Pikes push past Phoenix to lift Under-13s cup silverware

Pickering Town Under-13s celebrate
Pickering Town Under-13s celebrate

The Scarborough and District Minor League Under-13s cup final was a keenly-contested affair at the Flamingo Land Stadium between champions Pickering Town Juniors and Phoenix.

Pickering achieved the league and cup double with a 5-2 victory, but it was a hard-earned success against a Phoenix team that showed great determination and team spirit throughout the contest.

Phoenix had a very bright start to the game, trying to put pressure on Pickering from the outset.

But it didn’t take long for Pickering to show how potent they were on the attack, creating early chances with quick counter-attacks.

Both teams needed to be on their best form in defence as chances were coming thick and fast at either end.

It took 15 minutes for Pickering to take the lead, capitalising on a poor goal kick by the Phoenix keeper, which was picked up by a forward, who crossed the ball back into the Phoenix area and it was finished neatly at the far post for 1-0.

This spurred Phoenix on and they equalised five minutes later when their centre forward charged down the keeper, blocking his attempted clearance and the ball fell to Ollie Bennett, who stroked the ball into the empty net to make it 1-1.

Pickering restored their lead within a couple of minutes with an almost identical goal to the Phoenix equaliser moments earlier.

The remainder of the first half was pretty even with both teams working hard.

Pickering came out for the second half in a confident mood and were pressing from the start and trying to break down the resolute Phoenix defence.

They got their deserved outcome after 51 minutes when a corner was not cleared well enough by Phoenix and the loose ball was smashed home to make it 3-1 and put the Pikes in command of the game.

Pickering then added a fourth goal shortly after when Phoenix keeper Callum Malone made a great save, only to see the ball fall to a Pickering player who hit the ball into the net.

The Pikes were awarded a penalty a few minutes later after a mistimed tackle by the Phoenix centre-back, but Malone pulled off a great save, turning the ball away with his legs.

Pickering continued to put on the pressure, but Phoenix were defending well and sometimes desperately to keep them at bay.

Phoenix’s valiant efforts at trying to get back into the match were rewarded with a wonderful goal from the right by Dylan Gautier to make it 4-2.

But their hopes of a late comeback were dashed as they conceded again straight after scoring when a Pickering strike from the edge of the area couldn’t be kept out by the keeper and Pickering ran out 5-2 winners.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable game which was excellently supported.