Hutton Cranswick SRA maintained their unbeaten record in Division Two with a gritty 4-2 victory over plucky local rivals Driffield Evening Institute Reserves.
East Riding County League: Division Two
This was just SRA’s second game since 28th November and they were without the influential pairing of Sam and Ross Harrison, as well as Thomas McDougall, all of whom were in sunnier climes than the windswept conditions at Rotsea Lane. In contrast, with their first team enjoying a week off, EI were able to welcome Dave Brent, Jonathan Anderson and Liam Hart back into the squad.
Anderson made an immediate impact on his return to the fold when he opened the scoring in the first minute of the game. EI earned themselves a free-kick on the SRA left after Steven Pinkney was adjudged to have felled Hart and the resulting ball into the middle from Jack Davison deceived everyone except the grateful Anderson who made no mistake from close-range to put his side ahead.
The strong winds were making conditions difficult for both sides but SRA nearly hit back straight away when a dangerous corner from Martin Harrison led to a goalmouth scramble that was eventually hacked away by the EI defence.
The home side started to settle into the game and they were back on level terms when striker Jonathan Addy sprung the EI offside trap to tuck the ball past goalkeeper James Clark. SRA continued to press forward, and enjoyed the bulk of possession for large periods of the half. It was no surprise therefore when they took the lead in the 25th minute.
Some good build-up in the final third resulted in Addy once again finding himself one-on-one with Clark, and there was a feeling of déjà vu as he produced another excellent finish. Addy came so close to sealing a first-half hattrick when his curling effort from 30 yards hit the angle of post and cross-bar before rebounding to safety.
This was the second occasion SRA had hit the woodwork, with Danny Thompson doing so earlier in the game with a left-foot shot. Despite falling behind, EI began to find their way back into the game and a brilliant ten-minute spell of pressure from them resulted in a deserved equaliser. Davison’s scuffed corner was poorly dealt with by the SRA defence and when the ball fell to Hart he made no mistake with a lovely volley into the bottom score to level proceedings going into half-time.
The second half began with both sides cancelling each other out, and it took an inspired substitution from SRA gaffer Scott Barron to break the deadlock. Barron introduced dual-registered striker Mike Tate, in the squad for the first time this season, and he made an immediate impact as his run and cross picked out Addy. Addy’s luck was out as he hit the crossbar for the second time. However, his effort fell to Sam Drury who coolly laid the ball back for Josh Melling to stroke the ball home.
SRA soon had their fourth goal of the game soon after when makeshift striker Michael Parker notched his first of the season when his crosscum-shot looped over Clark’s heads and into the back of the net. There was controversy with ten minutes of the game left when EI thought they should have been awarded a penalty when Hart was fouled by a sliding Pinkney.
However, referee Dave Marley turned their appeal down much to the frustration of the travelling support. The victory keeps SRA on the coattails of the two sides immediately above them, Middleton Rovers and Queens County, and their fixture against County this weekend looks set to be a pivotal day in their promotion campaign.
EI can take heart after a battling performance and they can take these positives into their game against basement side Skirlaugh on Saturday.
SRA current league position: 3rd Next up: Queens County (H), League, 2:00pm EI current league position: 9th Next up: Skirlaugh (H), League, 2:00pm.