only remaining outcome; penalties.

Both teams felt the pressure of the situation with both Selby and Barlby missing three of their five statutory spot kicks.  It would come down to sudden death penalties.  Would we have another repeat of the historic penalty epic By Liverpool last month? Both teams scored their first sudden death penalty, the tension rose.  Selby stepped forward for their second.  The Barlby keeper saving smartly down to his left.  The Barlby captain then secured the tie for the away side, his spot kick finding the back of the net.

Despite the disappointment of the loss the boys remain confident in the ability of the team to turn things around in the next games.  The focus for the Selby team now firmly lies with the league; hopes of improving on last year’s second place are high as the season continues.