2011/12: NCEL Premier Division – Selby Town v Thackley
If you were asked to name the location which was formerly a Viking settlement, was also the birthplace of Henry I, and is a market town home to an Abbey established in 1069, what would your answer be? Well, a point to you if you said Selby. The town may have a rich history, but in the present its football team is struggling.
Selby Town FC (nicknames ‘The Robins’) have had a season to forget and before the game today were bottom of the Baris NCEL Premier Division. Going into the game, Town’s league record was played 29, won 3, drawn 3, lost 23, with a total of just 12 points. Therefore it is probably no surprise to learn that The Robins have had three managers this season. Leon Sewell started the campaign in charge, but was sacked in September 2011. David Heard lasted under January 2012 before departing and now Graham Hodder is the man trying to bring about a miracle and save the season for Selby.
With nine league games remaining, of which only three are at home, The Robins knew that they had to win today to have any chance of avoiding relegation. Maltby Main were only two points ahead, and Lincoln Moorlands Railway with twenty points sat in the position above the bottom two. Thackley were the visitors to The Rigid Group Stadium, who were comfortable in the top half of the table, with an outside chance of breaking into the play-offs spots.
It was a bright and breezy day that welcomed the teams onto the pitch and a crowd of 67 was in attendance to see if Selby could spring a surprise. The opening ten minutes were pretty scrappy, with neither side able to maintain possession. Suitably unimpressed, Thackley manager Vince Brockie was soon handing out the ‘hairdryer’ treatment to his players, as his dulcet Scottish tones reverberated around the ground. To be fair it brought a response from his team and Thackley gained the upper hand and began to win a number of free-kicks in and around the Selby Town penalty area. A couple resulted in half chances although neither tested Daniel Graves in the Selby goal. On 34 minutes the momentum firmly swung in favour of Thackley when they took the lead through Kris Hargreaves. Opinion around me in the crowd was divided as to whether this was an attempt on target or a cross that went in. Regardless, the visitors were in front. Thackley continued to dominate and their lead was doubled on 41 minutes, when Keenan Ratcliffe got behind the Selby defence and skipper Mark Bett headed comfortably home. So 2-0 at the break to The Dennyboys and no doubt a few choice words from the manager.
Thackley started the second half positively and had chances to increase their lead, before Bett’s got his second goal on 50 minutes. From a corner, Selby failed to clear and the ball fell to the Thackley captain who neatly finished to take the score to 3-0. The goal failed to spark a response from the home team, who despite enthusiasm and endeavour didn’t create a decent chance throughout the ninety minutes. Both sides brought on substitutes to try and inject some urgency to proceedings, but all it did was disrupt what flow there had been. Keenan Ratcliffe was a constant threat from fullback for Thackley, but often his good work getting forward come to nothing. Still there was one last goal to come for the visitors, when with two minutes remaining, Delroy White headed to seal a 4-0 win.
Thackley undoubtedly deserved to win, in a game which they dominated without looking like they were going to overwhelm Selby. Of their last eight fixtures, The Dennyboys have five against teams above them, so could if results go their way, get in the play-offs. They will though have to play better than the performance today. For Selby, the trapdoor is well and truly beckoning and the prospect of relegation an unfortunate reality.