1 year ago
By Daniel Metcalfe
Ripon reach Final
Yesterday saw Ripon take on Kirk Deighton in Semi Final of the Whitworth cup a team that had dumped us out of the same competition in previous seasons.
Micky had gathered a strong squad, Edmunds, Ross returned, Fletcher missed out due to work commitments.
The venue was familiar to the majority of us and the pre match music was provided by Liam “Skin” Spence, I think he had raided some classics as the set included Billy Ocean – Red Light Spells Danger...anyway back to the game, Chairman Freeman taking the warm up and getting the lads up for this crucial game. Micky’s words before the game mentioned working together and helping your mates out and making the unselfish runs that may be required, the work rate needed to be at the top level. He also re-iterated that that not all players get to finals and we needed to take our chances today.
The game started with Ripon shooting downhill for those of you who know Deighton’s pitch you know what I mean. Ripon were slow to get going, not keeping possession and allowing Deighton too much time when they had the ball.
Deighton took the lead around the 20 minute mark, a ball from their left and it wasn’t cleared by the Ripon defence and the ball fell to a Deighton player who finished past Metcalfe. 1-0.
Ripon were still not on top form, as the half progressed we started to string a few passes together. Ripon then got the equaliser through a superb strike from Kyle Baldwin just before half time, the Deighton defender made an error and Baldwin pounced striking a volley from 35 yards over the keeper and into the net!! This brought Ripon to life but nothing else was created before half time.
Micky’s team talk was firmly delivered and demanded more, we knew we hadn’t performed to out expected level and needed to up our game.
The 2nd half got underway and Ripon had an early chance through Hodgson a cross from Haswell flashed across the box and Hodgson arrived but could only put it over the bar, great chance!
Ripon were having more possession than the 1st half and Deighton were struggling to test the Ripon goal, Ripon’s back four of Clarke, Stewart, Gracey and Barker playing well. Another great chance fell to Liam “Skin” Spence, he was put through and cut back onto his favoured left only to lift his shot over the bar, another chance gone.
Micky made his 1st sub of the day, Edmunds replaced Spence up front around the 60th minute. Deighton had still not troubled Metcalfe in Ripon’s goal.
Micky then made a double substitution with around 15 to go, Haswell and Woodbridge off, Lefevre and Ross on. The game looked to be going to penalties as there was no extra time.
As we passed 90 minutes Ripon were still putting the pressure on, a corner saw our captain Ryan “Ronnie” Barker rise above everyone and head the ball into the net, cue the celebrations!
However the ref continued to play added time and with nearly the last kick of the game Metcalfe was called into action and didn’t let the team down with a save low to his left. FT 1-2
Ripon through to the final of the Whitworth cup, Micky’s 1st final after returning as 1st team manager in his 1st season, congratulations to all the squad, a final to look forward too!
I’d like to also thank all the supporters this season who were there yesterday and have been throughout the season, we now need to continue this form/confidence into the rest of the season in our push for survival.
Next week we are at home against Headingly a tough game but one were looking forward too.
Team: Metcalfe, Stewart, Clarke, Barker (C), Gracey, Hodgson, Haswell, Fox, Woodbridge, Baldwin and Spence
Subs: Edmunds, Lefevre, Ross
Scorers: Baldwin and Barker
Updated 14:31 - 20 Mar 2016 by Daniel Metcalfe