York City Knights v Oldham – Rob Leatham reports

The sun was beaming down on the community stadium and there was a real buzz about the place as fans came back to welcome the Knights as they played against Oldham. The atmosphere was electric and the 1000 supporters sounded like an army.

The Knights looked to build on last week’s second half performance against Widnes Vikings and would look to record their first win at the community stadium.

It was Oldham that would start the brightest by winning a penalty at the end of their first set and driving up to the Knights’ line. The knights would hold firm but Oldham were showing early signs that they were up for the fight. For the first ten minutes both teams fought for field position with York opting to drive at the defence and Oldham kicking early to try and gain territory. It was on the ten-minute mark that Oldham thought they had scored, a difficult kick was collected and with the next play Ryan Ince dived to the line but was deemed to be in touch.

Oldham would come at York minutes later. York defended defiantly but Danial Bridge eventually crashed over to give Oldham the lead. The extras were converted and the scores were 6:0 to the opposition.

York responded almost instantly when Jones Bishop was awarded a penalty for a tackle in the air. Matty Marsh made great yards before Riley Dean kicked on the last tackle and Will Jubb found the ball getting it over the try line. This was converted and the scores were level at 6:6. On 20 minutes the Knights had made a lot of errors and had struggled to complete their sets. York were starting to get into the right areas off the pitch but there endeavours had been relatively fruitless as Oldham caused frustration.

Oldham Came close to the line with 11 minutes left of the first half. The knights turned Depree onto his back to win the ball back on the fifth tackle. York would have the next clear chance as Riley Dean appeared to have broken the line from five metres out. But his pass failed to meet anyone and trickled in a touch five minutes from the half.

Two minutes later there was a horrendous challenge on Nikau who was taken round the neck at pace. This resulted in a brawl on the field. The referee failed to issue a card which baffled the crowd but Nesbett left the field for the challenge and it was later confirmed he had been red carded.

The Knights were incensed by this challenge and showed fire in the minutes that remained. The Scores at the half were 6:6 and York had to make the extra man count if they were going to win this encounter.

York Knights started the half on top and a clever kick from Riley Dean was almost pounced on by Kiran Dixon with just two minutes on the clock. York enjoyed some good play in the opening minutes to come and were gaining territory. Nikau came close to playing the ball into the hands of Matty Scott but the pat down was judged to be forward.

Oldham with all credit to them had played well and were frustrating the Knights all afternoon. The Knights however capitalised on a knock of from Oldham and used the man advantage out wide for Kiran Dixon to touch down. Kiran Dixon had a difficult kick to convert but did so successfully and the Knights lead 12:6.

The Knights thought they were in again two minutes later but the try would be disallowed for a forward pass. They continued to add the pressure and a fantastic move would result in a try minutes later when Sam Scott flicked the ball on for Riley Dean to capitalise. Dixon dragged the conversion wide and the Knights lead 16:6.

Oldham were beginning to tire, and York would score from the restart as McDonnell broke the line and set up Matty Marsh for his eighth try in four games. The Knights now lead 22:6 and the Knights looked dangerous.

On 67 minutes York were in again and Chris Clarkson put the ball down from close range. The Knights began to find spaces in the Oldham defence and were exploiting this to fine effect. The score was now 28:6.

The Knights tactic to drive hard at Oldham was beginning to pay off and York were forcing Oldham to make errors in both defence and attack. York were electric in the second half and every time they touched the ball it looked like they would score. Will Jubb threw a fantastic dummy to put the ball down near the posts. The score was now converted and the Knights looked comfortable with four minutes left.

York played exceptionally well for the remainder of the game and had seen out there 34:6 win against Oldham. They would take great heart from there second half display. But most importantly the Knights is a family club and the fans coming back has made the Knights family feel complete once again. The applause from fans has been missed and York will be hoping fans can remain all season.