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Sheffield 1 Worksop Town 0
Sheffield & Hallamshire Senior Challenge Cup Final
Tuesday, 10/05/05

Every Picture Tells A Story
(Of A Last Minute Winner !!!)

Against the odds, against all expectation, they did it - again! Following on from last weeks nail-biter against Harrogate Rail in the League Cup, a last gasp goal in the second minute of injury time by Ben Cressey was enough to give Sheffield FC the Senior Cup, beating Nationwide Conference North outfit Worksop Town 1-0 at Hillsborough tonight, to send the army of Club supporters into raptures. In a repeat performance of Sheffield's only other Senior Cup Final appearance of 1994, they overcame the threat of the Tigers, this time though they didn't need the penalties as they did in 1994 - although it has to be said it was just as dramatic!
Even the most optimistic Clubbie wouldn't have said Sheffield would be favourites tonight, and straight away the underdogs started with the air of a team that had nothing to prove and nothing to lose, as they dominated the early stages of the game. Club certainly weren't overawed by the higher league opposition, a fact that was made quite apparent as early as the second minute of the game as Rob Ward dispossessed Anthony Jackson with ease, unfortunately the shot at the end was rushed - but it certainly signalled Sheffield's intentions. In the 7th minute the Northern Counties outfit had a glorious opportunity to grab the lead; some great work down the right wing by Chris White saw the ball whipped in to the middle where an unmarked Caine Cheetham was waiting with the goal at his mercy, on any other day the ball would have ended in the net - tonight however it ended in the Leppings Lane stand. Worksop were on the back foot as Club were creating all the openings and all the chances, Chris White went close himself in the 12th minute, with a good shot from long range. The best the Tigers had to offer in a very disappointing first period, from their point of view, was a shot from Brian O'Callaghan that sailed wide of the mark. Danny Anson was dominating the midfield, and it was his good work breaking up the middle that created the last chance of a very comfortable half for Sheffield, setting up Rob Ward whose shot was narrowly off target.
It started off more or less in the same vein for Sheffield in the second half, a shot by Ward being blasted at Ian Bowling, with the Worksop keeper having to do very well to block the shot. Eventually though the inevitable pressure from the higher ranked side saw Worksop finally start to come into the match, and they managed to dominate play and control the pace of the game, however it wasn't anything the Sheffield boys couldn't handle as they brushed away each attack effortlessly. As the game wore on, and extra time looked a pretty realistic possibility, Sheffield went in search of a late winner. Chris White broke through the defence, and only a blatant tug by Jackson impeded the Club player's progress, with the Worksop player thankful the referee showed leniency by only producing a yellow card. The resulting free kick from Richard Carrington made Bowling work, making a decent save from a tricky looking shot, however it was only staving of the inevitable. Okay, so it wasn't inevitable, but the Tigers were starting to creak at the back - and in the second of three injury time minutes the deadlock was broken. White and substitute Darren Holmes broke down the left, cutting the ball across the goal, the defence failed to clear their lines with the ball breaking to CRESSEY on the edge of the box - taking it one step and then firing the ball in off the underside of the bar. If ever there was a better time to score a goal to win a cup, then this was it - Worksop barely had time to regroup before the whistle went. Sheffield had won the Senior Cup - lifted by none other than BTF's player of the season Tom Jones - superb!


When the dust has settled on the celebrations, the DVD has been watched over and over again, one thing should be remembered from all of this - Sheffield looked anything but underdogs tonight. For the neutral watching the game, this would have been a dour spectacle; however they would have been troubled to see which team was supposed to be the team from the Conference North. This performance and subsequent victory has capped a wonderful season for Dave McCarthy, Lee Walshaw and all of the Sheffield boys - they did us proud and have given us some great memories of the season. It is certainly going to be a hard act to follow - I for one can't wait for next season!!
BTF Club Man Of The Match - Stavros Kontou
Worksop Town: Bowling, Hanson, Davies, O'Callaghan, Jackson, Dudgeon, Wilson, Cleary (Townsend), Bambrook (Payne), Cropper, Norton. Sub Not Used: Nicholson.
Sheffield FC: Bonnington, Kontou, Cressey, Jones, Marsh, Anson, O'Carroll, Carrington, Ward, Cheetham (Holmes), White. Subs Not Used: Tevendale, Ingall.

Harrogate R.A. 1 Sheffield 2
League Cup Final At Dimple Wells, Ossett
Tuesday, 03/05/05

For the second time in four years Sheffield FC lifted the Northern Counties East League Cup, in a tense pulsating game at Ossett Albion's Dimple Wells ground, beating a valiant Harrogate Railway side 2-1. Two goals in a six minute spell were enough for Club, one each from BTF player-of-the-season Tom Jones and tonight's man-of-the-match Chris White; an early second half reply from James Featherstone had the South Yorkshire club's nerves jangling however a typically determined performance ensured Dave McCarthy's boys hung on to a gripping finale.
The first half was obviously a difficult period for both teams, both with coping with the nervousness and poor playing surface, with each side conceding their fair share of corners. Sheffield found themselves with the disadvantage of playing into the sun, but coped manfully with everything Rail threw at them, and in the 26th minute stunned the opponents with the opening goal. A free kick from Ben Cressey out on the right put the Harrogate defence in all kinds of difficulty, the ball wasn't cleared effectively with Rob Ward toe-poking the ball into the path of JONES who thundered the ball into the net, leaving Rail keeper Lee Ashforth with no chance. Sheffield were dominating proceedings without a doubt at this point, and should have doubled the lead almost immediately after with Chris White breaking through the defence - even surviving a crude trip by Scott Bairstow to carry on when many would have gone down - however the end shot was blasted straight at Ashforth's legs. In the 32nd minute the lead was extended; Craig Marsh burst through from midfield only to be tripped by Chris Howarth - quick thinking by Marsh saw the free-kick taken before the Harrogate defence could regroup, feeding WHITE who made absolutely sure this time. Even with the two goal deficit, Rail looked like they had the ability to turn the game on its head, however they didn't create as much as they were obviously capable of in that first period - with the best effort being a volley by Damien Henderson, which was saved with relish by Sheffield keeper Darren Bonnington.
As expected, Railway came out in the second period with all guns blazing, putting Sheffield under considerable pressure and with seven minutes gone the cut the gap to just one goal. Ryan Haigh broke down the left wing, putting a great cross into the middle; the ball was met by the head of FEATHERSTONE who directed it into the net. This made things very interesting, and it was going to be a severe test of Club's mettle and character if they were to hang on, as Harrogate looked for what seemed to be an inevitable equaliser. Shortly after the goal Lee Ryan forced a great save from the ever dependable Bonnington, whilst the Sheffield defence repelled everything that was thrown at them, even though they were being forced onto the back foot. There was some very nervous play from both teams, as Sheffield soaked up the pressure, the threat of the counter-attack was never that far away. A point that was made pretty clear as substitute Richard Carrington broke through, a goal looked to be an absolute certainty as he raced towards a one-on-one situation with Ashforth, however a good save by the keeper prevented Sheffield wrapping it all up. The full time whistle couldn't come soon enough for the vociferous Club supporters, with a whopping eight minutes of over time being endured by all, but that panic was not imitated by the Sheffield players who were calmness personified - hanging on to a memorable victory!
Cup finals are always tense affairs, especially when your team is hanging on grimly to a wafer thin lead, however Sheffield managed to do this and deservedly it was Chris Hilton that lifted the cup. A great feeling for all involved in the Club, both on and off the field, but credit must be given to a Harrogate side that never said die - something that summed up their great season in the league. Overall this was a great performance by Club, showing great determination to keep the lead when others may have crumbled, and some silverware has capped off a great season for the World's Oldest Football Club. Now all that's left to play for this season is a little matter next Tuesday - Worksop at Hillsborough - hope no-one has forgotten, we've got to do it all again! Let's see if we can make it a double, but for now let us all savour the sweet taste of a cup victory! WELL DONE SHEFFIELD YOU DID US ALL PROUD!
(We have quite a few photos of the evening at Dimple Wells, and over the next few weeks we'll be adding them to the site. Make sure you keep visiting BTF over the Summer months)
BTF Club Man Of The Match - Chris White
Harrogate Railway Athletic: Ashforth, Holmes, Haigh, Henderson, Bairstow, Gray, Howarth, L.Ryan, Featherstone (Warburton), Hillier (Day), S.Ryan. Sub Not Used: Stevenson.
Sheffield FC: Bonnington, Hilton, Kontou, Jones, Cressey, Anson, O'Carroll, Marsh, Ward, Cheetham (Holmes), White (Carrington). Sub Not Used: Tevendale. 

Sheffield 1 Dinnington Town 0
Sheffield & Hallamshire Senior Challenge Cup Semi Final
Friday, 29/04/05

Sheffield survived a potential banana skin, and in doing so reached their second final in a week, dispatching Central Midlands outfit Dinnington Town by a single goal at the Coach and Horses tonight. An early strike from Rob Ward was enough to take the higher league club through to the Senior Cup Final, to be held at the home of Sheffield Wednesday, where Conference North outfit Worksop will be waiting.
There were also some old faces on view with the return of Joe Ntiedu, Ben Rosser and Liam Cartledge, as well as Dinnington manager Steve Toyne. After Tuesday's struggle in the mud, the pitch was in good condition for tonight's encounter. It was Sheffield who got off to flying start, as, with just six minutes played, a free kick from the left hand side by Ryan O'Carroll was floated into the area, and there was leading scorer WARD on hand to head home. Sheffield continued to dominate most of the half with another O'Carroll free kick going close as the keeper gathered at the near post. Dinnington's only real threat came from a cross which was punched away by Darren Bonnington.
Dinnington certainly weren't going to give in, and they managed to keep Sheffield on the back-foot for much of the half, creating a couple of decent chances along the way. Richard Carrington managed to keep Sheffield's noses in front, by heading off the line from a Dinnington header, whilst Graeme Clark had a shot from distance blaze over the bar. Club held their own, eventually ending the game with an attacking flurry with a few chances of their own, with Bird tipping a looping header from Craig Marsh over the bar. Tom Jones went close with a header from a Darren Holmes corner, and Town's Clark managed to block an effort from Carrington, following a goalmouth scramble. Emotions ran high in injury time, as the fiery Rosser got involved in some silliness with the Sheffield defence, but in the end there was never going to be the fairy tale ending for the underdogs.
It wasn't an easy ride for Sheffield, and all credit to Dinnington for never giving up and rolling over, but after such an intense week it was the result that was all important. Quite an exciting end of season awaits for Club now, two finals on consecutive Tuesdays starting next week at Ossett Albion's Dimple Wells Ground against Harrogate Railway in the League Cup, then the week after the reward for tonight's victory - a trip to Hillsborough to face the Tigers of Worksop. It isn't going to be boring that's for sure, hopefully at least one of those final dates will see Sheffield lift a trophy, and in the process making a good season great.
BTF Club Man Of The Match - Tom Jones
Sheffield FC: Bonnington, Hilton, Kontou, Jones, Cressey, Ingall, Marsh, O'Carroll, Ward, White (Holmes), Tevendale (Carrington). Sub Not Used: Cheetham.
Dinnington Town: Bird, Ntiedu, Sykes, Dearns, Saville, Rosser, Smith (Hendry), Williams, Mirfin, Cartledge, Clark (Joel). Sub Not Used: Thompson.
Att: 238.

Sheffield 2 Selby Town 1
NCEFL Premier Division
Monday, 26/04/05

A last minute strike from Chris White put the visitor's title celebrations on hold for a little longer, as Sheffield backed up their dramatic League Cup Semi Final win with a sensational last gasp victory at the Coach and Horses tonight. The hosts winning 2-1 over "Champions Elect" Selby Town. On a drizzly night a patched up Sheffield side threw the form book aside, making Town's UniBond potentials look anything but with Dave McCarthy's side doing everyone proud to finish the league campaign on a winning note. All the goals came in the second half, with Matthew Wain opening the scoring for the Robins and Mark Willgoose equalising shortly after, before Chris White's knock out blow giving Sheffield all three points, leaving everyone wondering what might have been.

A heavy downpour a couple of hours prior to kick off saw the playing surface holding surface water in a couple of places, but overall the pitch was good which hopefully would make for a good passing game between the two sides. Having already defeated Selby in the reverse fixture earlier this season, Sheffield were hoping to end with a win and doing the double. Only five of last night's team were in the starting line up, with manager McCarthy rotating his squad to give players a rest as there is still are at least another two matches to be played in the next eight days. It was Selby who were the first to show, Wain dragging his shot wide when placed in a good position. Stand-in keeper Mike Stephenson then made a fine stop before Chris Kamara blasted over the bar from just inside the area. Sheffield's under 19 keeper Stephenson was on hand again after 15 minutes, punching the ball to safety when under pressure. The team were taking some time to settle into their pattern of play whilst the visitors were exploiting the gaps left as the defence sorted themselves out. Kevin Graham was the next to squander a good chance when he rose unchallenged at a set piece, only to head over the bar. Sheffield responded with Cheetham causing problems from a Vernon free kick, the chance being scrambled away off the line. Selby were just having the better of the play, but despite the chances created, neither keeper had really been tested. This was soon remedied in the 43rd minute when Cameron Stuart turned and shot in the area and Stephenson had to stretch full length to turn the shot away. At the other end Asa Ingall floated a ball into the area beyond the outstretched arms of Adam Mitchell in the Selby goal, but Caine Cheetham's header was just wide of the post.

The second half started with Selby still the team on top, and it didn't take them long before capitalising on the pressure; with only four minutes on the clock a defensive mix-up saw WAIN dart in to lift the ball over the advancing Stephenson to give the visitors the lead. That goal should have settled the Robins down somewhat, however it did anything but, with Sheffield starting to lay siege to the Selby area. On 58 minutes the scores were tied, as the ball was spread out to the left wing with WILLGOOSE in acres of space, the left midfielder kept his nerve and lifted it over the onrushing Mitchell into the net. Selby's nerve looked to have been severely tested, with the game suddenly becoming very open, and both teams having chances to grab the lead. Firstly Asa Ingall was close heading a cross narrowly over, whilst at the other end Mark Thompson saw his effort turned round the post by Mike Stephenson, adding to the young keeper's impressive performance. Adam Mitchell proved he was no slouch either, blocking a fierce point-blank drive from Sheffield's leading scorer Rob Ward, with the rebound from Chris White going just wide. Stephenson provided another good stop, coming to Club's rescue blocking a shot from substitute Tom Matthews, after a great ball by Cameron Stuart. With time running out and a draw looking likely, Sheffield hit the sucker punch in the last minute of normal time; a Sheffield attack ripping the visitors defence apart, the ball was scrambled out only as far as Willgoose who remained calm, and with the defence in disarray the ball was squared to WHITE who hammered the ball into the net.

A dramatic finale to the Sheffield season, the win taking Sheffield temporarily up to second spot, and giving Goole a lifeline in the promotion chase. Sadly it also begs the question of what might have been, in an excellent season Sheffield's golden chance of UniBond football looks to have fallen due to some shock results against teams from the lower reaches, if these had been won who knows what this win could have meant. In the end though it has to be said that another top four finish, a cup final place in the bag and the possibility of another on the horizon, is pretty good going. Let's all hope next season sees us going on to achieve the potential, the boys have the ability to deliver the goods, and on tonight's performance we're sure we can.
BTF Club Man Of The Match - Mike Stephenson

Sheffield FC: Stephenson, Hilton, Vernon, Marsh, Cressey (Jones), Ingall, Holmes, White, Naylor (Ward), Cheetham (Tevendale), Willgoose.
Selby Town: Mitchell, Dawson, Hart, Kamara, Graham, Cox, Thompson, Stuart, Wain (Harris), Wash (Matthews), Connor. Subs Not Used: Mackenzie.

Att: 173.

Arnold Town 1 Sheffield 1
(Sheffield win 4-3 on penalties)
League Cup Semi Final Replay
Monday, 25/04/05

In a thrilling encounter at Gedling Road, Sheffield made their way into their third League Cup final in five years. On a pitch that was hard and bumpy it was the visitors who went straight on the attack. Tevendale twice having good chances, the first a shot and the second when he was put through on goal, but Hodgson was on hand to make a last gasp tackle just as the striker was about to shoot. It was almost twenty minutes before the home side troubled Sheffield, when a break down the right saw the ball crossed but it was overhit and went to safety. 
On twenty minutes a free kick from Ryan O'Carroll was floated into the area where Tom Jones connected to power a header which hit the bar and was scrambled away. A minute later and it was Jones again, only this time his effort was well saved.  As in the first game between these sides, it was the Arnold Town keeper Lee Broster who was to feature heavily in this match as he single handedly kept  Town in the game. 
It was Club who were asking all the questions as they kept the Town rearguard busy. A corner from the left saw Cheetham's near post header goalbound, but once again Broster was there to tip the ball round the post. Further efforts by Ward and Tevendale saw the same result. Just before half time Broster was beaten when he came out for a corner, but Ward's powerful header was just too high and went over the bar. Arnold's lone effort on goal was a weak overhead kick which Bonnington gathered easily.
The second half saw the home side come out more positive as they started to attack more, but Sheffield were still probing for that opening goal. Chris White then had an opportunity as he weaved his way into the area, his shot beating the onrushing Broster, but it was cleared off the line. Next to go close was Ben Cressey, his free kick just whizzing the wrong side of the post. Sheffield can then count themselves fortunate as Bogan broke free down the middle. Darren Bonnington came out to clear and according to the Assistant Referee impeded the striker. The referee had initially waved play on only to then award a free kick just outside the area, but more importantly for the visitors and after a lengthy discussion with his Assistant, the referee only showing Bonnington a yellow card. The resulting free kick being saved easily by the keeper. The game was now end to end as both sides were tiring and no doubt wanting to finish the game within the ninety minutes.
With ten minutes to go Ward turned provider as his cross was directed onto the head of Carrington, but Broster was there to gather. Sheffield were really putting the pressure on in the last few minutes, Tevendale being denied and then White saw his last minute shot saved by that man Broster once again to take the tie into extra time. 
With rain falling as the game re-started, the surface was becoming greasy, which created it's own problems for the players. The opening goal came on 95 minutes and somewhat against the run of play as Arnold took the lead. Scott HUCKERBY firing a free kick from the edge of the area beyond Bonnington. Sheffield responded as Jones once again was first to a header but it was straight at the keeper. Then Ward took a quick free kick to Carrington and his cross was met with a diving header by Craig Marsh, but the outstretched hand of Broster just managed to turn the ball round the post. White was the next player to test the home keeper as the Arnold goal was having a somewhat charmed life, to put it mildly. However, Sheffield levelled the score in the 105th minute when for once Broster was nowhere to be found and Danny ANSON fired home following yet another corner. The second half of extra time saw both sides have good chances, Davies going close with a free kick for the home side whilst Carrington had a run from the half way line and shot just wide. In the last minute White thought he had clinched the match for the visitors but his shot was parried by Broster and the ball rolled agonisingly wide of the goal.
So, after 120 minutes it was still stalemate and penalties would decide the outcome of this match. It was Sheffield who started the proceedings as Cressey shot hard and low to open the scoring. Huckerby then had his shot saved by Bonnington, but Broster did likewise when Marsh stepped up for Sheffield. Back then levelled the scores with a shot high into the corner. Ward restored the lead and Hodgson had his kick saved by Bonnington. O'Carroll then had his shot saved by Broster whilst Bailey scored to level the score at 2-2. Last of the nominated players for Sheffield was White, who beat the keeper despite guessing the correct way. Arnold then saw Davies put the ball in the net to level at 3-3 and into sudden death. Sheffield captain Hilton took the reponsibility on and confidently beat Broster to put the visitors back in front. Arnold centre back Peel stepped up, but his shot was wide of the post and Sheffield were through to the League Cup Final once again.
How this match went beyond ninety minutes is totally due to the excellent display of Lee Broster in the Arnold goal, and he can feel bitterly disappointed but on the balance of play it was Sheffield who deservedly booked their place to play Harrogate Railway at Dimple Wells, Ossett on Tuesday 3rd May. Before that though, there is the small matter of Selby Town in the league.
BTF Club Man Of The Match - Stavros Kontou
Arnold Town: Broster, A.Bailey, Davies, Starbuck (White), Peel, Hodgson, Back, C.Bailey, Bogan (Hung), Huckerby, Teed. Unused Sub; Middleton
Sheffield: Bonnington, Hilton, Kontou, Jones, Cressey, Anson, O'Carroll, Marsh, Ward, Cheetham (White), Tevendale (Carrington) Unused Sub;Holmes

Sheffield 4 Brodsworth MW 1
NCEFL Premier Division
Saturday, 23/04/05

It was a stroll in the April sunshine for Club this afternoon, as they casually cast Brodsworth aside with a comfortable victory over a very lacklustre opposition with ease, scoring four goals without ever getting out of the low gears. In a game that meant very little to Sheffield in the way of end of season placings, they looked to be winners from the off, it was however an excellent warm-up for the difficult week ahead. The win was wrapped up despite resting keeper Darren Bonnington who dislocated his finger prior to the semi final on Tuesday, with Neil Ferraby once again stepping up to deputise, with two goals from leading scorer Rob Ward, and one each from James Tevendale and a spectacular from Ben Cressey - Darren Erskine getting the reply for Brodsworth.
Despite the constant onslaught they were to endure for the ninety minutes, Broddy were the ones who got the first effort on goal in the opening minute, Paul Bradley broke through and made Neil Ferraby produce a spectacular save, tipping the ball over the bar. Sheffield started to impose themselves on the game shortly after and created some decent chances; Chris Hilton went close, shooting wide after a great break down the left by James Tevendale, whilst Rob Ward went pretty close with an early header. A good move involving a pinpoint long ball from Ben Cressey was headed down by Ward into the path of Tevendale, the shot went wide, but it signalled the goals were about to come. And they did starting in the 26th minute, a Cressey corner was met by WARD rising in the area, the under siege Welfare keeper Tim Whitehouse could do little but help direct it into the goal. Three minutes later and it was two, and a cracker it was too - Ryan O'Carroll's free-kick from twenty five yards out was rifled into the wall, the ball fell to CRESSEY just inside the Brodsworth half who hit it first time, looping the ball over the flailing Whitehouse and into the net.
The second half saw more of the same from Sheffield, and sadly more of the same in the way of comedic defending from the visitors, as once more Sheffield created all the chances; O'Carroll going close with a shot over the bar, after being set up by Ward. In the 56th minute and quite against the run of play, Sheffield conceded a goal in a rare attack by Welfare, a free kick by Ryan Carmody was met by a powerful header by ERSKINE, giving Ferraby little chance. That goal stung the hosts into action once again and two minutes after conceding, the two goal cushion was restored, with TEVENDALE firing under the hapless Whitehouse after the equally inept defence failed to deal with a Hilton throw. How the home side didn't run up a cricket score after this is a wonder, the defence seemed unable and uninspired to deal with the onslaught the hosts threw at them, and a mixture of dumb luck and good fortune saved their blushes. Tevendale saw his header somehow tipped onto the post by Whitehouse, whilst Michael Carmody managed to volley the ball against his own woodwork moments later, and not content with this Neil Towler added to the shambolic defending by heading against his own bar. Eventually a fourth did come in the 74th minute, a Stavros Kontou cross was met easily by WARD, the header leaving Whitehouse unsurprisingly no chance at all.
Despite the ease of the victory, this win should put the hosts in good spirits for the difficult week ahead, and in particular the two semi final ties at each end of the week. Hopefully the team will be able to emulate today's result and come out with at least two victories, hopefully taking us to the two finals, the other game however has a massive bearing on the direction of the league title - maybe we can put a spanner in the works of that one too and nick an unexpected third place finish, hopefully.
BTF Club Man Of The Match - Rob Ward
Sheffield FC: Ferraby, Hilton, Kontou, Jones, Cressey, Anson (Holmes), O'Carroll, Ingall (White), Ward, Cheetham, Tevendale (Carrington).
Brodsworth Welfare: Whitehouse, Morling, Slater, Ball, Erskine, M.Carmody, Lackie (Cooke), R.Carmody, Bradley, Sykes, Towler. Subs Not Used: Radford, Rose.
Att: 141.

Sheffield v Arnold Town
League Cup Semi Final
Tuesday, 19/04/05

Harrogate Railway will have to wait a little longer to find out who their opponents are going to be in this season's League Cup Final, as extra time failed to separate the two teams, with a replay next Monday needed to decide who should progress. Arnold came from behind twice in this end-to-end encounter to take the replay back to Gedling Road, with goals from Scott Huckerby and Darren Bogan doing the business, whilst Sheffield's goals came from Richard Carrington and Chris White.
Any thoughts that Arnold would be a pushover, given their 7-0 defeat at Liversedge on Saturday, were dispelled in the first couple of minutes when Darren Bogan took the ball round Darren Bonnington, with Tom Jones having to clear the danger by heading over his own bar. After the opening fifteen minutes where both teams probed for openings, Sheffield started to step up a few gears and created a series of meaningful chances; Rob Ward tested Lee Broster with a powerful header from a standing start, whilst Caine Cheetham had two good opportunities with his head - the first from a Chris Hilton cross that was directed at Broster, the second flicked just wide with Richard Carrington the provider. In the 39th minute though Sheffield did get to open the scoring, and it was fully deserved as CARRINGTON found himself in space; the young winger steadied himself and shot, Broster could only parry back into the Sheffield player's direction, once again he steadied himself and this time he made sure by rifling home from six yards.
Sheffield opened the second period with an opportunity from one of several corners the home side forced; Craig Marsh seeing his goalbound effort blocked by Andy Davies, after a goalmouth mêlée saw the ball land at his feet. Ten minutes into the half the Eagles got an equaliser, and it has to be said it came against the run of play and out of nothing; HUCKERBY hooking the ball on the turn past Bonnington who was seemingly rooted to the spot. Arnold started to have their period of dominating the play, and the game started to take and end to end pattern, with both teams looking as though they could be the likely winners. In the 67th minute it looked like that would be Sheffield, as for the second time in the game they put their noses in front; WHITE finding himself in space, turned his marker and shot with a slight deflection taking the ball into the top corner, the Arnold keeper Broster never had a chance. That looked to be the deciding moment, but with five minutes of the game to go Arnold pushed forward and got a deserved equaliser; Sheffield failing to clear a corner and BOGAN drove the ball through the crowded area to take the tie to extra time. Overtime never looked like providing a winner, with the replay looming on the horizon; Chris White for Sheffield, and Scott Huckerby for Arnold, both had opportunities to grab the victory for their teams, with James Tevendale coming closest of the lot seeing his shot tipped round the post by Broster.
Sheffield never really looked like losing this tie at any stage, but they must be kicking themselves for not putting the game to bed when they were in the driving seat, especially when they went ahead twice. The game on Monday at Arnold will be an interesting encounter, with both sides firmly believing they will have the ability to do enough to get their name in the final, although who the favourites are remains to be seen. Sheffield won the league encounter at a canter earlier in the season, whilst Arnold will be hoping home advantage will swing the tie their way.
BTF Club Man Of The Match - Richard Carrington
Sheffield FC: Bonnington, Hilton, Cressey, Jones, Marsh, Anson (Watson), O'Carroll (Ingall), Carrington, Ward, Cheetham (Tevendale), White.
Arnold Town: Broster, Brady, Davies, White, Hodgson, Peel, Back, Bogan (Middleton), Wilkins, Huckerby, Teed. Subs Not Used: Bailey, Saxton.
Att: 189.

Sheffield 1 Thackley 0
NCEFL Premier Division
Saturday, 16/04/05

Scorer: Caine Cheetham 73 mins
With Sheffield's title challenge over for another season it was time to get back to winning ways in preparation for the forthcoming League Cup semi final later this coming week.
Sheffield almost took the lead as early as the second minute when a free kick by Carrington was headed back into the goalmouth by Marsh, but Jones couldn't get over the ball and it went high over the bar. The next effort on goal was by the visitors, as Nelson found space on the edge of the area but he drilled his shot wide of the post without troubling Bonnington. Sheffield were having the best of the possession, Stavros Kontou shooting wide after a good run down the flank. On the half hour mark it was the visitors who came nearest to scoring as a good break on the right saw the ball played inside to Larkin who smashed a shot against the bar, with Bonnington appearing to get the merest of touches to help the ball onto the bar with the rest of the Sheffield defence stood watching. The home side then had to make an early substitution with Ward coming on to replace the injured Jones.
With neither keeper having to make a save in the first half it was Bainbridge in the visitors net who was first into action as Marsh hit a shot which was well held. Chances were at a premium as the game generated into a midfield battle. Sheffield went close once more when a goalbound header from Cheetham was clawed away for a corner. Next up was Ward, who was inches away from connecting with a Carrington cross. The breakthrough finally arrived on 73 minutes. Some good work on the right saw the ball played into Carrington, who controlled the ball and shot on the turn, the keeper was quick to make the initial save, but could only parry the ball and CHEETHAM was first to react to stab the ball home. The home side had a few more chances to make the game safe, but were unable to conjure up another goal. With less than five minutes left Thackley looked like they were going to snatch an equaliser as Bonnington was left stranded, but Kontou was on hand to clear off the line. Another three points gained as Sheffield look for their best ever league placing, now it's time to turn our eyes to Tuesday's League Cup Semi Final against Arnold Town, 7-0 losers today at Liveresdge.
BTF Club Man Of The Match - Stavros Kontou
Sheffield: Bonnington, Hilton, Kontou, Jones, (Ward), Marsh, Cressey, Ingall, Carrington, Cheetham, White(Tevendale), Anson, Unused Sub:- O'Carroll.
Thackley: Bainbridge, Walters, Packer, Tye, Sugden, RileyJ., Etienne, Larkin(Oliver), Riley L., Johnson (Fallon), Nelson. Unused Sub :- Andrew.
Attendance: Approx 150

Eccleshill United 2 Sheffield 1
NCEFL Premier Division
Tuesday, 12/04/05

Sheffield wrapped up their away league programme with a defeat at Plumpton Park this evening, losing to a last minute goal against Eccleshill United, despite having a one-man advantage for the whole of the second half. In a physical encounter the hosts were reduced to ten men just prior to half time as Robert Morgan was dismissed for a crude challenge on James Tevendale, but the Bradford side still looked likely to hold on to an early lead from a Saul Peltier goal until Craig Marsh appeared to have saved a point for the visitors late on; that was denied however when Andrew Phillips grabbed the late winner with virtually the last kick of the game.
The rock hard pitch made fluent football very difficult for both sides, although Sheffield made all the early running and had the best of the chances; Richard Carrington shot just over the bar in the opening minutes, whilst Stavros Kontou used his pace and managed to dig out at cross from an almost impossible position, Tevendale's effort wasn't that far away. Rob Ward beat a pretty shaky offside line and was inches wide with his finish, however seconds later in the 19th minute Eccleshill found themselves in a similar position albeit against the run of play, PELTIER kept his nerve to lob Bonnington to give the home side an unlikely lead. Sheffield continued to do all the running, but it appeared that luck wouldn't be on their side, a point emphasised as Carrington's half hit volley was diverted on to his own post by Matt Tinsley and out for a corner. The Eagles charmed life continued from the resulting restart as Tom Jones' effort was cleared off the line by Scott Price, and the big Sheffield defender was denied moments after; his header excellently saved by the keeper Craig Bates. On the stroke of half time a long Bonnington clearance deceived the Eccleshill defence, leaving Tevendale clear on goal and an odds-on favourite to grab an equaliser, his run was thwarted however by an uncouth challenge by the central defender Morgan - giving referee Tyas very little option but to produce a red card.
The first half was niggly to say the least, with some challenges and confrontations leaving a lot to be desired from both teams; however the second period was relatively flat as Eccleshill set their stall out to defend the one goal lead with the ten men they had left on the field. Chances were at a premium for the visitors, who were being made to work for every scrap, with the best chances coming from Rob Ward (who produced a good save from Bates) and Chris Hilton (who went close following a flick on from Asa Ingall). Eventually the pressure paid off for Club, and in the 87th minute a flick on fell kindly at the feet of MARSH, who volleyed into the net to give Sheffield a sniff of the points. The parity was very brief as the visitors were caught on the hop once more, as a long hopeful ball found PHILLIPS in space, who eventually got the ball round Bonnington to give the Bradford side all three points.
One bright note from tonight's defeat was the first appearance of the season for Paul Bagshaw, making a welcome comeback from the substitute's bench following a lengthy lay-off. The defeat means promotion is effectively out of Sheffield's reach for this season, although there are still two hopes of silverware left on the horizon, however the league programme still has to be completed with three home fixtures still to be played - starting with Thackley this Saturday.
BTF Club Man Of The Match - Craig Marsh
Eccleshill United: Bates, Wilson, Dolan, Tyson, Morgan, Jones, Price, Peltier, Twitchen, Phillips, Tinsley. Subs: Murray, Dempsey, Lyons.
Sheffield FC: Bonnington, Hilton, Kontou, Jones, Marsh, Anson (Bagshaw), Ingall, Carrington, Ward, Tevendale (Cheetham), Holmes (White).
Att: 45.

Borrowash Victoria 3 Sheffield 3
NCEFL Premier Division
Saturday, 09/04/05

A very late goal from Darren Holmes saved Sheffield's blushes this afternoon at the Robinson Construction Bowl, leaving it until the third minute of injury time to deny Victoria their first win of the season, although it wasn't enough to give Club the three points they desperately needed to maintain their promotion push. Rob Ward got two early goals to give the visitors a dream start, but goals from Briscoe, Brady and Hill swung the lead to the hosts, before being cruelly denied by Holmes' late equaliser.
It looked to be plain sailing for Sheffield at the start though, as a cross from Chris White caught on the swirling win and hit the bar in the opening minute, causing Steve Smith in the Borrowash goal all manner of problems. The scoring wasn't long in coming; Lee Vernon's corner beat everyone in the home defence, with the unmarked WARD heading home in the third minute. Eight minutes later and Sheffield looked to be coasting, Ben Cressey played a pin-point ball to Caine Cheetham who had beaten the offside trap, and Cheetham unselfishly squared the ball to WARD who finished despite the attentions of Andy Fowler. Cheetham could have made it three mid-way through the half, following a whipped cross by White, the Sheffield forward unfortunately looked to be inches away from making enough contact to score. The visitors appeared as though they would be able to score at will, but had to be thankful to Darren Bonnington at the other end who made two great one-handed saves; the first from Aaron Brady, the second from Robert Briscoe. With two minutes of the half left Borrowash managed to pull a goal back, a corner from Matt Hill was only half cleared to the edge of the area, BRISCOE shot home with the aid of a possible deflection.
The late goal buoyed Borrowash in the second half, and they seemed to be able to take control of the game, especially given the loss of Sheffield's influential centre-back Tom Jones. Steve Smith came to the Vics' rescue early on, possibly giving more heart to his team, when he blocked a point-blank effort from Caine Cheetham. In the 63rd minute the hosts were level, route one football leaving the Sheffield defence in a daze, with BRADY going on to lob Bonnington. Smith was having an inspired afternoon, and it was he who stopped Sheffield regaining the lead, again stopping a point-blank shot in a goalmouth mêlée - this time from Asa Ingall. Smith also set up the third goal for the home team in the 75th minute; a long clearance by the keeper found Matt Hill one-on-one with Bonnington, HILL showed great composure to thread the ball beyond the Sheffield keeper. A sense of desperation crept into Sheffield's game, and rightly so, as they piled forward in numbers - but again Smith was able to bat and punch everything their opponents could throw at them. In the last minute of normal time it looked inevitable that Cressey would be able to slam the ball home, in yet another goalmouth scramble, yet again Smith proved to be Club's undoing as he palmed the ball away. In the third minute of stoppage time, another corner was whipped in from White, the ball was scrambled to the edge of the area to the coolest man on the field who managed to keep his head, HOLMES managing to save the day and slam home the equaliser.
At least Club managed to avoid the ignominy of being the first team to lose to the league's basement club, but it is unlikely to be enough to keep them in with a realistic chance of taking the title. As for the performance on the day - believe it or not in a game where there were six goals conceded, the best players on both teams were the keepers; if not for them the score could have been higher for both sides. All in all, probably a day best forgotten in the greater scheme of things.
BTF Man of the Match: Darren Bonnington.
Borrowash Victoria: Smith, Khan, Burton (Adul), Briscoe, De Reus, Fowler, Parker (Brown), Murphy, Dale (Thompson), Brady, Hill.
Sheffield FC: Bonnington, Hilton, Vernon (Kontou), Jones (Holmes), Cressey, Ingall, O'Carroll, Carrington (Tevendale), Ward, Cheetham, White.
Att: 54.

Hallam 3 Sheffield 5
NCEFL Premier Division
Tuesday, 05/04/05

The build up couldn't have been tenser tonight at Sandygate, in the latest encounter between the World's Oldest football rivals, with both teams desperate for the points. Hallam wanted something in their quest to avoid the drop into Division One, whilst Sheffield need every available point if they are to remain in the hunt for the sole promotion spot, the result however turned out in favour of the visitors who hammered five past their rivals for the second time this season. Despite hitting three past Darren Bonnington, goals from Rob Ward, Caine Cheetham, Richard Carrington, Darren Holmes and Chris White ensured Hallam have an uneasy run in to the close of the season.
Early evening rain had made the pitch very greasy as Sheffield kicked down the slope for the first half. It was an even start by both sides but it was Hallam who got their noses in front on 8 minutes when a cross from the Sheffield right was met by ex_sheffield stiker SMITH who rose unchallenged to head home from close range with the Sheffield defence stood watching. The visitors responded by putting more pressure on Hallam with Ingall going close as his header was scooped away at the near post by Spooner. On 24 minutes the visitors were level. A fine run by Carrington released White on the wing and his cross found CHEETHAM lurking in the area to calmly knock the ball past another former Club man in Danny Spooner.  Just after the half hour mark Sheffield took the lead through CARRINGTON, when some typical trickery saw him play a one-two with Ward and put the return beyond the despairing reach of an overworked Spooner. However the lead only lasted a minute as FRANKLIN was able to capitalize on slack defending to poke the ball home via the inside of the post. The healthy crowd were certainly getting their money's worth this half and the scoring wasn't finished yet. On 45 minutes Sheffield were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box. As Carrington drilled the ball into the wall, he got the rebound and tried to squirm his way through only to be fouled in the area. Up stepped goal machine WARD to blast the ball into the net to see the visitors edge ahead once again as the half time whistle blew.
Looking at previous encounters at Sandygate, with the obstacle of playing uphill in the second period, the single goal lead looked tenuous to say the least. Those worries lasted just seven minutes as Club grabbed a fourth; more pressure on the Hallam defence saw an attack only half cleared, the ball landed as far as HOLMES who unleashed a spectacular drive from distance that left Spooner grasping at air and sending the visiting fans into raptures. Sheffield looked at ease, and there was only going to be one winner from hereon in, although the hosts still posed a bit of a threat with the hill in their favour. Bonnington had to be at his best to turn a shot from Wilson round the post, this after the bounce deceived everyone in the Sheffield defence, including the even normally unflappable Tom Jones. In the 61st minute though it was game set and match for Club, as some great interplay between Carrington and White mesmerised the defence, Spooner was able to stop the initial shot from WHITE but had no answer to the winger's rebound. At 5-2 Sheffield could have been forgiven for taking their foot off the gas a little, and they were given food for thought two minutes later; FRANKLIN striking the ball home after a brief mêlée in the visitors' area. That was it as far as scoring was concerned, although both teams had chances to add to their tally; Danny Campbell had a shot from the edge of the area deflected wide, and towards the end Rob Ward could have made it six if he had made contact with a wicked cross from the left wing that skidded along the Hallam goal-line.
What a way to bounce back from the disappointment of the weekend, and what a place to do it with the first local derby "double" for some time. The emphatic nature of the win shows the team still have the spirit to achieve the ultimate goal of promotion, so long as they can keep the focus shown tonight. The other results tonight didn't do Sheffield many favours, but to be fair the season does ultimately remain in our own hands - starting with a trip to Borrowash on Saturday, who proved against Selby tonight they were no pushovers.
BTF Club Man Of The Match - Richard Carrington
Hallam FC: Spooner, Wood, Mellon, Storey, Murray, Franklin, Axcell, D.Campbell, Smith, Wilson, Gallaher (R.Campbell). Subs Not Used: Askey, Tibbenham.
Sheffield FC: Bonnington, Hilton, Vernon (Kontou), Jones, Cressey, Ingall, Holmes, Carrington, Ward, Cheetham (Tevendale), White. Sub Not Used: Elam.
Att: 250 (approx) 

Goole 2  Sheffield 1
NCEFL Premier Division
Saturday, 02/04/05

Sheffield's championship hopes took a massive hit this afternoon at a sunny VPG, as a two goal salvo from Paddy Gaughan proved to be the visitors' undoing in a vital "six-pointer", giving Goole's own promotion aspirations a massive boost. In front of a sizable attendance the Vikings managed to do enough to get the win they needed to put themselves back in contention at the top of the Northern Counties East Premier Division, putting them in the top place on goal difference, although they have played one more game than Selby who drop to second.
Goole looked a threat from the off; Steve Davey's cross following his break down the wing in the eighth minute had the Sheffield defence scrambling, fortunately the bobble on the uneven surface deceived Gary Shaw who saw the ball spin over his foot. This set the pattern for much of the half, as moments later Danny Ames volleyed just wide of the goal from distance. Sheffield managed to get on top for a period of time and caused a few problems, the main instigator being leading scorer Rob Ward, who's shot from eighteen yards was on target but didn't cause Chris Hill too many concerns. The best chance came as Ward got the better of Hill shortly after as he took the ball beyond the keeper, the ball fell into the path of Danny Anson with the goal unguarded, however the Sheffield midfielder couldn't get over the ball with such a difficult bounce and volleyed over the empty net. James Tevendale put Chris White through on goal, only some good defending denied an almost certain goal. The opening goal came in the 26th minute, and was a bit of a bolt from the blue really, as the ball broke to GAUGHAN on the edge of the area who in turn cracked the ball in off the bar. The lead was short-lived as on the half hour mark Sheffield pulled an equaliser back from a contentious penalty, Tevendale adjudged to have been felled by Ian MacLean in the area after being put through by Richard Carrington; WARD stepped up and made no mistake slamming the ball beyond Hill. With three minutes of the half remaining Goole regained the lead they were able to keep to the end of the game, Shaw drilled the ball across the goal, a dummy at the near post left GAUGHAN clear at the back post, who in turn was able to put the ball into the net.
The second period saw Goole try to press home their advantage, and had several chances to put the game beyond Sheffield's reach, starting with Danny Ames who nearly converted a deep corner by Ian MacLean. Gary Shaw was denied by a great sliding tackle from the advancing Darren Bonnington, the ball then spun away to Steve Davey who slid the ball against the post, with everyone transfixed seemingly expecting a certain goal. Gaughan had a golden opportunity to get his hat-trick, he skewed the ball wide of the mark, whilst Nigel Danby was allowed a free header which he placed over the bar. Not even a trademark double-substitution from Dave McCarthy could alter things, as Sheffield changed to a three up front formation in a bid to level things up with a more attack-minded approach. Ben Cressey came to Sheffield's rescue by clearing off the line, whilst substitute Adam Walker spurned a chance of getting the killer goal, his header going over the bar with no-one causing him any pressure. As Sheffield piled forward towards the end they almost got an equaliser, as Ryan O'Carroll's free-kick caused mayhem in the Vikings' box, with Rob Ward's flick header missing the target by inches. Goole managed to hold on to the lead though, and at the end the home team were deserved victors.
This is a big dent in Club's hopes of a top place finish, putting a great deal of pressure on themselves in the run-in, with little scope for a slip-up. Goole on the other hand will feel this will give them the upper hand in the "big picture", especially as other contenders Selby have some pretty difficult games still to come, however their patchy form shouldn't give them cause for false hope - as they still need to win their three remaining fixtures to be sure of taking the title. As for Sheffield? It isn't over yet - win all remaining six games and the title could be theirs - not easy, but certainly not impossible!
BTF Club Man Of The Match - Tom Jones
Goole AFC: Hill, Sumner, MacLean, Ames, Watts, Danby, Gaughan (A.Walker), Davey, Shaw (Eastwood), Whitehead, Willoughby (P.Walker).
Sheffield FC: Bonnington, Hilton, Cressey, Jones, Marsh, Anson (Cheetham), O'Carroll, Carrington (Ingall), Ward, Tevendale, White (Holmes).

Sheffield 0  Glasshoughton Welfare 0
NCEFL Premier Division
Easter Monday, 28/03/05

Club were frustrated in their efforts to close the gap at the top of the table this afternoon, as Glasshoughton managed to hold out for a hard earned point at the Coach and Horses. In a game that looked to be a home banker on paper, the visitors came and set their stall out for a draw, defending deep and hitting the hosts on the break - and they achieved their goal ; however in the end it could have gone either way.
Sheffield started the game brightly, and it only looked to be a matter of time before they started a repeat of the reverse fixture prior to Christmas. Richard Carrington went closest for the hosts, after he whipped an impressive effort on goal, unfortunately it didn't hit the target - setting a pattern for the rest of the game. If anything, despite all the pressure by the home side, the visitors had the better of the chances in the opening period. Glasshoughton's prolific striker Lee Parker should have given Welfare the lead on 17 minutes, after he broke through the defence to be clear on goal; on another day he might have scored - today however the finished product was poor to say the least. The Castleford side's best player on the day, Remo Nesa, also had a chance ten minutes before the interval after breaking through the Sheffield defence, and he could count himself unlucky as his shot from distance went inches wide.
The second half saw pretty much of the same, Sheffield pressing forward whilst Glasshoughton sat deep and absorbed the pressure, then hitting on the counter-attack. Five minutes into the half Rob Ward was denied what looked a certain goal, turning and shooting following a cross from Caine Cheetham; only a great save from Thomas Morgan stopped the hosts grabbing the lead. The chances started to come thick and fast for Sheffield, but no-one was able to apply the crucial finishing touch to give Club their just desserts; Carrington saw his effort deflected just wide, whilst Chris White was blocked at point-blank range once more by an inspired Morgan. Glasshoughton's sturdy defence continued to hold firm with Sheffield unable to break them down sufficiently, and it looked as if they would get a smash and grab at the other end when Parker broke through again, this time Darren Bonnington was on hand to stop what would have been a goal against the run of play. Club continued to be thwarted at the other end; substitute James Tevendale went close from the edge of the area, whilst Richard Carrington could have sealed it with a minute to go after his volley went narrowly wide following Ben Cressey's cross. In injury time Carrington went close again, heading wide after a short session of head tennis in the area, but in the end the stalemate remained.
Sheffield could count themselves pretty unlucky on a very frustrating afternoon for players and spectators alike, but everyone must accept you can't win every game. With Goole losing at Thackley and Harrogate also only drawing today, the result isn't as bad as it first looks. Hopefully Sheffield can get back up and on the winning trail, starting next week with a big game, and it doesn't come much bigger than Saturday's trip to second place Goole.
BTF Club Man Of The Match - Danny Anson
Sheffield FC: Bonnington, Hilton, Vernon (Cressey), Jones, Marsh, Anson, Ingall (O'Carroll), Carrington, Ward (Tevendale), Cheetham, White.
Glasshoughton Welfare: Morgan, Liversedge, Wilkes, Mattison, Hanson, Thompson, Nesa (Holmes), Russell, Parker, Newton, Seed. Subs Not Used: Leech, Fieldhouse.
Att: 157.

Long Eaton United 0 Sheffield 2
NCEFL Premier Division
Saturday, 26/03/05

Scorer:- Rob Ward 47th & 50th minutes
The start of the Easter weekend saw Sheffield looking for another victory on the road following on from last weeks last gasp win at Liversedge writes Trev. On a greasy surface due to rain for most of the morning it was the home side who had the first real chance when Newton latched on to a ball played in from the left and unleashed a shot which was well saved by Bonnington. Sheffield started to have the better play, especially down the Long Eaton right as Holmes was tormenting them every time he had the ball. However, on 23 minutes his attacking options were curtailed when Cressey was forced to leave the action injured, to be replaced by White, who took over the left wing slot. The Sheffield defence looked comfortable and were easily dealing with any threat the home side posed, but despite a lot of possession Whalin was rarely troubled in the home goal, although top scorer Ward was making life difficult for the home defenders ! Long Eaton had a great chance to break the deadlock on 37 minutes when  former Club man James Parkinson was left unmarked in the area but his snatched shot went wide of the target. At the other end, Marsh was unlucky as his header bounced down and then onto the bar with Whalin stranded in no mans land.
The second half got off to an explosive start as on 47 minutes a cross from the Sheffield right saw WARD first to the ball to gaknce a header past the keeper, who was trying to claim that the striker had scored using his hand. Three minutes later a free kick by O'Carroll was charged down, but he was the first to react and his second shot found WARD onside to poke the ball home. This helped to settle the visitors who were now able to pass the ball about with more fluidity, letting Long Eaton do all the chasing. White was next to test the keeper as his rasping shot brought a full length save out of Whalin. The home side did have their chances, one being a shot from Burke which Bonnington saved at point blank range. However, it was Sheffield who came away with the points with yet another victory on the road to put the pressure on leaders Goole, Selby and Harrogate Railway.
BTF Club Man Of The Match - Darren Holmes.
Long Eaton United: Whalin, Newton (Beldham), Mcginty, Mckenzie, Dyce, Carder, Parkinson, Wilkinson (Burke), Mabon, Weston, Breach. Unused Sub: Heath
Sheffield: Bonnington, Hilton , Cressey (White), Jones, Marsh, Anson (Ingall), O'Carroll, Carrington, Ward, Tevendale (Cheetham), Holmes.

Liversedge 1 Sheffield 2
NCEFL Premier Division
Saturday, 19/03/05

The sun shone on Sheffield in more ways than one this afternoon at the Claybourn, as history repeated itself from last season, with this fixture ending in almost identical fashion. Replace a freezing cold Tuesday evening in October with a pleasantly sunny Spring Saturday in March, give the home side a few minutes longer to open the scoring, change the goal-scoring heroes for Sheffield whilst keeping the same never-say-die attitude and the late winner and you have today's game. This time the hero of the hour was James Tevendale whose last minute strike, following on from a Rob Ward penalty, was the difference between the two sides with Chris Walton scoring for Liversedge.
As with the corresponding game last season, Sheffield couldn't have had a worse start, as Liversedge took advantage of the visitor's inability to come to terms with the pitch by striding into the lead in the seventh minute. A long throw into the Club area was not cleared convincingly enough, with the home skipper WALTON reacting sharpest to the ball, prodding home through a crowd of players to give the hosts a deserved lead. Sheffield could have had a bigger mountain to climb ten minutes on if Scott Broughton had been able to finish better, an excellent through ball from Gareth Hamlet found the Sedge wide-man in acres of space; unfortunately for the home team his eventual finish was wasteful to say the least as it ended high wide and not very handsome. Sheffield weren't giving Kyle Sutcliffe in the Liversedge goal anything to worry about, only a shot from Chris White managed to land on target in the first forty-five minutes, and that was comfortably dealt with by the big keeper. Just before the interval Club had their best opportunity to get level, Caine Cheetham putting White through on goal, sadly the resulting shot whistled just over.
After an uninspiring first half, a triple substitution by Dave McCarthy saw the game spring to life, with the game transforming from a dull midfield battle into an interesting end-to-end battle. In the 57th minute Sheffield got their just desserts for their efforts as a long ball to James Tevendale saw the forward's run to goal halted by a blatant handball by Danny Lowe, giving referee Esat little doubt in awarding the penalty despite the vociferous protests from the home defence. Up to the plate stepped Club's leading scorer Rob Ward, who'd only been on the pitch a matter of moments, and WARD sent Sutcliffe the wrong way to get Sheffield back into the game for his 21st of the season. This decision and the resulting goal gave the home side a great deal of frustration as they became more vocal in their protests, the referee despite provocation, did well in managing to keep the game both under control and with it's full complement of players as it threatened at times to bubble over. Either team could have snatched all three points as the game wore on, and both sides had a golden opportunity to claim victory towards the end; firstly Sheffield could have had the ball in the net as Tevendale crossed the ball across the face of the goal, with every defender missing the ball it seemed to be routine for Richard Carrington to slam the ball home, somehow though the ball bobbled on the uneven surface and not only baffled Carrington, but Rob Ward as well who was lurking just behind him. The ball then whizzed up the other end of the field where John Borland headed the ball against the bar, the rebound fell kindly to Borland once more who managed to get a shot on goal, only a typical reaction save from Darren Bonnington saved the day. The goal when it did come was as late as you'd like it to win a game - in the last minute, and it was a long ball up field into the area where Ward was causing all manner of confusion for the defence, the ball fell at the feet of TEVENDALE who struck the ball sweetly into the corner of the net.
This was not the prettiest of games to watch, but in the end it was the result that mattered, and it was team spirit the won through for Club. A battling performance was the key, with Danny Anson once again running the midfield, and star performances from Tom Jones and Craig Marsh at the back stifling any threat Sedge had to offer in the second half. With Selby and Goole both failing to win today, this fantastic result helped close the gap with the top two - as Dave McCarthy said after the game "what a place to come and win!" How very true indeed!
BTF Club Man Of The Match - Tom Jones
Liversedge: Sutcliffe, Wood, Lowe, Markham, Stansfield, Farrand, Walton, Borland, Cygan (Marshall), Hamlet, Broughton (Haigh). Sub Not Used: Milnes.
Sheffield FC: Bonnington, White (Holmes), Cressey, Jones, Marsh, Anson, O'Carroll, Ingall (Carrington), Cheetham (Ward), Tevendale, Vernon.
Att: 110

Sheffield 4 Mickleover Sports 0
League Cup Fourth Round
Tuesday, 15/03/05

With one Semi Final appearance already guaranteed, tonight was a chance to double that as once more Sheffield were on the hunt for silverware in the shape of the League Cup writes Trev. After Saturday's demolition of near neighbours Hallam, tonight was a much tougher prospect as they faced last years losing finalists Mickleover Sports, who no doubt wanted to make amends for last season.
Sheffield made all the early running although it was home keeper Bonnington who had to make the first real save of the match as he tipped a shot around the post on a rare Mickleover attack.  Up at the other end, Jones was unlucky in the 14th minute as his header was cleared off the line from a corner. Two minutes later though and Sheffield were on the scoreboard. White broke down the Mickleover left and put the ball through to the onrushing TEVENDALE who cooly lifted it over the outstretched arms of Penty. With Sheffield in dominant mood the score was doubled on 31 minutes. A good one-two between Cheetham and Tevendale saw CHEETHAM with his sights on goal and he made no mistake from close range. With the Mickleover defence in disarray it was almost three straight after as Ingall put the ball into the path of White, but his shot was wide of the post. However it wasn't long before another goal was forthcoming as on 36 minutes a through ball from central midfield found CHEETHAM all on his own, and once again Penty was left clutching thin air as the ball hit the back of the net.
Just after the break Cheetham had a great opportunity to grab his hat-trick when unmarked in the six yard box, but his shot was wayward. Once again Bonnington was called into action as a rare attack by the visitors was dealt with by the keeper who palmed the ball away to safety. On 66 minutes it was TEVENDALE who celebrating his brace of goals. Cheetham won the ball in the middle of the park and released the unmarked striker who had time to weigh up his options before putting the ball beyond the reach of Penty.  Bonnington then beat a shot out to ensure that the defence kept a clean sheet .
With the game already won, Manager McCarthy gave all the substitutes a run out. In the end it turned out to be an easy win and progress into the semi-finals. Next up it's back to league action with a trip to Liversedge.
Sheffield:- Bonnington, White, Cressey, Jones, Marsh, Anson (Carrington), O Carroll, Ingall (Holmes), Cheetham (Ward), Tevendale, Vernon.
Mickleover Sports:- Penty, Broadhurst, Holness, Braithwaite, Strzyzeski, Wraith, Betteridge, Stevens, Hudson, Leighton, Mays. Subs:(Middleditch, Wilson, Pratley)
Attendance:  110
BTF Club Man Of The Match - James Tevendale

Sheffield 5 Hallam 1
NCEFL Premier Division
Saturday, 12/03/05

A Rob Ward hat-trick in twenty one first half minutes helped Club beat local rivals Hallam at The Coach & Horses.
Stu writes:- The league's highest attendance of the season was on hand to enjoy the World's Oldest Derby in the Spring sunshine this afternoon at the Coach and Horses, as for the second time in five days Sheffield Club destroyed one of their local rivals, this time Hallam were the victims in a five goals to one drubbing in a game that was over as a contest by the half time break. A first half hat-trick from leading scorer Rob Ward was enough to see the home side on their way to three more points, with Caine Cheetham and James Tevendale wrapping up the scoring for Sheffield, whilst a solitary strike from Tom Franklin was scant consolation for a poor Hallam side who were outclassed and outplayed in every area of the park. Dave McCarthy had selected the ideal team for this encounter, which in the past has been won by some gritty performances, whilst Guy Glover selected a side which included its fair share of ex-Clubbies who would be keyed up to put one over their former team-mates. Making a welcome return to the Sheffield side was Asa Ingall, after a spell away and following on from his brief appearance at Bracken Moor on Tuesday, along with Ben Cressey who had been missing from Club's last two games.

With the pitch looking the firmest it had for a while, the game had a lively look to it with both teams passing the ball with ease, although Sheffield looked the most comfortable of the two sides from the off. It took just seven minutes for Sheffield to show their attacking intentions, as Caine Cheetham broke down the left wing and chipped into the middle, unfortunately Richard Carrington could only scoop the ball wide of the mark. Carrington was the provider for the opening goal in the 24th minute, playing the ball through to WARD who did enough to hold Danny Howard off, before lofting the ball over the advancing Danny Spooner. The Hallam keeper was to have a torrid afternoon and in typical Spooner fashion he lifted his game to stem what would have been an avalanche of goals if not for his interventions, making several decent saves, one of which denied Cheetham a sure-fire goal on the half hour mark, blocking the forward's volley following a flick on from Rob Ward. There was little he could do to stop CHEETHAM in the 40th minute following a quick throw-in, Darren Holmes put a deep cross to the back post to the Sheffield Number Ten, whose half-volley had Spooner scrambling across the goal powerless to keep the ball from nestling in the corner. Two became three in the 42nd minute as Holmes, who was terrorising the Hallam defence with some telling runs, was felled in the box by Scott Mellon. Referee Bassendale, who never put a foot wrong all afternoon in a potentially fiery game, had no doubt in pointing to the spot, up stepped WARD to blast the ball down the middle of the goal. If that wasn't bad enough for the Blues, on the stroke of half time it was game over as Sheffield made it four. A mêlée in the box found the Hallam defence unable to clear the ball successfully, the ball broke as far as WARD in an impossible angle, but obviously not impossible enough as he slid the ball into the net to send the home fans into the break delirious with his third of the game.
With the game won the Sheffield manager took his opportunity to make some early substitutions, taking off the hard working Ingall and Holmes, and giving Hallam a chance by resting Ward. That was scant consolation for the Countrymen as on 59 minutes Sheffield made it five, with Ward's replacement getting on the scoresheet; a long ball saw TEVENDALE beat off the attention of Howard before slotting the ball as cool as you'd like under Spooner. A minute later Hallam blotted a perfect day for Sheffield by grabbing a consolation, FRANKLIN managing to get behind the defence to poke the ball under Bonnington and despite Chris Hilton's best efforts of trying to clear, the ball ended up in the net. Club thought they'd managed to bag a sixth in the 68th minute, a flick through by Carrington found Cheetham in space and able to slip the ball past Spooner, unfortunately the linesman had other ideas by awarding an offside decision. The rest of the game saw Sheffield ease through at half pace, with Danny Anson running everything on the park with a typically controlled display, and at no time did the visitors look like giving Darren Bonnington or the defenders anything of note to deal with. At the other end though Spooner was there to produce the save of the game, a tremendous point-blank block from Cheetham denying what would have given the game an even more one-sided slant to the scoreline.
Overall this was the performance Sheffield had threatened to turn in against their local rivals for the last few seasons, but never got around to achieving, although it has to be said this is probably the weakest Hallam side to have turned out against Club for many seasons. Even so the job had to be done, and it was done well, and there was still scope for Sheffield to have made this romp even bigger than it already was. The problem for Club though is that whilst they were going to town today, their rivals in the promotion chase were also winning, meaning the run in at the top is going to be one heck of an interesting one. Hallam on the other hand will be looking over their shoulders in the other direction, as Maltby close the gap between relegation and safety even more, they will be hoping that the season runs out before they get caught. Next in line for Club is a return to Cup action, this time in the shape of the League Cup Quarter Final, a Tuesday night at home fixture with Mickleover Sports the visitors.
BTF Club Man Of The Match - Danny Anson
Sheffield FC: Bonnington, Hilton, Cressey, Jones, Marsh, Anson, Ingall (O'Carroll), Carrington, Ward (Tevendale), Cheetham, Holmes (White).
Hallam FC: Spooner, Campbell, Mellon, Storey, Howard, Cotton (Moorwood), Parkin (Tibbenham), Franklin, Askey, Smith, Broomhead (Wilson).
Att: 508.

Stocksbridge PS 1 Sheffield FC 2
Sheffield & Hallamshire Senior Challenge Cup - Third Round
Tuesday, 08/03/05

Sheffield advanced into the semi-finals of the County Cup for yet another season, after once again beating higher league opposition on their own territory, with a victory that was more convincing than the score could ever begin to suggest. Two goals in the first half from Rob Ward and then Richard Carrington saw the visitors through; however a second half goal from ex-Sheffield skipper Darren Schofield made for an interesting finish, leaving Club thankful they weren't rueing the hatful of missed chances they had squandered during the game.
The game started in a lively vein as first Rob Ward headed a Richard Carrington cross just wide with only two minutes on the clock, with Ross Hannah nearly converting a long range shot at the other end two minutes later following a cleverly worked short corner. Out of the two teams Sheffield looked most likely to open the scoring, with Carrington running things down the right wing along with Chris White who caused problems down the left, and Ward and James Tevendale looking ever dangerous in the middle. The breakthrough came in the 22nd minute from a Carrington corner which was swung into the box, WARD rose head and shoulders above all in the box to head home. The lead was doubled in the 42nd minute as Tevendale broke through the fragile Steels defence, played the ball out to CARRINGTON who in turn shot from the angle through the arms of the keeper Oliver Schofield, who allowed the ball to squirm into the net. The game should have been put beyond doubt in injury time as once again Tevendale found himself in acres of space, with Ward in the middle with only the keeper and one defender to keep him company, however the end result was a weird mix between a cross and a shot and the ball somehow ended up going across the face of the goal and to safety.
Sheffield continued to dominate into the second period and should have wrapped it up early doors; another attack found the keeper totally at sixes and sevens and stranded towards the edge of the six yard box, the ball was squared across to Carrington who had the relatively simple task of putting the ball into the net, the shot was unfortunately a soft one and Gary Middleton managed to scramble the ball off the line. The hosts were being ripped to shreds and looked to have very few ideas that would break down a solid Sheffield defence that was marshalled with the usual efficiency by Tom Jones and Craig Marsh, but there was little they could do to stop Stocksbridge getting one back in the 62nd minute; albeit against the run of play, Sheffield had a little difficulty clearing a rare Steels attack, the ball fell nicely out to the captain SCHOFIELD who caught the ball sweetly on the half-volley to give Bonnington no chance. This gave a few moments of nerves for the away team, but soon enough they were settled again to dominate proceedings, hitting Stocksbridge on the break at ease. The pace of the forwards, and the introduction of Cheetham, gave the home defence plenty to think about and they could count themselves lucky the scoreline didn't become more emphatic. With moments to go Carrington cut behind the defence to slot the ball across the goal, Cheetham sliding in at the back post made contact, but was unable to steer the ball into the goal. An equaliser would have been a grave injustice given the way the game had gone, however Sheffield had to give a solid rearguard action to play the game out to a safe finale - in the end they were successful, they hung on and were deserved winners.
As with last year's performance in the same round away at Emley, Sheffield did all the work to win the game with comfort, but again the scoreline does scant justice to the superiority Club showed over their higher league opponents. There were some great performances throughout the team, too many to mention, hopefully they will continue this vein of form into Saturday where they face their second Derby in a week, this time a home league game at home to Hallam. A similar result and performance would do nicely thank you.
BTF Club Man Of The Match - Rob Ward
Stocksbridge Park Steels: O.Schofield, Robinson, Lowe, Hawes, D.Schofield, Middleton, C.Smith, A.Smith, Zoll (Bray), Hannah, Riley. Subs Not Used: Lavender, Knights.
Sheffield FC: Bonnington, Hilton, Vernon (Holmes), Jones, Marsh, Anson, O'Carroll (Ingall), Carrington, Ward (Cheetham), Tevendale, White.
Att: 112

Sheffield 2 Gedling Town 3
Presidents Cup Second Round
Tuesday, 22/02/05

The smallest home crowd of the season saw Club's interest in the Presidents Cup end for another year, on a bitterly cold night at the Coach and Horses, as First Division Gedling Town ran out deserved winners by three goals to two. The game was won with a two goal salvo early in the second half for the visitors, and although Club managed to pull one back with a spectacular effort from Richard Carrington late in the game, the match only looked to have one probable winner.
Sheffield started the game very lively and had the lower division visitors on the back for with some telling crosses into the box, the best of which came from James Tevendale which Caine Cheetham just failed to reach, however the game soon deteriorated with some poor passages of play from both sides. The contest started to liven up with ten minutes of the half remaining, with Darren Bonnington tipping an Archer effort just wide of the post; from the resulting corner THOMPSON rose above the pack to head Gedling into the lead. It only took three minutes for Sheffield to return the favour in similar circumstances, this time Richard Carrington's corner was headed home by JONES. Town retook the lead eleven minutes into the second half when the ball broke kindly for NEWTON who planted it into the net, and six minutes after that an unmarked HATTON struck a superb volley beyond Bonnington to give Gedling a seemingly insurmountable lead. Sheffield tried to get something from the game and had chances to get level at least; Tevendale should have converted an effort from six yards out, whilst Rob Ward had a penalty saved by James Mason fifteen minutes from time after Chris White was adjudged to have been pulled back in the area. A minute after the penalty save Mason was left with no chance following an unstoppable volley from CARRINGTON, with the ball nestling itself in the top corner of the net. Sheffield pressed for the equaliser and could have had a chance converted had someone only got on the end of Craig Marsh's whipped cross; no-one did and it is Gedling who find themselves with a short trip up the road to Sutton Town in next week's semi-final.
BTF Club Man Of The Match - Richard Carrington
Sheffield FC: Bonnington, Hilton, Kontou (Vernon), Hobson, Marsh, Jones (Holmes), Cluxton, Carrington, Cheetham (Ward), Tevendale, Ward.
Gedling Town: Mason, Anderson, Jepson, Tideswell, Clark, Newton, Hatton, Richardson, Massingham (Kennerdale), Thompson, Archer. Subs Not Used: Williamson, Burke.
Att: 60

Sheffield 2 Maltby Main 2
NCEFL Premier Division
Saturday, 19/02/05

Sheffield were looking to get back to winning ways after Wednesday night's disappointment at the hands of Shirebrook writes Trev. Just two changes from that line-up as Ryan O'Carroll replaced Danny Anson, and Neil Cluxton was on the bench in place of Lee Vernon.
Kicking towards the Sheffield end it was the home side who had the better of the early exchanges. Hobson had a free header which went wide of the post and then a Ward shot was deflected, making the Maltby keeper scramble to clear to safety. Maltby came back into it as the half progressed. Green seeing his run and shot beat home keeper Bonnington, but Hilton was on hand to clear the ball off the line. Ex-Sheffield player Alex Higgins thought he was clean through on goal, but once again Hilton was on hand to clear the danger. It was Maltby who were dictating the play now, as Hobson was dispossessed just inside his own half, and as the ball was crossed from the right Green unleashed a fierce shot from the edge of the area which went just over the bar. Just past the half hour mark Sheffield had to make an enforced substitution as Cluxton replaced the injured White. On 36 minutes and somewhat against the run of play, the home side took the lead. A Carrington corner on the right was headed back into the box by Hobson, and WARD was on hand to turn and powerfully shoot into the net. Sheffield couldn't capitalize on the lead during the rest of the half and went into the break with just the solitary goal.
Sheffield started the second half the better once again, and Cheetham spurned a great chance to increase the lead when put through on goal, but credit to Maltby keeper Hartley who was quick to close down the striker. Cheetham then tried to atone for his miss by sending a looping header from the edge of the area over the keepers head, but once again Hartley showed his agility with a full stretch save to tip the ball onto the bar and over to safety. There then followed a series of corners as Sheffield looked to increase their lead, but all to no avail. However, on 64 minutes it was Maltby's turn to score against the run of play. A break down the Sheffield left saw the ball played into the area and DEWS was on hand to place it beyond Bonnington's reach. With just under twenty minutes remaining Tevendale was brought on to give the home side 'fresh legs' on the heavy surface which was cutting up badly. It was Sheffield who once again made the breakthrough on 78 minutes. Tireless skipper Hilton fed the ball to Tevendale, and his cross was met by the in-coming CARRINGTON to steer it past the outstretched arm of Hartley. 
The game was still on a knife edge though as Maltby continually breached the left hand side of the home defence and on 83 minutes the visitors drew level. A free kick on the left of the Sheffield area was taken by Beasley who found the head of WINFINDALE. The visitors skipper making no mistake in heading the ball home despite the attentions of the Sheffield defenders. The game could have swung either way in the remaining minutes as firstly Bonnington had to make a point blank save at one end and then Sheffield substitute Holmes unleashed a shot from the edge of the area that had Hartley at full length to turn the ball past his post.
Although Maltby are a much improved side under the new management of Wilf Race, it was a somewhat disappointing performance from the home side who struggled at times in midfield and were once again found 'wanting' at set piece routines. Let's hope this and last Wednesday night were just 'blips' and that the lads get back to winning ways next week against table toppers Selby Town.
BTF Man of the Match:- Chris Hilton
Sheffield: Bonnington, Hilton, Cressey, Jones, Hobson, Marsh, O'Carroll, Carrington (Holmes), Ward (Tevendale), Cheetham, White (Cluxton).
Maltby Main: Hartley, Winter (Beadsley), Winfindale, Brennan, O'Connor, Haythorne, Beasley, Higgins, Dews, Sandland (McHale), Green. Unused Sub: Bentley

Shirebrook Town 2 Sheffield 1
NCEFL Premier Division
Wednesday, 16/02/05

A controversial night at Langwith Road left the home side with three points, and the visitors fuming, after Shirebrook won this highly charged and entertaining battle with a goal from Town's leading scorer Simon Johnson leaving everyone asking each other "was it - or wasn't it?" It was end to end stuff that could have seen the game go either way, with Mark Hales in the home nets being on top form to deny the visitors on more than one occasion, whilst the margin could have been wider had Lee Dawson's header not bounced back from the bar. In the end the main talking point all fell to a moment ten minutes into the second half, when Johnson appeared to divert the ball past the Sheffield keeper with his arm, a fact noted by all in the ground, except referee Price and his assistant.
None of what was to happen seemed likely in the opening moments as Sheffield steam-rollered down the slope, causing the hosts to concede several corners, none of which produced a shot on target. The first venture up the hill in the 13th minute produced a corner for Shirebrook, taken by Adie Carter, missed by the Sheffield defence and headed home by WILSON to give the home team a surprise lead. Club came straight back into the game, with James Tevendale forcing Hales to make the first of many saves within seconds of the restart. Richard Carrington also found himself thwarted by Hales midway through the half, after showing some good footwork to produce enough space for the shot, however with four minutes of the half to go Carrington managed to get the ball in the net. A nicely worked goal following a free kick that was only cleared as far as Chris Hilton who showed good work to feed the ball to Craig Marsh, who in turn crossed into the six-yard box, the defenders were unable to clear the danger and CARRINGTON stabbed home from close range for his twelfth of the season.
Club came out of the blocks with all guns blazing in the second period and should have taken the lead inside the first minute of the game, Marsh breaking down the middle, Carrington crossing and with Tevendale having an open goal from two yards out the striker was unable to get a strong enough connection with his header to steer it home. It was a missed chance Sheffield would come to regret as Shirebrook started to assert themselves into the game, a warning that was given a few minutes later when Carter capitalised on a stumble in defence only to see his shot blocked well by Darren Bonnington. On 55 minutes came the moment that would define the outcome of the game, another break down the right from Shirebrook saw the ball fall invitingly to JOHNSON who appeared to use his hand (even from distance it looked clear) to take the ball beyond Bonnington and into the net. Amidst major protests from the Sheffield players the goal was allowed to stand, the referee hadn't seen anything wrong and his linesman seemed to concur this was a legal goal; however everyone else present seemed to disagree even though there was little to be done to change anyone's opinion. It could have got much worse for Sheffield as tempers started to boil on and off the pitch, when Lee Dawson was left with a free header at the back post and hit the bar, fortunately for the visitors the miss left them with a chance of gaining something from the game. Martin Rowbottom nearly gifted Sheffield a deserved equaliser, as the visitors piled on the pressure seeking the goal that would level the match, when his under-hit back-pass nearly let in Darren Holmes. This shot was blocked by Hales, as was one in the dying moments from Craig Marsh, who had to be stopped with a brave point-blank stop.
Unfortunately this game will be remembered for all the wrong reasons, even though this was a good pulsating battle between two competitive sides, it was one of those games - simple as that. This was Shirebrook's first ever victory over Sheffield, and it was probably the best result possible for the likes of Goole, Selby and Pickering who had all dropped points the previous evening in the chase for the Northern Counties title. It was also the first defeat on the road for Sheffield since the start of November; let's hope that it is another three and a half months before we have to suffer the bitter taste of losing away from home. Next up is a chance for Sheffield to get back on track on Saturday at the Bright Finance Stadium where the visitors are Maltby Main.
BTF Club Man Of The Match - Craig Marsh
Shirebrook Town: Hales, Rowbottom, Dawson, Charlesworth, Starkey, Wall, Burdett, Wilson, Johnson, Morgan (Hollingsworth), Carter. Subs Not Used: Shaw, Easom.
Sheffield FC: Bonnington, Hilton, Cressey (Vernon), Hobson, Marsh, Jones, Carrington, Anson, Ward (Cheetham), Tevendale (Holmes), White.

Arnold Town 1 Sheffield 4
NCEFL Premier Division
Saturday, 05/02/05

Sheffield climbed back into second place in the NCE Premier Division table this afternoon after their ninth straight away victory brought the side maximum points at Arnold Town.  Despite losing keeper Darren Bonnington to injury at half time, goals from James Tevendale (25 & 73 mins), Chris White (51 mins) and Caine Cheetham (53 mins) were enough to give Club the win. Stand in goalkeeper Ben Cressey was only beaten once, when the home side hit their consolation goal 13 minutes from time.
Stu writes;- Sheffield got back to winning ways and with some style too, after clipping the Eagles' wings at a rainy King George this afternoon with a comfortable 4-1 victory. The win was made even more impressive due to the fact the visitors lost their first choice keeper at half time through injury, and with no recognised goalie left in the ranks young Ben Cressey stepped between the sticks, and managed to concede just the one goal along the way. A good second half team performance saw Club dominate proceedings, two goals from James Tevendale leading the scoring, solid defending from Jon Hobson and Craig Marsh protecting Cressey and a masterful midfield performance from Danny Anson ensured there was only going to be one winner.
The first half was an open affair, and to be honest Arnold did most of the pressing up the hill, however they had very little to show for their efforts. A free kick from Phil Starbuck which was struck well over the bar was the best the locals had to show for their pressure, and Peter Davey brought an excellent double save from Darren Bonnington, but other than that it was a case of an end to end game with little for the keepers to do. Then on 25 minutes the visitors took the lead with a well worked goal; Richard Carrington weaved through the defence to play the ball on to Chris White, a simple touch to TEVENDALE left Lee Broster out of position and with no chance as the prolific striker slammed the ball home from the edge of the six yard box. It was the clearest cut chance in a game that had little to offer in shooting terms, and it was dispatched clinically. As the half was in injury time a loose ball saw Darren Bonnington race from his goal to clear his lines, the Sheffield keeper however came out second best in a challenge that saw his shin pad snap in two and thanking his lucky stars that his leg didn't go the same way. There wasn't any punishment awarded, and Bonnington did not return to the field for the second period.
So Ben Cressey was thrown into the deep end, and things had the possibility of looking a bit dire for the visitors - if only someone had shown them the script. Within seven minutes of the restart Cressey hadn't touched the ball, Club were three goals up, coasting and looking certainties to return back up the M1 with all three points. With six minutes of the half gone a neat bit of work down the left from man of the match Anson saw the ball whipped into the area, a clever touch from Tevendale and Carrington found the ball at the feet of WHITE who slammed home beyond Broster. A minute later and it was game over; a speculative ball was lofted into the area, Davey made a complete hash of dealing with it and CHEETHAM had the easiest of tasks of putting the ball into the goal. That was the last contribution of Caine Cheetham as he retired moments later with a groin strain, leaving the field to be replaced by the threat of Rob Ward - out of the chip pan and into the fire so to speak for Arnold. The win could have been more emphatic if Ward had been able to put a better finish to the long ball that set him free and on goal, beating the defensive line he saw his shot stopped remarkably well by Lee Broster, saving one handed and at full stretch - amazingly his first save of the game. When Ward and Carrington combined to set the young winger free on goal, with his shot being well blocked by Brett Peel, it was delaying the inevitable as Club looked a team well in control. In the 73rd minute the fourth came, a nice ball from Carrington found TEVENDALE, with the striker having the easy task of slotting home for his second. To this point Marsh and Hobson had done their bit for the cause of "Saving Private Cressey" at the back, leaving the young starlet with little to do in the shot stopping department, however with twelve to go Arnold managed to get a consolation with BACK getting a nicely taken goal. Club had late opportunities to get a fifth, something that would have rubbed salt into the wounds of the already well beaten Arnold ranks, as first a great run from Ryan O'Carroll and Richard Carrington pass set up Tevendale with a chance to complete his hat-trick, the resulting shot hit over the bar - and secondly another break saw Chris White bearing down on goal unopposed, only to see his effort fly high, wide and handsome and White hiding his head in despair.
Another win on the road, and against great odds, but to some cost with some worrying injuries picked up along the way. Hopefully these will be sorted in time for the trip to Eccleshill next weekend, a team who like Sheffield are one of the form sides in the NCEL. The other results were kind to Club this afternoon, with Harrogate Rail (1-3 at home to Brodsworth), Selby (0-2 at Mickleover) and Goole (1-3 at Pickering) all losing, putting Sheffield in second spot and looking a real possibility of something big as the season progresses.
BTF Club Man Of The Match - Danny Anson
Arnold Town: Broster, Davey, Boulter, White, Hodson, Peel, Brady, Starbuck (Back), Wilkins, Huckerby (Bogan), Davies. Sub Not Used: Bailey.
Sheffield FC: Bonnington (Kontou), Hilton, Cressey, Hobson, Marsh, Anson, O'Carroll, Carrington, Cheetham (Ward), Tevendale (Vernon), White.
Att: 120 (approx)

Sheffield 1 Liversedge 3
NCEFL Premier Division
Tuesday, 01/02/05

Sheffield's impressive unbeaten run was brought to an abrupt end at The Coach & Horses Ground tonight by an even more impressive Liversedge side. Ryan O'Carroll's solitary 43rd minute free kick strike the only highlight for Club, who now slip to third in the table following Goole's win at Mickleover.
Trev writes:- Another stern test as two of the form sides in the league clashed tonight at the Bright Finance Stadium. The kick-of was delayed due to the late arrival of the match officials, but once underway it was Liversedge who started the livelier, having the best of the first fifteen minutes as Sheffield struggled to get out of their own half. The visitors the went ahead in the 17th minute when a break down the Sheffield right saw the ball played into the area for FERRAND whose shot gave keeper Neil Ferraby no chance. The goal seemed to jolt the home side into action, but they were having difficulty breaking down a well organised defence who were content to play the offside trap with great success.
A flurry of corners then gave Sheffield the chance to apply some pressure but Sutcliffe in the visitors goal dealt with them comfortably. Sheffield's first real chance of the half came on 38 minutes when a Hobson header was cleared from in front of the goal to avert the danger. In the last minute of the half and somewhat against the run of play Sheffield got an equaliser. A free kick from 35 yards out was taken by O'CARROLL whose shot-cross beat everyone to sneak inside the far post and send the teams in at half time on level terms.
The home side buoyed by the goal just before the interval started this half in a more positive mood. White was seeing a lot of the ball and both Ward and Cheetham had reasonable chances cleared away. On 57 minutes a clearance upfield found Cheetham free. Avoiding two defenders and taking the ball beyond the keeper he squared the ball back to White, but his shot was high and wide. Just after the hour mark Tevendale was brought into the action at the expense of Cheetham as Sheffield were now asking all the questions. With twenty minutes to go Ward went through on goal but Sutcliffe made a fingertip save at the on-rushing strikers feet to divert the ball away for a corner. On 73 minutes and very much against the run of play, the visitors again took the lead. A kick out by Ferraby fell to FERRAND just inside the Sheffield half, and his first time shot sailed back over the stranded keeper and into the empty net.
With Sheffield now going forward to try and salvage something from the game, James had a great chance to put the visitors further ahead when a cross-field pass found the winger totally unmarked, but he blazed his shot wide of the target. However Liversedge made sure of all three points with two minutes left when HAMLET found himself with space in the area, and time to take the ball past Ferraby and score into the unguarded net.
So Sheffields unbeaten run finally comes to an end, but with the top of the table so tight there is still plenty to play for, starting at Arnold Town on Saturday.
BTF Club Man Of The Match - Chris White
Sheffield:- Ferraby, Hilton, Cressey, Hobson, Marsh, Anson (Kontou), O'Carroll, Carrington, Cheetham (Tevendale), Ward, White. Unused Sub: Vernon
Liversedge:- Sutcliffe, Wood, Ryan, Milnes, Stansfield, Ferrand, Noble (Cobley), Lowe, Cygan (Crossley), Hamlet, James. Unused Sub:- Gaughan.

Sheffield 1 Buxton 0
NCEFL Premier Division
Saturday, 29/01/05

An 85th minute strike from leading marksman Rob Ward was enough to claim maximum points for promotion chasers Sheffield at The Coach & Horses this afternoon.
Stu writes:- The Coach and Horses' biggest crowd of the season saw Rob Ward stun a rejuvenated Buxton side this afternoon, continuing Sheffield's unbeaten run even further, with a late winner that propelled Sheffield into second place in the Premier Division. In a dour game played on a heavy pitch, neither side created much until very late on in the game, and it took a smash and grab finish to keep all the points with the home side.
Buxton started strong with some good pressure early on, managing to contain the home side in their own half and stifling the outlet to Club's lively pair of wingers, earning a handful of corners for their endeavour. However the Sheffield defensive pairing of Jon Hobson and Craig Marsh, along with the safe hands of Darren Bonnington, did enough to keep the Bucks' threat at bay. The first meaningful effort of the game came from Ben Cressey; a shot from an acute angle was comfortably batted away by Richard Siddall, after the left-back had been put through by Chris White. Despite all the pressure from the visitors they didn't have much to show from their hard work, and in between being bogged down in a midfield toil their best efforts both came from Chris Adams; the first a shot that was lashed wide of the mark, the second a header that just went over. Without doubt though, the biggest threat from the home camp came from their swift counter-attacks, one of which brought the best chance of the half as Caine Cheetham spurned a one-on-one chance by firing straight at Siddall.
To say the heavy conditions made the second half scrappy was an understatement, as the pitch cut up as the game went on, making it difficult for both sets of players to string a decent set of passes together. Even so the pattern of the game remained the same; Buxton pressed forward in the midst of a midfield battle, Sheffield hit on the counter. The attempts on goal seemed to dry up for the first twenty minutes of the half, that was up until a brace of efforts from Jonathon Froggatt woke everyone up, firstly his header went narrowly wide and then two minutes later his half-shot was turned away by Bonnington. At the other end Siddall was not having much to do, however he was called into action after his defender Sean Hutchinson made a complete hash of clearing the ball, with Rob Ward pouncing on the ball and just shooting wide. The last ten minutes saw the game come to life, and all of a sudden we had an end-to-end game on our hands, with man of the match Bonnington having to be alert to bravely block a shot by Richard Mason to keep Sheffield on level terms. They weren't kept at level terms for very long as in the 85th minute substitute James Tevendale found himself breaking down the left wing, a pinpoint cross found WARD in the middle, and the big centre forward showed everyone how to dispatch a chance by slotting the ball beyond Siddall. That seemed to knock the stuffing out of Buxton; however there was still time for a bit of a scuffle, with Hutchinson taking exception to a poor tackle by Ryan O'Carroll on Richard Bevan, both of the offenders ending up in the referee's notebook.
Not a game for the purists this one, however in situations like this it is the result that matters most, in this case a win for Sheffield. This win gives Club only their second double of the season, something that possibly emphasises the difference between the home and away form of Sheffield, underpinning the programme notes by Manager Dave McCarthy. Even so this was a great win, earned the hard way, over a well organised Buxton side that has shown a remarkable turnaround under the guidance of Nicky Law. Next up is the visit of Eugene Lacy's Liversedge side, who lost their unbeaten away record this afternoon at Goole.
BTF Club Man Of The Match - Darren Bonnington
Sheffield FC: Bonnington, Hilton, Cressey, Hobson, Marsh, Anson (Cluxton), O'Carroll, Carrington (Kontou), Cheetham (Tevendale), Ward, White.
Buxton: Siddall, Smith, Agus, Hutchinson, Bevan, Kotylo, Adams (Roney), Johnson, Froggatt, Reed, Mason. Subs Not Used: Calvin, Doxey.
Att: 385.

Sheffield 1 Goole 1
NCEFL Premier Division
Tuesday, 25/01/05

A first half Caine Cheetham strike was cancelled out by a Ben Eastwood second half penalty as the points were shared at The Coach & Horses tonight.
Stu writes:- It was a classic game of two halves tonight at the Coach and Horses, as title hopefuls Sheffield and Goole battling out an evenly matched contest, with the Vikings coming from a goal behind to snatch a point. The first half totally belonged to Sheffield, and the hosts could have had a hatful, however it was a completely different story in the second period with the visitors piling the pressure on and managed to grab an equaliser from the penalty spot.
To say Sheffield bossed the first half would be an understatement, as they created just about all the chances in the half with Goole offering very little up front. The first fell to Richard Carrington, following some decent work from new signing Ben Cressey and a nice cross from Chris White, unfortunately Carrington was unable to connect with the ball otherwise it was a certain goal. The handling of visiting keeper Chris Hill left a lot to be desired, a free kick from Ryan O'Carroll nearly embarrassing him as he totally misjudged what should have been a routine collection of the ball. The pressure from the home side wasn't so much relentless as threatening, the home defence and midfield coped comfortably with everything Goole threw at them, whilst the combination of Carrington and White looked to cause problems at the other end at every given opportunity. One such break down the right could have spawned a goal, Carrington's cross whizzed across the goal beating the keeper and only needed the slightest of touches to direct it into the net, and unfortunately no-one could get the vital connection. Carrington almost produced the solo goal of the season, having dribbled the ball through four Goole defenders with one hanging from his shirt the whole way, an unfortunate bobble took the ball away from his foot just as the shot was about to be released. The inevitable goal did come in the 39th minute, a Cressey corner was only half cleared, and the ball fell invitingly to CHEETHAM who smacked home with an impressive volley.
Goole came out for the restart first, and not surprisingly given the goal deficit, the more eager of the two teams. Even so the finishing from the visitors was a little wayward to say the least, an example of this was when Adam Walker fed the ball to Steve Davey in a great position, and the shot from the ex-Harrogate Rail player went well wide. As time went on Goole were getting closer, Gary Shaw saw a shot whistle over the bar, whilst Davey was becoming more of an annoyance for the home team. At the other end Sheffield were still getting the odd chance to kill the game, Carrington managed to dig out a cross from the right wing with three in attendance, Cheetham was in the middle to head just wide. In the 73rd minute Goole drew level; Walker went down in the box, the referee awarded the penalty and a minute after coming on as a substitute EASTWOOD stepped up to slot the ball home. This brought the expected response from Sheffield, as straight away man-of-the-match Chris White went through at the other end and narrowly missed the target. The game could have swung either way as the game closed, but there was no doubt that Sheffield had the better of the opportunities to take all three points, with Caine Cheetham finding himself through on goal with only Hill to beat. Somehow the final shot went wide of the mark, and then the scene shifted to the other end of the park where Sheffield managed to clear a Goole effort from the line. In injury time a Cressey free kick managed to find the head of Rob Ward, unmarked in the box, Hill cleared his lines not too convincingly with a punch, but it was enough to ensure the Vikings headed back up the M18 with a point.
Despite not winning this game, this result extends Club's unbeaten run to fourteen games, however the last three home games have now all ended in draws. The draw isn't enough to take Sheffield into second place, Harrogate Railway still holding the advantage on goal difference, but it still means Club hold the two point lead over Goole. There were some great performances in the home team tonight, most notably Chris White who was chosen by the spectators as man-of-the-match, along with Ben Cressey and Ryan O'Carroll. Hopefully Sheffield can go one better on Saturday for the eagerly awaited league game against Buxton, a team who will most definitely not be a pushover, as they aim for revenge for the 5-1 drubbing inflicted by Club earlier this month.
BTF Club Man Of The Match - Chris White
Sheffield FC: Bonnington, Hilton, Cressey, Hobson, Marsh, Anson, O'Carroll (Cluxton), Carrington (Kontou), Cheetham, Ward, White. Sub Not Used: Vernon.
Goole: Hill, Gore, Willoughby, Ames, Watts, Danby, Adlinson, Davey, Shaw (Eastwood), Whitehead, Walker. Subs Not Used: Gaughan, Wilson.
Att: 215

Armthorpe Welfare 0 Sheffield 2
NCEFL Premier Division
Saturday, 22/01/05

First half goals from Richard Carrington (16 mins) and Rob Ward (44 mins) saw Sheffield coast to a comfortable victory at The Welfare Ground this afternoon. New signing Ben Cressey, from Bradford PA, made his debut at left back and put in an impressive performance. 20 year old Cressey, was indeed a member of the Chesterfield first team squad at the beginning of this season, before surprisingly being released. With Goole's game at Hallam postponed due to the weather, Club now move up to third in the table, a point behind second placed Harrogate Rail and seven behind leaders Selby but with four games in hand.
Trev writes:- Sheffield went to Armthorpe hoping to make it thirteen matches unbeaten and improve on their excellent away record of seven straight victories. Despite a heavy early morning frost the pitch was playable and it was the home side who had a couple of chances early on, both falling to Brown but Bonnington didn't have to make a save for either one of them. On 16 minutes it was the visitors who took the lead. Some good work on the left by new boy Cressey saw him cross into the area and with two Sheffield players lurking unmarked at the back post it was left to CARRINGTON to knock the ball home. 
The visitors were once again showing just why they are becoming so difficult to beat with some good passing football which frequently left Strephan in the home goal exposed. On the rare occasions that Armthorpe did break forward the visitors defence held solid. Ward, Cheetham and White had numerous chances to double the score, but Strephan kept them at bay. That was until the 44th minute when Cheetham pounced on a through ball, and despite the keeper saving his initial attempt, the ball rebounded to him and he was able to square it to the unmarked WARD who had no difficulty rolling it into the unguarded net to double the lead as half time approached.

The second half saw the home side excert a little more pressure without troubling Bonnington, whilst at the other end an O'Carroll shot from 25 yards saw the home keeper tip the ball over the bar when a goal looked on the cards. The visitors then stepped back up a gear and were playing some beautiful passing football. Time and again the Armthorpe defence was nowhere to be seen as Carrington and White had oceans of space down the wings. One such occasion saw White float the ball into Cheetham, but unfortunately the in form forward didn't manage to connect with his attempted scissors kick. White then had an individual run right through the Armthorpe defence, his shot being cleared off the line by Erskine. Despite the lack of goals in the second half the visitors were always in control, and with time running out Cluxton was brought on to replace O'Carroll for his first run out in months after suffering ankle damage. Sheffield were content to play out the match by keeping possession and once again picked up maximum points on their travels.
You could say it was a game of two keepers with Strephan was in brilliant form to keep the score to only two and Bonnington not called upon to make a proper save during the entire match. With Goole's match today at Hallam called off enabling Sheffield to leapfrog above them into third place, Club face a real 'six-pointer' when Goole travel to the Bright Finance Stadium this coming Tuesday .
BTF Club Man Of The Match - Chris White
Armthorpe Welfare:- Strephan, Page, Erskine, Sharpe, Armitage(Nugent), Steeples(Mcneil), Brown, Gaughan, Marcelle, Jones, Gorman. Unused Sub:- Bennett.
Sheffield: Bonnington, Hilton, Cressey, Hobson, Marsh, Anson, O'Carroll (Cluxton), Carrington (Kontou), Cheetham, Ward, White. Unused Sub: Vernon

Sheffield 2 Pickering Town 2
NCEFL Premier Division
Saturday, 15/01/05

Recent tradition has seen the Pikes do pretty well at the Coach and Horses, before today they had achieved three wins out of three in the league since Club moved into Dronfield, but they saw the trend bucked this afternoon as Sheffield snatched a late equaliser to grab a deserved draw. Following on from Sheffield's midweek League Cup victory at Mill Lane, the home side looked like repeating the feat after going into the break a goal to the good and controlling the game, however a disastrous start to the second half meant they had to chase the game to grab a point - something they managed at the death when all had looked lost.
A frantic start to the game saw Sheffield take the game to the visitors, and in the 12th minute the home side hit the front; a mis-cued shot from Stavros Kontou went under the foot of centre back Jamie Ramm and into the path of Chris White who was cutting in from the wing. WHITE steadied himself before slotting the ball under the advancing Kevin Martin. Sheffield were asking all of the questions out on the park, but a stubborn defence was doing a good job keeping the hosts at bay. Club were the team who managed to go closest without scoring; a throw from Chris Hilton was flicked on by the head of Jon Hobson, James Tevendale hit the ball on the turn, somehow it whistled the wrong side of the post by a fraction. Despite Pickering getting a foothold into the game, there was no doubt that Sheffield looked the side with the most composure on a pretty difficult surface, with Danny Anson controlling midfield and directing a very positive looking Club side. The Pikes started to come forward with more confidence as time went on, although the best they had to show for their efforts was a long range effort from skipper Alex Willgrass, with Club hitting the visitors on the break with increasing regularity - Caine Cheetham and Tevendale always looking a potential threat each time the ball came forward, with White and Richard Carrington tormenting the defenders with some typical neat wing play. A spell of pressure late on saw Cheetham put the ball past Martin, only for it to be ruled offside, but they couldn't increase the lead to give them the breathing space needed over a team of Pickering's quality.
The second period started rather badly for Sheffield, in the 54th minute Gavin Dickinson made one of several runs down the left wing, his shot went under the body of Darren Bonnington but was cleared off the line - somehow though the ball came off defender Jon Hobson and ended inexplicably in the back of his own net. The inquest into the goal gave Pickering a much needed boost, prior to the goal the Sheffield defence had coped comfortably with just about everything the visitors threw at them, all of a sudden they looked rattled and a minute after the restart the Pikes were in front. A free kick was awarded on the edge of the box for an alleged handball, up stepped DICKINSON who curled the ball round the wall and into the net, with the Sheffield keeper rooted to the spot. There was only one response from Sheffield and that was to attack, and they were unlucky not to get back on level terms straight from the restart, as Tevendale saw his shot cleared off the line by Rob Eeles. With Club pushing forward, they had a tendency to look a little fragile at the back, and Matthew Morton nearly capitalised on this when his shot rattled the upright. That could have made the game safe for the visitors, but up the other end Sheffield were continually cursing their luck as the last line of the Pickering defence cleared their lines just at the last moment. Club hit the post themselves when a Ryan O'Carroll cross was met by the unlikely figure of Richard Carrington, whose header struck the frame of the goal before being ushered to safety. It was building up to a frantic finale, with Pickering well and truly on the ropes as Sheffield pounded the goal looking for the goal that would save the point, with substitute Rob Ward nearly scrambling the ball home in the dying seconds of normal time. The end was as dramatic as you could hope for, with time up and in the third minute of stoppage time, another scramble saw the ball land at the feet of Craig Marsh, a rash tackle from Morton upended Marsh - the referee in no doubt of the outcome. Up stepped the ever reliable WARD to slam the ball into the back of the net, and the home team and their supporters breathed a collective sigh of relief.
All rather dramatic stuff, and given the trend of the games between these two teams at the Coach and Horses where Club hadn't even scored a goal in this fixture, you'd be forgiven for thinking this was actually a home win. A draw was possibly a true reflection given the balance of play, however this does neither side many favours in closing the gap at the top, but at the end of the day it is a point both teams would have been glad of before the game. So after four meetings between the two teams, a cup win each and two league draws, you can't say fairer than that. Next up for Club is a President's Cup tie at home to Gedling Town, Tuesday night at the Bright Finance Stadium.
BTF Club Man Of The Match - Caine Cheetham
Sheffield FC: Bonnington, Hilton, Kontou (Vernon), Hobson, Marsh, Anson, O'Carroll, Carrington, Cheetham, Tevendale (Ward), White. Sub Not Used: Willgoose.
Pickering Town: Martin, S.Swales, Brunton, Eeles, Ramm, Willgrass, MacAuley (Baxter), Morton, Salt, M.Swales (Mathie), Dickinson. Sub Not Used: Rose.
Att: 171.

Pickering Town 1 Sheffield 2
League Cup Third Round
Tuesday, 11/01/05

Without defender Tom Jones due to suspension and the injured Darren Holmes, and despite falling behind to a Mark Swales strike, a Caine Cheetham brace helped Club progress through to the Fourth Round of the League Cup tonight at Pickering. This victory marked Sheffield's seventh successive win on the road !
Trev writes:- Sheffield were confident going into tonight's game, looking to extend their impressive away run of victories and also hoping to make it third time lucky at Mill Lane, having previously drawn here in the league and losing in the F.A.Vase. No Holmes (hamstring) or Jones (suspended), but O'Carroll and Ward retured to the starting line up.
Kicking uphill and into a strong breeze, Sheffield were the first to show with White going close and then Carrington having a shot turned around the post. A defensive mistake then allowed Carrington to cross into the area and Eeles had to clear in front of his goalkeeper with the Sheffield forwards queuing up for the ball. Pickering's first real chance saw Salt blaze wildly over the bar when well placed. Hesitation in the visitors defence then allowed Salt to sneak between two defenders to head onto the bar. On the half hour mark Pickering had the ball in the net, but the goal was ruled out for offside. Five minutes later and Jon Hobson just missed the target with his header from a corner. Despite Sheffield having the majority of possession it was the home side who took the lead on 38 minutes. A ball down the Sheffield right was pounced on by MARK SWALES who unleashed a terrific shot giving Bonnington no chance as it flew into the top of the net. The visitors strived for an immediate reply and it wasn't long in arriving. On 41 minutes an inswinging corner from Carrington saw Martin in the Pickering goal fumble the ball and Caine CHEETHAM was on hand to poke the ball home to send the sides in at half time on level terms.
The second half saw Vernon on in place of Willgoose. A crude challenge on Sheffield skipper Hilton saw the full back receive lengthy treatment on the sidelines before rejoining the game. Now playing with the wind in their favour, Carrington floated a ball into the area and White was the first to get to it, but his header grazed the top of the bar. The home side were finding it difficult to cope with the movement of the visitors as they continued to dominate the match in both possession and chances. On the hour mark a long throw by Hilton was headed on by Hobson and CHEETHAM once more was on hand to put the ball over the line. Pickering started to push more men forward in a bid to get something from the game but the defence held firm. Tevendale was then brought into the action as he replaced Cheetham. The home side went so close as a shot hit the post but out to safety. At the other end, Ward was unlucky as he just failed to connect to a cross from White. With three minutes to go O'Carroll looked to have made the game safe as he unleashed a screamer of a shot from the edge of the area but Martin in the home goal had other ideas and he brought off a superb full length save to tip the ball over the bar. It was just a case of running the time out as the referee finally blew the whistle for full time. Another top performance from a team full of confidence. Next match ? Pickering again, this time at home on Saturday.
BTF Club Man Of The Match - Richard Carrington
Pickering Town: Martin, S.Swales, Brunton, Eeles, Ramm, Young (Rose),Macauley, Drinkall (Baxter), Salt (Fishwick), M.Swales, Dickenson
Sheffield: Bonnington, Hilton, Willgoose (Vernon), Hobson, Marsh, Anson, O'Carroll, Carrington, Cheetham (Tevendale), Ward, White. Unused Sub: Crossland

Glapwell 0 Sheffield 2
NCEFL Premier Division
Saturday, 08/01/05

Sheffield blew Glapwell away at Hall Corner this afternoon, on a blustery day at one of Club's happier hunting grounds, with a win that was much more comfortable than the two goal margin suggests. Following on from the demolitions at Glasshoughton and Buxton was always going to be a hard act to follow, especially as Glappy were undefeated at home in the league going into this game, but only the conditions and some below recent standard finishing kept the score down. The difference between the two teams on the scoresheet turned out to be two free-kicks from Richard Carrington; the first scored direct by Carrington himself, the other finished by Caine Cheetham.
Club, playing up the hill for the first period, came out with all guns blazing and only the intervention of the referee prevented a great opportunity after just three minutes; Stavros Kontou was tripped after playing the ball by home skipper Adam Walker, with Chris White free on the ball and two unmarked players racing towards the area the man in the middle blew rather than allowing the advantage to be played. The chances started to come Sheffield's way in abundance for the rest of the half, and the visitors could have converted one of at least six realistic opportunities with better finishing. A typical moment was following a well worked throw which saw the ball played by Kontou to set up Craig Marsh on the edge of the area, Marsh's shot whistled over the bar, setting the pattern for the rest of the half. There was no doubting Sheffield's superiority in the game, they were first to just about every challenge and stifled out any chance of a shot on goal before it came to fruition, and in fact it was sixty minutes before Glapwell's first effort of the match. As the missed chances mounted it appeared that Club could come to rue the uncharacteristic finishing of their players; Darren Holmes and James Tevendale, on more than one occasion, were off target when normally they would have had the ball in the net. On 40 minutes Sheffield got their just desserts for all the previous endeavour after Richard Butler upended Holmes on the edge of the area; Louis Spriggs in the Glapwell goal, who had done everything to help deny Sheffield's constant attacks, had no chance as CARRINGTON curled the ball with ease into the top corner to send the visitors into the break with a thoroughly deserved lead.
The second half continued in the same vein as the first, even though Club were now playing into the face of the stiff breeze that had aided their attack before the interval, bombarding Spriggs' goalmouth. With only two minutes gone, Spriggs was beaten again by Carrington, this time he was saved by the upright as the ball struck the post and to safety. There were calls for a penalty on ten minutes following Caine Cheetham's break through on goal, Spriggs denied the Sheffield front-man with the one-on-one chance, the ball broke to Tevendale whose shot appeared to be palmed round the post by Damien Magee; the referee and linesman were obviously unsighted in the melee and waved the Club players appeals away. The heavy pitch started to take its toll on both sets of players, and Glapwell started to get into the game and even created a few chances, although it has to be said few if any caused Darren Bonnington problems. The game was made safe on 73 minutes as Sheffield grabbed the second they probably needed to ease any nerves that might have crept in late in the game; Chris White, who had been a thorn in the Glapwell defences side all afternoon, was brought down on the edge of the area by Aaron Shelley. Up stepped Richard Carrington in an almost identical position to his first goal, he curled in his free kick and CHEETHAM stooped to divert the ball with his head past Spriggs, who would probably have got there this time. The scoreline could have been more convincing just before the end, although this time the missed chance wasn't by a Sheffield attacker, the defender Aaron Shelley nearly volleyed past his own keeper after trying to stop a skilful effort from Chris White.
The away run continues even further, and the confidence grows even more, as Sheffield won their sixth game on the trot on the road. Club will bid to make it seven on Tuesday, at Pickering Town in the League Cup, a difficult task to say the least especially having only a draw to show from the two previous visits to Mill Lane this season. Unfortunately today's result doesn't see Sheffield move any further up the table, Goole's astonishing 8-1 victory at struggling Maltby Main this afternoon, however with Pickering only drawing at home to Shirebrook Town Club's fourth spot is consolidated somewhat - the gap to fifth place now being four points.
BTF Club Joint Men Of The Match - Richard Carrington/Chris White
Glapwell: Spriggs, Robinson, Magee, Shelley, Butler, Walker, Russo (Gummer), McGinty, Roberts, Elliot (Wilson), Dooley (Morgan).
Sheffield FC: Bonnington, Hilton, Kontou (Willgoose), Jones, Marsh, Anson, Holmes (Hobson), Carrington, Cheetham, Tevendale, White. Sub Not Used: Crossland.
Att: 110 (approx)

Buxton 1 Sheffield 5
NCEFL Premier Division
Monday, 03/01/05

Early goals from Richard Carrington and James Tevendale set Sheffield on their way towards what in the end turned into a comfortable three away points for Club.
Tevendale, returning to his old stomping ground, was a constant thorn in the home defence and was instrumental in the opening three goals for the visitors. Carrington stepped up to shoot home in the 10th minute from a free kick after Tevendale had been felled just outside the box, and Tevendale himself slotted home two minutes later from an acute angle after the striker had been put through on goal. Despite a glancing header from Club old boy Gareth Collinson in the 18th minute reducing the deficit, Buxton rarely troubled Club keeper Darren Bonnington. 
In the second half Tevendale had a perfect opportunity to sow up the points but Siddall was brave enough in the home goal to deny the front man. However, Tev was not to be denied and in the 78th minute, with the home defence become more and more stretched, the No 10 lashed the ball into the top corner of the net from just outside the box to put an end to fading Buxton hopes. With 'The Bucks' now well and truly beaten Chris White claimed his second goal in two appearances, cutting in from the wing and drilling the ball under Siddall. Two ex-Buxton men combined four minutes later with Caine Cheetham latching on to Danny Anson's simple but effective throughball and walking the ball round the stranded keeper and into the net to complete the rout. 
There was plenty of endeavour from the home side and at times this was a real blood and guts affair from two sides who know each other particularly well, but in the end it was simply the clinical finishing of the visitors which decided the result. Having scored eleven goals in two successive away games, Club will be looking to continue this form at Glapwell on Saturday, who themselves were winners today at Hallam.   
Sheffield Scorers: Richard Carrington (10 mins), James Tevendale (12 & 78 mins), Chris White (83 mins) & Caine Cheetham (87 mins). Buxton Scorer: Gareth Collinson (18 mins).
Attendance: 403
BTF Club Man Of The Match - Chris White
Sheffield: Bonnington, Hilton, Konou, Jones, Marsh, Anson, Holmes (Hobson), Carrington, Cheetham, Tevendale (Fletcher), White (Vernon).

Glasshoughton Welfare 1 Sheffield 6
NCEFL Premier Division
Saturday, 18/12/04

Sheffield gave their travelling supporters the ideal Christmas present this afternoon at Leeds Road, smashing six goals past struggling Glasshoughton in their own back yard, with Rob Ward showing his continued goalscoring prowess by adding another three to his increasing total. The visitors never looked in danger of being anything other than winners, especially on a ground that has been a happy hunting ground in recent years, and five goals in the first half emphasised how convincing the win truly was.
Playing the first period down the slope, Club looked in control from the off, and Darren Holmes came close to opening the scoring in the first few minutes. James Tevendale went even closer seconds after, scraping the post after a great ball from Richard Carrington, but it wasn't too long before the scoring began. In the 9th minute the Carrington - Tevendale combination was at the heart of another move that tore through the Glasshoughton defence, Carrington setting up Tevendale clear on the right, the ball into the middle was directed by Carrington into the path of WARD who rounded the keeper before having the easiest of tasks of slamming the ball home from inches out. The lead was doubled on 27 minutes when the livewire Carrington tore down the right in typical fashion, setting the ball into the middle for WARD again, this time the big man had more to do getting in front of home skipper Wayne Noteman and stabbing beyond young Marc Shackleton from six yards out. The score could have been clear out of Welfare's reach earlier if not for some good keeping from Shackleton, the under siege stopper showed a good pair of hands to stop a powerful Craig Marsh header, the game was up though moments later. In the 33rd minute TEVENDALE beat a decidedly ropey looking offside trap to race through on goal, following a pinpoint pass from Carrington, the task of putting the ball in the net was clinically done by slipping the ball under Shackleton. Two minutes on and Shackleton stopped another, Carrington and Tevendale again working their stuff to set up Ward, the keeper showed a great deal of bravery to pull off a point-blank save and denying Ward his hat-trick. That was only delaying the inevitable really, on 39 minutes it was 4-0 and the goal scorer was who else, but Mr Ward once again. Once again Tevendale beat the offside trap, took the ball round Shackleton before squaring it to WARD, who showed great aplomb in stabbing the ball home. Carrington had a goal ruled out for offside before Club made it five two minutes before the break, and this time Stavros Kontou was the key man involved in the build up, cutting down the left before putting the ball in to TEVENDALE at the near post for another clinical finish.
At five goals to the good at the interval you could forgive Sheffield for taking their foot off the gas, and the loss of Tom Jones at the break left the visitors without any recognised central defenders, so dropping Rob Ward into defence was probably doing the hosts a favour by limiting the suffering. That wasn't to say the goals stopped there and then, substitute debutant Chris White went close straight from the kick off, just being denied by Shackleton diving at his feet. It was six three minutes in though as WHITE lost his marker to turn in a cross from Darren Holmes from the left, the question was now one of how many would Sheffield go on to score? Sadly that was it for Club, although Tevendale would have been kicking himself for not grabbing his hat-trick, tripping over the ball instead of scoring after White and Carrington had set him up with a golden opportunity. In the 63rd minute Glasshoughton finally got their consolation goal, Julian Wilkes capitalising on a rare lapse in the solid Sheffield midfield and laying on to Lee Parker on a burst, PARKER finished the move nicely by lofting the ball over the previously unworked Bonnington. That's how the scoring stayed, and no-one could argue that the result was a deserved one. So Club remain in fifth place going into the Christmas break, and with postponements and the games played going more or less Sheffield's way, the rest of the season looks as if it could be an intriguing one. Next up is what arguably is the "big one"; Hallam away at noon on the 27th, here's to a similar result in Club's favour in that game!
BTF Club Man Of The Match - Rob Ward
Glasshoughton Welfare: Shackleton, Newton, Hanson (Liversedge), Haigh, Noteman, Leech, Seed, Jackson (Bradley), Parker, Thompson, Manners (Wilkes).
Sheffield FC: Bonnington, Hilton, Kontou (Freeman), Jones (White), Marsh, O'Carroll, Anson, Carrington, Ward, Tevendale, Holmes (Ireland).
Att: 65.

Sheffield 0 Shirebrook Town 0
NCEFL Premier Division
Tuesday, 07/12/04

A bitterly cold night at the Coach and Horses saw the spoils shared once more between Sheffield and the visitors Shirebrook tonight, three weeks after the same outcome in the League Cup encounter between the two teams, this meeting however ended goal-less with neither team looking worthy of the win. Sheffield were looking to further their push as promotion contenders following on from their late show at Brodsworth on Saturday, whereas the visitors were hoping to bounce back from a pretty poor spell that saw them hammered 4-1 at Long Eaton at the weekend. As it was neither could get the vital breakthrough, with visiting keeper Mark Hales proving to be the star man of the night, with a series of splendid blocks.
The game could have had a completely different outcome if Sheffield had not wasted an absolute golden chance in the 4th minute; a dreadful back-pass from Craig Charlesworth was intercepted by Saturday's two goal hero Caine Cheetham, his ball into the middle left visiting keeper Hales stranded, however the shot from James Tevendale was blocked on the line by Tony Starkey. If anything, the opening apart, Shirebrook looked the better side for the first period and took the game to Sheffield. Their finishing however left a lot to be desired, the best effort was a curling shot from Nathan Hollingsworth, even this caused Darren Bonnington little trouble as it went wide of the mark. Sheffield's cause wasn't helped by the loss of Cheetham midway through the half, and they had to be thankful of Chris Hilton's goal-line clearance to get to half time with the scores still level.
There weren't many chances created in the early part of the second half, however a back header from Craig Shaw had the pulses racing a little, Shirebrook's closest effort of the night with the ball hitting the top of the bar. Sheffield were on the back foot for much of the half, but will feel they should have had something from a series of shots, all of which were denied by Town's best player on the night Hales. The first came with Tevendale through on goal, the keeper did well to stand and stop the ball. Moments later though Hales had to be at his best to deny Tevendale once again, this time a one-handed save was enough to beat the ball away when a goal looked odds on. Rob Ward was the next to be denied by the lanky keeper, a through ball from Darren Holmes saw Ward with an opportunity to break the deadlock; yet again Hales was the man of the moment to block solidly. To confound things once and for all, a late effort from Tevendale following a good run down the left was palmed away by Hales, again at full stretch and one handed, confining the game to be a goal-less draw.
BTF Club Man Of The Match - James Tevendale
Sheffield FC: Bonnington, Hilton, Vernon, Jones, Ward, Marsh, O'Carroll, Carrington, Cheetham (Ireland), Holmes, Tevendale. Subs Not Used: Crossland, Kontou.
Shirebrook Town: Hales, Rowbothom, Hollingworth, Charlesworth, Starkey, Wall, Carter (Burdett), Fletcher, Orton, Moore (Easom), Shaw. Sub Not Used: Cantrell.
Att: 138

Brodsworth MW 0 Sheffield 3
NCEFL Premier Division
Saturday, 04/12/04

Scorers: Caine Cheetham 2, James Tevendale.
Three goals in the last ten minutes left a young Brodsworth side absolutely shell-shocked at the Welfare Ground this afternoon, with the visitors heading home with three points when a goal-less draw was looking the most likely outcome. A double substitution fifteen minutes from the end by stand-in manager Lee Walshaw proved to be the tactical master stroke, with the introduction of Darren Holmes and Wednesday's man of the match Sam Ireland changing the course of a game that looked unlikely to bear any goals. Caine Cheetham was on target twice for Sheffield, with James Tevendale providing the other, with all three goals coming from close range.
The first forty minutes of this game was scrappy and uninspiring, neither side created anything in the way of openings with Brodsworth having to resort to ambitious long range efforts. All of these were wayward with the best coming midway through the half from Bradley whose attempted  lob over Darren Bonnington going wide of the target, this after the visitors were caught flat-footed from a quickly taken free-kick. Sheffield had the odd chance come their way, Chris Hilton putting Tevendale into space, Cheetham got on the end of the cross but Paul Peel managed to block the shot. The last five minutes started to liven the game up a little, but this did little to compensate for the previous showing from both sides; firstly Tevendale started a move down the right hand side, he threaded the ball to Cheetham who lost control of the ball, the home keeper Tim Whitehouse got in a tangle with Karl Slater and the ball came out to Craig Marsh who skewed the opportunity wide of the mark. Up the other end Brodsworth's best player on the day, Paul Bradley beat Rob Ward for pace down the flank, the end shot though was feeble to say the least and caused Bonnington little trouble. Tevendale provided Marsh with an opportunity to get Sheffield's noses in front just before the break, again Peel provided the block needed to deny the Sheffield midfielder's diving header.
Sheffield looked as if they were in no mood to repeat the first session's standard, starting the second forty five with a solid period of pressure on the Welfare goal. Marsh saw a shot whistle over the bar early on, but at the other end Brodsworth showed they were going to be no pushover, with Darren Bonnington having to be at his best to block Paul Bradley in a one-on-one situation. Danny Anson made his mark on the game with some good work setting up a chance for Tevendale; unfortunately this resulted in a bad shot. Seconds later Tevendale pull off a better effort which forced the best save of the game from Whitehouse, the Sheffield front man clear through looked a certainty to score, only a full length finger-tip save steered the ball around the post. Bonnington had to be on hand again to deny Welfare, and again it was Bradley who was allowed to get into a one-on-one situation, again it was the same result with Bonnington coming off best. After a quiet opening half which saw Richard Carrington contributing nothing like his usual quota of jinks and runs, the second saw him come into the game more prominently; he almost contributed to the opening goal, setting Tevendale up in the middle who in turn back-heeled the ball into the path of Cheetham, unfortunately for Club his shot was mis-kicked and the ball somehow deflected wide. For all the pressure and effort though, Sheffield never looked like scoring, that was up until Lee Walshaw's first tactical move of the game.
The introduction of Darren Holmes and Sam Ireland on seventy five minutes saw a change in fortunes for the visitors, although Rob Ward and Ryan O'Carroll had done little wrong up to this point, the switch saw Club look a whole lot more threatening. It took until the 80th minute for the deadlock to be finally broken, Holmes did some damage down the left wing eventually knocking the ball into Carrington, his shot was only parried by Whitehouse into the path of CHEETHAM who tripped the ball into the net from about five yards. It wasn't the prettiest of goals, but it was the breakthrough that got the visitors' noses in front, and it was a lead that was doubled less than a minute later. A long ball from defence caught the Brodsworth defenders flat, Cheetham took advantage to lob the ball over the advancing Whitehouse and with TEVENDALE chasing the cause, it was he who steered the ball the right side of the post from inches out. With two minutes left the salt was well and truly rubbed into the Brodsworth wounds, with Holmes again knocking the ball into the middle, this time Sam Ireland got there before Whitehouse to put it at the feet of CHEETHAM who had the easy task of flicking the ball over the flailing keeper from about a foot out. And it could have got worse for Brodsworth as Cheetham had an opportunity to grab an unlikely hat-trick seconds from the end, his shot beat the keeper - only the bounce of a terribly uneven pitch directed the ball inches wide.
This wasn’t a good game by any stretch of the imagination, but a win is a win. There was no doubt Club deserved the three points, a solid display at the back never looked like allowing Brodsworth a sniff of a goal, however the scoreline didn't do the game true justice. The first half performance had Sheffield looking like a team bereft of ideas, and the majority of the second half they looked like a team unable to produce anything from the chances created, but the last fifteen minutes they looked a side who could score for fun. Brodsworth may find themselves wondering what happened in that last fifteen minutes; the truth was that when Holmes, Carrington, Cheetham, Tevendale, Marsh, Anson and all the rest kicked into life, they showed what a good team Sheffield can be. If only they could do this for the full ninety, week in - week out. Three wins out of three for Mr Walshaw, and Dave McCarthy can return from his holiday safe in the knowledge he left the team in good hands.
BTF Club Man Of The Match - Danny Anson
Brodsworth Welfare: Whitehouse, Peel, Slater, R.Carmody, Morling, M.Carmody, Cooper, Perkins (Ball), Bradley, Sykes, Towler. Subs Not Used: Smith, Lackie.
Sheffield FC: Bonnington, Hilton, Vernon, Jones, Ward (Ireland), Marsh, Carrington, Anson, Cheetham, Tevendale (Kontou), O'Carroll (Holmes).
Att: 65.

Shirebrook Town 0 Sheffield 1
League Cup Second Round Replay
Tuesday, 01/12/04

Scorer: Caine Cheetham 29 mins
Carrington missed penalty 45 mins
Caine Cheetham was first half goal hero at Shirebrook tonight, as a severely depleted Sheffield squad turned in a workmanlike performance to win far more comfortably than the scoreline might suggest. On a different night Cheetham might have had a handful of goals, but in the end had to be content with his 29th minute strike following a corner to hand Club a tough and lengthy third round trip to Pickering Town. 
Trev writes:- Sheffield eased into the next round of this years League Cup competition with a controlled performance despite fielding a makeshift side. With some senior players unavailable, Lee Walshaw put his faith in some of the Under-19 squad by starting the game with Sam Ireland, and naming all three substitutes from the Under-19 team.
On a cold night, it was the home side who were the first to show as Kettle was put through one on one with Bonnington, but the keeper saved well at the striker's feet. Just past the ten minute mark and a free kick to Shirebrook went high and wide, posing no trouble to Bonnington. It's became Sheffield's turn to excerpt pressure as a mazy run by Carrington saw him drag his shot just wide of the post. Things looked bleak for the visitors when Ireland went down injured in the middle of the park after a 50/50 challenge, but after lengthy treatment both on and off the pitch Sam was able to carry on with his man of the match performance.
Just before the half hour mark it was Sheffield who made the breakthrough. Vernon's corner was headed out to the waiting Jones, who's shot was parried by the keeper and CHEETHAM was on hand to poke home the rebound. Sheffield were now in the ascendancy with Bonnington virtually a spectator as the visitors created chance after chance. In the opposite goal Hales was earning his money and pulled off a fine fingertip save from Holmes - unfortunately Cheetham couldn't convert the rebound. Shirebrook's only reply was a shot over the bar from Kettle, who was certainly off the boil tonight. On 45 minutes Sheffield were awarded a penalty as Starkey tripped Cheetham, but Carrington saw Hales save his effort with the referee immediately bringing the first half to a close.
Shirebrook started the second half in a more determined mood, Starkey having his long range shot safely gathered by Bonnington. Ireland then went for glory after dispossessing a defender, firing his shot wide of the keeper and the post, when a pass into the area would have been the better option. For all their pressure Shirebrook were still not testing Bonnington. Whilst at the other end Club looked like scoring every time they broke. Hilton produced an excellent crossfield ball to Cheetham, who threaded the ball back into the area for the onrushing Carrington, but the ball was just behind the No 10. Carrington then tried to repay the favour by jinking his way through the defence and putting the ball to Cheetham, but the over-worked Hales was first to react and clear the danger. With time running out Carrington dribbled the ball past three defenders before firing in a shot which hit the post, the resulting scramble seeing the ball cleared out of danger. Shirebrook had a guilt edged chance in added time, but Bonnington was on hand to make a point blank save, to preserve the lead and take Sheffield into the next round. It had been a controlled performance all round by the side and credit should also go to Assistant Manager Lee Walshaw, whose tactics were spot on - again.   
BTF Club Man Of The Match - Sam Ireland
Shirebrook Town: Hales, Rowbottom, Carter, Charlesworth, Starkey, Shaw, Fletcher M. (Cantrell), Orton, Kettle, Wilson (Burdett), Johnson. Unused Sub: Fletcher A.
Sheffield: Bonnington, Hilton, Vernon, Jones, Ward, Marsh, Ireland, Anson, Cheetham, Carrington, Holmes. Unused Subs: Kontou, Crossland, Fletcher.

Sheffield 2 Eccleshill United 1
NCEFL Premier Division
Saturday, 27/11/04

A battling display from Sheffield saw them take all three points in this encounter against a dogged Eccleshill side, on a cold afternoon at the Bright Finance Stadium, coming from behind to win by the odd goal in three. In an untidy game it took a goal in each half, one each from Richard Carrington and Rob Ward, to give Sheffield a hard earned victory. The Bradford side made certain Club didn't have it all their own way, playing a very frustrating defensive policy that kept the hosts at bay for most of the game, however when the line was broken it was with positive results.
With neither side having a game for the last ten days, both looked a little rusty and took some time to settle down, with Eccleshill's Damien McKenzie squandering an early golden opportunity. Sheffield, despite dominating the majority of the first twenty minutes, looked rather flat and the visitors defended most of the attacks with ease. When the opening goal came, on 21 minutes, it was against the run of play; a cruelly deflected shot off Rob Ward by the substitute PELTIER, who had been on the field for a matter of seconds, left Bonnington rooted to the spot giving the Eagles a surprise lead. Sheffield made an immediate attempt to level the scores; a flick into the middle from Ryan O'Carroll found Caine Cheetham unmarked, the Sheffield striker's header unfortunately went wide of the mark. Up the other end Darren Bonnington was being made to work for his money, the hosts' stopper having to be at his best to block Saul Peltier with a one on one effort. A hustling display from the visitors was keeping Club at bay, as the high defensive offside trap made it nigh on impossible to break the line, that however was up until the last minute of the half when Sheffield finally broke through. The man who did it was Caine Cheetham, for once the linesman kept his flag down and the front-man threaded the ball through to the ever lively CARRINGTON who steadied himself before carefully stepping around the keeper Craig Bates, the finish into the empty net was a formality. Even so with the game destined to go into the break with the scores level, Eccleshill will feel aggrieved they didn't get their noses back in front, Ian Twitchen hitting the bar from thirty yards out with Bonnington beaten.
This late effort obviously buoyed Eccleshill early in the second half as they made most of the running, attacking for most of the half and giving the Sheffield back pairing of Tom Jones and Jon Hobson plenty to think about. The game started to turn nasty at times with some rash challenges from both sides inflaming tempers, resulting in a couple of mêlées and a handful of yellow cards. As Sheffield absorbed the pressure, the chance of a breakaway goal looked likely, especially as the offside trap that was so efficient in the first period seemed quite shaky in the second. In the 74th minute Club made them pay for one of these lapses, and once again it was Cheetham who took advantage breaking through; a good run down the left and an inch perfect cross found the ever prolific Rob Ward unmarked at the back post, WARD as expected headed powerfully beyond Bates to give Club the lead. It was a lead that Sheffield never really looked like losing, despite being on the back foot for most of the remainder of the game. They even had an opportunity to stretch the lead when a free-kick found Tom Jones open in the middle of the area, the centre back was unable to get any real power behind the effort and Bates though was able to stop the shot with ease.
This was three points earned the hard way, and all respect must be given to the visitors, they came with a game plan and for a while it looked like it was going to be a winning one. Fortunately for Sheffield they stuck at the task, got the lead, and held on. Whilst this was far from pretty, this will be a good warm up for the upcoming trip to Shirebrook for Wednesday's League Cup Replay, hopefully that will end the same way.
Deano writes:- Eccleshill had a number of chances throughout the opening forty five minutes, and only a couple of superb saves by Darren Bonington, and last ditch blocks by Tom Jones and Jon Hobson, stopped the visitors putting this game well beyond the home sides reach. However, the turning point in the game came shortly before the half time break. Lee Walshaw, in charge of the side in Dave McCarthy's absence, switched tactics from a back three with two wing backs, to a regular flat back four. The space found by the United wing men in the opening spell disappeared and this switch allowed Rob Ward to move up front from the central defensive position occupied over the last few games. This put Club back in charge and once in front they looked fully in control. All credit to Walshaw for making the early change, which ultimately resulted in the winning of three valuable points.
BTF Club Man Of The Match - Tom Jones
Sheffield FC: Bonnington, Hilton, Vernon, Jones, Hobson, Ward, Carrington, Marsh, Tevendale (Holmes), Cheetham, O'Carroll (Kontou). Subs Not Used: Ireland.
Eccleshill United: Bates, Murray, Waite (Peltier), Wilson, Morgan, Newsome, Price, Hardy, Twitchen, Buchan, McKenzie (Armitage). Subs Not Used: Holland.
Att: 160

Sheffield 2 Mickleover Sports 0
NCEFL Premier Division
Tuesday, 16/11/04

Ten days after losing 4-2 at Station Road and with the opposition fresh in the mind, Sheffield had an early opportunity to gain a bit of revenge tonight at the Bright Finance Stadium, and they did so with a 2-0 win over a strong looking Mickleover outfit. With only one change from the line-up that drew with Shirebrook on Saturday, Caine Cheetham coming in for Ryan O'Carroll, along with a couple of positional changes, Sheffield never really looked troubled at any point of the game and wrapped the points up with a determined second half display.
Both teams could argue they had a fantastic chance to get the scoreboard ticking in the early stages of the game; after five minutes Chris Hilton saw his volley spectacularly saved by the fingertips of Tony Penty, whilst moments later at the other end Sheffield were thankful of the woodwork as Mickleover hit the bar with Darren Bonnington beaten. Sheffield really started to dominate proceedings from here in, and had some pretty valid shouts for a penalty waved away. Mickleover captain Corin Holness clearly tripped Craig Marsh in the area, the referee allowed play to go on, however in the official's defence he was unsighted. To make matters worse Holness confronted Marsh, who reacted by pushing the Sports' player away, sadly the incident was inflamed by Holness throwing himself to the floor feigning an injury to the face when clearly no contact was made. Once the referee settled things down and play restarted, a quick throw found Mark Willgoose in the area, again the Sheffield player was felled by a challenge by Gavin Wilson, this time though the play on decision was probably more of a fair call. Richard Carrington was his usual lively self causing issues for Mickleover's left sided defence, and he could count himself a little unlucky not to open the scoring having dribbled the ball round the sizable frame of Penty, unfortunately he took the ball far too wide and the finish was a little disappointing. Just before the interval Club were denied an almost certain goal by some great defending following a Carrington corner, Rob Ward rose unmarked at the back post to powerfully head towards goal, fortunately for the visitors Holness was there to head off the line.
Sheffield could feel aggrieved not to have gone into the break at least one goal to the good, they only had to wait ten minutes however to put this situation to rights, as straight from the off they put the visitors under pressure. A bit of a pin-ball situation at the edge of the area saw the ball break kindly in favour of CARRINGTON, this time the Sheffield player managed to keep calm beating the defender to the ball, and then chipping the ball over the huge frame of the Sports' keeper. With a goal under their belts Sheffield looked composed and confident as ever, and never looked remotely like conceding, but as always a second goal was going to be needed to put the game to bed. That goal came their way on 67 minutes, and a well worked one it was too; Cheetham showed great tenacity to win the ball on the right wing when all looked lost, and placed an inch perfect cross onto the waiting head of TEVENDALE who was lurking unmarked at the back post. That was it as far as scoring went, Mickleover started to press forward a little more in search of a comeback, but Sheffield held them at bay absorbing everything the Derby team threw at them. James Tevendale had a chance to add another goal to give the scoreline an even more emphatic look to it, unfortunately Penty was able to hoist himself acrobatically to tip over the bar.
Overall this was a good controlled performance by Sheffield, winning comfortably against an almost identical Mickleover side from ten days ago. There were several good performances amongst the Club players, notably from ex-Buxton players Tevendale and Cheetham; hopefully they can continue their good form for the visit to their old stamping ground on Saturday.
BTF Club Joint Man Of The Match - Caine Cheetham/James Tevendale

Sheffield FC: Bonnington, Hilton, Willgoose (Vernon), Jones, Hobson, Ward, Marsh, Carrington (Kontou), Cheetham, Anson (Holmes)Tevendale.
Mickleover Sports: Penty, Reynolds, Holness, Wilson, Strzyweski, Fletcher, Mays, Leighton, Hudson, Sutton, Pawley. Subs: Betteridge, Broadhurst, Fletcher.
Att: 190

Sheffield 1 Shirebrook Town 1
League Cup Second Round
Saturday, 13/11/04

This game was expected to be a tight one, with both teams challenging near the top of the NCEL Premier Division, and it proved to be exactly that as after 120 minutes of end to end football there was still nothing between them. A goal a piece either side of the extra time break takes this game to a replay, although Sheffield will feel they did themselves more than proud having played the last 75 minutes of the contest with only ten men. Joining Club for this cup tie was new signing from Buxton Danny Anson, and he was placed straight into the starting eleven, with Jon Pickess absent from the squad.
As expected from the off this was a very close contest, and both teams spent the first fifteen minutes feeling each other out, with Richard Carrington shining in the early exchanges. The first opening came to the visitors however, with Simon Johnson latching onto a through ball from Rob Orton, the lob from the Shirebrook forward beat Darren Bonnington but just went over the bar. Craig Marsh went close for the home side, his volley forcing Mark Hales to make a great save; unfortunately James Tevendales' rebound effort was blocked out. From the resulting corner Tom Jones rose above everyone to head goalwards, again Hales was there to deny Sheffield, making an excellent point blank save. Club were starting to make all the running and went close once more from a Ryan O'Carroll free-kick, this time Town's saviour came in the shape of Tony Starkey who deflected the ball just wide, and away from the waiting head of Jones. Again from this corner Hales proved to be the hero, once more denying a Marsh attempt, this time a header. Sheffield looked well in control of things, and it was they who were asking all the questions of the Shirebrook defence, with the visitors resorting to hitting Club on the break. It was during one of these breaks that the shape of the game changed dramatically, as Johnson broke through on goal he was upended by Jon Hobson. There will obviously be the usual discussions around "was he or wasn't he the last man", the referee obviously saw it to be a case of "he was", and promptly produced a red card.
The fact Sheffield were a man short didn't detract from the positive attitude of the team, however they found it was they who were on the back foot and they who were content to hit on the break. In one of the many sorties into enemy territory Carrington played a typical slide rule ball to Tevendale, his pace and shot at the end of the move beat everyone however it couldn't get the right side of the post. Shirebrook made the man advantage tell and had their hosts contained in their own half; with Rob Ward now converted to a makeshift centre-half and repelling everything thrown at him, Caine Cheetham was introduced up front to replace the tiring Tevendale. Despite the obvious shift in the balance of territorial play, Sheffield looked the more likely to score on the break, with Carrington nearly doing just that following a solo run and shot that just went wide. Anson had an opportunity to make it a goalscoring debut, unfortunately his shot blazed narrowly over the bar. With extra time looming ever nearer Shirebrook pressed on with an attempt to grab a late winner, with Craig Cantrell coming closest with a dipping shot that just went over Bonnington's bar. The Sheffield stopper ensured the game went into extra time when he made the first, in what turned out to be a series, of great saves - this one coming from Craig Shaw's effort.
Extra time came, and Man of the Match Bonnington's crusade to keep a clean sheet continued, as first he saved from ex-Teversal player Dave Kettle, and then followed this up with a double save from Martin Rowbothom. At the other end Hales wasn't to be outdone, as he denied an O'Carroll thunderbolt, tipping the Sheffield player's free-kick over the bar. With 102 minutes on the clock the deadlock was finally broken, and it came in favour of the home team; CHEETHAM walking the ball round the keeper and into the empty net - much to the delight of the home supporters. The lead lasted eight minutes, as the other side of the break saw the Shirebrook supporters celebrating an equaliser, KETTLE squeezing the ball past Bonnington to ensure the game went to a replay back at Langwith Road. Overall an entertaining game, with both sides serving up a good standard of football. Hopefully the replay will continue in a similar vein, albeit in warmer temperatures.
BTF Club Man Of The Match - Darren Bonnington
Sheffield FC: Bonnington, Hilton, Willgoose, Jones, Hobson, O'Carroll, Carrington (Vernon), Ward, Anson (Holmes), Tevendale (Cheetham).
Shirebrook Town: Hales, Rowbothom, Hollingworth, Charlesworth, Starkey, Wall (Fletcher), Shaw, Wilson, Johnson, Orton (Cantrell), Kettle. Sub Not Used: Carter.
Att: 210.

AFC Barnsley 0 Sheffield FC 4
Sheffield & Hallamshire Senior Challenge Cup - Second Round
Tuesday, 09/11/04

AFC Barnsley could not repeat the heroics of the previous round in tonight's game, following their 6-3 victory at Sheffield's fellow NCEFL Premier outfit Maltby Main. An excellent all-round team performance from Club left the hosts shell-shocked. Despite this being billed as the "tie of the round", the Central Midlands Premier Division leaders, who had conceded only four goals in their fourteen league games, had no answer to the swift and efficient passing game produced by their higher league visitors. Goals from Tom Jones and Caine Cheetham in the opening quarter of an hour left Sheffield in complete control of this game, whilst the dismissal of ex-Clubbie Daz Utley did little to help the Barnsley cause. Further goals in the second half from Craig Marsh and James Tevendale gave Sheffield an emphatic scoreline to match the performance.
Going into the game Sheffield were without the injured James Parkinson (neck injury) and the ill Darren Holmes (sinusitis), whilst Andy Slowe was absent through business; introduced to the squad once again was the under-19s starlet Stavros Kontou, who had impressed in his previous outings for the first team. Club took just four minutes to get the scoreboard ticking; a free-kick from the left by Ryan O'Carroll was met by the leap of JONES, whose flick header left keeper Stuart Ford with no chance. Any fears that Sheffield weren't going to take this game seriously were thrown well and truly out of the window from the start. Shortly after the goal, Craig Marsh went close to doubling the lead with another header, this time after some good work down the right flank. That second goal wasn't long coming, as in the fourteenth minute a long cross from Mark Willgoose was met by the head of the unmarked CHEETHAM; his looping header lazily lofted the keeper to give Sheffield a two goal lead. The pristine surface, normally a huge advantage for AFC in the CMFL, was tailor made for Sheffield's brand of passing football and this left the home side looking decidedly flat-footed. Barnsley managed to get themselves into the game, albeit with no reward, and in fact dominated a sizable period of the half. The closest they managed to come in this ten minute period was from Paul Allen, who saw his shot deflected narrowly wide following an excellent solo run, and it was taking some excellent defending from man of the match Tom Jones and his colleagues to stop the visitors being over-run. In the final minutes of the half Sheffield went extremely close to adding a third, and on more than one occasion; the first coming from Willgoose, whose shot from the edge of the box was deflected just wide, and from the resulting corner Cheetham had his headed effort cleared off the line by Adam Nixon.
As restarts to games go AFC couldn't have had a worse one; within minutes of the whistle Darren Utley scythed down Jon Pickess from behind with a rash tackle, and made things worse by head-butting Pickess after the Sheffield man reacted. The referee had no doubt in awarding Utley with a straight red, also awarding Pickess a yellow for his part in proceedings, and in doing so put a dent in any hopes Barnsley had of getting anything from the game. On the hour Sheffield wrapped up the game with a third and decisive goal, although following two similar efforts later in the game from the scorer, doubts have to be raised as to how much of a fluke the goal was. A ball into the middle was cleared out by a defender as far as MARSH, standing thirty yards out from goal; the midfielder hit the ball with a crisp volley which lofted the keeper in spectacular fashion. Despite the three goal deficit the hosts were still plugging away at the Sheffield defence and it took a superb one handed save from Bonnington, following a shot from another ex-Clubbie Pete Stubley who had turned Jon Hobson for once to get clear, to keep a deserved clean sheet. With the home team tiring due to the one man disadvantage, Sheffield started to create chances with increasing regularity, and it was only a series of over elaborate moves around the area, or simple misfortune, that stopped the scoreboard clocking up more goals. A typical example was from ex-AFC player Richard Carrington, who broke clear through midfield to set up James Tevendale clear on goal, the striker's shot just skimming the outside of the post. In the 86th minute the same combination did create the deserved and expected fourth goal, this time TEVENDALE managed to curl the ball beyond Ford into the top corner, thus completing a comprehensive display from the Club.
The early goal obviously settled Sheffield down, and gave an excellent platform to build on, but the nature of the win left even the most die-hard Sheffield fan impressed. This is probably the hardest opposition AFC had faced in their short lifetime, and despite playing their league football in the Central Midlands League they still have playing staff who are more than a match for many in a higher league. The four goal margin did not flatter Sheffield. Although Barnsley showed some signs of the potential they do have they couldn't live with some of the football produced by the NCEFL side, and with better finishing Club could have had an even more impressive win under their belts.
BTF Club Man Of The Match - Tom Jones (Class Act)
AFC Barnsley: Ford, Allen, Nixon, Moore, Taylor, Utley, Senior (Hancock), Till, Stubley, Bassinder, Dawson.
Sheffield FC: Bonnington, Hilton, Vernon, Jones, Hobson, Marsh, O'Carroll (Kontou), Carrington, Cheetham (Ward), Willgoose, Pickess (Tevendale).
Att: 350 (approx)

Mickleover Sports 4 Sheffield 2
NCEFL Premier Division
Saturday, 06/11/04

With the two sides only separated in the league table by a single point, a good game was in prospect at Mickleover's Station Road ground writes Trev. On a well prepared pitch, the home side created the first chances, with O'Carroll replying for the visitors with a shot travelling just wide of the post. Sheffield then had a succession of corners, the first one coming through some good defensive blocking, with Tevendale slipping the ball through to Carrington whose shot was blocked.  Cheetham was unlucky when a pin-point cross by Hilton found him outjumping his marker but he was unable to direct the ball on target. At the other end it was Bonnington who was left to breath a sigh of relief when sustained pressure by Mickleover saw Fletcher have a free header, but he somehow managed to put it over the bar with the goal at his mercy. On 22 minutes a reckless challenge by O'Carroll saw Mickleover take the lead, as the resulting free kick was floated into the area for HUDSON to rise unchallenged and head the ball beyond Bonnington. The hosts lead didn't last long as seven minutes later the teams were back on level terms. A cross-field ball found the lively Carrington who's shot was well saved by Penty, but TEVENDALE was on hand to bundle the ball home for his first league goal for the club. Once again Mickleover came close with a header from a set piece as Reynolds rose, but he put the ball over the bar. Straight after it was Bonnington who was called into action to make a point blank save from Hays, which was the last action of the half as the referee blew for half time.
The second half saw the home side bring on Leighton for Yeoman, and what an inspired substitition it proved to be. First the visitors put the home defence under pressure as although despite gaining three corners in succession the closest they came was when Sutton headed over his own bar. It was then Mickleovers turn to test the Sheffield defence, with Leighton appearing to be involved in all their more productive moves. However it was Sheffield who took the lead on 56 minutes when O'Carroll fed the ball to Carrington who ran at the home defence. The number 8 then unselfishly released the ball to the unmarked MARSH who made no mistake in beating Penty. With the visiting supporters still celebrating, Mickleover restarted the game and immediately equalised. A cross from the left by the dangerous Leighton was swept home by HUDSON for his second of the game. Just after the hour mark  it was time for the home supporters to cheer once again as Sheffield gave up possession on the right wing and once again it was Leighton who crossed the ball into the area to be met by HUDSON with a flying header for his hat-trick. With 15 minutes to go Pickess was brought on for Ward to try and salvage at least a point. As the game wore on there were chances at each end, with Sheffield pushing for an equaliser whilst Mickleover were happy to defend and try to hit the visitors on the break. With less than five minutes left, the home side attempted to take the sting out of the game by making a couple of substitutions. It was however game set and match as they managed to score a fourth in  the 90th minute. With Sheffield pushing forward, PAWLEY was on hand to finish off a fine cross, giving Bonnington no chance. A one goal deficit was going to be hard enough, but two goals was beyond the team. Despite coming close in injury time the game finished with victory to Mickleover to leapfrog Sheffield in the league table. 
Although 4-2 was somewhat flattering to the hosts it was a case of taking the chances presented that made all the difference. Sheffield now have two games in cup competitions before getting back to league action in ten days time, when they will play hosts to.....Mickleover!
BTF Club Man Of The Match - Richard Carrington 
Mickleover Sports: Penty, Reynolds, Holness (Thompson), Wilson, Strzyweski, Yeoman (Leighton), Hays, Fletcher, Hudson, Sutton (Stevens), Pawley.
Sheffield: Bonnington, Hilton, Willgoose, Jones, Hobson, Marsh, O'Carroll, Carrington, Ward (Pickess), Cheetham, Tevendale. Subs Not Used: Slowe, Vernon.

Sheffield 3 Arnold Town 1
NCEFL Premier Division
Tuesday, 02/11/04
Ward 3 (52, 55 & 85 mins) for Sheffield / Bogan (90 mins) for Arnold

Sheffield got back to winning ways at a misty Bright Finance Stadium tonight, overcoming an energetic Arnold side by three goals to one, with hat-trick hero Rob Ward getting the lot. It took a good second half performance from Sheffield to take all three points, after a dour first half from both sides, and with it came a welcome win for Club who had dropped to tenth place having not won in the league since the game at Maltby in early October. 
The first thirty minutes of the game brought two good saves, one from each keeper, and a big punch up. In between there was little result for the end to end football served up by both sides, and not many goalbound shots from either team, as each outfit cancelled the other out. The Eagles had the first real chance of the game, a good break and long distance shot from Darren Bogan had Darren Bonnington at full stretch, the keeper though managed to get enough on the ball to turn it round the post. At the other end a bright performance by Richard Carrington was emphasised by one of his many characteristic jinking runs through the Arnold defence, the best of which resulted in a shot on the turn, only a fingertip save by keeper Damien Beattie managed to deny the young winger. Both teams were embroiled in a bit of a dust up following an incident between Sheffield keeper Bonnington and Arnold defender Ricky Law, the ensuing scuffle saw members of both teams get involved, fortunately the referee managed to calm things down without resorting to cards of the red kind. Just before the break Sheffield had a chance to take the lead, a Mark Willgoose cross went dangerously close beating the keeper, and with Rob Ward steaming in at the back post the visiting captain Jon Boulter just managed to head clear.
The last move of the first half was to prove to be an omen for the start of the second, as within seven minutes the home team took the lead with the first of Rob Wards' three; as before the break an inch perfect cross from Willgoose has the Arnold defence beat, WARD timed his run to perfection this time to get his head to the ball just before Beattie, and his flicked header landed in the net. Within three minutes Club got a second, this time a creative bit of teamwork down the right wing saw Ryan O'Carroll switch the ball across field to Caine Cheetham, his slip pass through the defence found WARD in space who calmly chipped over the advancing Beattie. At two goals to the good Sheffield hit the comfort zone and allowed Arnold to come at them, content to hit on the break with Richard Carrington tormenting the defence with some sparkling footwork, and coming close when Carrington's solo run and shot just went wide of the post. With five minutes to go WARD got his and Club's third, this time the provider was substitute Jon Pickess whose break down the right wing exposed the vulnerability down this flank, the cross was steadied by the big front man before slotting home. In injury time Arnold managed to get a consolation goal, and a spectacular one at that; a lovely curling effort from the edge of the area by BOGAN beat Bonnington all ends up, the ball landing in the top corner to give an edge of respectability to the scoreline.
At last a result in Sheffield's favour, especially sweet after the bitter taste of some disappointing results, and one that springs them up a few places from the tenth spot occupied prior to kick-off. A good result and a good performance too, with Carrington, Willgoose and obviously Ward shining on a grotty night. The confidence started to show on the Sheffield lads after the second goal, something that hasn't been seen for a few weeks, hopefully this will carry on forward into Saturday's big game away to promotion hopefuls Mickleover Sports.
BTF Club Man Of The Match - Rob Ward
Sheffield: Bonnington, Hilton, Willgoose, Jones, Parkinson, Marsh, O'Carroll, Carrington (Holmes), Ward, Cheetham (Hobson), Tevendale (Pickess).
Arnold Town: Beattie, Davey, R.Law (Brady), White, Hodson, Boulter, Bogan, Bailey, Tennyson, Huynh (W.Law), Davies (Dacres).
Att: 151.

Pickering Town 2 Sheffield FC 1
FA Vase First Round
Saturday, 23/10/04

It's a second visit in quick succession to Mill Lane writes Trev for this afternoon's F.A.Vase 1st Round match following on from the 2-2 draw here eighteen days ago. The pitch looks in excellent condition as Sheffield kick off playing up the slope. There's a slight wind blowing and it's very overcast, but the rain is holding off.
Pickering are the first to show as they start the more livelier  of the two sides. The visitors come back more into the game as Ward plays a ball just behind the advancing Cheetham, but he has no time to control it before McNaughton intercepts and clears the danger. On 18 minutes  the advancing Willgrass has a shot from 35 yards well turned away by Bonnington in the Sheffield goal. The resulting corner sees Pickering score as MCNAUGHTON is the first to react in a crowded area to sweep the ball home. From the restart Cheetham almost levels but Martin in the home net just manages clear the danger. Pickering nearly doubled their lead with no one closing Greening down and his long range shot travels narrowly went wide. Just before the half hour mark a long throw from Parkinson to Ward sees Cheetham through on goal but as Martin closes him down his ends the wrong side of the post. However, the visitors draw level on 41 minutes as Parkinson's ball through the middle finds CARRINGTON, who playing a one-two with Cheetham, and despite having his back to goal, shimmies his way past two defenders to curl the ball beyond the despairing reach of Martin. The goalkeeper looking back at the goal wondering how exactly Carrington had managed to squeeze his shot perfectly inside the angle of post and crossbar.
It's a lively start to the second half by Sheffield, as they press Pickering into their own half. A free kick by O'Carroll just before the hour mark is parried out by the keeper. The resulting corner then has Martin clawing the ball from under the bar as Vernon's right foot lob looks goalbound. There's an ugly incident in the middle of the park then with tempers becoming heated as Salt is given a straight red card for an over the top tackle on Marsh, the second time this has happened between these two sides. However, it's Pickering who then look the more dangerous as Sheffield cannot keep possesion, allowing the home side to fire in shots on Bonnington. Sheffield are forced to make a substitution as Ireland replaces the injured Kontoue. Bonnington then makes his best save of the day, diving full length to turn away Dickenson's fierce shot from the edge of the area. With Pickering tiring, Sheffield bring on Pickess to try and break the dead lock. Yet another long throw by Parkinson is cleared by the overworked defence, who hold firm. With just under 10 minutes left, the ball falls invitingly to Ward, but his fierce shot is struck straight at the keeper. With five minutes left, Pickering substitute Baxter fires just wide with only the keeper to beat. With just three seconds of normal time remaining on the clock, Sheffield come unstuck yet again at a set piece. Dickenson for Pickering launches a long throw into the Sheffield area and there is BAXTER on hand to score. With added time ticking down Sheffield throw men forward but it's too little too late, as a game that was under control slips through our fingers as the referee blows for full time.
BTF Club Man Of The Match - Ryan O'Carroll 
Pickering Town: Martin, Macauley, Brunton, Eeles, mcnaughton, Willgrass, Swales, Dutton, Greening (Baxter), Salt, Dickinson  Unused Subs: Towse, Conner, Pallender, Marsden.
Sheffield: Bonnington, Kontoue (Ireland), Vernon (Fletcher), Jones, Parkinson, Marsh, O'Carroll, Carrington, Ward, Cheetham, Willgoose (Pickess) Unused Sub; Hobson

Sheffield 1 Harrogate Railway Athletic 5
NCEFL Premier Division
Saturday, 16/10/04

Harrogate had won their last three in a row on the road, beating top of the table teams such as Shirebrook and Goole, Sheffield had lost their last two league games at home. Despite sitting at the top of the table eight places clear of the visitors and having beaten them on their own patch earlier this season, the form book looked to have only one outcome, and so it proved as Rail steamed away from the Bright Finance Stadium having inflicted Club's worst home league defeat since moving into Dronfield.
The visitors never looked in any danger of coming second best this afternoon, it took just eight minutes for them to take the lead they weren't going to lose; a cross from Ryan Haigh was met at the far post by HOWARTH, unmarked by a lethargic looking defence, and into an empty net. This was from Harrogate's first attack of the game and summed up the clinical nature of their forward line, naturally buoyed by the confidence of the undefeated run away from Station View, and on twenty minutes they doubled their lead and effectively won the game. HAIGH cutting in from the right wing, played a neat little one-two on the edge of the box, and gently glided the ball over the static Darren Bonnington into the net. Sheffield were gifted a glorious chance to get back into the game almost immediately, a speculative ball through the middle was handled in the area by Paul Stevenson, the referee in no doubt awarding the penalty. Jon Pickess strode to the spot and placed the ball Wilkinson-esque over the bar and out of the ground, never troubling the keeper, a truly awful effort. A goal at that stage could have seen the hosts scramble their way back into the game, the visitors however took heart from this event and pushed on, nearly grabbing a third before the break from a James Featherstone volley that scraped the post.
A triple substitution from Coach Dave McCarthy showed the home sides intentions; however an assured goalkeeping performance by Lee Ashforth kept Club at bay, dealing with anything that came his way. Not that he was really tested by the home team, the nearest they came was when a Craig Marsh cross was diverted beyond him by Bairstow, unfortunately for Sheffield the ball went over the bar. In the 63rd minute the game was done and dusted, as RYAN received the ball on the edge of the area, and struck the ball beyond the unsighted Bonnington. A fourth almost followed immediately, another break down the right hand side by Haigh had Bonnington beaten once again, this time fortune was on the home side as the ball scraped the post. Sheffield got on the scoresheet on 76 minutes, a good break down the right wing by Richard Carrington, who cut inside Bairstow to deliver the perfect ball onto the head of CHEETHAM. Any hope that Sheffield would secure one of the greatest fight-backs of all time was thwarted eleven minutes from the end just as the heavens opened, HOWARTH getting on the end of a cross to stab past Bonnington, four-one to the Railway. Three minutes later and the rout was complete, this time the man to beat Bonnington was RYAN, nothing more to be said really.
This wasn't the worst performance by a Sheffield side since the move to the Coach and Horses, but it was probably one of the most comprehensive defeats suffered in recent times, and other teams have suffered at the hands of a very confident Harrogate side. There can't be many positives to be taken from this game, if any at all; however the team needs to show some bouncebackability, starting with the Vase game at Pickering next Saturday.
BTF Club Man Of The Match - Richard Carrington
Sheffield FC: Bonnington, Watson (Hilton), Vernon, Jones, Parkinson, Hobson, Marsh, Carrington, Ward, Pickess (Tevendale), Willgoose (Cheetham).
Harrogate Railway Athletic: Ashforth, Holmes, Turner, Stevenson, Bairstow, Haigh, Shuttleworth, Scott, Featherstone (Whellans), Howarth, Ryan (Hillier). Sub Not Used: Day.
Att: 200.

Sheffield 4 Yorkshire Amateur 1
Presidents Cup First Round
Tuesday, 12/10/04

A three goal salvo from Man Of The Match Richard Carrington was the key to easing Sheffield through to the second round of the President's Cup tonight at the Bright Finance Stadium, over a Yorkshire Amateur side whose preparations weren't helped after being delayed on the motorway. In a comfortable display on a difficult surface, Club never looked in any danger throughout the contest, and emphasised this with a neat passing game that the Leeds outfit had no answer to.
Sheffield always looked to have the edge over the Ammers, despite the visitors having a considerable amount of territorial advantage, but it took until the thirty minute mark to break the deadlock. A couple of opportunities fell the way of new signing James Tevendale, which were both sliced over, whilst Ryan O'Carroll grazed the bar from a free-kick. Rob Ward also with a good chance shot straight at Michael Whaley in the visitors goal. The breakthrough came courtesy of CARRINGTON, who turned the flailing defence inside out with an individual effort, before curling the ball round Whaley into the corner of the net. Ten minutes later and the young winger doubled his tally; this time a telling cross was whipped across the goal just eluding Ward, CARRINGTON sneaked in at the back post to hit the ball in off the keeper.
The visitors put up a stern response to the hosts after the restart, driving forward in search of a comeback, but never looked like getting back into the game. Their cause wasn't helped by the swift counter-attacking of the Sheffield forward line, Tevendale epitomised this with a solo run that was nearly rewarded with a goal, the shot going only inches wide. The best the Ammers had to offer was a shot from skipper Stephen Jowitt, this following some cheaply conceded possession by the home defence, again though Bonnington was not truly tested. The introduction of Pickess mid-way through the half gave the visitors more to contemplate, and a great through ball saw Picko out-pace the defence with ease, only some brave keeping by Whaley stopped a superb goal. The third inevitably came, and saw CARRINGTON get his hat-trick in the 77th minute with a relatively simple goal, steadying himself from twelve yards out to drill beyond the stranded keeper. Seven minutes later TEVENDALE got in on the act, Pickess the provider with an excellent cross that caught the defence out, the new signing from Buxton took his time controlled the ball before dispatching through the crowded defence into the goal. There was still time for the Ammers to get a well deserved goal, a corner from Jowitt was headed home by the substitute TABOR, although it has to be said it was scant consolation for their endeavours.
Overall an easy run out for Sheffield, as comfortable as the scoreline suggests, although the visitors did give a good account of their selves. The difference between the respective leagues told in the end, with Carrington obviously taking the accolades, and Club move onward into the last eight of the competition.
BTF Club Man Of The Match - Richard Carrington 
Sheffield FC: Bonnington, Watson, Vernon (Marsh), Jones, Parkinson, Hobson, O'Carroll (Ireland), Carrington, Ward (Pickess), Tevendale, Willgoose.
Yorkshire Amateur: Whaley, McHale (Taylor), Gardey, Marchant, Smith, Almond, Jowitt, Hope, Green (Rawson), Bingley, Dickinson.
Att: 125.

Maltby Main 0 Sheffield 1
NCEFL Premier Division
Saturday, 09/10/04

At a blustery Muglet Lane writes Trev, Sheffield were hoping to go back to the top of the table with a win against struggling Maltby. There was confusion even before the start of the match with the referee not having been informed of the changed kick off time of 12.30. The ref was therefore insistent that the game commence at noon. A compromise kick off time of 12.15 was eventually agreed upon with the actual kick off being closer to 12.20 !!
Maltby were the first to show as a snap shot needed Bonnington to be alert to swiftly go down and gather safely. This was followed by, Sheffield's new signing from Buxton, James Tevendale supplying a tantalising cross that beat the keeper but just eluded the onrushing Pickess and Ward. It was then Ward turning creator, winning the ball back on the edge of the home  sides area with his cross-cum-shot having to be cleared off the line by ex-Sheffield defender Richard March. The resulting corner seeing Parkinson's header being well saved by the home custodian Adnitt. With Sheffield exerting all the pressure it was no surprise to see them take the lead. A long ball over the top of the defence saw defender and keeper get into a tangle,  and the ball running free for JON PICKESS to put the ball into an empty net, for his first league goal of the current campaign. Immediately from the restart Bonnington was called upon to dive full stretch to turn the ball round the post. Just past the half hour mark Sheffield could have doubled the lead as Pickess found Ward unmarked in the area, but the big man blazed his shot over the bar. Just before the break Maltby's went close as a free kick by Staniforth was beaten away by Bonnington with Somerville lashing the rebound wide of the upright.

The second half had the visitors playing with the wind at their backs, but the hosts created the first real chance. The ever dangerous Somerville having a shot cleared off the line by Jones, with Bonnington out of position. In the 50th minute Andy Watson replaced Chris Hilton followed by Tevendale almost scoring on his debut as his fierce shot was parried by Adnitt. The keeper just recovering in time with the ball rolling the goalwards. Pickess then found himself one on one with the on rushing keeper, but his lob was just wide of the target. Maltby then made a substitution of their own, despite the fact their official team sheet had no substitutes named ! On the hour mark Hobson replaced Tevendale and his first contribution was to set up a chance for Carrington as Sheffield chased the elusive second goal. The lively Somerville then gave hope to the home supporters but his shot was well blocked by the in form Darren Bonnington, the rebound being cleared by Man Of The Match Tom Jones. Despite the domination it seemed that one goal might be too precarious a lead to hold. However, try as they might a second goal just wouldn't come. Sam Ireland came on in the final couple of minutes for the injured Richard Carrington, but he had little time to contribute with the referee bringing the game to a finish.
A scrappy game, and one where Sheffield should have won by a hat full. A win is a win though and top of the league is a position that can't be argued with !
BTF Club Man of the Match: Tom Jones
Maltby Main: Adnitt, March, Staniforth, Reed, Ward, Owen, Winter (Unnamed Sub), O'Donnell, Somerville, Nelis, Green.
Sheffield: Bonnington, Hilton (Watson), Willgoose, Jones, Parkinson, Marsh, O'Carroll, Carrington (Ireland), Ward, Tevendale (Hobson), Pickess.

This second half header sails narrowly wide.......
of the Maltby upright, much to the relief of the home defenders
Pickering Town 2 Sheffield 2
NCEFL Premier Division
Tuesday, 05/10/04

With Club unable to take advantage of the opportunity to go top of the table on Saturday writes Trev, it was a long trek North and a trip to Mill Lane, Pickering in an effort to try and redeem themselves. Restored to the side were Darren Bonnington and Lee Vernon, whilst Manager Dave McCarthy began with three recognised strikers on the field.
It was a lively start as both sides tried to get to grips with the blustery conditions. Swales had the first real chance of the match as his shot was cleared off the line, whilst at the other end both Rob Ward and Jon Pickess were making life difficult for the home defence, with Caine Cheetham playing just behind them. However as the half wore on it was Pickering who started to dominate the game. First Dutton rose unchallenged to head the ball just the wrong side of the post, followed a minute later by the home side springing the offside trap and firing wide at the other side of the goal. The visitors best effort of the half was when a cross by Pickess found Marsh, but his shot was tame and  safely gathered by Martin in the home goal. Just before the break Bonnington had to be brave to dive at the feet of an onrushing forward to turn the ball away, resulting in him receiving treatment. Luckily the referee brought the half to a close not long after the Sheffield shotstopper was back on his feet.
The second half saw the visitors kicking down the slope. However it was the hosts that drew first blood in the 58th minute as the Sheffield defence backed away and SWALES was able to take the ball forward unchallenged and unleash a shot which evaded Bonnington to find the bottom corner of the net. At this stage Pickering were asking all the questions with Sheffield finding it difficult to hold onto the ball and in the 65th minute the hosts doubled their lead. Once again it was SWALES grabbing the glory as a harmless looking cross-cum-shot from the right hand side saw Bonnington going down to gather it, but the ball slipped under the keepers body and trickled into the net. Sheffield strived to get back into the game as Man Of The Match Lee Vernon swung a cross into the area which Marsh headed back into the danger zone and Ward nodded just over. The visitors started to excert more pressure on the home defence and in the 77th minute pulled a goal back. From a Parkinson long throw into the area the ball was only cleared as far as MARSH standing on the edge of the box and the Sheffield midfielder rifled in a shot through a crowd of players. It was Pickering's turn to be on the back foot as Sheffield started to knock the ball about and open up the home defence as they fought to get the equaliser. With ten minutes to go the visitors finally got the bit of luck that had evaded them all evening. Once again Parkinson launchesd a long throw into the area. As the players jumped, it's appeared to be a Pickering head getting the final touch, guiding it beyond the reach of the keeper. However, the referee was to confirm later that the goal had been credited to Rob Ward.
The last ten minutes saw some frantic action with Pickering firmly on the back foot. Town player of the night Swales, blotted his copybook by being dismissed after an over the top challenge on Parkinson. Once the ball was back in play it was Sheffield going close with Carrington shooting on the turn. Keeper Martin just managed to get his fingertips to the ball and turn it onto the post. In added time Pickering forced a corner but the Sheffield defence held firm and cleared the danger. With the home side looking to hang on, Sheffield had the last chance, sweeping down the pitch only to be stopped with the home side conceding yet another free kick. Before the visitors managed to get the chance to have a strike at goal the referee brought the game to a close.
Overall, it was a gritty performance and a well won point which saw Club regaining second placd in the table.
BTF Club Man Of The Match - Lee Vernon 
Pickering Town: Martin, Morton, Brunton (Reid), Eeles(Macauley), McNaughton, Willgrass, Dutton, Swales, Greening, Baxter, Dickenson. Sub not used: Towes
Sheffield: Bonnington, Hilton, Vernon, Jones, Parkinson, Marsh, O'Carroll, Carrington, Ward, Cheetham, Pickess. Subs not used: Hobson, Ahmed, Ireland.

Picko (extreme right - you can see his legs !!)...
about to celebrate his 'goal' against Armthorpe with the fans in the stand
Is the reaction of the Armthorpe defenders significent in the above picture ?  Darren Pugh, No 8, seems resigned to the goal whereas keeper Cooper may have already spotted the rogue yellow flag, or has he ?

Sheffield 1 Armthorpe Welfare 2
NCEFL Premier Division
Saturday, 02/10/04

A legendary goalscorer once said in reference to soccer, 'it's a funny old game'. This afternoon we did indeed witness a funny old game at The Coach and Horses writes Deano but unfortunately no-one from Sheffield left the ground laughing.
Club suffered a second successive home league defeat, both coming against opposition that a club with promotion aspirations should surely be brushing aside. Nevertheless, Armthorpe are never an easy proposition, and their recent 4-1 demolition of Thackley at Dennyfield served notice that this season was to be no different. The first half was a dour and lacklustre affair in blustery conditions. Chances were extremely limited with Club going close on just two occasions. Mark Willgoose scraping the upright with a half volley after ten minutes, and Jon Pickess blazing over when hitting the back of the net seemed easier. This after Rob Ward's initial effort had hit the bar, with the rebound landing invitingly at the feet of the popular striker. 
The alarm bells were starting to ring just three minutes after the re-start. Armthorpe's Gamble hitting the bar with an early header. However, Club at last started to take control of the game and were rewarded in the 58th minute when Rob Ward headed home after a scramble in the box following a corner.
Up until this point in the game the match referee and his assistants had had a fairly low profile, suggesting the game was being well controlled by sensible officials. However, this was to change in the 65th minute and in doing so the outcome of the match was clearly affected. A sweeping move involving Chris Hilton and Rob Ward ended with Pickess blasting home from six yards and leaping the barrier to receive the applause of the fans in the main stand. Enter stage left the Assistant Referees offside flag. A debatable decision when a second goal at this point in the game would surely have claimed three points for the home side. To compound the misery Pickess was booked, effectively for celebrating the offside decision ! It would certainly be interesting to hear the referees version of this incident.
In the 76th minute the visitors cleared the ball upfield in an effort to get something from the game. A shot on goal appeared to be blocked by Ferraby with the ball falling kindly to a suspiciously offside looking Phil Doyle. The Welfare No 7 gleefully poked the ball home to level the scores and prompt yet more protests from the Sheffield players and bench.
The earlier momentum of the home side had now disappeared and of the two sides Armthorpe were finishing the stronger. With five minutes remaining Manager Dave McCarthy left the bench in the direction of the dressing rooms, either in disgust at the decisions of the officials or maybe in frustration at the lack of discipline coming from his players. With two minutes of normal time left, and with the Sheffield defence at sixes and sevens, the home side failed to deal with a corner and Darren Pugh drove a shot through a sea of players to land Armthorpe an unlikely victory. At the final whistle the officials departed from the pitch with the fans letting them know in no uncertain terms what they thought of their performances.
Post match discussions suggested several supporters were more upset with the level of performance from some of the Sheffield players and at some of Manager McCarthy's team selection, than of the referees involvement in proceedings. Either way if Sheffield are to be considered realistic contenders for promotion again they will have to improve considerably upon this performance, with or without the help of some highly questionable refereeing decisions. What better place to get proceedings back on track than at Pickering on Tuesday evening. 
Scorers: Rob Ward 58 mins for Sheffield, Phil Doyle 76 mins & Darren Pugh 88 mins for Armthorpe.
BTF Man Of The Match - Chris Hilton
Sheffield: Ferraby, Hilton, Willgoose, Jones, Parkinson, Watson, O'Carroll, Carrington, Ward, Pickess (Cheetham), Marsh. Unused Subs: Hobson, Vernon.
Armthorpe Welfare: Cooper, Page, Jarvis (Dannyse), Allen, Gamble, Brown, Doyle, Pugh, Gaughan, Jones, Anderson. Unused Subs: Hall, Hine.
Attendance: 156

Sheffield 4 Rossington Main 1
FA Vase Second Round Qualifying
Saturday, 25/09/04

Club coasted into the next round of the FA Vase with a comfortable win over NCEL Division One outfit Rossington Main, this afternoon at the Bright Finance Stadium, without ever really getting out of first gear. Two second half goals from Jon Pickess, along with goals from Tom Jones and Rob Ward gave the score it's convincing look, although with some better finishing the home team could have ended up with a massive total. Rossington without a win under their belt all season never looked at the races, and despite pegging Sheffield level by the break, were easily outclassed in the end by their higher division hosts.
The game started as expected with Sheffield on the attack; an early shot that went just over from Richard Carrington set the pattern for the first half, as Rossington were on the back foot from the off. In the 15th minute Craig Marsh was unlucky to see his shot cleared off the line by Dave Holvey; however Main's luck wasn't going to hold out for much longer, as straight from the resulting corner Sheffield took the lead. The corner was floated in to the head of Tom Jones, the keeper Michael Jones could only punch the ball back into the path of the Sheffield centre-half, and with the ball laid on a plate for him JONES simply kicked the ball home. Three minutes later though the home fans were silenced, as totally against the run of play Rossington came back into the game with an equaliser, and yet again it was a gift from the Sheffield defence rather than the creativity of their opponents. A mix-up in the Club back-line saw Phil Taylor dart in between to get the ball, and Ferraby helpless, TAYLOR powered the ball home to level the scores. It seemed as if the parity would only last a few moments, as Sheffield had an almost immediate opportunity to re-take the lead; Caine Cheetham beat the offside trap to race one-on-one with the keeper, his finish however was not to his usual standard and went wide of the goal. Rossington were panicking their way through the game, and only some last ditch defensive clearances prolonged their survival in the competition, as the visitor's keeper Jones continually flapped at the ball appearing unable to catch anything. The first to Main's rescue was Neil Wakelin, who somehow contrived to scoop the ball off the line following a mix up in the Rossington defence, with minimal Sheffield pressure. Club went close shortly after when skipper Chris Hilton, who lead by example all afternoon, crossed to Craig Marsh who headed narrowly over. In injury time Cheetham had an opportunity to make amends for his previous failure to capitalise on a clear on goal opportunity, as Marsh flicked the ball through; again one-on-one with Jones the Sheffield striker narrowly shot wide.
Sheffield continued their assault on the Rossington goal, with Richard Carrington the first to have an effort on target after less than a minute on the clock, the keeper blocked the shot but again poor handling meant the ball had to be scrambled away. In the 51st minute Sheffield regained their lead, and this time they weren't going to relinquish it; Cheetham's non-stop running found him in space on the right, he held the ball up nicely before slipping it through to Carrington who in turn played across the face of the goal to WARD, the big striker had no trouble placing the ball into the empty net for his third of the season. The visitors never really troubled the Club goal, on the other hand the hosts never really stepped up the pace despite introducing the livewire Pickess, and it took until the 72nd minute to make the game well and truly safe. Rob Ward was the first to react to a bad back-pass and managed to break through on goal, his shot was only parried into the path of PICKESS by Jones, the substitute had only a small amount of trouble controlling the ball into the net from a yard out before racing into the back of the stand to celebrate his first goal in open play of the season. Despite being virtually unemployed for the majority of the game, Sheffield had to thank the bravery of Neil Ferraby for keeping them in the comfort zone, as he dived at the feet of Ben Hickey as he raced unopposed towards goal. The scoring was complete in the 83rd minute following some good build up football, the ball fell at the feet of the grounded Chris Hilton who summed up his man-of-the-match display by stretching to toe-poke (at great pain) the ball into the path of PICKESS, who repeated his feat of putting the ball into the back of the net and celebrating in time honoured fashion. In injury time Sheffield could have had a fifth, and Pickess a hat-trick, when some good work from Hilton and Marsh set the striker with a golden opportunity to finish at the back post, the bounce and spin however deceived Picko and denied him the match-ball.
The final score probably reflected the superiority of the home team, however if they had been firing on all cylinders who knows what the score could have been. Rossington were never a match for Sheffield, and despite having a couple of good chances, never looked like really troubling Club. The win puts Sheffield's name into the hat for the next round, hopefully this season's Vase adventure will continue further than the last one, and of course with a better end result.
BTF Club Man Of The Match - Chris Hilton 
Sheffield FC: Ferraby, Hilton, Vernon (Willgoose), Jones, Parkinson, Watson (Hobson), O'Carroll, Carrington, Ward, Cheetham (Pickess), Marsh. Subs Not Used: Bonnington, Bushiri.
Rossington Main: Jones, Lodge, Salmon, Wakelin, Holvey, Black (Laidlaw), Parsons, Taylor, Hickey, Batchelor, Scarborough (Fletcher). Sub Not Used: Sennett.
Att: 120

Thackley 1 Sheffield 1
NCEFL Premier Division
Tuesday, 21/09/04

Sheffield will be glad to come away from Ainsbury Avenue with a hard earned point tonight, after a splendid rearguard action in the last twenty minutes from the visitors, before which it seemed to have been an easy night on the road for Club. Sheffield were coasting along with a comfortable 1-0 lead, following Craig Marsh's thirteenth minute goal, and had rarely been troubled at the defensive end of the field when the trend of the game turned dramatically following a defensive mix-up.
Following on from two successive defeats, Sheffield were looking to get back to winning ways at Thackley, a team who themselves had been without a win in the league so far this season. Thackley were the first team to make a strike on goal, Martin Packer's quickly taken free-kick making Neil Ferraby in the Sheffield goal scramble the ball to safety. Sheffield were making all the early running though, and a typical jinking run from Richard Carrington found himself unopposed down the right wing, he then stabbed the ball into the middle where MARSH was waiting to hit the ball home from twelve yards. It was a lead Sheffield deserved at that point and they had a glorious chance to double that shortly after; a dodgy back-pass to keeper David Bainbridge saw Caine Cheetham first to the ball, the keeper blocked his effort with the ball deceiving Jon Pickess, who ended up on his back-side after unsuccessfully trying to get the vital touch. With Club having all the play, Thackley's chances were limited to say the least, their best effort coming from Packer whose shot sailed over the bar.
The second half started as a midfield battle, with neither side getting out of the middle third, and naturally there were very few chances. David Nelson had a long drive easily saved from Ferraby, but with Thackley desperately chasing an equaliser, they started to push forward in greater numbers. In the 73rd minute their reward came, but not without a little help from the visitors, as they finally got the goal they wanted. With Sheffield dealing with just about every sortie into the box, they were finally undone when Ferraby failed to deal with an awkward backpass, JOHNSON was in like a flash to dispossess the keeper and slot the ball into the empty net. It was cruel blow for Club, but this now spurred Thackley onto bigger things, with a home win looking the most likely result. The ball was now firmly encamped in the Sheffield third, and the chances were coming thick and fast for the hosts; firstly substitute Declan Corby saw his header tipped wide by Ferraby, then moments after Adam Johnson headed against the post. Sheffield were living a charmed life at this point, and were desperately scrambling to maintain at least a point from the game; however right at the death they could have snatched a highly unlikely win, as Marsh played the ball into Rob Ward who in turn shot just wide of the post with the keeper beaten.
Thackley, as ever, never seems to be a happy hunting ground for Sheffield so to come away with something is always nice. However with Club looking so comfortable up the point of the equaliser, with Tom Jones giving another man-of-the-match performance in the centre of defence, it has to be said they made it unnecessarily difficult for themselves. The first half performance from Club was an excellent example of what they can do, and given a few more breaks in the luck department, the game could have been in the bag. As it is Sheffield move back into second spot in the league, and going into Saturday's Vase encounter with Rossington fully expecting a good result to get back on winning ways.
BTF Club Man Of The Match - Tom Jones
Thackley: Bainbridge, Ettienne, Packer, Riley, Sugden, Ferrand, Oliver, Senior, Johnson, Morris (Corby), Nelson. Subs Not Used: Bentham, Larkin.
Sheffield: Ferraby, Hilton, Vernon, Jones, Parkinson, Marsh, O'Carroll (Willgoose), Carrington (Watson), Cheetham (Ward), Pickess, Cluxton.
Att: 65.

Colne 2 Sheffield 1
FA Cup First Round Qualifying
Saturday, 18/09/04

Club crashed out of this season's FA Cup this afternoon at Holt House, 2-1 against Colne of the North West Counties Division One, following a below par performance from the visitors. The damage was done at the start of each half, with a goal being scored in the opening moments of both periods, with Sheffield's only reply coming too late from a Jon Pickess penalty. Making his debut today for Club was Desbon Bushiri, signed after his impressive trial the previous Monday against Sheffield Wednesday, and he went on to give an impressive start before faltering in the second half.
Sheffield opened the game facing the disadvantages of both playing up the steep slope and into the strong breeze, but it was the visiting team who had the first chance inside the opening minute, with Richard Carrington volleying just over. The difficulty of defending against the elements was soon quite evident; Gavin Cooper's shot for the hosts was deflected narrowly wide, with James Parkinson the defender who managed to get his head to the ball. It was a lively opening to the game, and Colne were the first to exploit the conditions to their advantage, as they took the lead on 12 minutes. A free-kick from twenty five yards out was pumped into the danger area, poor defending left HOWARTH unmarked five yards from goal, and he didn't need a second invitation put the ball beyond the helpless Neil Ferraby. The rest of the half saw Sheffield take the game to Colne, as the visitors pushed up the hill - albeit unsuccessfully - for an equaliser. Chris Hilton could count himself unlucky not to find his name on the scoreboard, as his cross left the Colne keeper Ross Baxter flailing at the ball, which cruelly hit the bar and bounced to safety. Craig Marsh went close on a couple of occasions for Sheffield; the first came after Rob Ward set the midfielder up with an opportunity that was shot just over, and the second which was closer than the first, set up by Jon Pickess and Richard Carrington which saw Marsh scrape the outside of the post. Just before the break Colne had the chance to double their lead, which would have been unjust given the balance of play, when Scott Gizon flicked the ball onto Gavin Cooper who in turn blasted the ball just over Ferraby's bar.
Colne did get the second and decisive goal two minutes into the second half, with the Sheffield defence again caught cold from a set piece play. A cross in from the right saw goalscorer Carl Howarth turn provider, as Colne's best player on the day COOPER was left wide open at the back post, leaving the striker an easy nod in. With the conditions now apparently on the visitors' side, it seemed Colne had stepped up a gear, and were playing with more vigour and enthusiasm than in the first half. Cooper weaved a mesmerising path through the Club defence, who had Ferraby to thank for a timely save, and moments later the Sheffield keeper had to be on hand to tip Richard Close's header over the bar. The visitors had to throw everything forward, and the introduction of Caine Cheetham adding to Ward and Pickess up front, showed Sheffield's attacking intentions. Ryan O'Carroll went close to pulling one back, following a poorly cleared corner; his shot was somehow scrambled away by Baxter in the Colne net. With three minutes left on the clock Sheffield's vocal travelling support had something to cheer about as they finally opened their account; some typically tenacious play from Jon Pickess found him beat defender Craig Whitaker, who had no option but to bring the Sheffield attacker down. Up stepped PICKESS who thumped home to give Club a lifeline, and in the process break his season's scoring duck, giving Baxter no chance. It was Colne's turn to be on the back foot now, and Sheffield almost grabbed an unlikely equaliser in the dying seconds of normal time, the big chance falling to Cheetham who was just unable to turn in a through ball from Marsh.
In the end there was to be no fairytale ending for the visitors, as two pieces of slack defending left too much to be done in the second half. Colne fully deserved the victory, being the ones to master the slope and wind when it mattered the most, whilst Sheffield found the going just a little too hard. So, a trip to the Millennium Stadium will have to wait for another year, hopefully this will be compensated by with a good run in the Vase - starting next week against Rossington Main.
BTF Club Man Of The Match - Tom Jones
Colne: Baxter, Ingham, Hefferman, Webster, Close, Whitaker, Cunningham, Borland (Walker), Gizon, Howarth, Cooper. Subs Not Used: Barratt, Coates, Rishton, Brennan.
Sheffield FC: Ferraby, Hilton, Willgoose (Vernon), Jones, Parkinson, Marsh, O'Carroll, Carrington (Cluxton), Ward, Pickess, Bushiri (Cheetham). Subs Not Used: Watson, Bonnington.
Att: 207

Sheffield 1 Sheffield Wednesday U18's 5
Monday, 13/09/04

Sheffield Wednesday's Academy side ran out comfortable 5-1 winners tonight, at the Bright Finance Stadium, against a Sheffield FC side that was a mixture of first team players and Under 19s. The game was sewn up as a contest by half time after the visitors raced into a four goal lead, with two each from Andrew Talbot and Kyle Fores-Chambers, whilst Talbot completed his hat-trick in the second half. Making his first appearance for Club this season was keeper Darren Bonnington, after being out for four months injured, and it turned out to be a bit of a busy night for the Sheffield stopper.
The Owls youngsters opened the scoring on 15 minutes, following a breakaway up the field, FORES-CHAMBERS lofting the ball over the advancing Bonnington. The lead was doubled two minutes later as TALBOT was first to the rebound, after Club had managed to block the initial shot, the young forward was on hand to plant the ball into the empty net. Wednesday's third came on the half-hour mark, with TALBOT spotting Bonnington off his line, and lobbing the keeper from a good distance out. The fourth was scored ten minutes before the break, again a break up the field, this time FORES-CHAMBERS used his pace to out-sprint the Sheffield defence and finish with style. The final goal for the visitors came five minutes after the restart, once more on the break; following Jon Pickess' header for the home side which rattled the Owls' upright, the young visitors advanced upfield at great speed, TALBOT the man to finish the move and get his hat-trick. Sheffield managed to get a consolation in the 86th minute following a good run down the right wing from young Desbon BUSHIRI, the young winger cut inside the defence to fire past Richard O'Donnell in the Wednesday goal. In the end a good run out for both sides, and a good chance to look at some of the youngsters on show on both sides.
Sheffield FC: Bonnington, Kontou, Willgoose, Slowe, Hobson, Ahmed, Ireland, Ludlam, Pickess, Fletcher, Bushiri. Subs: Hilton, Jones, Parkinson, Marsh, O'Carroll, Ferraby, Carrington, Ward.
Sheffield Wednesday Academy: O'Donnell, Knaggs, Drury, Brackenridge, Wray, Appleyard, White, Ellis, Talbot, Fores-Chambers, Jones. Subs: Damons, Stotchard, Nealy, Robinson.
Att: 110.

Sheffield 1 Long Eaton United 2
NCEFL Premier Division
Saturday, 11/09/04

Sheffield lost their 100% league record at a blustery Coach and Horses this afternoon, following a pulsating and often controversial encounter against newly promoted Long Eaton United. The game was won by two second half spot-kicks by Long Eaton's Aaron Brady, one of which was decidedly questionable, which sandwiched an equally controversial goal by the hosts' Rob Ward.
With the wind at their backs for the opening half, Club looked to be a class above the visitors, enjoying as they did most of the possession and pressure. Sheffield made all the early running but couldn't turn this advantage into goals, the closest effort coming from a Craig Marsh header, with the final ball often letting the home team down. The first half was a stop start affair, with the referee punctuated play frequently with the whistle it was anything but a fluent game, so naturally chances were at a premium for both sides. Long Eaton came the closest midway through the half when some good footwork from Paul McGinty left home keeper Neil Ferraby stranded on the edge of the area, a neat chip into the middle found Kevin Mabon unmarked, his header however was woefully put over the top.
Club had more efforts in the opening couple of minutes of the second period than in the whole of the first, as Rob Ward was put through on goal only to be denied by a good block by Ross Whalin, and then Jon Pickess saw his shot stopped with ease moments later. The game came to life dramatically in the 59th minute when some great work by Matt McKenzie, then Adam Newton, set up David Wilkinson with a clear shot on goal. Sheffield skipper Chris Hilton appeared to clear the ball from the line with his knee, the referee however had other ideas and suggested Hilton had in fact stopped the ball with his hand, awarding a penalty and compounding this decision by showing a red card. BRADY stepped up to the mark to thump the ball down the middle, leaving Ferraby no chance, to give the visitors what had seemed to that point an unlikely lead. With the home team down to ten men, it looked an absolute mountain to climb, and it was going to take a set of cool heads to pull anything out of the hat. The scores were levelled on 71 minutes, and again with yet more controversy. Shortly before the equaliser a Sheffield player was injured in an innocuous clash, the visitors however chose to play on despite the home team expecting the ball to be played into touch. So it was no surprise that moments later when the situation was reversed Alex Higgins played on, delivered a telling cross into the box, for WARD to head beyond the furious keeper. That wasn't to be the end of the drama as eight minutes later Long Eaton regained the lead, this time after a more straightforward and less controversial decision, as Craig Ludlam brought down the visitors' winger in a less than dangerous area. Once again BRADY was up to the challenge and slotted it beyond Ferraby, this time the keeper was close, but in the end was unable to stop the shot. Despite numerous attempts to draw level for one last time, the disruptive game plan employed by the visitors proved too much for Club to break down, and in the end Long Eaton held on to take all three points back down the M1.
It wasn't the nicest way to lose your 100% record, not that there are nice ways, but it has to be said that Club were the victim of some pretty poor decisions today. Long Eaton had their share of bad calls, it couldn't be said there was any bias in this match, however the truly crucial ones did go the way of the visitors. Losing Chris Hilton for the last half-hour was a massive blow for Sheffield, this gave Long Eaton the boost they needed, and they certainly capitalised on it. Hopefully we can show some resolve to bounce back to winning ways, starting with Colne next week in the next round of the FA Cup.
BTF Club Man Of The Match - Tom Jones
Sheffield: Ferraby, Hilton, Willgoose, Jones, Parkinson, Marsh (Simpson, O'Carroll, Carrington, Ward (Ludlam), Pickess, Cluxton (Higgins).
Long Eaton United: Whalin, Wilkinson, McKenzie, Newton, Dyce, Carder, McGinty, Weston, Brady (Hallam), Mabon (Bestwick), Breach. Sub Not Used: Eaton.
Att: 158.

Selby Town 0 Sheffield FC 1
NCEFL Premier Division
Tuesday, 07/09/04

After Saturdays FA Cup triumph Sheffield were back in league action tonight as the team made the trip to Selby Town to take on the Robins at their Richard Street ground. The side were hoping to continue with their 100% winning start to the season and in so doing go top of the league.
Manager Dave McCarthy was able to name an unchanged side from Saturday.  
Sheffield made the early running, getting the ball down and playing with some neat passing and footwork. Early pressure in the tenth minute saw Rob Ward having a shot deflected for a corner. From the resulting kick Darren Holmes found the figure of JAMES PARKINSON at the near post and the No 5's header beat the keeper to put the visitors in front. Ryan O'Carroll then had Mitchell scrambling across his goal from a free kick  and the keeper was able to clear the ball just in time. The home side launched an attack of their own with Neil Ferraby palming a shot onto the post and away to safety. Sheffield were having the majority of the play, stroking the ball around with confidence, and the midfield totally dominating with Holmes and Carrington being the outlets for launching several more attacks. With five minutes of the half left Jon Pickess had a great chance to double the lead, evading the onrushing keeper but the ball was cleared by a defender on the line. The Selby custodian was in good form, keeping his team in the game with a string of fine saves. Despite all the pressure Selby could have gone in at half time with the scores level. Just before the whistle Matthews cut inside and squared the ball to an unmarked Ward who blazed over the bar from six yards out with the goal at his mercy. 
Selby started the second half the more livelier of the teams as Harris hit a shot wide of the post. The game was also a lot more physical, with the referee not helping matters through his ineptness and with some very strange decisions angering both sets of fans and the benches too. A free kick from O'Carroll saw the ball deflected by a defender but Mitchell in the home net managed to tip the ball over the bar. Sheffield tried once more step up the pressure, but they were not having it quite so easy in the seocond half with Town battling hard for possession. Although it was not a dirty game the flow had been interrupted too many times by a whistle happy referee who had basically lost control of what was happening. His only answer being to brandish yellow cards to all and sundry ! In the 70th minute Neil Cluxton replaced Craig Marsh and three minutes later Sheffield had to make an enforced substitution when BTF Man Of The Match Dareen Holmes limped out of the action to be replaced by Alex Higgins. With time running out Selby had a sustained spell of pressure with a succession of corners but resolute defending by a solid Sheffield defence saw off the danger. With two minutes remaining tempers boiled over after Cluxton tried to get the ball off a Selby player who was already on the ground trying to shield the ball. This resulted in just about all the players becoming involved at some stage or other, before the referee finally brought some semblance of order to the proceedings, and booking more players in the process. Sheffield rode out the extra seven minutes of added time to clinch a well deserved victory and to go top of the league. Yet another good display, flair in attack and solid defending. Next up on Saturday is a visit to The Coach & Horses for newly promoted Long Eaton United.
BTF Club Man Of The Match - Darren Holmes
Selby Town: Mitchell, Sadler, Hart, Kamara, Croad (Littler), Cox, Clamp (Wash), Stuart, Harris (Gaughan), Ward, Matthews.
Sheffield: Ferraby, Hilton, Willgoose, Jones, Parkinson, Marsh (Cluxton), O'Carroll, Carrington (Ludlam), Ward, Pickess, Holmes (Higgins).
Attendance: 75

Prudhoe Town 0 Sheffield FC 1
FA Cup Preliminary Round
Saturday, 04/09/04

Club faced a trip to the North East for the start of this seasons F.A. Cup campaign. The Preliminary Round match paired Club with Prudhoe Town, who currently play in the Second Division of the Northern League writes Trev. The side were without Brad Elam and Caine Cheetham, so Mark Willgoose made his debut, deputising for Elam, and Rob Ward took the strikers roll alongside Jon Pickess. Conditions were warm and sunny with the pitch looking in excellent condition, again ideally suiting Sheffield's passing game.
Club kicked off into the sun and were quickly on the attack with Jones glancing a header, from Parkinson's long throw, just wide of the post. Minutes later and O'Carroll had the home the defence backing off, allowing the midfielder to unleash a shot from the edge of the area which just cleared the bar. Sheffield were certainly having the better of the early exchanges. A break on the left hand side saw Darren Holmes cross to an unmarked Carrington, but somehow he hit his shot into the ground and the ball bounced over the keeper and off the bar to safety. Prudhoe then had a great opportunity to take the lead themselves due to a mix up in the Sheffield defence. The ball ran across the area but no Town forward was able to get the vital touch to turn it into the net. Club launched another attack and this time Ward was unlucky as his header, following Hilton's long throw, hit the bar. Craig Marsh was then hustled off the ball as he tried to put the rebound away. However, Sheffield were to break the deadlock in the 20th minute. Good build up play in the middle of the park allowed Pickess to turn and run at the defence, his through pass found ROB WARD unmarked and the big target man coolly slotted the ball home. Despite the enthusiasm of the home side Sheffield were in control and with half an hour gone both Ward and Marsh had efforts scrambled away to safety. Prudhoe came back into the game, as an attack down the left ended with Mason hitting a fearsome first time drive that had Neil Ferraby at full stretch to turn the ball round the post. Holmes then hit a volley which was deflected wide by a defender completely unaware of what was happening and not seeing the ball !! A minute to go before the break Pickess had the ball in the Prudhoe net but the effort was ruled out for offside.
Prudhoe started the second half in a more determined mood but the visitors again had the first chance - Holmes dispossessing a defender to run the length of the pitch to deliver a cross that just eluded both strikers. The heat was affecting both sets of players but Marsh and O'Carroll seemed to have control of the midfield with Holmes and Carrington being given the chance to roam the flanks to put several crosses in to the box. On the hour mark, one such cross was just turned over his own bar by a Prudhoe defender, the resulting corner coming to nothing as the home keeper crumpled to the ground after a challenge by Ward. The home side made a change, bringing on another forward and the result was a fine drive by Town's best player Mason. His effort just going over the bar. With 15 minutes left Cluxton replaced Holmes after the No 11 had taken a knock a few minutes earlier. Prudhoe were trying to salvage something from the game but the Sheffield defence was well marshalled by Parkinson and Man Of The Match Tom Jones. Marsh almost doubled the lead but the former Ossett Albion man's shot across goal was tipped away by Gould. With time running out Sheffield brought on Higgins to replace Pickess and attempted to run the clock down by playing the ball into the corners, the referee eventually bringing the game to a finish.
This had been another sterling performance from the team, and although the win was by a single goal the team were far more than comfortable than the scoreline suggested. On another occasion all the chances being created will find the back of the net and someone will be on the end of a 'right old pastin' !
Sheffield now travel to Colne in the First Round Qualifying on Saturday 18th September, after the Lancashire side won 2-0 at Chester-le-Street.
BTF Man Of The Match - Tom Jones
Prudhoe Town: Gould, Baston, Smith, Garfney, Fisher (Swales),  Baxter, Davison (Taylor), Irvine, Shoulder, Mason, Drysdale. Unused Subs: Watson, Thompson, Wilson. 
Sheffield: Ferraby, Hilton, Willgoose, Jones, Parkinson, Marsh, O'Carroll, Carrington, Ward, Pickess (Higgins), Holmes (Cluxton). Unused Subs: Ludlam, Stephenson (GK).
Attendance: 70

Harrogate Railway Athletic 1 Sheffield FC 2
NCEFL Premier Division
Saturday, 28/08/04

Sheffield went into this, their first away match of the season, looking to build on their unbeaten start to the campaign writes Trev. Manager Dave McCarthy fielded an unchanged line up at Station View against the usually difficult Harrogate side. The pitch was looking in superb condition, clearly suiting the Sheffield passing game. 
With the game just three minutes old the visitors went close as Jimmy Parkinson's long throw was headed out only to find Richard Carrington, but the No 8's shot rebounded off a defender. Sheffield were first to settle but Harrogate struck first, much against the run of play, as a break on the Sheffield right saw the ball cut back inside for the unmarked FEATHERSTONE to slot home past the exposed Ferraby. Despite this setback the Club continued to play good passing football. A flowing move right through the middle of the park saw a cross by O'Carroll find Cheetham, but his goal bound header was saved by the outstretched fingers of Sutcliffe in the home goal. Sheffield however were level after 23 minutes. The referee awarded a free kick for a foul on Darren Holmes, although no other player (Holmes included) could work out what the decision was for. The gift was greatfully accepted as O'CARROLL blasted the shot through the Harrogate wall and into the net. Sheffield were now in control, with front runners Cheetham and Pickess causing all sorts of problems, coupled with good support from the midfield quartet. Marsh was the next to go close as his shot was parried out for a corner. The resulting kick saw two Sheffield players stepping over the ball and O'Carroll again sending a rasping drive that was deflected to safety. On 28 minutes Sheffield took the lead. Holmes' persistence on not giving up on a lost cause saw the ball turned back from the goaline into the 18 yard area for the unmarked CARRINGTON to shoot past  Sutcliffe, unsighted by his own defenders. Harrogate were limited to just one decent shot on goal which was comfortably dealt with by a mostly redundent Ferraby. The lead was almost increased as a Carrington cross found Caine Cheetham whose header across the area to the onrushing Pickess whose own header thundered off the bar.
The second half took the same shape with Sheffield again dominating. The home side made a double substitution to try and shore up a shaky midfield which was being taken apart time and again. 'Rail' did come close to levelling the score when Ferraby has to make a fingertip save to divert the ball for a corner. With 20 minutes left Harrogate made their  last substitution with Marchant coming on for Henderson. The substitute immediately getting into the thick of the action sending a volley just wide of the post. Sheffield then made their own substitution with Man Of The Match Ryan O'Carroll being replaced by Neil Cluxton. Cluxton's first contribution to the game seeing him being lectured along with Bradshaw as they get involved in a spot of 'handbags'. Once again Sutcliffe rescues Harrogate, blocking a shot from Holmes at point blank range, the rebound being blazed over the bar. The beleaguered keeper really earning his money behind a defence being exposed time and again. Harrogate had a late flurry of chances but these were dealt with by the well marshalled Sheffield defence. The referee finally brought the game to an end, much to the relief of the Harrogate keeper and suffering home fans.
This had been a superb all round performance by the team, which on any other day would and should have had a hatfull of goals. These will come soon enough, and as it's going to take a good team to stop the lively looking forward line comprising of Pickess and Cheetham. With the rest of the team solid throughout Sheffield are looking like a team that means business. It bodes well  for our next match, in the FA Cup away at Prudhoe Town next Saturday.
BTF Club Man Of The Match - Ryan O'Carroll
Harrogate RA: Sutcliffe, Ryan S., Turner, Bairstow, Bradshaw, Shaw (Haigh), Shuttleworth, Henderson (Marchant), Whellons, Featherstone (Hillier), Ryan L..
Sheffield: Ferraby, Hilton, Elam, Jones, Parkinson, Marsh, O'Carroll (Cluxton), Carrington, Pickess, Cheetham, Holmes. Unused Subs: Ludlam, Higgins.

Sheffield FC 2 Borrowash Victoria 1
NCEFL Premier Division
Tuesday, 24/08/04

Sheffield continued their winning start to the season with another three points, this time at the expense of Premier Division strugglers from the last few seasons Borrowash Victoria, with an easier win than the scoreline reflects. Following his impressive return to the fold on Saturday, Dave McCarthy chose to start with Jon Pickess from the start, the only change to the first eleven that took to the field against Glapwell. Picko repaid the faith his manager showed in him with another excellent display, however he was unable to get on the scoresheet, despite going close on more than one occasion.
Despite the heavy rainfall during the day, the Coach and Horses pitch looked in fairly good condition, a testament to the hard work that has gone into the pitch recently. Even so, the surface conditions were greasy to say the least, and Sheffield were the first to get to grips with them. It didn't take long before Sheffield got their first of many shots on goal, Pickess the man to have the honour, the end result as with all in a frustrating first half wasn't a goal. On the quarter hour mark Richard Carrington, who caused mayhem in the Vics' defence all night, had a shot which was deflected wide. From the resulting corner Craig Marsh saw his firm header annoyingly cleared off the line, an outcome that set the pattern for Sheffield's luck. Borrowash naturally had their opportunities, and Club had Brad Elam to thank for doing a similar feat for them, clearing a cross from under the bar. Pickess had what was arguably the best opportunity of the first half, firstly heading a corner onto the post, and then scooping the rebound over the top from two yards - obviously the Sheffield forward is still getting to grips with the new found strength in his bionic leg ! Despite dominating play Sheffield still had a scare or two, not least when some shoddy defending found keeper Neil Ferraby stranded, fortunately Tom Jones came to the rescue to calmly clear off the line. Just before the break it looked as if all of Sheffield's luck had run out as a Ryan O'Carroll free-kick from 30 yards out thundered against the bar and out to safety - keeper Matt Fletcher never even saw it!
The second half saw more of the same from Sheffield as they continued their stranglehold of the game, but still the frustration continued, with the goal looking more elusive as the game went on. Chris Hilton showed some good work, and a great deal of confidence, as he skinned Ian Rigley and then lashed his shot across the face of the goal. Vics' keeper Fletcher started to come into his own with some good stops, the pick of the early ones being a great block from Pickess, this after Richard Carrington put him through on goal. On 69 minutes the deadlock was broken and at last it appeared justice would be done, the goal created from a one-two between Darren Holmes and Caine Cheetham, HOLMES shot took a bit of a deflection off Mark Barnes to deceive the keeper and at it seemed the hosts' luck had turned a corner. Carrington was starting to run the show now, and he saw one of his shots deflected onto the post with Pickess running in on goal. It looked a certainty the lead would be doubled, however the spin eluded the Sheffield man. The second goal finally came with five minutes to go, Carrington again the creator of another defence splitting move, playing the ball to Cluxton who in turn passed it on to CHEETHAM, who remained composed to plant it in the back of the net. Unexpectedly, and much against the run of play, Borrowash managed to pull one back two minutes later, a free-kick from Darren Turner was headed home by DEN BERGH, who was unmarked in the middle. Sheffield had a chance to give the score a more realistic feel to it in the closing moments, from an O'Carroll free-kick that was hammered from thirty yards out again, this time Fletcher did see it - and punched it over the bar.
A comfortable win in the end for Club, the game was won with a great deal more ease than the final score suggests. Again there were some promising displays from Pickess and Cheetham, with Carrington and Holmes running the visitors ragged down the wings. Things are looking good at the moment for Sheffield. Cheetham has shown he can get the ball in the net, scoring in both games so far this season and hopefully once Pickess finds his renowned scoring touch Club will start getting the scores the performances deserve.
BTF Club Man Of The Match - Richard Carrington
Sheffield: Ferraby, Hilton, Elam, Jones, Parkinson, Marsh (Cluxton), O'Carroll, Carrington (Ludlam), Pickess, Cheetham, Holmes. Sub Not Used: Willgoose.
Borrowash Victoria: Fletcher, Turner, Davies (Burton), Bedford, Barnes, Rigley, Baum, Sykes, Carson (Den Bergh), Swanwick, Freeman. Sub Not Used: Hall.
Att: 98.

Sheffield FC 1 Glapwell 0
NCEFL Premier Division
Saturday, 21/08/04

Club started the new season in the best possible way this afternoon at a sunny Coach and Horses ground. Against a determined Glapwell outfit Sheffield were deserved winners, although as the score suggests it wasn't that easy. The Sheffield line-up bore little resemblance to the one that finished last season, with no fewer than four players making their league debut, and several players missing through holidays or injury.  Making his well anticipated return to the home side was Jon Pickess, after a highly controversial summer of will-he-won't-he leave Sheffield, the 2002-2003 Player Of The Season took his place on the bench.
Sheffield started as brightly as the out of character sunshine, and put Glapwell under constant heavy pressure in the first half. The new recruits showed that they could link up with the existing squad quite well; Craig Marsh shone early on as he, along with Cheetham, set up Richard Carrington to go dangerously close in the seventh minute. Darren Holmes looked as lively as at any time during his spell with Sheffield and was causing Mark Robinson some nightmares on the left flank. Holmes showing some nimble footwork to dribble from a quickly taken free-kick, his shot at the end gave Andy Norwood something to think about. Rob Ward was making his presence felt too, the big centre-forward having a couple of chances in the first half, firstly shooting just wide and later straight at the keeper. Glapwell could consider themselves lucky to go in to the break all square, and had a very fortunate stop from Norwood to thank for that, as Cheetham flicked on following a great bit of build up play down Holmes' wing. Glappy did manage to get into the hosts' half of the field, but never created much of a problem for Neil Ferraby in the Sheffield goal. For all Club's pressure they couldn't create the killer punch in the first forty five minutes, despite numerous chances in front of goal, the finishing touch seemed to elude the front pairing of Ward and Cheetham and it seemed it was going to take something special to break the deadlock in the second half.
That looked to be the case in the opening minute of the second period, as Sheffield managed to get a corner inside the opening ten seconds, with Parkinson forcing a great save from Norwood with a shot from a neat set play. It seemed for a while that Sheffield had eased up a bit, and Glapwell took full advantage of this by coming into the game very strongly, giving Sheffield the first of many scares on twelve minutes. Club were penalised for an apparent back-pass six yards out, a difficult position to say the least. Darren Roberts laid the ball to Darren Bland, whose shot was blocked on the line. It wasn't to be the last time Sheffield were a little fortunate in the second half, but it spurred them onto an immediate counter-attack with Marsh, Cheetham and Holmes linking up on the break, unfortunately the shot was blocked on the line. Club were lucky once again on the hour mark as a shot from Bland was deflected by the head of Parkinson, and with Ferraby well beaten fortune seemed to shine on the home side as the ball cannoned onto the post. The introduction of Pickess shortly after caused alarm in the Glapwell ranks as the substitute ran amok through the visitors' defence with some energetic runs, and he made an immediate contribution in the build up to yet another Sheffield chance. This time Craig Marsh saw his effort cleared off the line. The deadlock was finally broken though on the 66th minute, Richard Carrington the provider as his pinpoint cross found the head of Caine CHEETHAM, who rose to head beyond the defence to give a richly deserved lead. From the restart however the hosts' had to be thankful for a reflex save from Ferraby, denying Craig Wilson an immediate equaliser with a fingertip stop. Luck certainly was on Sheffield's side. At a time when it looked as if one goal would not be enough Club had the post to the thank once again; Jason Bonser this time heading against the upright from Wilson's cross. Late pressure from Glapwell gave Sheffield a good deal to think about, but fortunately Club were able to hold on, and even had a chance to double the lead at the death from a Cheetham header. Luckily for the visitors, James Dooley was able to hook the ball off the line to safety with Pickess breathing down his neck.
So a welcome three points in the bag to start the campaign for Sheffield, and a sign of what they'll be up against this season if Glapwell are the standard of outfit that will face Club each week. There were some promising performances in the home line-up, with the newcomers each giving a great account of themselves, and those from last season's squad acquitting themselves very well too. Caine Cheetham and Darren Holmes made a nuisance of themselves, with Craig Marsh and James Parkinson organising their areas efficiently, things look pretty good at this stage already. Hopefully this talent will start to produce the goals shortly, and maybe this could be a campaign to better last season's.
Sheffield FC: Ferraby, Hilton, Elam (Vernon), Jones, Parkinson, Marsh, O'Carroll, Carrington (Ludlam), Ward (Pickess), Cheetham, Holmes.
Glapwell: Norwood, Robinson (L.Wilson), Magee (Shelley), Bonser, Flint, Walker, Dooley, Morgan (Williams), Roberts, Bland, C.Wilson.
Att: 140
BTF Man of the Match: Caine Cheetham.

Sheffield FC 2 HSBC 3
Match Abandoned At Half Time
Pre-Season Friendly
Saturday, 07/08/04

This was a chance for the team to blow away the last of the pre-season cobwebs writes Trev, as Club entertained County Senior side HSBC before the real action starts on Saturday. On the team front there were one or two regulars missing (Elam, Hobson, Cluxton) but a welcome return to the club for Jon Pickess, who unhappy with the situation at Buxton has re-signed for Dave McCarthy. 'Macca' confirmed before the game how pleased he is to have him back in the squad. A couple of ex-clubbies are in the opposing side in the shape of defender John Moxon and striker Gary Shearstone.
Considering the amount of rain we've had in the past couple of weeks, the pitch is in good condition, and it's HSBC who are first to settle as Sheffield have yet to get in their stride during the early exchanges. On 10 minutes the visitors take the lead through HITCHMAN whose cross-cum-shot beats Ferraby at his far post. The lead is doubled on 18 minutes when good build-up play releases GOODISON into the area to shoot past Ferraby. A couple of decent chances are spurned by the home side who then pull a goal back on 22 minutes when a quickly taken free kick to Holmes sees his pin-point cross fall to CHEETHAM in the box. The No 10 makes no mistake with his shot.
Some good build up play by Sheffield is thwarted by the visitors defence who are back in numbers. However they still look lively up front and once again take a two goal advantage, when on 29 minutes SPENCE is left unchallenged to run to the edge of the area and hit a low drive into the bottom corner of the goal.
Sheffield strive to get more into the game with close efforts from Ward, Carrington and Cheetham, but it's O'CARROLL who gets on the score sheet on the stroke of half time, as his free kick from the edge of the area is rifled home into the top corner before the keeper can react to it.
At half time there was an almighty thunderstorm, and with no prospect of a let up in the weather the referee has no option but to abandon the game.
SHEFFIELD: Ferraby, Hilton, Vernon, Jones, Parkinson, Marsh, O'Carroll, Carrington, Ward, Cheetham, Holmes. Subs: Higgins, Pickess, Watson, Willgoose, Ludlam, Ireland, Slowe, Hatton, Stephenson.
HSBC: Rushby, Moxon, Minshall (Simon), Brooksbank, Adnett, Hitchman, Shearstone, Knowles, Morris, Spence, Minshall(Steve). Subs: Davies, Baker, Brown, Marper, Jackson.
Attendance: 54

Sheffield FC 2 Curzon Ashton 0
Pre-Season Friendly
Saturday, 07/08/04

It was much too hot at The Coach & Horses this afternoon to make extensive notes (imagine how it was for the players), so here are Trev's main points:-
1st Half
*  It was hot!
* 13 mins - O'Carroll goes close with a shot fron edge of area
* 18 mins - Rob Ward dribbles ball into area and is brought down for penalty, which is dispatched by O'Carroll
*25 mins - Cluxton and Weardon....handbags!
*30 mins - Everyone has a drink break
HT 1-0
2nd Half
* It was still hot.....and very
*72 mins? - Craig Ludlam goes off injured
* 81 mins- Danny Simpson has a goal disallowed for offside.
* 84 mins- Chris Hilton splits defence with throughball, which Cheetham pounces on and rams home, giving the keeper no chance.
* Ref finishes game two minutes early
Sheffield FC: Ferraby, Hilton, Elam, Parkinson, Hobson, Higgins, Cluxton, O'Carroll, Ward, Cheetham, Naylor. Subs (all used): Willgoose, Ludlam, Vernon, Kontou, Ireland, Simpson, Stevenson (gk).
Curzon Ashton: Wrigley, Wearden(A), Hinchcliffe, Kershaw, Bean, Wearden(M), Williams, Birch, Harrop, Hampson, McGill. Subs: Ball(C), Ball(S), Tilley, Eggerton.


Sheffield FC 1 Sheffield United 3
Pre-Season Friendly
Thursday, 05/08/04
Club pushed Sheffield United Reserves all the way in the rain at the Coach and Horses tonight, however they weren't able to get their first victory of this year's pre-season campaign after falling behind to two early goals from the visitors, and they couldn't get back on terms despite dominating most of the game. The game was delayed for twenty minutes for the players' safety following an unexpected electrical storm just prior to the kick-off. Once the game finally got started it didn't take the Blades too long to get on the scoresheet with a lightning strike inside the first minute, Ben Starosta taking advantage from the edge of the area with a sweet shot beating Ferraby, this after Club lost possession in their own quarter. Both teams struggled to control the ball with the tricky underfoot conditions, but it was United who managed to adapt their game better, and on 13 minutes they doubled their lead. Once again Sheffield had difficulty clearing their lines; the ball fell kindly at the feet of Evan Horwood who unleashed a thunderbolt of his own, his shot giving Ferraby absolutely no chance at all. Club started to come back into the game and started to apply some pressure of their own; James Parkinson went close, and the best chance fell shortly after to home skipper Chris Hilton, his shot unfortunately skewed well wide. The Blades weathered the storm and came back at the hosts, and started to create a few chances of their own, coming very close on a couple of occasions. Firstly Evan Horwood tried with an effort from about 25 yards out, forcing Neil Ferraby to make an unorthodox save, and then Kevin Hurst hit the bar following some neat football.
The second half saw limited opportunities for the visitors, with the hosts substitutions shoring up the defence somewhat. The introduction of Sam Ireland for Sheffield gave United reason to think; his probing runs down the right flank had the young Blades chasing shadows, and showed yet again what talent we have at the Club at the moment. With United on the back-foot, Club started to get more adventurous and started to dominate the game, being first to the ball more often than not. In the 68th minute Sheffield finally got a shot on target, probably the only criticism of the team's performances over the last week, with Neil Cluxton seeing his shot from the edge of the area tipped over by Danny Haystead. From the resultant Lee Vernon corner Club got back in the game, Jon Hobson rising above all in the box to head deservedly home, to give the score a more realistic look to it. It was a golden fifteen minutes for Sheffield and they nearly equalised moments after the goal from Ben Naylor, his overhead kick producing an excellent save from Haystead, the visiting keeper really having to stretch. Despite being on top for the majority of the half United managed to get up the other end to get a third that somewhat flattered the visitors; with just five minutes left on the clock Chris Coupe took advantage of the hosts inability to clear their lines, following Starosta's corner, the young centre-forward sweeping the ball beyond Stevenson. In the end Club can count themselves extremely unlucky not to get a share of the spoils, conceding the early goals gave them a mountain to climb, but the second half in particular should give a great deal of confidence. The next friendly against Curzon Ashton of NWCFL Division One, a team from the same level as Club, on Saturday should give a better indication of things to come for the season ahead.
Sheffield FC: Ferraby, Hilton, Elam, Slowe, Parkinson, Marsh, Higgins, Carrington, Ward, Holmes, O'Carroll. Subs: Hobson, Naylor, Cheetham, Higginbottom, Cluxton, Ludlam, Vernon, Ireland, Stevenson (gk).
Sheffield United: Haystead, Travis, Horwood, Harper, Robertson, Roma, Starosta, Ahmed, Coupe, Hurst, Gyaki. Subs: McFadzean, Hill, Rowley, Kerry, Robertson.
Att: 310.


Sheffield FC 0 Birmingham City 5
Pre-Season Friendly
Tuesday, 03/08/04
A blistering second half performance had Sheffield singing the blues tonight at the Coach and Horses as a five goal salvo, including a hat-trick for Dean Curtis, from Keith Bertschin's Birmingham outfit left their hosts reeling. Club had no answer to the Blues' exciting youngsters, which starred captain Neil Kilkenny who was called up to the England Under-20 squad earlier this week, although it did take until the second half for the visitors to break the deadlock.
The pre-match rain made for a slippery surface, with both teams cancelling each other out, and neither side creating much in the way of chances. The game was littered with more than its fair share of yellow cards, with tempers getting frayed on both sides, the game almost coming to the boil with a flare up between Club's Caine Cheetham and the Blues' Sam Oji. The game really came to life early in the second half with two lightning strikes in the first five minutes; the first coming on 47 minutes when CURTIS drilled the ball beyond Neil Ferraby, and a second on 49 minutes with a long shot from ALSOP deceiving the Sheffield keeper. The score was held at two-nil until the 68th minute, when KILKENNY capped an impressive performance by beating substitute goalie Mike Stevenson. The Birmingham defence stifled the Sheffield attack for most of the game, however the introduction of Danny Simpson added a great deal more energy up front, with the young striker giving yet another fine performance. The fourth goal came on 80 minutes, this time CURTIS showed a great deal of bravery to finish from close in, but by this time the result was beyond doubt. The final goal came in the dying moments as a great cross from Kilkenny was finished by CURTIS, his great volley giving Stevenson no chance, and completing his hat-trick.
Sheffield FC: Ferraby, Hilton, Elam, Jones, Parkinson, Marsh, Higgins, Holmes, Ward, Cheetham, O'Carroll. Subs: Naylor, Stevenson (gk), Vernon, Ludlam, Carrington, Higginbottom, Slowe, Kontou, Simpson.
Birmingham City: Doyle, Cottrill, Painter, Alsop, Oji, Cavaglia, Parratt, Kilkenny, Curtis, Hamilton, Birley. Subs: Blake, Legzdins (gk), Reynolds.
Att: 228.


Sheffield FC 0 Oldham Athletic 1
Pre-Season Friendly
Saturday, 31/07/04

Sheffield kick-started their home pre-season campaign with an unlucky defeat against a young, and promising, Oldham Athletic side. With all the close-season moves now out of the way, this was a chance for Sheffield manager Dave McCarthy to get a look at some of the possibilities for the new season. Obviously nothing can be taken from the result, but there were some good signs with useful performances from midfielder Alex Higgins and second half substitute Stavros Kontou, along with good displays from other members of the squad.
Club started the game moderately better than the young visitors, with Latics' keeper Charlie Treacy having to be strong to block Andy Wood's low drive, but couldn't capitalise their pressure with a goal. Chances were very few and far between in the game, with both sets of players still looking a little way off 100%. Rob Walker went close for Oldham, his free-kick skimming Ferraby's cross-bar, and shortly after Rob Ward saw his chip just float wide for Sheffield. The visitors got the only goal of the game on 31 minutes, and a fine one it was too; Kevin Lomax broke down the right wing and delivered an inch perfect cross, Matt Barlow dispatching it beyond Ferraby with a delightful overhead kick. Sheffield had their chances to get level, Lee Vernon saw his cross-cum-shot from wide on the left wing hit the bar with Treacy nowhere near, but no-one in the home side could get near to finish the job.
Half time saw the usual flurry of substitutions, the introduction of Cheetham, Hilton and Slowe seemed to give Club a bit more of a physical presence on the field. So much so that referee Michael Naylor saw fit to book Andy Slowe, a rarity in pre-season games, for a lunge on the scorer Barlow. On 59 minutes saw a controversial moment after Oldham's substitute keeper Terry Smith caught Kontou's cross, and carried the ball a clear couple of yards over the line, the "goal" however was incredibly ruled out by Mr Naylor and the linesman - let's hope that's not a sign for the season to come. Sheffield continued to press but couldn't break their duck, whilst at the other end substitute keeper Mike Stevenson barely touched the ball, and in the end Oldham hung on for the victory. The next test for Club comes in the shape of a Birmingham City team, Tuesday 3rd August at 7.45 pm, at the Coach and Horses.
Sheffield FC: Ferraby, Higginbottom, Vernon, Jones, Hobson, Wood, O'Carroll, Higgins, Ward, Naylor, Holmes. Subs all used: Hilton, Stevenson (gk), Slowe, Ludlam, Parkinson, Cheetham, Willgoose, Kontou, Ireland, Simpson.
Oldham Athletic: Treacy (Smith), Lomax (Jackson), Eardley, Booth (Hall), Lever, Baguley, Jacobs, J.Taylor, Wolfenden, Barlow, Walker (C.Taylor).
Att: 133.


Staveley MW 3 Sheffield FC 2
Pre-Season Friendly
Tuesday, 20/07/04
Sheffield started the 2004-2005 campaign with an opening pre-season friendly game against NCEFL First Division Staveley writes Trev, who were already playing their third pre-season match. Despite players being on holiday and/or recovering from injury, Sheffield FC Manager Dave McCarthy had assembled a strong squad, including new signings Elam, Parkinson, Ward and Ludlam. Staveley had ex-Clubbies Brameld, Hayes and March in their line up, along with ex-professionals Chris Waddle and John Beresford.
It was a good playing surface which the home side took full advantage of, attacking from the start with everything going through Waddle to release the forwards. Indeed, he was instrumental in the opening goal after 10 minutes, supplying a perfect cross to the back post which the Sheffield defence failed to clear. HURRELL was on hand to tap the ball home. Sheffield then began to settle and created a couple of chances of their own, with Higgins and Ireland running the middle of the park, and the forwards combining well. The Staveley keeper denying the visitors a goal with a couple of good saves. Staveley increased their lead just after the half hour mark when a shot by Waddle was blocked, but once again HURRELL was the first to re-act, driving home his shot which took a slight deflection on it's way past a stranded Ferraby. Sheffield only had to wait five minutes to reduce the arrears when a poor back pass was intercepted by CHEETHAM who got his foot to ball to steer his effort just inside the far post.  A downpour then had both sides struggling a little to control the ball as it skidded on the slippery surface. Just before the break the home side went close once again as Brameld headed against the post, whilst at the opposite end Ward was unlucky as he applied just too much to his header to put it over the bar. The hosts went into the interval with a 2-1 lead. 
As is the norm for these type of matches, both sides made changes at half time, with plenty more during the second half as both anagers were intent on giving their entire squad a run out. It was Staveley who went further in front when the visitors were punished for giving away a free kick just outside the area. With everyone looking at Waddle to take it, HARRISON ran up and steered the ball into the far corner. Sheffield were intent on getting back on level terms but some sterling defensive work, plus a goal line clearance by March, were to deny them. In the last minute Holmes had a shot that curled narrowly wide, and then in stoppage time Sheffield did manage to breach the home defence when SIMPSON ran onto a through ball to strike a shot from 25 yards that had the home keeper grasping thin air. With virtually the last action of the match, Ludlam had a chance to snatch a draw but his header went across the goal and just wide of the post.
Staveley MW: Gent, McCormick, Beresford, Needham, Bark, Straw, Hayes, Waddle, Brameld, Hurrell, Harrison. Subs: March, Brodie, Brissett, Kaye, Morris, Spence.
Sheffield: Ferraby, Hilton, Elam, Slowe, Parkinson, Ireland, Higgins, Ludlam, Cheetham, Ward, Holmes. Subs: Vernon, Cluxton, Higginbottom, Kontou, Lee, Cooper, Simpson.

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