Gargrave AFC

First result of the new season…

August 18, 2009

Gargrave  4  -  2  Grassington Utd

Gargrave caught Grassington on the back foot almost from the whistle. The home clubs first shot on goal from Christian Moon found the net minutes into the game. Moon soon followed this up with a lob which casually drifted over the stranded keeper. The Premierships top scorer last year, Ben Brown, fired into the top corner to make it 3-0. He was soon in the midst of the action again, sprinting for goal alongside a Grassington defender, Brown just made the necassary touch to claim his second of the match. A clearance off the line from James Wilkin made sure Gargrave kept their 4-0 lead at half time.

Grassington had a player dismissed just into the second half of play but they did come back into the game, scoring two well taken goals to make it 4-2 at the final whistle. This was a good solid performance from Gargrave and a confident start to the season.

( The first team game due to be held on Saturday 22nd August has now been postponed ).

Gargrave 4 – 3 Cowling (AET)

May 11, 2009

The final of The Northern Plant Hire Trophy took place on Thursday evening between Gargrave AFC and newly promoted Cowling FC as a capacity crowd watched on.

The competition was first held back in the 1993/4 season when the president of Gargrave football club, Mr Paul Watson offered to sponsor the event. The final has always been held at the home of the club and they were the first team to have their name engraved on the trophy sixteen years ago.

It was a case of deja vous for one player, Lee Barrett, for he was also in the winning side sixteen years ago!

Mr. Watson has continued to sponsor the competition and was delighted to present the trophy to the Gargrave players on Thursday evening, though up to minutes before the whistle for full time it looked as though Cowling would be the recipients.

The blustery conditions hampered the quality of the football and it was difficult for either side to settle. An in swinging corner from soon gave Cowling a lead and Gargrave keeper Stuart Wilson had to make a diving save to stop a free kick. Another in swinging corner from Cowling went desperately near.

But it was Christian Moon who brought the scores to level pegging as half time approached. His tactic of standing still at corners paid dividends, as he found himself unmarked and he calmly headed the ball into the empty net.

Almost on the restart Cowling pulled ahead again to make the score 2 – 1.

Gargrave pushed forwards, a long range strike from Paul Wilkin rattled the bar and substitute Liam Jameson’s header hit the post. The introduction of Gargraves third substitute, Matt Brown at last turned the game in their favor, for with just seconds to go before the final whistle he cooly levelled the score to the delight of the home crowd.

Extra time seemed to bring out the best of the Gargrave play and man of the match Paul Wilkin provided a cool finish into the bottom corner to give Gargrave the lead for the 1st time. Richard Orme lived up to his Twinkle Toes name as he deftly worked his way through the stunned Cowling defence, dribbling past 3 defenders before unselfishly passing to Ben Brown who tapped the ball into an empty net.

Cowling lost a player through indiscipline, but found a consolation goal through a free kick just moments before time.

Gargrave held out and a pitch invasion from the home supporters followed to mark an end to an enthrawling game of local football.

Northern Plant Hire Semi Final – Gargrave AFC 2 – 1 Embsay FC

May 1, 2009

It was a fairly local affair in the semi final of The Northern Plant Hire Trophy when Gargrave were hosts to Embsay FC on Thursday evening.

Gargrave looked the more confident in the opening exchanges and were soon 1-0 ahead courtesy of a cross resulting from a Ben Brown free kick with in form player, centre back, Lee Barrett,  ghosting in with a precise bullet header. Gargrave continued to pass the ball well though it was Embsay who almost scored when a rare foray through the defence hit the post. Gargrave took control again but Hurst was brought down and his verbal re-action earned him a red card. Terrific play from right back  Al Tudhope  enabled Paul Wilkin to secure a second goal for the hosts. A powerful shot from Richard Orme almost created a third but it was parried over the goal by the Embsay keeper. Gargrave ended the half 2-0 up but one man down.

Minutes into the second half of the game, captain Liam Jameson was also shown a red card for dissent. Both of the dismissed players were midfielders so it was left to the lone ranger in the middle of the park, Richard Orme to steady the ship. Manager, Boatwright, brought on army physical instructor Geoff Rotherham to provide cover on the flanks. Rotherham soon made a mark on the game with a cross to Paul Wilkin who missed an open goal. Embsays full contingent of eleven men pushed forwards and broke through to pull a goal back. Gargrave continued to work hard and their defence remained firm but a sigh of relief was audible as the final whistle blew.

The final will be held at Gargrave on Thursday 7th May vs Cowling FC who beat WFC Clitheroe in the other semi final.

Grindleton 0 – 5 Gargrave

April 26, 2009

Gargrave secured a convincing 5 – 0 win against Grindleton to cement their position as runners up in the Premier division of the craven league.

Gargrave arrived to the Grindleton playing field ground at around 1pm, the game was due to start at 2.

Unfortunately, nerves were getting the better of everyone with so much at stake, and the kick off was delayed by the Gargrave keepers reluctance to kick off whilst a pile of excrement lay on his goal line. Luckily Liam Jameson instructed Stuart Wilson to look for a spade in the Grindleton tool shed, but Stuart Wilson couldn’t hear him and stood looking at the faeces, Matthew Brennand then went to the tool shed and found a spade with a triangular head and gave it to Stuart Wilson. Stuart Wilson then dug a hole around the waste and removed it from the field of play. It was a shit start to the game.

The pitch was hard, the weather hot, the ball round. And this seemed to suit Gargrave, who dominated the early stages with Richard Orme pulling the strings in the middle of the park. The deadlock was soon broken as Christian Moon latched on to a cross field ball, pulled the ball down onto his chest and fired in an unstoppable volley with his left boot. He dedicated his goal to “all those kids out there that have dreams, this is for you – never stop dreaming”

A second goal was soon added by the returning Oliver Hurst as he rounded the keeper and slotted the ball home into an empty net. He didn’t dedicate the goal to anyone.

Gargrave were on top and always looked threatening, but Grindleton did muster a few chances on the counter attack. The best coming when a through ball almost found it’s way to the 34 year old Grindleton winger but he collided with the Gargrave keeper in what the referee called a “bloody lovely 50/50 challenge, it puts a smile on my face”.

Half time arrived, and this gave the Gargrave team chance to take on some much needed water.

As manager Boatwright pointed out “2 – 0 is a very dangerous scoreline, you think you are in control but you could end up losing 5 – 2, so don’t throw it away”.

Ben Brown listened to his managers wise words and got on the score sheet twice to take Gargraves lead to 4. The final goal was added by Paul Wilkin with an unstoppable volley that flew like a North Korean missile into the top corner of the Grindleton net to bring an end to the scoring.

After the game Gargrave were presented with runners up trophies, and Peter Brennand took some team photos with a silver digital camera (LCD screen, no flash).

Skipton LMS 0 – 0 Gargrave AFC

April 14, 2009

Skipton LMS  0 – 0  Gargrave AFC

Gargrave and Skipton LMS met again on Tuesday evening for their second encounter in four days. Both clubs are at the top end of the Premiership table and all three points would have been welcome to aid them in their quest for the runners up position. However it was a point a piece as the final whistle blew which was a fair result as there was little to choose between the two sides. Gargrave tried to penetrate the LMS defence but it was the final ball which let them down each time. LMS were gifted a chance through a goal keeping error but Ian Craven somehow failed to convert. Gargrave throught they had a winner through Ben Brown only to be ruled offside.
Man of the match Sam Watson had a strong game in midfield and the defensive quartet of Al Tudhope, Dan Thompson, Lee Barrett and James Wilkin dealt admirably with the LMS attack.
The Gargrave squad can now have a well earned rest as they have a free day on Saturday. They play their final league game of the season on Saturday 25th April away at Grindleton and then they face Embsay on Thursday 30th April at home in the semi final of the Northern Plant Hire Trophy.

Skipton LMS 1 – 2 Gargrave

April 11, 2009

Serviceman Avoids Somali Pirates To Sink LMS

On another Saturday Army fitness instructor Geoff Rotherham could possibly have been found fighting Somali pirates, but on Saturday 11th April he joined his civilian team mates and fired in an extra time winner to take Gargrave through to the next round of the Paul Watson trophy.

It was always going to be a tough game between two of the premier division’s top teams, and the hot weather, combined with the immense LMS pitch tested the fitness levels of both sides.

The game started with both teams very evenly matched, but it was Gargrave who took the lead when an ungainly tackle from an LMS defender brought Gargrave a free kick on the edge of the area. Ben Brown stood over the ball, and took some deep breaths, despite them not going anywhere as he has no chest; strange. This didn’t seem to bother him however, as he calmly slotted the ball around the LMS wall and into the bottom corner of the net.

LMS pushed for an equalizer but found the youthful (and Lee) Gargrave defence hard to penetrate. They did however always look a threat from set pieces, and a corner was headed into the net at the far post to bring the game level.

Chances were hard to come by with Gargrave getting into some good positions but failing to find that final pass that would have brought the goal. LMS huffed and puffed but failed to blow the house (defence) down as they were limited to long shots, with only 1 worrying the Gargrave keeper.

The 2nd half was played out in competitive fashion but neither team could muster any meaningful chances as the defences of both teams continued to dominate.

The only notable moment of the half came when Gargrave substitute Joel Timmins declared that engine shed lane was his “highway to the danger zone” and he donned his Top Gun sunglasses and burst onto the pitch. It was all downhill from there, as Timmins managed to touch the ball no less than 3, and no more than 5 times during his hour on the field.

The referee brought an end to the game with nothing to choose between the 2 teams after 90 minutes, so the game went into extra time.

This is when great managers make the big decisions that change games, unfortunately for Manager Boatwright the decision was made for him, as midfield Richard Orme has blisters on his hooves and Geoff Rotherham was the only substitute left, so Manager Boatwright made the brave decision to make the substitution.

And it paid dividends when the Army Fitness Instructor (PE teacher for men) put the thoughts of his broken toe to the back of his mind, and fired in a drive from the edge of the area that found its way into the bottom corner of the net, beating the LMS keeper to make it 2 – 1 to Gargrave.

LMS pushed for an equalizer but the hot weather and the huge pitch were taking their toll and Gargrave finished the game victorious.

The two teams meet again on Tuesday night (16th April) for the Craven Premier League clash, a Gargrave win would almost certainly guarantee them a 2nd place finish in the league.

Gargrave AFC 3 – 2 Hellifield Sports FC

April 6, 2009

A local Derby game which always seems to be a close encounter, the last time the teams met was at the first game of the season when the score was a roller coaster with Gargrave taking the lead,Hellifield levelling,Gargrave going in front again and so it continued to see Hellifield eventually winning 7-6!

Gargrave were hoping for a victory on Saturday to keep them near the head of their division but knew Hellifield would put in a good performance. The hosts began confidently creating chances, Christian Moon soon provided top scorer Ben Brown with an opportunity but Brown did not sieze the day. Hellifield began to attack more and broke free but midfielder Jameson ran back to cover well. A Joel Timmins shot was well defended but Ben Browns neat turn on a sixpence foiled Hellifield and it was 1-0 to the hosts. Timmins made no mistake and soon doubled the score with a cracking shot.The  Hellifield strikers were kept under control by the Gargrave defence who proved hard to penetrate with a rock solid performance from Lee Barrett. Top scorer Ben Brown increased the lead to 3-0 just before the break.Gargrave felt comfortable.

Hellifield returned to the second half and began to create more chances, a header was closely followed by a one on one and they were back in the game with a 3-2 scoreline. Gargrave began to wonder if this was going to be another roller coaster of a game? Both teams pushed for goal, Browns shot from an acute angle hit the post, Hellifields Stanforth beat the keeper with his shot and Gargrave defender Dan Thompson needed all his pace to run back and clear off the line, sliding into the posts in the process. End to end action, Hellifields keeper ran up as a corner was taken, the ball was cleared,  Brown sprinted back down the pitch with a clear goal in sight, but it was time out for the whistle blew as he reached the half way line. Another fine encounter from these two local teams.

Gargrave 2 – 0 Oxenhope

March 29, 2009

Fisherman Brown Destroys Oxenhope’s Sole

It was the perfect day for fishing as Oxenhope braved the elements at the Canal Side stadium in Gargrave. The home team were looking to bounce back from their recent defeat and the visitors were looking for revenge.

The game started and it looked as though it would only be a matter of time until Gargrave broke the deadlock, but some good defending, and a lack of neck muscle mass from Joel Timmins meant goals were going to be hard to come by.

Oxenhopes lack of pace upfront was making it difficult for them to mount any attacks, but they almost went infront when a ghastly bounce deceived the Gargarve goalkepper and only some last minute defending stopped the ball from going into the empty net.

The rest of the first half remained very even, with the only notable moment coming when Christian Moon fell over onto the Oxenhope bucket causing it to smash into a million pieces. (He counted them all)

At half time manager Boatwright asked the players to win the game for the village, he said “the people of this village are suffering from severe depression and a loss today won’t help things, I don’t want to have their depression on my hands so pull your fingers out and go win this game”. He then put on his sunglasses.

The half time team talk had no effect.

Gargrave continued to find it difficult to break down a well drilled Oxenhope team, but just as it looked like the game was heading for a draw. Gargraves resident fisherman Ben Brown managed to latch onto a searching through ball from left back James Wilkin. Brown tickled the ball like he tickles his trout and produced a delicate finish over the keepers head to make it 1 – 0 to Gargrave.

A 2nd goal soon followed as iron man Joel Timmins found himself 1 on 1 with the keeper and made no mistake with a composed finish from close range to put the game out of Oxenhopes reach.

The game finished 2 – 0 to Gargrave but Oxenhope will feel unlucky to have lost the game.

Grassington 5 – 0 Gargrave

March 15, 2009

With Grassington’s regular pitch still out of commission, 2nd place Gargrave made the short trip to Skipton for the Craven League Premier encounter. The changing rooms provided good shelter and hot water facilities.

The game was to be played on the old “Skipton Bulldogs” pitch, next to the Rugby ground. The pitch was somewhat rugged to say the least, and this, combined with the strong winds, would prove difficult to cope with for both sides.

The game started on time.

Grassington began the game attacking into the wind, but found a lot of long balls carrying either to the Gargrave keeper, or straight out of play. Both midfields were struggling to have any impact on the game with the conditions making it impossible to mount any meaningful passes together.

It was however Grassington who took the lead, when an in swinging corner flew towards the back post and was headed into the Gargrave net.

Manager Boatwrights revolutionary “circumference of opponents head” based marking system* at corners proved to be somewhat flawed, as Grassington added a 2nd, and then a 3rd, both coming from in swinging wind assisted corners.

*Measure circumference of own head, estimate circumference of opponents head, if measurement is within 0.8% mark the player

Christian Moon and Ben Brown both had good chances to get Gargrave onto the score sheet but were thwarted by the Grassington defence and some poor finishing.

At half time the score remained 3 – 0 to Grassington. Manager Boatwright again worse sunglasses, possibly slightly darker sunglasses than the previous week.

Gargrave started the 2nd half attacking with the wind, but like Grassington in the 1st half, were finding it difficult not to over hit their passes.

But it was Grassington who managed to grab a 4th goal as a cross from the touch line blew back out towards the 6 yard box to be headed into the net past the Gargrave goalkeeper and defenders. “It’s just making a mockery of the laws of physics” said the frustrated James Wilkin.

Gargrave then started to come back into the game and Ben Brown almost grabbed a goal for the visitors with a well placed volley that narrowly went over the bar. Mr Richard Orme was also finding the goal difficult to penetrate as 3 free kicks from similar angles went narrowly wide, or were well saved by the keeper.

Despite coming close on a number of occasions it was Grassington who scored a 5th goal as they capitalized on a tiring Gargrave defence. A Cross from the right found it’s way directly onto the head of the big Grassington striker who glanced the ball past the keeper.

The game ended with a whistle and the surprising news that Liverpool had beaten Man UTD 4 – 1, Al Tudhopes predictions once again coming true, proving he is the love child of Mystic Meg and Derek Acorah.

By Luke Boatwright (Skipton) (Beard) (Sunglasses) (Hair)

Gargrave AFC 3 – 1 Cononley FC

March 9, 2009

Gargrave knew they would have a hard game against their old rivals Cononley, and this was plain to see straight from the first whistle. The physical presence of the Cononley squad was too much for a Gargrave team that featured the worlds tallest dwarf Alan (according to Lee) Tudhope, and the worlds fattest thin person, Ben Brown.

Keeper Stewart Wilson was instrumental in keeping his side in the game producing a couple of quality saves early on in the half.  Cononley were  pulling the strings for long periods and their reward finally came when they found the net.  Another great save from Wilson kept the score at 1-0 as the half drew to a close.

Manager Boatwright spoke words at half time, whilst still wearing his sun glasses.

The 2nd half began and Gargrave levelled through Paul Wilkin as he fired into the roof of the net from close range after some good build up play from the 2 Gargrave record breakers, Al Tudhope and Ben Brown.

Gargrave were back in the game, however it looked like top scorer Ben Brown with twenty two goals to his credit already this season might have seen the last of the action as he fell to the ground after a bone crunching move from the keeper. Like a coiled spring he was soon back on his feet and took the lead for Gargrave with a well placed goal.

Mr Richard Orme, a physical match for his opponents, made no mistake with a precise header from a corner to give the hosts a 3-1 lead and a welcome victory over some very tough opponents.

Gargraves winning streak continues, but Cononley will feel unfortunate not to be leaving the Dragon’s Lair with at least a point after such a dominating 1st half.

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