Driffield & District Football League Premier – Weekend Review
Division Burton Agnes dropped down to 3rd in the Premier Division table after being held to a 1-1 against Flamborough 1st. Current league position: 3rd Next up: Stirling Wanderers (H), League, 2:00pm (Saturday 9th January).
It has been a stop start season so far in the Driffield & District League 1st Division with postponements due to unavailability and poor playing conditions, but this long awaited first meeting between the league’s top two sides got the go ahead on Saturday at Allotment Lane on a pitch well prepared by our very own Norman Harris. Full Measure were hoping to secure the points having played a game more than their rivals, and Star were looking to remain unbeaten which would secure the top spot going into the Christmas period.
There would be a few cobwebs to blow away after three weeks of inactivity and from the off Star looked uneasy and couldn’t put four passes together. They knew they would have to pick up their game quickly against a good Measure side. However, they produced the first threat to Measure with Rich Gladstone sending Dan Everest away on the right. His low pull back found Shaun Tate but he couldn’t get his shot away. Tate was on the end of the resulting corner and this time he was on target but Measure’s keeper Woodward saved well.
Measure then broke away on the right flank and with Star’s defence static a well delivered cross found Rich Addinall unmarked for a simple header to give his side the lead inside 15 minutes, well deserved for their direct approach.
This woke Star up and they were slowly getting it together. Dan Everest pressured and won a corner which Measure defended well. Then Everest was clean through with the keeper to beat but Woodward pulled off a smart save.
Star’s Lee Jackson was having another good game and was proving the pick of the back four with some timely interceptions. Steve Etherington planted one of his long throw specials deep into Measures box, Shaun Tate out jumped everyone but his header was inches over. Measure broke fast when in possession and Star were having to work hard to contain them, but it was end to end stuff in this local derby.
All too often Measure were on the end of things and looked more composed going forward but not finding the killer pass. Star’s Rich Gladstone again put a quality ball in from wide right and Shaun Tate’s 25 yarder flew just over.
It still wasn’t the fast flowing game we are used to seeing from Star and their frustration with each other was evident for all to see. On 35 minutes Measure broke through and only a great save from Alex Curtis in Star’s goal saved the day. Star broke back and when the ball ran loose Woodward pounced on it to cut out the danger. You could sense a goal was coming though and when another perfect cross from Rich Gladstone was flashed across the box, the Driffield League’s top marksman Dan Everest met it with a flying header high into the roof of the net for 1 -1.
Measure again showed they had an answer and just before the break Alex Curtis in Star’s goal had to make another good save to ensure the sides went into the break on level terms. Top spot was there to be won or lost in the second half and both sides continued to give a good account of themselves until Star made the breakthrough. Dan Everest this time was the provider for his strike partner with a deep cross beyond the far post. Shaun Tate took it down with one touch before burying his shot home from 10 yards to put Star 2 – 1 up.
This was surely the catalyst for Star to take the upper hand but the joy was short lived however as minutes later Measure struck back. Again Star’s defence allowed Rich Addinall to run through the middle unchallenged and beat Alex Curtis with a low drive from the edge of the box for 2 – 2.
End to end stuff now and Shaun Tate must have thought he had won it for Star when he planted a header back across the keeper, but with the ball heading in Woodward changed direction in mid-air, stuck out a hand and turned it round the post. Steve Etherington rasped a shot over from 25 yards out then he put Dan Everest away but once again Woodward was the saviour.
Measure still had an answer, but not to be outdone Alex Curtis pulled off a great save of his own, turning a powerful shot up onto the underside of the bar which was cleared. There were enough chances for either side to win the game with 10 minutes to go. Light fading and with the safety of the players in mind the referee called a halt to proceedings early. Fair to say both sides would be happy with a point.
Entertaining game throughout but Star top the pile coming into the Christmas break with Measure looking the most likely to challenge them for the title.
Manager’s Man of the match – Alex Curtis.
Referee’s Man of the match – Steve Etherington.
Many thanks to Rich and Lisa at the Star for food and refreshments and to team sponsor Chambers Chartered Surveyors. Players and staff of Driffield Star FC would like to wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.
Current league position (Full Measure Driffield): 2nd
Current league position (Driffield Star): 1st
Next up (Full Measure Driffield): Flamborough 2nd (A), League, 2:00pm (Saturday 9th January).
Next up (Driffield Star): Bridlington Sports Club Reserves (H), League, 2:00pm (Saturday 9th January).
Nafferton United remain four points adrift at the bottom of the 1st Division after a heavy 9-0 defeat at the hands of Coachman FC. Current league position: 8th Next up: Coachman FC (A), League, 2:00pm (Saturday 9th January).