Driffield & District Football League
Driffield Star FC secured the Division one title with a very workmanlike performance against a Crown side who had proved to be worthy opponents in all their meetings this season.
Beaten only once on home soil Star were at Crowns throats from the off. Inside a minute they showed their intentions when a great ball by Lee Jackson found Dan Everest winning the race with the Crown keeper, tucking the ball beneath him as he raced from his line. 1-0.
Everest then held the ball up well on the left and won a corner. Crown broke clear and Chris Morley did well clearing for Star. Crown were well positioned but put an effort high and wide minutes later. Stu Brown was showing great composure in Star’s midfield, he sent Rich Gladstone away on the right but the ball ran away from him. Crown were competing well with Star and put pressure on.
A good effort won them a corner, Star captain Mike Dee clearing his lines. The ball was won by Crown and slotted through to Joel Rollinson who coolly sidestepped a defender and finished well to make it 1 – 1 on 15 minutes.
Rollinson looked threatening every time he had the ball. Star were going to have to work hard to win this one. Another good ball through the Crown defence by Lee Jackson saw Dan Everest hit a shot on the run which the Crown keeper held onto well.
Matty Spence was starting to have an influence on the left making good runs. He fed a ball to Everest in on goal again and about to shoot, but a defender got in a good block tackle. An early substitution for Star as Lee Foster was replaced by Brett Jackson. Momentum now with Star 20 minutes gone, forcing another corner.
Rich Gladstone’s cross going through to the back stick where Paul Kellington stretching couldn’t quite get enough on it, the ball going wide. Keeping the pressure on, Brett Jackson put Dan Everest away, his shot on target and the keeper making another good save. Jackson was the perfect foil for Everest, holding the ball up well.
Crown had their moments going forward and the Star defence of Chris Morley, Mike Dee, Lee Jackson and Nick Smith had to be at their best as Crown’s Rollinson was a big threat on the break. He indeed went close on 25 minutes, his shot going wide when we’ll placed. Star’s Paul Kellington played another good ball through to Dan Everest who tried to chip the Crown keeper but the ball went wide.
In the best move of the half Stu Brown made in-roads, found Everest, he played the ball out wide to Rich Gladstone. He returned the favour to Everest who hit his shot across the keeper but saw it go just wide.
A last effort before the break saw a Stu Brown corner fired wide by Paul Kellington. Star’s tails were up as the half ended 1 – 1 with Star’s Stu Brown having a big influence in midfield.
Manager Mike Wilmott gave an inspired half time team talk knowing it was all to play for. Star came out and took the game to Crown. Rich Gladstone was through on goal but couldn’t get enough on his shot. Chris Morley did well with a ball across field finding Gladstone. His first time pass put Dan Everest in on goal.He doesn’t take prisoners. He advanced, drew the keeper and smashed his shot high into the net to make it 2 – 1 to Star.
Everest was clearly enjoying himself and was chasing everything down. Much of his success this season has come from getting the right service, and when it’s there he more often than not provides the end product. Matty Spence put Everest away again as the chances came thick and fast. Breezing past defenders with his pace, only a last ditch save prevented a goal. Star then won a corner. Stu Brown’s pinpoint cross found Paul Kellington rising like a salmon to head home their 100th league goal this season and put Star 3 – 1 up.
A fitting way to move into retirement after serving this club well with a send-off on Saturday in his final game. Just to remind Star that Crown didn’t come to give this game away, Joel Rollinson was wrestled to the ground trying to break the Star defence down. He took the free kick himself and rifled a superb shot wide of Karl Kember from 25 yds to make it 3 – 2 on 60 minutes.
A second substitution for Star as Mikey Curtis replaced Lee Jackson and he was straight into the action. Scythed down just outside the box, the resulting kick finding Dan Everest wide on the left. His shot was handled by a defender for a penalty. Referee John Wilson in no doubt. The Crown players were not happy but Dan Everest doing what he does best, planted the spot kick into the corner for his 38th league goal of the season, completing his hat – trick to put Star 4 – 2 ahead.
Crown heads began to drop but Star continued to press urged on by Star captain Mike Dee who wanted to finish on a high. Dan Everest was again in on goal but taken out from behind for what looked a certain penalty but this time Mr Wilson waved it away. The party however would not be spoilt though and Mikey Curtis wrapped it up for Star, riding a strong challenge, wriggling his way into the Crown box and finishing with aplomb for a final score of 5 -2 to Star.
It has been 11 years in the making. A first title for Star. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. From a first season conceding 119 goals, to netting over 100 goals this season. All due to every player, past and present who have worked hard over the years to finally bring this success.
Everyone associated with Driffield Star FC should be proud of this achievement. A great way for Star captain Mike Dee and Paul Kellington to sign off their playing days for Star and for Manager Mike Wilmott to bring home a first title.
Well done Mike. Everyone at Driffield Star FC would like to thank all the other clubs for their kind messages, it’s been great competing against you all and we wish you all good luck next year.
We end our season with a local derby against Full Measure on Saturday at home when the league trophy will be presented. Many thanks to Rich & Lisa at the Star Inn for food and refreshments and to team sponsor Chambers Chartered Surveyors. Managers man of the match Matty Spence. Referees man of the match Stu Brown.