(Professionals win 4-2 on penalties)
The 2014 Yorkshire Property Charity football match marked the 10th anniversary of the event and the game was played back where it all started in November 2005 at the John Charles Centre for Sport (South Leeds Stadium). 3 dinosaurs were celebrating their testimonials who have featured in every single match! Craig Burrow (Bruntwood) and Captain of the professionals, Dan “The Cat” Hodge (Rydan) and Iain McPhail (GVA), both of the agents side.
Also, a special mention to the ever present match official Jonathan Hyland (Knight Frank) who was also celebrating his 10th anniversary officiating alongside the Barclays Premier League referee Martin Atkinson.
The match also saw the two managers Ben Hall (GVA) and Carl Wright (Jack Lunn) pit their wits against each other once again despite there being speculation about Carl’s job after recording only 1 win at the fourth time of asking. He was looking to improve on that record with a second successive victory against an agent’s team who were seeking revenge after a disappointing result last year!
The managers tinkered with their squads this year with the agents paying much attention to Tony Pleasants (Bowman Riley) the hat-trick hero from the previous year’s 3 -0 win for the professionals. It was therefore a big surprise to see that Mr Pleasants starting from the bench with Carl adopting a different strategy and fielding the impish forward Ryan Unsworth (Keyland). Tactical genius?
The weather conditions were dry and mild for the 3.30pm KO with the agents on a high after the team sheets were released. They started the better of the sides creating several opportunities notably a delightful piece of skill from James France (Fox Lloyd Jones) leading to a curling effort that went just over the bar, similar to that of Frederico Macheda for Scum – vs – Aston Villa 2009.
The professionals defence led by James Pank (Auction House) and including goalkeeping Jonathan Stubbs (Tamsland) were looking to keep another clean sheet and were doing very well despite the onslaught from the agents playing an attacking brand of football in a 4-4-2 formation. The professionals found themselves playing on the break for much of the first 45 minutes.
The first half was very hard fought with some competitive and combative football which unfortunately saw Scott Flint (Walker Morris) injured by a late challenge from Nick Salkeld (Fox Lloyd Jones) which ended his match early. The law suit is still ongoing!
The half finished 0-0.
The second half saw many changes for both sides that led to several opening being created with the game getting stretched and bodies tiring. There was some notable impact subs from both sides including a return for Richard Fraser and Pete Bradbury (both Carter Towler) with the agents team using their experience to try and get a grip of the game.
The rewards paid off as in the 65th minute for the ‘poster boy’ of the agent’s team, Rob Devoy (GVA) broke the deadlock with a glorious header, connecting with a lofted ball in to the box. As the match moved into its last 20 minutes both teams were pushing for the all-important second goal in the game and it was James Pank (Auction House) for the professionals who came up from the back and caught a glancing header from a free kick that looped over the agents goalkeeper Dan Hodge taking the match to 1-1.
It was an intense finish to the game with both managers using all their substitutions and deploying all the tactics possible, but the deadlock could not be broken and it finished 1-1 after 90 minutes.
A cruel way to decide the winner but both teams fielded 5 penalty takers with the professionals coolly slotting away all 5 of their penalties and Simon Holliday (Adair Paxton) and James France (Fox Lloyd Jones) unfortunately missing their penalties giving the professionals a 4-2 win capping one of the most fiercely fought matches in the 10 year history.
Who will triumph this year?