Vics' fell to defeat to visiting Scarborough Athletic today, losing by the odd goal in five. In a strong start, and after missing golden opportunities to open the scoring; Vics' took the lead through Iain Howard. The Seadogs' hit back with two goals in two minutes mid-way through the second half only for Richie Bennett to plunder a Vics' equaliser soon after. Seadogs' sub' Tom Corner then won the game with time running out after a mix-up in the green and whites' defence. The result sees us stay in third position in the Evo-Stik NPL Division One North table, with just three fixtures remaining. The league table can be viewed here -


Saturday 11th April 2015. COMPETITION - Evo-Stik NPL Division One North. VENUE - Valley Road.


LINE-UP'S - Vics' - Deasy (C), Ali, Grayson, Clarke, Henry, Cook, Krou, Roddy (Fishwick 65'), Burnett (Sanogo 60'), Bennett, Howard.  Un-used subs' - Meadowcroft, Smith (GK), Smalley.


Scarborough Athletic - Cracknell, Plummer, Robson, Wilkinson, Middleton, Clayton, Murray (Corner 59'), Davidson, Blott, Bradshaw (C), Metcalfe.  Un-used subs' - Ridley, Skelton (GK), Beadle, Hughes.


GOALS - Vics' - Iain Howard 23', Richie Bennett 67'.   Scarborough - Ryan Blott 63', Gary Bradshaw 65', Tom Corner 84'.


No bookings or red cards for either side.


Unavailable for Vics' - Brian Summerskill (achilles), Guy-Ansah-Palmer (knee).


Vics' started the match with several chances to open the scoring in the opening quarter. On 13', Iain Howard was sent clean through 12 yards out after a Mike Roddy pass fell his way but he shot straight at Seadogs' Joe Cracknell; who saved with his legs. Ryan Blott had earlier had a half-chance on 6' with an angled drive that Vics' keeper' Tim Deasy easily fielded. Vics' leading scorer Gary Burnett then skewed a chance wide from only 5 yards out on 17' with the keeper' a relieved spectator as the ball rolled just wide. The lead was taken by Vics' on 23' however; Iain Howard side-footed in from 6 yards via a slight deflection off Dan Wilkinson after a pacy run by Gary Burnett, who had chested the ball down and headed an assist into his path. Controversy reigned on 34, when Richie Bennett was fouled clearly inside the box and the referee blew for the infringement but incredulously awarded a free-kick to Vics' outside the box.


HALF-TIME Vics' 1-0 Scarborough.


Iain Howard Scar 2015Iain Howard goal Safc 2015Iain Hoard Celebration 2015

 Pictured: Iain Howard fires Vics' into a 1-0 lead, the ball hits the back of the net despite Matty Plummer's desperate attempt to clear. The celebrations begin with L-R Mike Clarke (No.4), George Grayson, Gaz Burnett, Iain Howard and Richie Bennett.


The second half was a somewhat scrappy affair with neither side having much joy at either end of the pitch with the gusty wind playing a part in proceedings. A long-range shot by Iain Howard went well wide for Vics' on 57', while Alex Metcalfe saw his snap-shot dealt with at the second attempt by Tim Deasy on 60'. The game then came to life on 63', Ryan Blott equalised with a volley on the turn from 20 yds; then the lead was taken just two minutes later, striker Gary Bradshaw poked into the net form 5 yards; despite a desperate attempt to clear by Mike Clarke - following a melee in the box. The scoring burst continued; with Richie Bennett hauling Vics' level on 67', hammering into the net left-footed from the edge of the 6 yard box after Cracknell had parried his intital effort. Vics' should have taken the lead on 75' - an Abou Sanogo piledriver from the right-hand edge of the box was deflected wide following a perfect raking pass into his feet by sub' Reece Fishwick. Scarborough notched what proved to be the match-winning goal when a long ball back upfield following a clearance out by Tim Deasy picked out sub' Tom Corner who was in a foot-race with Callum Henry. Tim Deasy rushed out of his goal to confront the aforementioned Corner but he lifted a lob over the custodian's head from outside the box and into the net. Vics' piled forward in the closing stages to rescue a point but it wasn't to be; as three goals were conceded in a game by Vics' for the first time in six months; since a 1-4 loss to Spennymoor Town way back on October 4th last year. It was also the first time in two months that 2 goals were conceded in a game since the 2-0 reverse at Bamber Bridge on February 14th. 


Vics' M.O.M Richie Bennett. Toiled away all afternoon and a constant threat with his direct running. Cool finish for his goal too.


Manager Jim Gannon's reaction to the defeat -


A frustrating afternoon, Jim. A decent enough start, eventually taking the lead. We then imploded in the second half, with some poor defending to let them in for two quick-fire goals. This was typified late on - when, after we equalised; a gift was presented to Boro' for the spoils and the three points.

In many regards this game was a mirror of the away game between the two sides last time out. The strong wind blowing down the pitch gave attacking advantage to each team that had the wind at their backs.

I said before the game that the wind, the dry bobbly pitch could be frustrating today, and that proved to be true but we still should have managed our own games much better and ensured that we minimised our mistakes and worked hard to get the best of the situations that presented themselves.

We had plenty of chances in the first half and it was disappointing not to be leading by more. We certainly didn't dominate the game and Scarborough had a fair amount of possession in the first half, but we did create several good chances and should have taken more than a one goal lead into the half time break.

To be fair to Scarborough they worked hard as a team and their front players were a constant presence and outlet for them. Eventually their good work paid off and they got a deserved equaliser, and they went on to capitalise on mistakes to take three goals and all three points.

When the game opened out a little I felt we started to see some weakness in the fitness, the positioning and understanding of some of our players and that was a real disappointment to me. I expected some players to adapt better to the demands of the game and unfortunately we were left with a few weak performances that you can ill afford in such a competitive game. In our previous two games we have got away with a few changes and have been able to work some players back into the team but they are still well short of where they need to be to have a positive effect on our game. However, having said that we ultimately paid the price for simple basic defending mistakes in the critical areas of the pitch. Unfortunately in our recent run of form we have come to rely on the defence to cover and protect for errors further up the pitch but today we suffered as a team for poor play throughout the team.

But I can't be too harsh on the players as they have been excellent in the great run we have put together in the last two months. We just have to  simply brush ourselves down and get back to basics for the coming games. The results were very kind to us with play-off rivals Mossley and Spennymoor both losing. We are still in the same position we were in before the game knowing that third place is ours to grab. So perhaps if there was a day to be off colour it was today, and in some way today's game will help sharpen the mind and bodies back to what's needed for success.


Match report & interview by Jamie Dewsbury.