Ben Hardaker in achieving Level 2 coaching certificate. Under 12's A team winning the Huddersfield 2nd Division title.
Ben Hardaker is running training sessions for all age groups, all managers are encouraged to contact Ben.
Shelf Juniors will be represented in the Shipley Juniors 5-a-Side tournament in June. Teams from the under 8's and.... will be taking part, good luck to all involved.
16/06/2008 End of Season
01/08/2008 FRIENDLY OFF
19/08/2008 FREE BEERS
14/09/2008 ZOLLYS HEAD WETTING
14/09/2008 BOYS NIGHT OUT
23/09/2008 SCOTLAND TRIP
Shelf United were down to the bare eleven for this cup fixture. It was raining as we kicked off and for the first 5 minutes play was scrappy from both sides. Shelf United created the first real move when Jordan T fed Jordan M down the line and from a first time cross Damo managed to get a shot in but was saved by the keeper. Shelf United almost scored when Kader produced a back pass which was a bit short and Ant sprinted to beat the keeper to the ball. He managed to get a shot in, but was headed off the line. Shelf United pressed again and after a good tackle from Tom, the 2 Jordans combined again down the right. When the ball was put inside for Damo. his first time pass had Ant in the clear, although he was pulled up for offside, when Kader's number 3 was playing him on. Kader produced their first shot after 10 minutes, but a first time effort was screwed wide from the left of the penalty area. It was now Kader's turn to press and they created a one on one which produced an excellent save from Azz. Shelf United went straight onto the attack and a great long ball over the top had Shelf United with a 3 on 2 break, but the Kader defender made a last ditch tackle. Kader replied with a shot from the edge of the box, which Azz saved again for a corner. When Shelf United cleared through Danny and then Connor, Jordan M was put clear on the right. His first cross was blocked, but he managed to get a 2nd cross in which saw Damo volley into the arms of the keeper. Shelf United were grateful for another Azz save from a Kader break, which looked miles off side, but a minute later the ball was put through again and this tima, as Azzy advanced the ball was lobbed over his head to give Kader the lead. To make matter worse, Ant had sustained an injury and so made us less of a force up front for the last 10 minutes of the half as Kader looked a lot brighter after taking the lead.
Half time: Kader 1 - Shelf United 0
Shelf United pressed early in the 2nd half and after Damo had been fouled, Connor sent a great low shot in which the keeper turned away at his right hand post. Good work from Karl then Denny forced a corner which resulted in an almighty scramble and as a Kader defender went down they earned a free kick. Mid way through the 2nd half and Kader made it 2 - 0. There seemed nothing on as their attacker was being forced wide, but he turned and shot high into the net. Shelf United lost their way for the next 5 minutes, although it was Shelf United who made the next chance when from yet another free kick, Damo managed a shot from the edge of the box which went just over. That was Damo's last effort as he too suffered an injury which meant that he and Azz swopped shirts for the last 18 minutes as Damo went in goal. Having a bit more mobility up front paid instant dividends as after a bit of a scrap in their penalty area, the ball found its way to Ant, who shot hard and low to beat the keeper. Shelf United now had Kader in a bit of a panic. A good block from Danny who found Karl and then Phil saw a good effort from Ant which was blocked. It took Kader 8 minutes to produce a chance to test the stand in keeper, but a snap shot went wide. Shelf United pushed harder and harder for the equaliser, but the inevitable happened with almost the last kick of the game. Kader broke down the right and fed a ball through ther inside right channel where a shot was dispatched which even Azz may not have saved as the ball crashed into the roof of the net to make it 3 -1.
Full time: Kader 3 - Shelf United 1.
Easy to say after a defeat, but the performance was more important than the result and this was very good. Kader showed a much more physical aspect to their game than in the previous encounter, but if we are to aspire to playing in a higher division, we need to deal with this side. Overall we coped very well and in terms of possession may have even shaded the contest. Things may have been different if we had a fully functional forward line in the middle third of the match, but again we have to deal with this situation. Overall, well done to all the lads and in terms of our main aim, no harm done.
Purely on League table standings, this was the match of the season so far and we were expecting a tough game on Arlington's tight pitch. Shelf United were made to play the first half down a slight slope and for once, were up for it from the start. Within a minute Jordan played Fred through the inside right and he placed a shot into the far corner of the net to give us a great start. Shelf United continued to press and good play from Karl and Phil eventually released Damo out on the right who earned a corner. Fred took the corner which resulted in a bit of a scramble. Damo managed a good shot which was blocked. Ant took the rebound well to send the ball crashing into the net for 2 - 0. Things got even better after 15 minutes. John and Danny had combined down the left and when the ball was crossed by John, Arlington cleared only to Phil outside the box. He brought the ball under control with his chest and sent a great dipping shot wide of the keeper to make it 3 -0. At this stage it was all Shelf United and things looked good when Ant earned a free kick outside the box, although the resultant kick went just over the bar. Arlington were begining to come out of their shell in terms of possession, but had hardly had an effort on goal. They eventually broke down the left and had a shot well saved by Azz. This was followed shortly by another left wing break and cross which saw a good header well held by Azz. Shelf United then broke down the inside right and when Damo was put through in similar fashion to Fred the result was the same, as Damo tucked the ball away well to make it 4 - 0. However by this time, the goal was probably against the run of play and for the last 10 minutes of the half, Arlington pressed well and scored an excellent goal from a right wing cross which saw a well placed header put wide of Azz to make it 4 - 1. One more chance was created before half time and Shelf United should have scored. It started with a good block challenge by Tom and clearence by Connor, who found John out left. John did well to beat his man and send a cross in which evaded everyone, even going behind Damo. The ball eventually found Ant, but his shot was blocked.
Half time: Arlington 1 - Shelf United 4.
The 2nd half promised to be much tougher. Shelf United were now kicking up hill and Arlington had been given a life line with a goal just before the interval. Shelf United were the first to press and Phil sent a long distance effort just over the bar and indeed a few minutes later Damo was sent clear by Connor and calmed any doubting nerves as he beat the keeper with a low hard shot to make it 5 - 1. Arlington came back and from a break down the inside left, it took a good challenge by Connor to stop a clear break. From another break, Arlington earned a corner and when the corner was taken it eventually found an Arlington player on the edge of the box who shot just over. Denny made his return, coming on to replace John. Arlington came back and broke down the left where a combination of Jordan and Tom stopped the attack. The ball was cleared and Phil managed to get a head to it and found Karl who laid a ball out wide for Fred. His first time shot went just wide. Arlington were soon on the attack again, only this time, one player managed to bustle his way past three of our defenders before shooting wide. Jordan M replaced Jordan T for the last 20 minutes and was soon in action with a great clearence sending Fred away down the right. His cross saw a good header from Ant, with the keeper saving well. Both sides continued to have bouts of posession with a snap shot from Ant after Karl had set him up, the most noticeable effort.
Full time: Arlington 1 - Shelf United 5.
Certainly our best league result of the season so far, in terms of maintaining our league standing, although we know there is a long way to go. The size of the pitch did not suit our style at all, but we adapted well and although Arlington came back well and matched us in the 2nd half, the damage had been well and truly done in the 1st.
Shelf United had a change of venue for this game, moving round towards the golf course with the pitch having a good slope. It was, nonetheless, in good condition considering the downpour over night and we chose to kick up the slope in the 1st half. Shelf United started well and after 3 minutes a clearence by Jordan was headed on by Ant and Damo was there to prod home Shelf United's 1st goal. A minute later and Ant was put clear through, but was tackled as he was about to shoot and earned a corner. From the corner the ball was cleared, but Damo managed to set up Fred and his 1st time shot went just wide of the post. After 10 minutes, Shelf United made it 2, when following a good run by Phil, Shelf United earned a free kick outside the box. Connor hit a sweet kick which was too high and wide for the keeper. Whitby came back at Shelf United and earned a free kick themselves just outside the right edge of the box. Confusion reigned in the Shelf United defence as 2 attempted clearences hit our own defenders. Eventually Tom put the ball out for a Whitby corner which was cleared by Connor. Shelf United took the game to Whitby once more and when Whitby eventually cleared it only found Jordan who sent in a great dipping shot which the keeper saved. A feature of Shelf Uniteds play was the Fred, Jordan combination, where Fred laid the ball back to Jordan in space, on numerous occasions, enabling good crosses to be sent in. From one such cross the ball eventually found John, who sent in a good cross from the left. An almighty scramble was the result and Damo eventually got a toe poke to the ball to put it into the net for Shelf United's 3rd. Just before half time Shelf United almost made it 4 when from a good tackle by Danny, John was sent down the left wing, he passed inside to Karl who sent Fred away on the right. His hot went just wide of the post.
Half time: Shelf United 3 - Whitby 0.
With Shelf United now having the advantage of the slope, it was felt that more chances would be created. However, Whitby had regrouped and chances in the 2nd half were much harder to come by. Midway through the half following good combination between Phil, Karl and Damo, the ball was fed out wide left to John, who beat 2 men, drove to the by-line and sent a good cross in. Ant connected but was blocked as did Karl. The ball eventually found Damo who again prodded home for his hat-trick and Shelf United's 4th. With 15 minutes to go Fred made way for Jordan M. For a good 5 minute period, Whitby carved out a few chances. From a corner they looked set to score, but Phil cleared off the line. On another occasion, Whitby were through in the inside right channel and a good shot was brilliantly turned round the post by Azz. Whitby created one more chance before Shelf United settled things again. Again they were put through, only this time in the inside left position. Conner made fully 15 yards on the attacker before sending the ball out with a crunching tackle. Shelf United settled any lingering nerves when Tom made a trade mark block tackle before finding Jordan M, who sent Ant clear where he was able to use his speed to go clear and score to make it 5 -0. Late on and Jordan almost scored when he held his run late from a corner taken from our left wing. The ball was cleared but only to Jordan. The position was a little wide but worth a shot which went just wide of the near post.
Full time: Shelf United 5 - Whitby 0
A very good display. Indeed one of the best of the season. A few faults which can always be improved on, such as running with the ball for too long and better runs being made at corners, but overall, the short passing game was much better and with Whitby having a few sturdy midfielders we battled well to stop them controlling events.
Today was a chance to see how we would cope against opposition from Division 3. Shelf United started well with a great ball from Phil to Ant in the inside left position, who in turn fed Damo out wide. He managed to get a shot in just wide. A minute later and Ant showed a great burst of speed, his shot being saved by the keeper. Kader then made a break when it looked as if they would go clear, but were pulled up for offside. Kader then pressed again and a good tackle from Conner earned Kader a corner which was headed clear by Tom. Shelf United came back when Karl made a good run, fed the ball through the centre channel for Damo, who then pushed the ball out wide for Fred. His first time shot went just over. After 16 minutes, Shelf United scored the first goal when Ant received the ball with his back to goal. He passed to Denny, who made a dummy move to his left before sending a curling shot to the keeper's left to make it 1 -0. Shelf United almost made it 2 a minute later when Damo was put clear, but his shot was just wide. Shelf United then gave Kader a gift of an equaliser. Kader earned a free kick on the half way line. Shelf United formed a line and all ran out just before the kick was taken. Kader attackers seemed to be caught well offside, but play was allowed to go on. Kader's attackers ran clear and scored with ease to make it 1 - 1. Kader were getting a few chances now and on one occsion it took a great tackle from Jordan to stop a one on one. Shelf United were still creating chances of their own and from a Fred cross, a Kader defender headed back towards his own goal where Ant intercepted and shot just wide. Shelf United made it 2 - 1 when good work from John then Denny found Karl who crossed from the left. The ball found Damo with his back to goal. He managed to turn and get in a good shot wide of the keeper to give Shelf United the lead. Kader almost equalised just before half time with a good shot from the edge of the box, whch Azz not only saved well, but managed to hold onto.
Half time: Shelf United 2 - Kader 1.
Shelf United started the 2nd half brightly when from a Damo pass, Fred fired just over the angle between post and cross bar.
Kader should have equalised a minute later. Good work down their left saw a pass to their forward, who turned and managed to get clear of the defence. He shot for power rather than placement and the ball went high and wide. Positional play was still very even, but Kader went through a patch where they created quite a few chances. On one such occasion, their forward found himself clear and looked set to round the keeper, but in doing so, pushed the ball wide where Conner was able to intercept and pass to John, who did well to clear his lines. From another chance, a shot from the inside left looked set to beat Azz, but he launched himself to his right and turned the ball round for a corner. Shelf United eventually broke with Tom sending Fred away with a great pass. Fred produced a shot come cross which hit the post and out for a goal kick. Kader were back on the attack and Tom made a good challenge where he sustained an injury. A few minutes later he made way as substitute for Jordan, making his debut and Denny made way for Danny. Time was running out for Kader and indeed Shelf United were pushing for a 3rd instead of holding the lead they had and sure enough, one minute from time and Kader broke down the right and shot past Azz to bring the scores level at full time.
Full time Shelf United 2 - Kader 2.
Play was even for the first few minutes of extra time, but Shelf United had the first real chance when Ant was put through. Ant pushed the ball past the keeper and seemed set to go on and score, but the Keeper, in his own attempt to intercept the ball nonetheless took out Ant without touching the ball. Play was held up as the keeper was injured and when it restarted it was via a goal kick and not the stone wall penalty. This was crucial to the outcome as a few minutes later Kader broke through the centre and a shot was sent in from a player running through the inside left channel, giving Azzy no chance to make it 3 - 2. Into the 2nd half and Kader were first to create when a shot from out on the left resulted in an excellent save by Azz. Kader then created one more good chance, but were pulled back for offside, much to their displeasure. Not sure if it was offside or not, but may be this was one that went our way as Kader would have been clear through. From then on Shelf United pushed for the equaliser as Kader defended in numbers. Phil created a chance for Karl following a good run across midfield and Karl then produced his own chance after a jinking run outside the box. Both chances were comfortably saved by the keeper. In the last 8 minutes Kader were on the back foot, but they held out fairly comfortably as the chances we created were only half chances and so it is Kader who progress in the cup.
Full time (aet) Shelf United 2 - Kader 3.
Considering the opposition an excellent display. The game was very tight with cases for both sides in arguing who played best. There were not many contentious decisions and indeed some went our way, but we were on the wrong end of a couple of crucial ones. On another day they may have gne our way. It would seem that we matched Kader all the way, but our praise should be tempered as we play them again in a couple of weeks in another cup and I would hardly want to see a copy of this report pinned to their dressing room wall as inspiration to go and beat us again. Well done everyone for an excellent display.
Shelf United started in very poor fashion with little cohesion and effort. Minds probably went back to the mauling they gave Northallerton in the return match and I'm sure the players thought it would be a cake walk. Northallerton had other ideas and put in a vastly improved performance. Shelf United did create chances in the early stages but were not convincing. In the first minute Damo managed a cross but the keeper gathered easily. Northallerton were then awarded a free kick when Conner fouled, 30 yards from goal. From the kick the ref blew for offside, but the ball sailed over in any case. Denny then made a break down the left and opted to shoot, which went just wide, when there were options out to the right. Denny then had a good opportunity with a one on one. The keeper was very brave and managed to save, but was injured in the process and had to go off in the end. Shelf United continued to create chances, but kept on losing the initiative by being caught off side. Shelf United created another chance when Ant was sent clear, although miles offside, play was allowed to go on , but the keeper managed to save. Shelf United were starting to wake from their slumber and after 14 minutes, Phil managed to get the ball to Damo on the right. He produced an excellent cross and Ant was on hand to head home to make it 1 - 0 and settle a few nerves. A minute later and Jordan made a great cross field pass to Denny who shot at the keeper. Shelf United then had a scare when from an attack, Northallerton managed to clear their lines, but only to John who chanced his arm with a shot. This rebounded off a defender and Northallerton broke with a one on one against Tom. Karl and Conner bust a gut to get back and support Tom and the attack eventaully petered out. On 23 minutes, Shelf United were back on the attack when Damo did well to create a shooting chance, but was just caught by their giant defender. The ball did break kindly for Ant who didn't need a 2nd invitation as he smashed the ball into the net to make it 2 - 0. The stand in keeper then made a great save as Karl and Phil combined, resulting in a good shot from Phil. The keeper turned the shot round the post, diving at full stretch. Not really sure what the offence was, (although it was said later that from a Phil cross, a defender hand-balled), but Shelf United were awarded a penalty a minute later. Fred tucked the ball away with a firm shot, low to the keeper's left. Five minutes before half time and Phil was thwarted again as he broke down the inside left channel and produced a good shot on the run which the keeper again turned round the post. Northallerton's main efforts were from free kicks of which 4 or 5 were awarded about 30 yards out. On each occasion, Shelf United pushed up as the kick was taken and managed to catch Northallerton offside. However just before half time, they broke the trap which left 4 attackers bearing down on Azz. However Azz showed his bravery in rushing from his line to collect the ball.
Half time: Shelf United 3 - Northallerton 0
Shelf United started a lot better in the 2nd half and it took Ant only 3 minutes to increase the lead. From a John throw on the left, Damo manged to pass to Karl who set the ball up nicely for Ant to shoot for yet another hat-trick. After 50 minutes Den received a great cross from Fred and showed composure in side stepping a defender before shooting to make it 5 - 0 to Shelf United. John then produced a great ball over the top which the keeper just managed to gather before Damo could shoot. Fred then made way for Danny and Haseeb came on for Denny. With no Fred, Phil took over the corner taking and from one such corner, Conner got in a great header which hit the bar and out for a goal kick. Shelf United's 6th goal came about when Haseeb showed great will to win a 50-50 ball and with John also showing commitment, he managed to evade 2 defenders before sending in a cross which Ant connected with. The keeper saved, but only into the path of Damo who tapped the ball into the net. Phil then made way for Shiraz. Northallerton were still putting up a great battle especially in midfield. When one of their player produced a good run which saw him out pace 4 of our players it took the tackle of the match from Tom to stop him, with Jordan then clearing his lines. Jordan then produced a good tackle and then pass to Danny, who sent a first time ball over the top, which Damo latched onto, showing great pace, he got clear and shot to make it 7. The ref blew for full time as Damo was about to produce a great volley which would have been 8, but it was not to be.
Full time: Shelf United 7 - Northallerton 0
Shocking start by Shelf United, passes going astray, too many touches before shooting, players wanting to score individual goals. In essence players were show boating from the off , thinking it would be an easy game. Northallerton had different ideas and especially in defence and midfield were much better organised than in the previous match. We gradually improved, but were never totally convincing although worthy winners in the end, 7 - 0 flattered us a little.
We all set off early for this match which kicked off at 10.30. Shelf United started on fire. Within 30 seconds Karl had a chip shot effort saved by the keeper. Within a minute, though Shelf United had the lead when Ant was put through and slid the ball past the keeper. Before five minutes were up, Shelf United extended their lead when Damo was put through in similar fashion to the first goal, with the same end result. Shelf United completed the early rush of goals when Karl found space in midfield. fed Damo, who laid the ball back to Fred. His first time chip shot from 20 yards, evaded the keeper and nestled into the back of the net. Cumby then scored probably the goal of the game. They worked the ball down the right and when it seemed as if the attack had floundered, the ball sat up nicely for one of their midfielders to send in a great dipping shot from 25 yards, which was just too high for Azz. Shelf United came back and from a Damo cross, Ant headed on with the keeper making a fine save. Danny, making his debut made a good tackle and sent through an inch perfect ball for karl to run onto, but the keeper rushed out to block. Phil then sent through an identical ball. Damo still had yards to make up and make up he did, beating the keeper to the first touch which sent him clear enabling him to tap home for Shelf United's 4th. Phil produced another good ball a minute later, but this time Damo shot just wide. We did not have to wait long for Damo's hat trick as Tom this time sent him clear and Damo made no mistake slotting the ball past the keeper to make it 5 - 1. Next it was Ant who broke down the left from a wide position, having rounded the keeper, he shot only to see the ball cannon off the post. Karl then produced a quality ball, which split the defence and allowed Denny a chance on goal from the inside left position, but the keeper saved. In a move similar to one which produced a Damo goal, Ant beat the keeper to the first touch and prodded home to make it 6 - 1. Shelf United scored once more before half time. Ant and Damo broke away but could not get a clear shot on goal, the ball evenually coming back out to the edge of the box where Karl was on hand to side step his marker and pass the ball into the net to make the interval score 7 - 1.
Half time: Cumby 1 - Shelf United 7.
Phil made a thunderous tackle in the 1st minute of the 2nd half and set up Denny down the left wing which was eventually snuffed out by Cumby and indeed for the next 15 minutes, Cumby tightened up considerably and restricted Shelf United to half chances. Haseeb came on for Denny who is not fully match fit yet. Shelf United opened up play a bit more after 15 minutes and Damo produced a good effort from the edge of the box. The keeper made a great save to prevent a goal. Jordan produced a good cross from the right which Ant connected with, but sent just wide. Damo then produced a good shot whilst under pressure from a Cumby defender, which evaded the arms of the keeper to make it 8 - 1. Shiraz came on for Fred. Cumby made a few breaks down their left, but each time, Tom was on hand to make telling tackles. From one such tackle play was held up as Tom required treatment, with a set of stud marks across his thigh as a reminder. Shelf United got their 9th and Ant his hat trtick when good work from Jordan then Connor created a pass out wide for Shiraz who sent Ant clear to make it 9, although the keeper made a brave effort to save and was injured in the process. Shelf United's next goal was initially created by Connor with a good tackle then pass to Phil, who after a run of 20 yards fed Ant who sprinted past his marker to score. Shelf United's final goal came about when Haseeb won posession out on the left with the ball eventually finding space between Ant and the keeper. As the keeper made a challenge, Ant made a good block tackle and the ball thundered into the net.
Final score: Cumby 1 - Shelf United 11
The start we made was much better as we raced into a 3 goal lead. The whole team worked hard and although Cumby tightened things up in the 2nd half we still created chances which is always a good sign. Another addition was added to the squad with Danny making a good debut at left back. Once again - well done to everyone.
With Haseeb and Shiraz away celebrating Ramadan, Shelf United would have been down to 10 men. However, Denny made his return following an horrific injury he sustained in a pre season friendly. Shelf United made a slow start, although not as bad as last week. Play was scrappy for the first ten minutes, although Ant was put through by Tom in the first minute, but shot at the keeper. Shelf United started to control events and after Damo fed Ant who was fouled, Shelf United were awarded a free kick 20 yards out which Connor sent just over the bar. Shelf United's next chance came about when Fred sent a good cross over which was too hot for the keeper as it spilled out to Denny with his back to goal. He managed to lay it off to Damo who shot just wide. A minute later and Shelf United broke the deadlock when Karl sent Ant away. His pace took him clear of the defence. He rounded the keeper and kept his composure to tuck away a shot into the far corner to give Shelf United the lead. Ant got in another headed effort from a Damo cross, but lacked power as the keeper gathered. St Johns then produced a bit of pressure of their own, although confusion in our defence gave then all the help they needed. St Johns eventually got a shot in, but Azzy made a superb save and then Tom cleared to keep us in the lead. Shelf United relieved the pressure as they earned a corner on the left. Fred took it and Phil managed a flick on at the near post. There was a bit of a scramble which ended with a good John cross resulting in another corner. Fred took it again and Phil managed a back header which went across the box. Damo put it back into the melting pot and Connor slammed the ball home to make it 2 - 0. St Johns were back with an attack of their own and it took a great tackle from Jordan to prevent a clear chance. St Johns pressed again and this time Tom produced a good tackle then lay off to John who then fed Karl, who in turn sent Ant away. Ant was tackled before he could shoot, but he at least earned us a corner. Shelf United scored again when Ant showed his qualities as a right winger, firstly showing strength to hold off the left back then producing an excellent cross. Denny came in at the back post to head home a great goal to make it 3 - 0 which remained the score to half time.
Half time: Shelf United 3 - St Johns 0
St John were given a life line with a comical goal. Jordan and Az went for the same ball and as Jordan laid it back, it went beyond Azz. We still had several chances to clear, but the ball eventually found 2 St Johns attackers in open space, two yards from goal, one of which made it 3 - 1. It was feared that we had given St Johns real impetus, and play was very scrappy for the next 5 minutes. However, John, back to his best after a lack lustre first half, made a trade mark interception, run then shot which went just wide of the post. Just as his first shot last week was the catalyst for Shelf United to take the game by the scruff of the neck, so it happened again this week as Shelf United took complete control. Phil fed a ball to Karl who passed wide to Damo who shot only to see the ball crash against the bar. John made another of his runs and finished with a good long range effort dipping just over the bar. Shelf United made it 4 - 1 when Fred was put clear in the inside right position. He sent in a shot which the keeper saved, but only to parry it out to Fred again. He sent in a good cross which was met by Damo whith a great bicycle kick into the back of the net. John got in another good shot and again the keeper although producing a good save only manage to put the ball into the path of Ant who crashed the ball into the roof of the net to make it 5 - 1. Next it was Denny who ghosted in at the far post as Fred sent in a peach of cross to slide the ball past the keeper for his 2nd and Shelf United's 6th. Karl could never get a goal before this season, but he got his 4th for the current campaign when following a Damo cross, Ant was tackled only for the ball to fall to Karl, showing composure to tuck the ball away for Shelf United's 7th. Late on and Ant was sent clear and shot home for his hat trick and make the final score 8 - 1.
Final score: Shelf United 8 - St Johns 1.
A good result, although we still started slowly again. I think we were always going to win, but it was not the thrashing the scoreline suggests. St John died as a force when Shelf United made it 4, but In the first half, they created quite a few chances amd when they pegged it back to 3 - 1 it produced a bit of tension in our game. However we showed great resolve to consolodate our position at 3 -1, then once more take the game to St Johns and got our rewards with a further 5 goals. Well done to Denny who was way off the pace which is hardly surprising being his first match since returning from injury, but still managed to score 2, his first being an excellent headed effort. Once again, well done eveyone.
We knew that this was going to be one of the acid tests in terms of how we may do this season, and for the first 15 minutes it looked as if we would fail the test. St Francis were on the front foot from the off with a series of breaks down the left, one of which resulted in a free kick. For what, we may never know. The ball was lofted high into our box and as it dropped a forward managed to get a head to it to give St Francis the lead. Two minutes later and Shelf United had a lucky escape when from another break down the left a header was sent in which hit the bar and was eventually scrambled clear by Azzy in goal. St Francis then got a free kick about 25 yards from goal and a good firm low shot went just wide of the post, although Azzy had it covered. St Francis broke again down the right and from a good cross a volley was sent in just wide. It seemed a matter of when would St Francis score not if and when Conner produced a great tackle to deny a one on one after 15 minutes, it looked as if we would never get into the match. The life line was that St Francis had only scored one goal with the number of chances they had created, because all of a sudden Shelf United woke up and even managed a shot on goal from John from 25 yards which was tame but at least an effort. Shelf United started to play and when John took a long throw from the left, Ant headed on and Damo just failed to connect. Shelf United then produced an excellent flowing move involving Haseeb, John, Karl, and Phil who fed Damo on the right. Damo managed to get an excellent cross in which was begging to be put away but evaded everyone. By now it was all Shelf United which made us all wonder what on earth was going on in the first 20 minutes. John was coming to life down the left and had 3 good efforts before half time. Ant also fed Damo with a deft header, Damo sending a good dipping shot just wide. Shelf United then earned a free kick about 25 yards from goal. Conner sent the kick crashing against the post. Just before half time, Jordan managed to tackle a St Francis forward. He fed Karl who sent Ant free. Ant showed a great burst of speed and managed to get a shot in which the keeper saved to keep them in the lead to half time.
Half time: Shelf United 0 - St Francis 1.
Shelf United started the 2nd half well and within a minute, Phil had a tame shot saved by the keeper. Damo with his great work rate forced a corner on the right. Fred sent over a good cross, the ball eventually finding Phil on the edge of the box. He sent in a good dipping shot just wide. Haseeb made way for Shiraz. Shiraz' first touch was to feed Karl who sent in a shot, which lacked power and the keeper gathered comfortably. We were creating a lot of half chances, but it seemed as if we would never score, but Phil picked the ball up on the left edge of the box, took it on a couple of yards and sent a scorcher of a shot into the far corner. A goal that will get better and better as time goes by. Shelf United almost threw it away, but for a great tackle from Conner and clearance from Tom, as St Francis made an immediate reply. Suddenly St Francis found their attacking feet once more and broke through their impressive midfielder. As the ball was pushed out wide to the left, Karl anticipated and came out with the ball. He fed a great pass for Damo who had a shot come cross just wide, Ant arriving too late to connect. Ant then broke down the left showing good speed. He is all right foot, but what a foot, as he turned his marker and crashed an excellent shot into the far corner of the net to give Shelf United the lead. Two minutes later and Karl tried to seal the points when his shot just clipped the bar. A minute later and seal the points he did. Shiraz made a good move down the left and fed Karl, who showed a great burst of speed and managed to poke the ball beyond the keeper to make it 3 - 1. Shelf United fell back for the remainder of the match with Fred and Jordan doubling up on the St Francis left winger to end that threat and as St Francis pushed up, Damo and Ant found good space to eat up time. St Francis had one more effort on goal when they earned a free kick about 30 yards out. Tom managed a block to clear the danger as Shelf United ran out winners.
Final score: Shelf United 3 - St Francis 1
An excellent result obviously, but in terms of the opposition and the way we started, an excellent display in the end. We knew it was going to be tough. Over both games last season, St Francis was just about the toughest and may be should have won the division. But for all that, we just did not compete for the first 20 minutes. The game could have been out of sight by then. I'm not really sure what happened then, but St Francis eased off and we started to compete with the result that play in terms of posession and territory were completely reversed. For the 1st twenty minutes there was hardly a display to be seen, but having John fire our first effort after 20 minutes every player put in an immense performance. Well dome everyone
Shelf United made a few positional switches, with Phil dropping back to midfield and Damo pushing up front with Ant, making his debut. Within 20 seconds Damo had his 1st shot just wide. Straight away, Shelf United came back and Karl managed a shot from the right of the box which the keeper looked to have covered, but a lack of concentration let the ball go under his feet. It was debateable whether the ball had crossed the line, but the Ref give the goal nonetheless. 2 minutes later Karl sent a ball over the top and Damo chipped the keeper to make it 2 goals to the good. Next to score was Anthony who showed a great burst of speed past 2 defenders and slotted home for his 1st. Good work between Haseeb and Phil following John's long throw in saw a good effort from Phil, but straight at the keeper. Northallerton then broke down the left and had a good chance to reduce the deficit, but shot just wide. Shelf United were soon on the attack again and from a Damo cross, Ant hit the bar, the ball was not cleared properly and eventually the ball found Ant again and this time he crashed the ball into the net for his 2nd and Shelf United's 4th. A few minutes later, Conner made a telling tackle in midfield and managed to bustle his way forward to gain a scoring opportunity, which he took with a firm shot past the keeper to make it 5-0. Northallerton managed 2 good breaks within a minute but were caught offside on each occasion. Karl and then Haseeb put Phil in space on the left, who made the pass of the match between 2 defenders to send Damo away, but having done the hard work by rounding the keeper he sent a firm shot in, which swerved wide of the post to keep the score at 5 up to half time.
Half time: Northallerton 0 v Shelf United 5
Shelf United started the 2nd just like the 1st and when Haseeb sent Ant away, his pace took him clear to drill home for his hat trick and Shelf United's 6th. A minute later and Phil put Damo free on the right and his first time half volley went over the keeper to make it 7. Shiraz then came on making a straight swop with Haseeb. It was not long before Shelf United made it 8 when Tom sent Ant away who finished with a firm shot past the keeper for his 4th. Next it was Damo the provider with a great cross, which Ant volleyed over. Ant then turned provider with good work down the left and an excellent cross which Fred managed to head home to make it 9. Damo then produced a similar miss as in the 1st half when Jordan put him through. He rounded the keeper but shot wide. He made amends within 30 seconds when Shiraz fed Karl who chipped over to Damo and a first time volley saw the ball dip over the keeper and into the net for his hat trick. Damo matched Ant's tally when Ant himself fed him into space and his first time shot beat the keeper to make it 11 and 4 each for the strikers. Nearly all our chances were through balls over the top using the pace of Ant and Damo and it was no surprise when Ant was put through by Tom and he rounded the keeper and slotted home for his 5th goal. If Karl's 1st goal was a bit fortunate, his second was excellent as he burst from midfield, rounded the keeper and fired home to make the score 13. Damo was then fed by Jordan and sent a shot wide of the keeper for his 5th. By this time Azz had swopped shirts with Fred. Indeed 3 times Azz found himself in good space, but by now players were more interested in getting their names on the score sheet rather than keep playing as a team. The final goal came about when Phil found himself free in the box and his a first time shot hit the bar. He reckons it was spinning back into the goal, but the ball hit the back of the keeper and into the net.
Final score: Northallerton 0 v Shelf United 15
Not much to say really, we could be hypercritical and pick on aspects of our game. The score line suggests we could not have done much more.
This was a chance to compare Shelf United to a team playing in a division higher. They were a very big team. They must be feeding them well up there. The wind was blowing a gale across but slightly down the pitch. Shelf United opted to kick against the wind in the first half. Indeed they started brightly with Jamie having a shot saved in the first minute. A minute later and Luke was put through by Karl only for the keeper to gather at the last. At the other end Tom made a good tackle to give Newton their first corner. The ball was cleared by Connor with 2 good headers and Shelf United broke up, on the right and earned a throw in. From a long throw by Connor, Phil managed a header just wide. Phil then produced a deft header and put Luke through only for his shot to be saved. It was mainly Shelf United with the upperhand with Karl and Damo running the midfield, although the wind ruined any chance of a passing game. However, it was Newton who scored first. Again a good tackle from Tom earned them a corner. The wind caught the ball direct from the kick and went into the net, too high for Aaron. Newton started to use the wind to best effect and a good long distance shot was well saved by Aaron. Most of Newton's play was down their right and John Myers produced a good tackle to prevent a one on one. Aaron was having difficulty, not surprisingly with the gale, in getting distance on his kicks. Our defence and midfield didn't help in pushing too far up field. As it was, Newton were gifted 2 chances which they should have put away but blasted wide. Luke had to go off with an injured ankle, although he did come back on in the 2nd half. Shiraz replaced him up front. Shelf United got their equaliser following a good break down the left when Jamie earned a corner. Fred fired in a low hard corner and after a scramle, where a number of players including Karl and Damo had efforts, Phil headed back in where Connor latched onto the ball to fire home off a defender into the roof of the net. Their keeper was injured in the process and had to go off for a while with an eye injury. All the hard work in getting back level, was undone a few minutes later when a carbon copy of their first goal was scored directly from a corner just before half time.
Half time Shelf United 1 - Newton Aycliffe 2
We fancied our chances in the 2nd half. With the wind against us, we more than matched them in the first half. We did mange a few corners in the first few minutes, one of which ended up with a Damo volley well saved, but it was Newton who took the initiative, passing the ball to the right wing where the ball was held up. On one Newton break down the left, Jordan went for an easy clearance, but was obviously injured and had to come off. Haseeb came on and took Jamie's place on the left of midfield. Jamie came over to take Jordans place at right back. However Jamie's first tackle was in centre midfield and although he did get the tackle in the ball found its way out left and their player had a free run in on goal to make it 3 -1. Shelf Uniteds play became very scrappy after that, with players trying to take man after man on instead of our usual passing game. We hardly utilised our wind advantage at all and Newton were still pinging the ball out right. One such attack down their right ended up in a good cross and headed goal to make it 4- 1. Shelf United missed a great chance to cut the deficit. Damo had a shot blocked but crossed the rebound over for Luke, however, the ball took a wicked deviation in the wind and went past the lunging Luke. Just before the end Newton made it 5- 1with another break down the right to complete the scoreline.
Final score: Shelf United 1 - Newton Aycliffe 5
A bit of a shock to the system. Although Newton are in a division higher we still fancied our chances of winning, but I cannot remember the last time we played so badly. The first half was not so bad as we expected to be under the cosh a bit more than we were with the wind against us. The first 2 goals were a bit of a fluke. The 2nd half was dire. Newton showed us how to play the wind and after they scored their 3rd we died as a force and Newton took control. We were carrying a few injuries, indeed well done to Luke and Jordan for playing through the pain barrier. The wind also did spoil things and we could not get any passing going, although Newton managed to do it just fine. Lets just hope its just a case of lack of competitive match practice and that we improve from now on.
This was our 2nd and final friendly and once again v 4th division opposition. The game started very scrappily with neither team taking control, although any chances that were going went to Shelf United. Shelf United suddenly came to life but it took a Stokesley goal to do so. Although it was a good 15 minutes into the game it was Stokesley's first meaningful attack when a long ball over the top which at first glance looked well offside. was tucked away wide of Aaron in goal. Shelf United took control and were virtually camped in Stokesley's last third for the remainder of the half. Shelf United had many many chances that went begging, not so much with bad finishing but some great blocks by defenders and a couple of great saves from the keeper. Poor Luke must have wondered how he didn't go in at half time with a hat trick under his belt. Fred was a constant source of quality crosses and I lost count of how many corners he took. Damo and Karl controlled midfield and had a fair few shots themselves. Stokesley did manage to break again and a good long range angled cross was meant for the left winger, but Jamie lunged to intercept. As it was a bemused Shelf United went off at half time 1 - 0 down. For the first few minutes of the 2nd half it was Stokesley who attacked. Good tackles from John and Tom saved a few one on one chances and Conner acted as a great sweeper, taking the ball out clear of the defence on a number of occasions. Shelf United eventually started to control again and again created 2 or 3 chances. It was looking as if we would never score, but when Luke was put through, he tucked away his hardest chance to date sending the ball between the keeper's legs. Shelf United pressed gain and eventually Fred found Phil with a cross and after side stepping a player he crashed the ball into the net for a 2 - 1 lead. Towards the end, from a left wing corner, Damo managed to head home to make the final score 3 - 1.
Final score: Shelf United 3 v Stokesley B 1
A very good work out. It was a worry that we could not put our chances away, however it was not through bad finishing, but good defending. The general outfield play was excellent. Plenty of good short passes and in the main the team kept it's shape. Phil and Jamie both put in good displays despite carrying bad injuries which would have seen them sidelined with a bigger squad. Probably the most pleasing aspect was the display of Haseeb and Shiraz. Their positional play and willing to tackle back were much improved on last week and I'm, sure they are going to be a big asset this season.
This was our 1st match of the season and Shelf United started very brightly. Play in midfield was generally even, but Shelf United were carving out much the better chances. Denny and Fred were causing havoc on the wings and Karl and Damo, playing his first match, were creating chance after chance. The best early chance fell to Denny, who headed just wide from a great Fred cross. Fred earned a free kick on the right and chose to fire a shot in. The keeper only gathered after parrying the initial shot and a bit more urgency from our forwards could have earned a goal. Shelf United eventually got the goal they deserved when from an attack down the left the ball was not cleared after scrappy attempts to clear. Fred pounced and knocked the ball in from close range. Shelf United nearly scored again when damo managed to get the ball before the keeper gathered and rounded a defender but shot wide. It was some time before Seaton produced their 1st shot and it was a good long range effort, just clearing the bar. Within minutes, Seaton had another shot when Shelf United failed to close down and from fully 25 yards the ball went high into the net to make it 1 - 1. The game then came to a dramatic halt as Denny was fouled on the left wing. As a result of his fall, his whole knee became dislocated. Play was stopped and an Ambulance called. After a lengthy delay the Ambulance eventually whisked Denny off to hospital. Everyone hopes Denny has a speedy recovery. There was a bit of a debate as to whether the match should be called off, but it was decided to recommence with a shorter 2nd half. Play was much more even in the 2nd half, but it was Shelf United who produced the best early effort when Conner smashed a long distance effort onto the bar. Again, more urgency in the follow up could have resulted in a goal. Haseeb was then put through and showed a great burst of speed. Eager to impress, he snatched at his shot and went just wide, when in training he would have definitely scored. In a similar move but a bit wider, Phil was put through and his shot again just missed the post. Seaton were producing plenty of attacks of their own and it required some commanding headers from Conner and some fine tackles from Jordan, Tom and John to keep them at bay. Indeed Tom almost shot home for what would have been the winner , but his shot was blocked on the line. The game petered out with Shelf United winning a series of throw ins on the right as the game ended all square.
Result: Seaton 1 v Shelf United 1
A good initial workout, with the injury to Denny a big downside. We know what most of the players are capable of, but Damo produced a good debut in midfield. Haseeb and Sharaz produced excellent displays considering this was their first game on the large pitch. As the game went on, both were a lot more involved and their positional sense, being one of the major differences between training and match play, greatly improved.