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Knowles brace unlocks Halifax Town

By Bradley Saxton | 22nd September 2021

The Under 19’s earned their first win of the National League U19 Alliance Academy North campaign with a 3-0 win over FC Halifax Town this afternoon.

A brace from Josh Knowles and a goal from Kyle Lancaster earned the Young Minstermen all three points in West Yorkshire at Old Earth.

Tim Ryan’s side went into the game off the back of a successful start to the new campaign, after earning a 1-1 draw away at Stockport County a fortnight ago, before recording a 3-0 win over Farsley Celtic last week in the FA Youth Cup.

The host’s had also enjoyed a strong start to their new campaign, starting off the season with a 7-2 victory over Blyth Spartans in the National League U19 Alliance Academy North two weeks ago.

It was the away side who got out of the blocks straight away, with Jack Degruchy going close inside the first minute for City. He found a gap in-behind the Halifax defence, before narrowly firing wide of the goalkeepers’ right-hand post.

Knowles gave the visitors the lead after seven minutes when he did brilliantly to sweep the ball under the goalkeeper from a central position, after Degruchy picked out the winger with a pull back from the right flank.

York doubled their lead five minutes later when Jonny Haase sent in a low cross on the left after a bursting run, where Lancaster was on-hand to tap home at the far post to extend City’s lead in a matter of minutes.

The home side struggled to threaten the York defence in the first half, but they nearly found a way back into the game when a sequence of headers in the penalty box nearly landed into the back of the net, but Maison Campbell was on hand to calmly punch away to safety.

Two minutes into the second half, Halifax were reduced to ten men when the referee sent off their forward for violent conduct for an off-the-ball incident.

It would prove to be a mountain to climb for the home side as York used their man advantage to claim their third of the afternoon after 78 minutes. Knowles beat the offside trap to lob the goalkeeper from the edge of the area, earning his second goal of the afternoon.

The referee awarded Halifax a penalty in the final ten minutes of the game, but Campbell was on hand to keep it out, diving to his left at full stretch.

The Minstermen held out for all three points in West Yorkshire and remain unbeaten so far this campaign.

Speaking after the game, Youth Team Manager Tim Ryan said: “I thought it was a scrappy game, the conditions were difficult at times for both teams, but credit to Halifax I thought they looked like the better side for an hour.

“We did hit them early and we did score two in the first twelve minutes which is obviously good for us and it gives us a front foot in the game, but I don’t really think after that we took the game to them.

“We took our foot off the pedal and allowed them to try and get back into the game. Even at ten men, you couldn’t really tell it because we let our foot off it and we didn’t really take charge of the game.

“We’re happy we’ve come away with three points and a 3-0 win but it was a fairly even game in my eyes.

“From the warm up, we like to get our mind’s right and we always set up to come out the traps fast. Sometimes you can catch teams off guard but sometimes you can’t.

“It was nice to get the early goals, but it was fairly even for a good hour”.

The Youth Team will now look forward to the FA Youth Cup next week, as an U18’s side travel to West Yorkshire to take on Bradford (Park Avenue) in the Second Qualifying Round at the Horsfall Stadium next week.


York City U19: Campbell (GK), McLoughlin (Pickles), Owen, Cunningham, Haase (C) (Dale), Lancaster, Gordan (Ezard), Algar (Heaton), Knowles, Degruchy, Jones (Magwere)

Goals: Knowles (7’,78’), Lancaster (12’)

Booked: Haase (17’), Degruchy (60’)

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