Staveley Miners Welfare made title-chasing Tadcaster Albion battle all the way as they were beaten 2-0.
The game kicked off 15 minutes later than scheduled and Tadcaster went straight on the attack but Liam Ormsby smashed a freekick against a well-built Staveley wall.
After surviving that scare, Staveley started to get into their stride with Steve Carty, Alex Pugh and Ryan Watters playing neat little triangles in the middle of the park and Jamie Brown using his pace and trickery which was to be a constant threat throughout the match, ran down the left wing and crossed to the far post where his opposite winger Ryan Watters, slid in on the far post but saw his shot cleared for a corner which came to nothing.
Also “sliding in” was the home sides Daniel Clayton but he missed an opportunity to give his side the lead by the narrowest of margins as he stretched to reach Josh Barretts low driven cross from the right which flashed across goal where any sort of touch would have sent it in.
Ryan Damms was making his first, Staveley appearance since his return to the club and the Trojans record goal scorer added much needed experience, class and know how to the front line with his excellent hold up play a particular feature. His knock down allowed Jamie York the time and space to turn and pass out right to Ryan Watters who rode two challenge but was stopped by the third before he could offload the ball back to Damms.
Tadcaster are not title favourites for nothing and they started to control possession with Staveley playing more on the counter attack, but didn’t create many clear cut chances, Josh greening chased a through ball but was thwarted by a cheeky side step dink from Staveleys ‘keeper Chris Butt who then completed the manoeuvre with an excellent pass out to Jamie Brown and, it was Brown who had Staveleys next chance.
Bringing down a superb cross field ball from Kyle Clarke ‘JB’ cut inside from the left wing and on the edge of the area unleashed a fierce shot which just went over the bar.
Simon Hore and then Alex Pugh cut out some more Tadcaster probing before Dan Clayton chipped an excellent ball over the Staveley defence perfectly into the path Josh Greening who struck for goal only to see a superb block from Chris Butt send it wide. However just after Josh Barrett was booked for trying to win a penalty by simulating a foul and right on the stroke of half time Josh Greening lofted a corner from the right over to the far post where poor marking allowed Andrew Milne to bundle home the opener.
The heavens opened in the second half which, just like the first half involved Staveley attacking on the counter but again chances were few and far between and even though it had only just started raining the pitch was collecting standing water, not enough to curtail the action but it was kicking up spray here and there and lots of players were losing their footing.
In order to change the stalemate Brett Marshall made a double substitution that saw Ryan Watters and Ellis Wall replaced by Mohammed Tijani and Jordan Hardman and, in the 68th minute yet another pacey Jamie Brown run caused problems for the home sides tiring defence JB found Jamie York in space but his first time clip over the top found Mohammed Tijani in an offside position inside the 6 yard position, where he would surely have scored deserved equaliser for the Trojans.
Staveley were getting closer and none more so than Alex Pugh as on 77 minutes he rose to head Steve Carty’s right sided freekick won, for a foul on Jamie York, but with the Staveley fans celebrating a goal saw it brush against the bottom of the post and out for a goal kick!
With time running out and pushing for an equaliser gaps were appearing at the back and just like last seasons trip down the A64 Chris Butt pulled off a string of superb saves to keep the score retrievable. The pick of those being a right-handed flick save sending the ball past the far post from Adam Baker who, unfortunately late on sprang the Staveley offside trap and lashed home his sides second goal four minutes from time.