FISHBURN Park’s under 14s travelled to Middlesbrough to face Cleveland Juniors side in a tough North Riding Cup game.
Fishburn had to play against the wind in the first half and the Cleveland side started brightest with crisp passing crisp.
Harry Lightwing returned for his first game of the season alongside the ever-reliable Luke Stokoe in defence and they did well to keep the home side to long-range shots.
Nathan Storr and Jack Idle were working hard up and down the pitch. Sam Pike and Liam Clarkson were putting in the hard yards and Clarkson had the first shot on goal, a 25-yarder after Spencer Hewison had won the ball in midfield, which fizzed a couple of inches over. Cleveland used the flanks well and Tom Shrimpton utilised his experience to keep the faster winger in check. There was a quick winger on the other side too but Chester Adamski used his strength a number of times to muscle his way onto the ball.
After 20 minutes Fishburn calmed down and started holding onto the ball, stringing a few passes together. However, a stray pass found the right winger who out muscled Storr and Adamski to get a cross in and the striker nipped between the centre halves to give Charles Brown no chance with a neat volley.
The second half started the same as the first with the home side having a number of good chances. However, it looked like Purves was in after some excellent work by Stokoe set him away but the keeper just beat him to the ball over the top.
Moments later, Clarkson found himself in space after an excellent long ball from Pike found him in the box but his shot was straight at the keeper.
Moving into the last 20 minutes, it looked like Fishburn could nick a goal. Some excellent work by Kirby saw him blatantly tripped in the box by the defender who was nowhere near the ball but the referee waved away the appeal.
A free-kick from just outside the box was swung in superbly by Storr and as the crowd celebrated the goal the keeper just managed to get a finger on it and the ball was cleared.
Another long ball from Shrimpton found Purves just outside the box and what looked like a perfect lob over the on-rushing keeper bounced six inches wide. The final sting in the tail came with 10 minutes to go, with the ref awarded a nothing free-kick just outside the box.
The resulting shot hit a Fishburn defender and fell lovely to the unmarked striker who stroked the ball into the corner.
Fishburn had some good spells and never gave up. They had chances to score but both goals conceded came from a lack of communication and against good sides you get punished for little mistakes.
Skipper Sam Pike worked hard all afternoon leading from the front, but man of the match for his outstanding work ethic plus some excellent hold up play was Liam Clarkson.
Cleveland Juniors 2 Fishburn Park U14s 0