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Stand-in ‘keeper thwarts Roos

    Skirlaugh AFC 1
Roos AFC 1
    ROOS picked up a point on the road last Saturday, drawing 1-1 with Skirlaugh, but they will probably see it as two points lost as they did more than enough to win the game.
Bob Eldon-Smith was away, but James Mills came in for his first game of the season, with another long-term absentee, Danny Uscroft-Mould, taking a place on the bench.
After a morning of incessant rain, the game started in the autumn sunshine and Roos were given a boost before kick-off when Skirlaugh’s leading goalscorer Tom Geary had to go in goal as regular ‘keeper Craig Hodgson was a late arrival.
Mills made his first telling tackle in just the second minute and from a swift break, Matty Dixon had a shot blocked. Roos had a glorious chance to take the lead on four minutes but Geary thwarted Ben Ledger from close range with an excellent save.
Moments later Jack Bristow was on the end of a flowing Roos move but his cross was just too deep and on six minutes, Geary produced another outstanding save, diving to his left to turn Liam Murrey’s goal-bound shot around the post.
Roos were dominating and Danny Smith and Sam Huteson linked up well before the latter’s cross was just out of reach of Murrey. It took 15 minutes for Skirlaugh to muster their first chance, but Adam Newton fired a shot over the bar from distance.
Newton was again off target before Bristow’s superb lay-off on 24 minutes led to a superb strike from Huteson that was brilliantly tipped over by Geary… was he really the stand-in goalkeeper?
Lucas Sneddon then looked to have sent Bristow clear with an exquisite pass, but the whistle went for offside, it was a close call. On 28 minutes, Skirlaugh’s Alan Ellerington displayed his pace as he took advantage of a rare Mills error, but Jack Todd made a superb cover tackle.
Ledger was forced off with a knee injury that he could not run off from an early collision and substitute Taylor Pentecost almost made an immediate impact as his long ball found Smith but the captain’s chip over the advancing ‘keeper, drifted wide.
Roos were back on top and a great clearance from Ryan Hewitt on 35 minutes almost led to the opening goal as Huteson cut in from the left, but Geary produced another fine save at his near post, the subsequent corner was headed over by Dixon.
Despite being on top, Roos were almost caught out by a hopeful punt downfield on 38 minutes, but having found himself one-on-one with Hewitt, Stuart Spencer’s lob was poor and sailed harmlessly past the post.
Two minutes before the break, Skirlaugh led with a rather fortuitous goal. A defender slid into a tackle on halfway and his momentum led to the ball striking him on the arm and being propelled forwards. It looked accidental, but the ball was then put through to Ellerington, who looked a yard offside, and he found the bottom corner to make it 1-0.
Hewitt denied Newton with a good save just before the interval but Roos regained control at the start of the second half. Murrey’s sublime pass put Bristow in behind the home defence but a superb block from Nat Read forced a corner.
On 50 minutes Connor McKinley found Huteson in space and his rasping 30-yard drive was fumbled by Geary but a defender was on hand to hack the ball away from danger.
Roos were running hot and an equaliser looked a mere formality. On 57 minutes Murrey was sent clear by Bristow but the good chance was not taken as the youngster found the side netting.
A minute later Murrey had an easy chance to level things following a superb ball from Huteson but with just Geary to beat, his shot was straight at the ‘keeper and it remained 1-0.
Thankfully, the pressure told on the hour. Smith won the ball and as Dixon climbed to contest the high ball inside the area, it evaded everyone and Murrey slid in to steer the ball home from close range.
Almost immediately Roos should have led. Huteson provided arguably the best pass of the game to Bristow but his shot hit the outside of the post. With just over 20 minutes to go, Skirlaugh brought on their regular ‘keeper and Geary took up his regular centre-forward position and he almost made it 2-1 with virtually his first touch out of goal but his header was wide of the mark.
Uscroft-Mould was introduced at the same time and his first involvement was an excellent tackle that led to a Roos corner and from Huteson’s cross, Todd’s header was straight at the ‘new’ goalkeeper, who saved well.
On 76 minutes Roos had another glorious chance to take the lead. Huteson was again the provider as he pulled the ball back for Murrey but he lost his footing at the crucial moment and the ball was cleared away for another corner.
Roos were knocking on the door and Bristow’s corner fell to Huteson and his instinctive flick beat everyone but cannoned back off the crossbar.
With 10 minutes remaining Hewitt’s long clearance saw Huteson racing away but referee Dave Lawtey, who had an outstanding game, blew for a borderline offside and it was turning into one of ‘those’ games.
Huteson then had a shot blocked on 86 minutes but with time running out Dixon picked up a bouncing ball just outside the Skirlaugh box and having coolly controlled the ball with his right thigh, he smashed the ball on the volley towards the top corner, but it was a foot too high, with Hodgson stranded and beaten.
In stoppage time a Roos attack close to the home penalty area was halted as a defender slid in to clear the ball and it almost provided a freak winner as the hacked clearance somehow turned into a fantastic ball over the top but the Roos defence got across to cover and it finished all-square.
The point sees Roos remain sixth in the table, but their next two matches are in cup competitions and this Saturday Roos welcome Division Three league leaders Bridlington Sports Club County for a second-round clash in the Junior Country Cup.
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