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Roos reach the summit


Skirlaugh Athletic 1

Roos FC 4


ROOS FC moved to the top of the Division Two table last Saturday after grinding out a deserved 4-1 success on a pretty poor playing surface at Archbishop Sentamu Academy.
Manager Les Sennett recalled Danny Collinson in goal with Ryan Hewitt absent, and with James Mills, Matty Dixon, Ben Ledger and Liam Murrey also unavailable, and Sam Huteson having to take a place on the bench to rest a knee injury, this was always going to be a stern test. On the plus side, he did welcome back Chris Blanchard, with returning pair Ben Littleproud and George Pickersgill joining Huteson on the bench and Ash McKinley earning his first start of the campaign.
In just the second minute Jack Bristow and Bob Eldon-Smith linked up well to give Mitch Proby a half chance but his shot was blocked and two minutes later the home side responded well with Lee Carroll trying his luck from just outside the penalty area, forcing a brilliant reaction save from Collinson.
On five minutes Roos should have taken the lead. Lucas Sneddon won the ball in midfield and sent Eldon-Smith away but with just goalkeeper Karl Hodgson to beat, the youngster’s shot cannoned off the shot-stopper for a corner. Bristow’s delivery was excellent, and Jack Todd’s goal-bound header was cleared off the line by Carl Nickolay.
With nine minutes gone a fine passage of play led to captain Dan Smith trying his luck from 25 yards but his shot was straight at the ‘keeper and moments later, Ash McKinley was just unable to convert a deep cross from Bristow.
Roos were getting to grips with the conditions and the pressure told as they went one-up on 16 minutes, Sneddon providing the slide-rule pass that allowed Bristow to poke the ball home.
Their joy, however, was short lived as three minutes later it was all square. Collinson had difficulty clearing the ball from the corner of his 18-yard box and the ball arrived at the feet of Scott McBain who chipped the ball towards goal immediately and it was just out of reach of the back-pedalling Collinson.
The pitch was certainly making life difficult for all of the players but 23 minutes in, Eldon-Smith squandered another decent opening as he was unable to convert, and the visitors were nearly caught on the counter-attack only for Collinson to atone for his earlier error with his second fine save.
Eldon-Smith was then pushed unceremoniously to the ground by a Skirlaugh defender close to the home penalty area, but the referee was probably unsighted as he was still in the Roos half.
Bristow then beat three men on a fine run to the byline but his cross was headed away for a corner before Todd had a cross deflected for another obvious corner, but the referee awarded a goal-kick.
Roos were getting back on top and Proby fired a shot over the bar five minutes before the break before Smith’s superb through ball skipped off the surface and was just too far for Ash McKinley; the latter then guilty of wasting a glorious chance on 43 minutes as he was wide with another shot in front of goal.
This was developing into one of those games where you just had to battle hard and hope to convert more chances than the opposition, thankfully for Roos, they dominated the second half for long periods.
Two minutes in Blanchard picked up the ball at the back before releasing Ash McKinley down the left. He fired the ball hard and low across the face of the goal, but no one was on hand to steer the ball home.
Littleproud then replaced Taylor Pentecost who was struggling with a hip injury and almost immediately, Roos regained the lead.
Proby was denied by a fine stop from Hodgson on 50 minutes, but two minutes later the Skirlaugh ‘keeper, who was also struggling a little with an injury, gifted the lead back to Roos as he inexplicably dropped the ball in the area, allowing Proby to roll the ball into an empty net.
With 59 minutes on the clock, Eldon-Smith looked set to give Roos a crucial two-goal cushion, but he fired his shot at the ‘keeper, with Proby unable to force the rebound home.
Thankfully, this did not prove costly as Roos went 3-1 up on 62 minutes. Bristow showed great endeavour down the right and as he crossed the ball in, Skirlaugh captain Gary Crooks miss-kicked the ball and Proby needed no second invitation as he turned the ball home from close range.
Five minutes later a fine move involving Littlproud and Proby led to the latter having a shot saved via the feet of Hodgson, and with 20 minutes to go, Roos grabbed their fourth goal to put daylight between the two sides.
A ball in from Connor McKinley found Eldon-Smith and his slightly miss-timed shot fell perfectly for Bristow, who was possibly stood in an offside position, but the whistle did not sound, and the teenager crashed the ball home for 4-1.

Pickersgill replaced Sneddon, who had put in another solid shift in the middle of the park, and on 75 minutes it should have been 5-1 as Ash McKinley found himself through one-on-one with the home ‘keeper after a defence-splitting pass from Smith, but the shot, once more, was direct at Hodgson, who made another save.
Eldon-Smith was narrowly off target from the edge of the box before Bristow went close to completing his hat-trick, only for Hodgson to pull off an excellent save as the ball was tipped over the crossbar.
On 77 minutes Ash McKinley once again homed in on the Skirlaugh goal with just the ‘keeper to beat but another solid save followed, and that would be his final contribution as he was replaced by Huteson for the closing stages.
The home side had two players cautioned in quick succession for dissent, one of them for complaining about a Roos corner that was wrongly awarded, as it was quite clearly a goal-kick.
Skirlaugh then enjoyed a brief spell of pressure at the other end but great defending by Todd and then Blanchard, ensured that Roos would not concede a late goal.
The action moved swiftly to the other end and both Pickersgill and Huteson had chances to score from in and around the edge of the penalty area, but neither was taken.
On 88 minutes Proby went on a punishing run almost the full length of the pitch before teeing up Pickersgill, but his shot lacked power and was saved comfortably before Eldon-Smith was again denied in a one-on-one situation as Hodgson saved with his feet, with Proby firing the loose ball wide of the target with the home defence out on their feet.
Roos now lead AFC Gulls by two points in the table, although the second-placed team do have three games in hand. The title race may well go down to the wire, but Roos still have a lot to do if they are to finish on top of the pile.
This Saturday Roos are in cup action in the quarter-finals of the Junior Country Cup, and they visit Division Four side, Pelican Rangers for a place in the last four.

The Holderness Gazette - Serving News to the Holderness Region