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South Kirkby Colliery 2 Sheffield FC Reserves 4

County Senior League Division 1

Saturday 25/04/09

In a nervy performance on an awful playing surface, Sheffield FC Reserves overcame a determined performance from South Kirkby Colliery to secure the Division 1 title as unbeaten Champions.


Sheffield started well with a nice move out from the back releasing Simon Brier to test the home defence but he was well marshalled. Eamonn Chapman slipped a good ball to Joel Purkiss and he found Danny Beech but the winger was adjudged offside. Sheffield had started on the front foot and Keir Hannity pressed forward in the area eventually losing out to the slightly bigger built Keith Mayne. From the goal kick South Kirkby broke well down the right the ball finding the feet of Jimmy Faulkner who lashed home from the edge of the area to give the home side the early advantage. Sheffield were soon back on terms with Purkiss holding the ball well and on the turn finding Brier with a super ball over to the left. He sprinted for the area, controlled the ball well on the uneven surface and struck home a great left foot shot to make it 1 - 1 after 10 minutes. The midfield game was getting nervous and scrappy but there were some flashes of good football; Purkiss got Danny McKenzie away on the right and Chapman got Beech away on the left - his shot, worth the effort, was well off target. South Kirkby were looking most dangerous from free kicks and corners with Jack Wakefield getting good possession from just such an opportunity he hit a dipping shot just over the bar. Sheffield got into the lead after 25 minutes when Keir Hannity, having a good game alongside Chapman, got the ball across to Purkiss who looked offside but with the assistant referee's flag staying down he got to the bye line and put in a good cross to the unmarked Hannity who stabbed the ball home from close range. From the re-start Sheffield had another attack of nerves; losing possession on the left they allowed Ryan Williams a shot just over the bar. Sheffield were certainly more comfortable going forward and finished the half with a succession of good moves the best of which saw McKenzie pinch the ball in midfield and after a good run he found Hannity who slipped the ball to Brier but the subsequent chance was off target.


Sheffield committed the crime of conceding a free kick in a dangerous position in the first attack of the second half but Wakefield sliced his effort well wide. Andy Taylor was winning the ball well in centre defence and a clearance fell to Purkiss and under pressure he got his shot off too early and it was high and wide. Taylor found Brier with another long ball and he took a good first touch but was well defended. In the first real flowing move of the second period McKenzie, Purkiss and Hannity did well to set up Purkiss and his shot went just wide. Club were now dominating kicking down the slope and two superb chances fell to Elliot Simpson and Joel Purkiss; both through on goal and looking likely to score with Nevison in the South Kirkby goal standing his ground well and denying both Sheffield players. Sheffield had cause to regret both these misses on the hour when South Kirkby pulled a goal back following a corner. Keith Cronin having replaced Danny Beech, Janni Lipka replaced Elliot Simpson. Sheffield quickly restored their advantage when McKenzie set off on a great run down the right and scored with a great strike from the right hand side of the penalty area. Purkiss and Cronin did well on the left of the penalty area and Cronin's ball into the box was just in front of the oncoming Lipka. Brier then made a superb run along the defensive line and collected the ball but again Nevison was up to the task; it was then Chapman's turn to get a scoring opportunity; with 75 minutes gone, Cronin got to the line again and his ball found Chapman on the edge of the 6 yard box and he somehow scooped the shot over the bar with the goal gaping. South Kirkby were tiring however and when Brier was upended the free kick came to Joel Purkiss who struck the ball home through the defenders to make it 4 - 2 to Sheffield. When shortly after the goal Cronin was fouled in the area, Taylor stepped up but unfortunately put the spot-kick wide of the keeper's right hand post. Josh Jones replaced Eamonn Chapman on 80 minutes and Sheffield played out the remaining 10 minutes fairly comfortably although due to frustration, tiredness or whatever there were one or two niggling challenges which took the enjoyment out of the occasion.


So it finished 4 -2 to Sheffield and with the victory the champagne celebrations for a title well deserved and well won. Congratulations to all who have been a part of it!

Team: Liam Smith, Lloyd Gelsthorpe, Joe Jerrison, Andy Taylor, Eamonn Chapman (Josh Jones), Keir Hannity, Danny McKenzie, Elliot Simpson (Janni Lipka), Simon Brier, Joel Purkiss, Danny Beech (Keith Cronin), Jon Linnell.


Willenhall Town 1 Sheffield FC 2

UniBond Division One South

Saturday 25/04/09


Sheffield ended the season by completing the double over Willenhall with a goal in each half from Lee Cooksey and Matt Roney at a warm but windy Noose Lane this afternoon.


David Graham was back in the side after his suspension, and there was also a starting place for Jamie Holmshaw in goal. On an atrocious playing surface, it was the home side that had the first shot in anger, as Findlay fired over the bar. The visitors replied with Eagers putting Graham through, but his effort hit the side netting. It was the Lockmen who took the lead on 13 minutes, when a break up the Sheffield right was not dealt with and the cross found MAY who prodded home from close range, after Holmshaw had blocked the original effort. Moments later the big centre forward had a chance to double the lead but headed wide. The visitors slowly took hold of the game, Graham's snapshot bringing a good save from Clarke.  Sheffield levelled the game on 19 minutes, when a short corner was driven hard across the area by Woolley, and COOKSEY was unmarked at the back post to head into the far corner. May was still causing problems for the visitors, his shot on the turn just going wide of the mark. Holmshaw then had to save from Milligan at the near post. At the other end Wright went close heading just over the bar, whilst Woolley was on hand to clean up a dangerous Willenhall attack, taking the ball off May's foot as he was about to shoot. The last action of the half saw Roney in a chase for the ball with Clarke, the keeper just beating him to it, but he was only able to kick it into the path of Graham, but his first time shot from 40 yards was way off target.


It was Sheffield who were on the attack once more at the start of the second half, Roney's cross being scrambled away out of the area. The winger then had a shot deflected that Clarke did well to save. Once again it was May who was causing problems at the back for Sheffield, as he muscled his way through, but could not beat Holmshaw who got down well at his near post. Paul Smith then went on a mazy run upfield before being dispossessed as he was about to shoot. Meanwhile, Holmshaw was again on hand to show his agility with a point blank save from Chilton. Sheffield finally got the breakthrough they deserved on 74 minutes. A foul on the right of the home defence saw RONEY loft the ball in and it sailed over Clarke's outstretched arms and straight into the net, the keeper giving a wry smile as he tumbled into the back of the net along with the ball. The visitors almost increased their lead soon after when Potter was on hand to connect with a short corner, flicking the ball just the wrong side of the post. Willenhall were having to push forward, but the Sheffield defence was resolute, and when the ball did get through, Holmshaw was on hand to intercept.  With time running out, the visitors made the usual substitutions and Wainman almost capitalized on some slack defending, shooting just wide. As the game entered injury time it looked like the Lockmen were going to ruin Sheffield's day as once again May powered his way through, but Holmshaw was on hand to safely gather.


So a mid-table finish after a somewhat traumatic season, and with all the upheaval mid season, I think congratulations are in order to Chris Dolby and the players who stuck with it and didn't abandon ship. There are the makings of a very good side there to see already, and I'm sure Dolby has players in mind for next season, when hopefully we will once again be challenging for honours.


BTF Club Man of the Match: Jamie Holmshaw


Willenhall Town: Clarke, Lycett, Ryan (Nisbett), Kelly (Rofe), Griffiths, Milligan, Saunders, Stevenson (Wills), May, Findlay, Chilton. Subs Not Used: Hawkins, Tilt.

Sheffield FC: Holmshaw, Wright, Woolley, P.Smith, G.Smith, Cooksey, Cribley, Eagers, Graham (Goddard), Potter (Leonard), Roney (Wainman).


Att: 74


Shepshed Dynamo 1 Sheffield FC 1

UniBond Division One South

Tuesday 21/04/09


After conceding a goal early in the first half, a Matt Roney strike late in the game saw Sheffield gain a creditable point at the Dovecote tonight.


It was the home side who made the brighter start, and they took the lead on 10 minutes when Hanson delivered a perfect ball into the box, one that was met by the head of MILLNS who rose unchallenged giving Cross no chance. Shepshed were certainly the livelier in the opening quarter, with Norris and Litchfield keeping the Sheffield defence busy. The visitors were forced into an early substitution when Outram went off injured, being replaced by Cribley who took up his usual position on the wing. It was midway through the half before Sheffield finally got going, and started to claw their way back into the game, Leonard heading wide from Smith's corner. There was now more sustained pressure on the home defence, and good interplay between Woolley and Roney saw the ball put into the box for Goddard to poke home, but his effort was ruled out for offside. The striker then had a good chance five minutes later but headed over when well placed. Just past the half hour mark Cribley broke through the Dynamo defence, and was unselfish in trying to lay the ball off for Goddard, (which was intercepted) when with a little more conviction he could have had a shot himself. Even at this early stage Shepshed were content to slow the game down, Hateley being the chief culprit at time-wasting. At the other end, Cross had to be alert to save on the line from a high punt into the area. Just before the break the visitors were awarded a free kick on the edge of the area when Hateley was penalised for handling outside the area when launching a kick from his hands, (a feat that was repeated time and again throughout the match). However, the Dynamo defence held firm and went into the break with the one goal advantage.


Sheffield started the second half strongly, Roney turning his marker to deliver a cross that Hateley cut out with Goddard lurking just behind him. Ten minutes into the half and Eagers beat the offside trap, and as Hateley raced out of his goal the young midfielder lobbed the ball over him, but before he could get to the loose ball it was cleared by a Hanson.  Shepshed were still looking dangerous on the break, but these were becoming less frequent as Sheffield pinned them back. When Cribley's snap shot was spilled by Hateley, Goddard was on hand to knock the ball into the path of Leonard, but he wasted the opportunity by blazing the ball over the bar. On the hour mark Dynamo had a great chance to extend their advantage when a break down the right saw the ball crossed into the area where Saunders was on hand to fire goalwards, his effort hitting the post before Sheffield managed to scramble the ball away. Wainman came on to replace Goddard, his pace causing problems for the Shepshed defence. With the game entering its last stages Sheffield pushed harder for an equalizer and it came in the 84th minute, RONEY volleying home from just inside the area. As the game came to a close, both teams were content to hold onto the point they had.


It was a typical end of season game with both teams lodged in mid table, but it was spoiled by some inept refereeing for both sides. However the result came at a cost with both Outram and Winter going off injured. The last match of the season sees us make the long trip to Willenhall. With neither side troubling the top or the bottom of the league, let us hope for an entertaining end to the season. 


BTF Club Man of the Match: Paul Smith


Shepshed Dynamo: Hateley, Hanson, Magee, Screaton, Millns, Davies, Norris, Robinson, Duik, Litchfield (Menga), Saunders (Allard). Subs not used: Wilkes, Powell, Walker.

Sheffield FC: Cross, Potter, Woolley, P.Smith, Wright, Winter (Cooksey), Outram (Cribley), Leonard, Goddard (Wainman), Eagers, Roney.


Att: 145


Sheffield FC 1 Leek Town 2

UniBond Division One South

Saturday 18/04/09

Steve Woolley (No 11) puts Club one up against Leek

Sheffield ended their home programme with a disappointing home defeat, at a very spring-like Bright Finance Stadium this afternoon, as they let a half time lead get overturned with a rather lacklustre second half performance. With the meagre prize on offer being a top half finish, Sheffield dominated proceedings in the first forty-five minutes, going in at the break ahead with a goal from Steve Woolley in the 42nd minute. Sadly they couldn’t build on this and were frankly never at the races in the second period, goals from Oliver Edwards in the 73rd minute and Leon Ashman in injury time gave the Staffordshire outfit all three points, all but securing tenth spot ahead of Sheffield.


As expected the game was going to be played on a pretty bone-hard pitch and Leek were the first to get a grip of the conditions, as Ben Mills was through on goal, only to be denied by a one handed stop by Tom Cross. Sheffield weren’t long before they found their feet, and Steve Woolley was doing his bit in terrorising the visiting defence, with a mazy run and cross just missed by Janni Lipka in the middle. Ted Cribley was justifying his selection in the Club starting line up, turning in a fine first half display, with a number of his runs underpinning Sheffield’s gradual superiority in the game. Three minutes before the break the hosts got the lead they deserved, as Leon Wainman broke down the right wing and cut inside, with his cross being met at the back-post by the diving header of WOOLLEY.


After the interval it seemed to be all Leek, as first Leon Ashman had a shot deflected wide, and Ben Mills went close. They got their just desserts midway through the half; Ashman was found in space and his shot was only parried out by Cross, leaving substitute EDWARDS the easiest of tasks to tap home. The visitors then pressed on in search of a winner, with Leon Ashman just chipping wide, then moments later supplying the ball to Mills who forced an excellent one-handed stop by Cross. Just as it looked as if Club had done enough to hold on for the point, Leek stung them with an injury time killer blow, as ASHMAN got to the ball first to lob it over the advancing Cross.


BTF Club Man of the Match – Gavin Smith


Sheffield FC: Cross, Potter, Wright ©, P.Smith, G.Smith, Winter, Cribley (Eagers), Lipka (Cam), Wainman (Goddard), Outram, Woolley. Subs Not Used: Roney, Cooksey.

Leek Town: Cooper, P.Johnson, Allen (Edwards), Taylor, Ruddock, Bailey (Brannan), M.Johnson, Miller ©, Mills, Ashman, Corden. Subs Not Used: Robinson, D.Smith, W.Johnson.


Att: 295


Sheffield FC 2 Grantham Town 0

UniBond Division One South

Wednesday 15/04/09

Matt Outram (behind No 12, Rob Cam) reels away after prodding home his second goal against Grantham Town

Two second half goals in the last ten minutes from man of the match Matt Outram saw Sheffield deservedly take all three points tonight at the BFS. With David Graham starting a three match suspension and his strike partner Mickey Goddard also missing, manager Chris Dolby once again gave youth a chance, by including Ted Cribley, Janni Lipka and Lloyd Gelsthorpe, with Leon Wainman on from the start in a strikers role.


There was barely a minute played when Sheffield had the visitors defence worried as a Paul Smith free kick was punched away by Stainsby, with Wainman then shooting just wide. Grantham then mounted an attack of their own, but Beeson fired wildly over the bar. On the quarter hour mark, some fancy footwork from Cribley saw him create some space to shoot, his effort across the face of the goal going just wide. Five minutes later and Cross made his first save of the evening, hanging onto a glancing header from Huckerby's free kick. At the other end, Woolley's corner found Gav Smith in the box, but he headed just wide as the keeper came out to challenge. It was a promising start by the home side, who were certainly enjoying a lot of possession at this stage. Just before the half hour mark Grantham almost stole the lead when Knowles cross found Beeson at the near post, but he flicked the ball just over the bar. On the stroke of half time Wainman tried his luck from 20 yards out, floating the ball goalwards, but Stainsby managed to tip the ball over the bar. The resulting corner saw Winter's powerful header palmed out by the keeper to keep the scores level at the break.


Sheffield started the second half once again on the attack as yet another Paul Smith free kick found Gav Smith, who's back header was safely gathered by Stainsby. Not longer after that Outram found himself in the referee's book for persistent fouling.  Hargreaves then had a half chance for the visitors, but he blazed the effort well over the bar. Roney then came on to replace Cribley to provide some fresh legs to run at the Grantham defence. It was now nearly all Sheffield, but once again Grantham mounted a counter-attack and, as before, Hargreaves blasted wide from a good position. With a quarter of an hour left Sheffield had a glorious chance to take the lead when Woolley's persistence in chasing down a ball into the corner was rewarded with the winger beating his marker and laying the ball off to the onrushing Outram, but he blazed the effort over the bar. However, with ten minutes left to play, the villain became the hero as OUTRAM took an in-swinging corner which had the keeper flapping at the back post as he watched the ball sail over him and into the net. Rob Cam then came on to replace Lipka and he almost doubled the score when latching onto a Wainman pass with an overhead kick. Grantham once again broke away down the right of the Sheffield defence, Mallinson sending in a low cross which Gelsthorpe put out for a corner, which was easily dealt with. At the other end Wainman's snap shot was just over the bar with the keeper out of position. With two minutes left to play Cross finally had to make a save, holding onto a shot from Brookes. The game was wrapped up in the last minute when Outram picked the ball up midway inside the visitors half, jinked his way past three defenders before toe-poking the ball home. It was no more than the team deserved.


The win puts the team into 11th place, and just above them is Saturday's opponents Leek Town, who will be visiting the BFS for our last home league game of the season. So come on down and let's give the team a rousing send off.


BTF Man of the Match: Matt Outram


Sheffield FC: Cross, Gelsthorpe, Wright, P.Smith, G.Smith, Winter, Cribley (Roney), Lipka (Cam), Wainman (Cooksey), Outram, Woolley.

Grantham Town: Stainsby, Starbuck, Shaw, Huckerby (Zeurner), Stubbs Lister, Hargreaves (Brown), Mallinson, Beeson, Brookes, Knowles. Subs Not Used: White, Vickers, Cunningham.


Att: 252



Sheffield FC 3 Stocksbridge Park Steels 5

UniBond Division One South

Easter Monday, 13/04/09


A remarkable second half turnaround saw Stocksbridge come from two goals down, this afternoon at the Bright Finance Stadium, and they did their promotion credentials no harm by beating Club 5-3 in an entertaining game. Sheffield raced into a lead that showed an amazing amount of contempt for the form book, with a David Graham penalty and a solo effort from man of the match Ted Cribley, before the visitors stole a goal in first half injury time from skipper Brett Lovell. Fortune continued to shine on the away side in the second period, as matters were levelled with a harsh own goal from Paul Smith, before things gradually got worse for Club with goals from Mark Ward and substitute Andy Ring. Janni Lipka gave Club a vague glimmer of hope in injury time, before the goal-fest was completed with the last kick of the game, with Vic Cowell stabbing home from close range.


Club were the first to settle, with Mick Goddard finding himself clear, only to fire straight at Ben Scott. Ten minutes in though and the hosts were to be in front, as Ted Cribley won possession on the edge of the area and setting Mick Goddard free, with the forward blatantly hauled down by Scott as he rounded the keeper. Astonishingly referee Martin only produced a yellow card for the offence; however GRAHAM stepped up with confidence to strike home from the spot, for his seventh goal in his short spell in a red shirt. Ted Cribley was marking his first league start with an energetic performance, and in the 19th minute he marked this occasion with a goal, as Goddard put the youngster in the area – where CRIBLEY turned the defence to get a shot inside the post, leaving Scott no chance. Club were good value for their lead, and Steels looked surprisingly subdued, with the best effort coming from Mark Ward who turned a Jamie Vardy effort round the post. The referee capped a pretty inept first half display by awarding a harsh free-kick on Gavin Smith for standing his ground in the dying seconds of the half; Steve Hawes floated the free-kick into the box, and LOVELL headed home to give Stocksbridge an undeserved lifeline.


The goal in the dying seconds gave the visitors a bit of impetus, and they started the second period in a more positive frame of mind, living up to the mantle of promotion hopefuls more than in the first. They drew level on the hour mark, more through fortune than anything else, as a Mark Ward effort was steered past Tom Cross by Paul Smith for an OWN-GOAL. The visitors clearly had the upper-hand, and five minutes later they had turned the game completely round, as a long free-kick found WARD who comfortably lobbed the advancing Cross to make it 3-2. Three nearly became four seconds after, with Cross having to pull off a solid block from Andy Ring, but ten minutes from time RING all but wrapped things up, as he turned in a Jamie Vardy corner that was only half cleared by the shell-shocked Sheffield defence. But Club weren’t finished, and almost caused a nervous finish to the game with Ted Cribley rattling the woodwork with a stunning effort, that left Ben Scott rooted to the spot. As injury time approached Sheffield did get a third, with Cribley’s cross being met by the head of LIPKA who rose above the defence, although it seemed all a bit too-little-too-late. With Sheffield pushing forward for a desperate equaliser, substitutes Andy Hirst and Andy Ring set up the killer blow with some neat passing gifting COWELL a tap in on the goal line to give a rather over-emphatic scoreline for the away side, to send the handful of away supporters home satisfied their promotion hopes are still alive.


There are too many “ifs” and “buts” in football, but it could be argued the goal in first half injury time gave Stocksbridge hope in a game they weren’t in until that point, whilst the lack of a sending off early in the game could have been even more crucial. As it is the decisions were made, and Garry Marrow’s side look a capable prospect at pushing for that long awaited promotion, although they’ll have to do it the hard way. Saturday’s game at Belper Town literally is a “six-pointer”, a trip to Leek in midweek is far from easy, whilst the last day game at home to Retford WILL decide the title – as I said “not easy!” Club can take plenty of positives from this, and the youngsters who stepped into the breach performed more than admirably, giving a ray of optimism for next season. They’ll have to step up to the mark once more in 48 hours, as Grantham Town head to S18 for the penultimate home game of the season, with the fixture back-log finally cleared and a chance for either team to climb to the heady heights of eleventh place.


BTF Club Man of the Match – Ted Cribley.


Sheffield FC: Cross, Wright ©, Woolley, P.Smith, G.Smith, Winter, Cribley, Lipka, Goddard (Wainman), Graham, Roney. Subs Not Used: McKenzie, Cooksey, Cam.

Stocksbridge Park Steels: Scott, Adams, Schofield, Dawson, Lovell ©, Hawes, Riley (Hirst), Telling, Fothergill, (Ring), Ward, Vardy (Cowell). Subs Not Used: Wilkinson, Richards.


Att: 375


Brigg Town 2 Sheffield FC 0

UniBond League Division One South

Friday 10/04/09



Brigg Town completed the league double over a disappointing Sheffield side, with a first half strike from Stuart Ainsley and a penalty late on from Rick Day, thus keeping their slender hopes of avoiding the drop alive (at least until Monday) at the Hawthorns this afternoon.


It was the visitors who got the game underway in typical Bank Holiday weather, damp and dismal, and almost scored straight away with Eagers firing across the goal and wide of the far post. Goddard then had a golden opportunity when put through, but his powerful shot was too close to Cook, whose reaction save tipped the ball over the bar. Goddard was on hand again ten minutes later, latching onto Wright's cross but his header lacked power, with Cook gathering easily. After the initial onslaught of the Brigg goal, they then created a chance of their own, when Rodgers had a shot that Cross was able to get his body behind. With just over a quarter of an hour played Sheffield had what was probably their best move of the game, when good interplay between Eagers and Muldoon saw the latter deliver a cross to the near post that Goddard flicked goalwards, but it ended up in the side netting. At the other end Cross had to be at his best to tip over a shot from Slack, the resulting corner seeing the Brigg winger fire in another effort, which he blazed over the bar. Despite having the better of the play and possession, Sheffield were let down by some poor passing in the final third, and the failure to deliver a decent set piece kick into the danger area. Brigg took the lead somewhat against the run of play on 35 minutes, when yet another attack broke down and Spall fed the ball down the wing to Slack, his cross into the area found AINSLEY running in unmarked to steer the ball home. This seemed to spur on the home side, who were challenging in for every ball, and just before the break Day went close with another shot.


The visitors made a double substitution at half time, bringing on Winter and Roney, to replace Goddard and Woolley. It was Brigg this time that went close to scoring just after the restart, when Day beat the offside trap and sprinted goalwards, only to be foiled by a timely tackle from Potter. Just before the hour mark Sheffield almost caught Brigg cold, when a Paul Smith quick free kick was chipped towards Gavin Smith, but ex-Sheffielder Cochrane read the danger and cleared the ball away.  Brigg had a good chance to increase their lead, when a through-ball found Hutchinson through on goal, but Cross came to the rescue and cut out the danger. The visitors brought on Wainman for Muldoon, and moved Gavin Smith forward in an effort to get something out of the game as Brigg were fighting for every loose ball, and usually winning them too. Wainman had a half chance when fed the ball with the goal at his back, but his turn and shot was blocked. It took Sheffield just over half an hour to actually get a shot on target this half, when Roney almost caught the keeper out with a dipping effort, that Cook was happy to push round the post, the resulting corner being cleared. With less than ten minutes left to play Sheffield were awarded a free kick in the Brigg area, when Cook picked up what was deemed a back-pass, but Roney's pass to Graham comes to nothing as the striker slipped before getting his shot in. With five minutes left to play Brigg were awarded a penalty, when Winter fouled his opponent off the ball as Brigg were mounting an attack, and DAY made no mistake from the spot. Graham almost grabbed a consolation as his free kick was well saved at full stretch by Cook, but in the end it would have flattered the visitors who, apart from the opening twenty minutes were made to look second best by the league's basement club. Next up is the Easter Monday derby against high flying Stocksbridge who will be full of confidence after today's thrashing of Gresley which, in turn, was the result which has for the moment kept Brigg's hopes of UniBond survival intact


BTF Club Man of the Match: Paul Smith


Brigg Town: Cook, Spall, Barrett, Hutchinson, Cochrane, Jacklin, Slack, Lamb, Day, Rodgers (Ashton), Ainsley. Subs Not Used; Helliwell, Green, West.

Sheffield FC: Cross, Potter, Wright, P.Smith, G.Smith, Outram, Muldoon (Wainman), Eagers, Graham, Goddard (Winter), Woolley (Roney). Sub Not Used: Cam


Att: 151


Quorn 1 Sheffield FC 3

UniBond Division One South

Tuesday, 07/04/09


Club got back to winning ways, this evening at a sparsely populated Farley Way, as they ran out convincing winners over a useful looking Quorn outfit. Two goals from David Graham (in the 40th and 78th minutes), and a freakish own goal from Joe Shaw a minute from time sealed things for the visitors, after Justin Jenkins had levelled matters in the 76th minute. It was a great performance from the Sheffield side, one that was made even more impressive by some quality keeping from young Tom Cross, who capped a fine display of outstanding stops with an excellent penalty save in the first half.


The game started fairly slowly considering the pace the game would develop to, and it took nearly twenty minutes for the first effort of the game, with David Graham stooping to head narrowly wide from a Matt Roney corner. Quorn then stepped up their own offensive, with Philip Miller finding himself clear on goal; however the shot was well saved by Tom Cross who turned the ball round the post. From the resulting corner Justin Jenkins’ shot was handled on the line by Matt Roney, referee Jones pointed to the spot, awarding Roney a yellow card for the offence. Jenkins stepped up to take the spot-kick, and blasted straight down the middle, only to see his effort well blocked by Cross. This missed opportunity spurred the visitors on, and they went straight up the other end, and were rewarded when Paul Smith’s corner was met by a glancing header from GRAHAM who steered the ball into the corner of the net. Graham should have doubled the lead straight from the kick off, as Steve Woolley charged a back-pass to Craig Jones, who under pressure half hit the clearance as far as the scorer – his shot at the empty goal was sadly off target.


Early in the second half Sheffield thought they’d extended their lead, when a Roney corner missed everyone in the middle finding Daz Winter at the back-post, Winter volley home only for the linesman to flag him as offside – even though there were two Quorn players on the line. At the other end Tom Cross was earning his pay, making some vital and important stops, blocking at the feet of Jenkins – and a few minutes later – repeating the feat against substitute Tom Byrne. From Paul White’s resultant corner, Quorn got their reward of an equaliser, as JENKINS rose above everyone in the box to head home. It was business as usual within a minute as Club responded in the best possible way, with Jordan Eagers splitting the defence with an inch perfect pass to Jack Muldoon, he squared across the face of the goal to give GRAHAM the easiest of tap-ins. Muldoon had the chance to wrap it up for Sheffield, as he powered through on goal, only to see Cross pull off a fantastic point-blank save. In injury time it was wrapped up in freakish circumstances, as both Graham and Muldoon charged into the area towards goal, the ball though skewed off Joe Shaw’s toe as he tried to clear it and looped over Jones’ head for an OWN-GOAL.


So after an entertaining ninety minutes, Club completed another double in their late resurgence, and continued their Indian sign over the Leicestershire outfit. Sheffield showed some nice football at times, and look to be a match for anyone in this league, giving plenty of hope for next season – if this squad can keep together. This win puts Club into 11th spot in the league, and a top half finish is more than expected, amazing after looking like the season would finish in a basement struggle. Next up is a Good Friday trip to North Lincolnshire, where another away win – revenge for the defeat at the BFS in November – would condemn Brigg Town to relegation back to the NCEL.


BTF Club Man of the Match – David Graham


Quorn: Jones, Shaw, Peel (Darby), Marriott, Wigley ©, Wood, Miller (Langham), Robinson, Jenkins, White, Brown (Johnson). Subs Not Used: Byrne, Payne.

Sheffield FC: Cross, Potter, Wright ©, P.Smith, G.Smith, Winter, Roney (Outram), Eagers, Graham (Wainman), Muldoon (Goddard), Woolley. Sub Not Used: Cooksey.


Att: 93.


Lincoln United 1 Sheffield FC 0

UniBond Division One South

Saturday 04/04/09


A first half goal against the run of play from Sean Cann was the difference between the sides as Lincoln gained revenge for their recent loss between these two sides in the reverse fixture.


On a sunny afternoon with a bone-hard surface it was Sheffield who made the early running as Roney's cross was met by the head of Muldoon, only to see Ziccardi tip the ball over the bar. As in the previous encounter between the sides, United were content to soak up pressure and go forward on the break, a move demonstrated when Cann found himself in the clear, but the danger was cleared. At the other end it was Ziccardi once again to the rescue for the home defenders as Potter broke through and his shot was turned around at the near post. Outram then had an opportunity to open the scoring, linking up well with Muldoon but his header was just the wrong side of the post. Outram then turned culprit, giving away a free kick in a dangerous position, but Pembleton fired just over. Ziccardi was again at full stretch moments later when Muldoon’s cross went over Graham's head and looked to be on its way in before the keeper grabbed it. With all the pressure it looked like it wouldn't be long before someone scored and, sure enough on 27 minutes the deadlock was broken when a Sheffield attack once more broke down and Lincoln lofted the ball forward quickly where CANN was on hand to race through and shoot, his effort taking a slight deflection, giving Cross no chance. This seemed to inspire the home side who then created another opening for Pembleton, Cross having to make the save to deny another goal. Sheffield rallied, and just past the half hour mark Graham headed the ball on to Muldoon, who's fiercely struck shot was parried by the overworked Ziccardi, then being followed up by a full stretch save from Roney's cross. For all their possession the visitors were having no joy in front of goal as shots went astray all too often, although Outram's shot on 40 minutes needed a deflection to block the goal-bound effort. Just before the break Sheffield had a golden opportunity to draw level when yet another Paul Smith free kick was sent into the box and onto the head of the unmarked Graham, but he put the effort wide.


Sheffield made an early substitution in the second half when Outram limped off to be replaced by Fretwell. Almost ten minutes into the half and Sheffield went agonising close once again when Roney burst through, but Ziccardi managed to get a hand to his shot, scooping it up and into the path of Graham, but he was unable to bring the ball under control and the chance was lost. Once again Roney was tormenting the defence with his wing play and his cross just before the hour mark found Graham in the middle, but, as before, the striker failed to get his header on target when well placed. It was time to mix things up, so Woolley and Muldoon made way for Goddard and Wainman, the latter starting out wide. It was Wainman who in fact had the next half chance, running in at the near post for Roney's cross and gaining a corner. This was one of three successive corner kicks, but all were repelled by a resolute and somewhat desperate Lincoln defence. Graham almost redeemed himself on 80 minutes with a good turn and shot in the area that had Ziccardi at full stretch. With time running out Lincoln were happy to slow the game down by making a couple of late substitutions, which any team would have done in their situation. Sheffield's last chance of gaining something out of the game came in the last couple of minutes when McDaid gave away a free kick on the right side of the area, but the visitors couldn't capitalize on the situation and the referee brought the game to an end.


A disappointing result considering all the pressure, but as was seen today, it's goals, not possession that wins games. Next up is a trip to Quorn on Tuesday; let's hope for a more 'meaty' performance.


BTF Club Man of the Match: Darryl Winter


Lincoln United: Ziccardi, Forbes (Lowman), Porter, Wilkins, George, McDaid ©, Fleming (Giles), Atkinson, Wilkinson (Troughton), Cann, Pembleton. Subs Not Used: K.Smith, S.Wright.

Sheffield FC: Cross, Potter, G.Wright, P.Smith. Winter, Outram (Fretwell), Roney, Eagers, Muldoon (Wainman), Graham, Woolley (Goddard)


Att: 170


Glapwell 2 Sheffield FC 3

UniBond Division One South

Tuesday, 31/03/09 

David Graham puts Club two up from the penalty spot

A late strike from Andrew Potter gave nine-man Sheffield FC all three points, in this pulsating derby fixture tonight, as once again Hall Corner proved a happy hunting ground for Club. It looked as if two goals in the first ten minutes had set Sheffield up for a quick and comfortable revenge for the 4-0 loss in the reverse fixture, as Jack Muldoon and David Graham (from the spot) gave the visitors and early upper hand, but Glapwell replied with two in ten minutes of their own – with Steve Kennedy and Lewis Trimmer drawing things level. But then events took a dramatic change, as David Graham was given his marching orders for an off the ball incident, then in the second half he was joined by Sheffield’s Mick Goddard and Glapwell’s Robert Darkin. However with Glapwell looking to take advantage of the situation to further their promotion attempt, and with Sheffield seemingly happy to settle for a point, up popped Potter to snatch all three points for Club in injury time.


As expected, Glapwell’s biggest home league crowd of the season was on had to witness this one, and it was Sheffield who started brightest kicking up the notorious slope. It took just six minutes for the deadlock to be broken, as MULDOON played down the right wing, hooking the ball from the touchline – which in turn sailed over Andy Richmond’s head, dropping just inside the post. If that could be considered a fluke, four minutes later was anything but, as yet again Club piled forward and grabbed a second. A free-kick into the box was helped along by Gavin Smith, only to see it handled by Adam Kimberley; up stepped GRAHAM to slam home the penalty off the inside of the post. All credit to Glapwell, they responded positively and just after the quarter hour mark they pulled one back, as KENNEDY stabbed home a Kimberley corner. Sheffield could consider themselves to be rather unfortunate not to extend their lead moments after, as Andy Richmond did well to tip a Daz Winter effort over the bar, with the ball dipping dramatically at the last second. Eventually though Glapwell were back level, this time it was Ryan Goward who put the ball in to the middle, and TRIMMER was in the middle to give debutant keeper Tom Cross no chance. Things were starting to get a little heated in the middle, as referee McIntyre struggled to maintain order, and things came to a head when David Graham reacted to a challenge by Steve Kennedy – the Sheffield man being shown a straight red card. With the one man advantage the hosts set out on an all-out attack, with Paul Smith coming to the rescue, not once – but twice – as he cleared off the line following efforts from Kirk Jackson and Lewis Trimmer. Club weren’t going to collapse without a fight though, and both Jack Muldoon (with a mid-ranged effort) and Paul Smith (with a free-kick) tested Andy Richmond, with the Glapwell stopper showing great form to keep things level going into the break.


The second half saw Sheffield playing down the hill, and although they showed promise in attack, they never really created anything of note to test the Glapwell keeper. Five minutes in things turned a little niggly once again, as Mick Goddard went in for a 50-50 challenge on Andy Richmond, then followed it up with a little wrestling. Robert Darkin took exception to Goddard’s attentions, rushing fully twenty yards to get unnecessarily involved; referee McIntyre had seen enough – as with the Graham incident – to show the Glapwell defender a straight red card, whilst showing Goddard a second yellow for his involvement. So, with Club now down to nine men and Glapwell still having the one man advantage, the stage was now set to show how solid Sheffield’s resolve was. Apart from a Ryan Goward free-kick, which blazed past the post, the hosts had very little to offer and the Sheffield back line cleared with very little trouble. The longer the game went on, the more frustrated Glapwell’s players became, with Club unsurprisingly slowing the game down and running the clock as best possible. As injury time loomed and a draw the most likely result, Jordan Eagers looked to take the ball into the corner, but instead of holding possession there he turned the defender to cut in from the right wing – setting the ball up on a plate for POTTER, who was calmness personified to slot the ball in the corner to send the travelling support wild.


As far as local derbies go, this one was up there with the most eventful, and had just about everything you could ask for – and some things you’d rather not have. This loss has knocked Glappy back a little bit, but in all reality they will more than likely finish in a play-off spot, although a home tie is looking less likely. Club on the other hand are well on form for a top-half finish, a feat that looked very unlikely at the turn of the year, and their recent record is testament to the positive spirit that is prevalent throughout the team. Next up is a trip down Lincolnshire way, an away game at Lincoln United, who will no doubt the wanting revenge of their own following the loss at the BFS last Tuesday.


BTF Club Man of the Match: Paul Smith.


Glapwell: Richmond, Darkin, Goward, Varley, Kennedy, Kitchen, Trimmer (Brown), Burdett ©, Grayson, Jackson (McGuire), Kimberley. Subs Not Used: Wilson, Butler, West.

Sheffield FC: Cross, Potter, Wright ©, P.Smith, G.Smith, Winter, Muldoon, Eagers, Goddard, Graham, Woolley (McKenzie). Subs Not Used: Fretwell, Dolby, Furniss.


Att: 185

Sheffield FC 1 Rushall Olympic 3

UniBond Division One South

Saturday 28/03/09

This header across the face of goal avoids Michael Goddard and goes agonisingly wide

Despite dominating the game from the start, a lone David Graham strike was scant reward, as Rushall Olympic stole all three points this afternoon at the Bright Finance Stadium.

Club started the game with the same line-up as last Tuesday, with the addition of Steve Wolley on the bench and were the first to show, Gav Smith shooting over from a Roney cross. This was followed by a trio of corners, Rushall finally getting a breather when once again Gav Smith found himself up front, this time heading just wide of the upright.  Eagers then tried his luck, his shot being tipped away by Dave Clarke. It took the visitors over twenty minutes before their first real chance fell to Marshall, who headed over from Haywood's free kick. The game then fell into a scrappy period of play, with neither side creating a deal as the weather took a hand with rain, sleet and sunshine all combining to make life difficult for both players and spectators, although the mood was lifted when some joker started to play 'Beautiful Day' by U2 over the tannoy. Clarke was certainly the busiest player on the field, tipping over an in-swinging corner from Roney. There was more sustained pressure on the visitors’ goal, Clarke making a good save to tip the ball away from the feet of Roney, while his defenders tidied up the bits and pieces.  Sheffield should have been one up with just over five minutes of the half left when a Paul Smith free kick was headed goalwards by Winter only for it to bounce over Goddard's head with the goal at his mercy. Disaster struck on 40 minutes when a long ball forward found MARSHALL through on goal with only Furniss to beat, and despite the keeper narrowing the angle the front-man managed to squeeze the ball past him and watch it trickle into the net, with Wright unable to get back to clear it in time. The last action of the half saw Paul Smith deliver a long corner to the edge of the area where Roney lofted the ball back in and Graham was on hand to head goalwards, only to see Clarke make ground across his area to save.





Rushall keeper Dave Clark was feelin' glad all over, picking up most of the bits and pieces (gettit ?) at The BFS Stadium, as above he easily saves the unmarked David Graham's back post header, and right he gets across to block this Adam Fretwell second half header

Once again it was Sheffield who were straight on the attack, Roney evading his marker and putting the ball across goal, but no one was there to convert the opportunity. At this stage, Goddard was replaced by Wainman; perhaps hoping more pace might just unlock the Rushall defence who on the whole had no trouble dealing with the aerial assault on goal, but were suspect when the ball was on the floor. Sheffield were back in the game on the hour mark, when a rash challenge by Beale on Roney saw him give away a free kick on the left of the Rushall area. Paul Smith whipped the ball in and GRAHAM was on hand to head into the top corner, despite Clarke getting his hand to it. It was still nearly all Sheffield, but Fitzpatrick went close with a half chance for the visitors, almost taking the home side by surprise. With Fretwell on for Winter in midfield, Sheffield made their last substitution when Muldoon was replaced by Woolley, Roney switching wings to accommodate the change. Rushall were being pinned back as Sheffield went for the win, Potter going close with a long range effort just over the bar. However, the resulting goal-kick by Clarke saw the visitors launch an attack which had the home defence at sixes and sevens and Rushton took full advantage to retake the lead as LAMEY drove forward into the area, placing his shot beyond Furniss. With just 15 minutes left to play, the visitors were happy to try and soak up the pressure. When Sheffield did breach the defence Clarke was on hand to quell the danger, Roney seeing his rasping shot gathered at the second attempt. Rushall tried to disrupt the assault on goal by making a substitution (Stevens for Marshall), but still Sheffield pressed for the equaliser. With time running out a Paul Smith cross to the back post found Fretwell unmarked, but once again Clarke was on hand to save the header. With 90 minutes played, and at least three minutes of added time to play, Rushall once again took the heat off their defence by making another substitute, Forsdick replacing Lamey. The scoring was completed in added time when FORSDICK netted from close range, much to the delight of Dave Clarke who, along with his team-mates was glad all over.


A disappointing result after such a hard fought win on Tuesday, but credit to Rushall who had a game plan and played to their strengths, the difference being they created three chances and scored on each occasion. Sheffield now has four successive away games, starting on Tuesday at high flyers Glapwell.


BTF Man of the Match: Matt Roney


Sheffield FC: Furniss, Potter, Wright, P.Smith, G.Smith, Winter (Fretwell), Roney, Eagers, Goddard (Wainman), Graham, Muldoon (Woolley). Sub Not Used: Cam.

Rushall Olympic: Clarke, Beale, Haywood, Preston, Barrow, Johnson, Palmer, Lamey (Forsdick), Marshall (Stevens), Beckett, Fitzpatrick. Subs Not Used: Hanna, Daniels, Williams.


Att: 307


Sheffield FC 3   Lincoln United 2

UniBond Division One South

Tuesday 24/03/09


A first half strike from man of the match Matt Roney and two second half efforts from Gavin Smith and Jack Muldoon saw Sheffield overcome a two goal deficit to win their fourth game on the bounce at a rain lashed BFS tonight.


On a rock hard surface to start with it was the visitors who had the first chance on goal, Furniss getting down well to block a shot from Wilkinson. At the other end, Muldoon tried his luck running onto a through ball to volley wide of the mark. A steady rainfall, coupled with a strong breeze was making life difficult for the players to keep their footing, and too many times the hosts were guilty of hitting the ball forward too hard, by not allowing for the weather conditions. Having said, when they started to play the ball around, the United defence were stretched at every opportunity, with Roney time and again evading his marker to get a cross in. Graham had a guilt edged opportunity 20 minutes in when Potter's cross found him unmarked, but he sliced his shot well wide of the target. Against the run of play Lincoln took the lead when McDAID was allowed to go through the defence and fire a shot which gave Furniss no chance. Sheffield still pressed forward and a Paul Smith free kick saw Ziccardi in the visitors’ goal having to palm the effort out. Despite most of the play being in the Lincoln half, United almost snatched another goal on the break when Furniss had to save from Cann. More chances went begging for Club amid the now steady downpour, None more so than when Graham's shot hit the post and rebounded to Goddard who sky-ed the ball over from six yards. With four minutes of the half left the visitors took advantage of some slack defending to drive into the area, only for Gav Smith to bundle over Josh Giles, the referee pointing straight to the spot for a penalty. CANN made no mistake from the resultant kick. Thankfully their undeserved two goal cushion was reduced a minute later when man of the match RONEY fired in a brilliant drive from 25 yards that gave Ziccardi no chance.


Amid the wet conditions, Sheffield started the second half on the attack, Goddard going close with a glancing header from Graham's cross. Ziccardi was then in action once more, punching away a free kick from Smith. Just past the hour mark Lincoln had the opportunity to sneak further ahead, but Furniss was alert enough to come out and block at the strikers feet. The pressure was well and truly on Lincoln now, who were defending in numbers but were undone in the 65th minute when yet another goalmouth scramble saw Gavin SMITH on hand to steer the ball home, despite Lincoln appeals for offside. Sheffield seemed to find another gear then, and with Wainman replacing Goddard it gave the Lincoln defenders yet something else to worry about, as he closed down on defenders giving them little time dwell on the ball. Still chances came and went, with United clinging on for their lives. Sheffield finally got their deserved winner on the 84th minute when once again Roney terrorised the Lincoln defence, making head roads down the left wing before cutting in on the touchline and delivering a ball in front of the goal which MULDOON was glad to knock in from two yards. A minute later and the lead was almost increased as a long ball forward saw Graham give chase out wide, who beat the keeper to it who had come for the same ball but his effort trickled agonisingly the wrong side of the post. That was Graham's last slice of action, as Dolby brought on Cam to replace him, and also eat up some precious seconds on the clock. However, the referee still indicated that there would be a minimum of four extra minutes and supporters’ hearts were in their mouths when Lincoln won a corner. Up went Ziccardi, abandoning his goalkeeping duties but the ball was cleared out to Cam who punted the ball goalwards towards the unguarded net and with Roney running on it looked all on another goal until Fleming somehow managed to get a tackle in to clear.


A deserved victory and you can't do better than four wins from four home matches on the trot. Next up is another home fixture on Saturday against Rushall Olympic. Can we make it a handful of wins?


BTF Man of the Match: Matt Roney


Sheffield FC: Furniss, Potter, Wright, P.Smith, G.Smith, Winter, Roney, Eagers, Goddard (Wainman), Graham (Cam), Muldoon. Subs Not Used: Fretwell.

Lincoln United: Ziccardi, Fleming, Porter, Wilkins, George, McDaid, Giles, Wilkinson (Forbes), Lowman, Cann, Atkinson. Subs Not Used: K.Smith, Creane.


Att: 260



Sheffield FC 2 Willenhall Town 1

UniBond Division One South

Saturday, 21/03/09


They say that every cloud has a silver lining, and this game summed up that saying all the way, as a pretty mundane match up between two mid-table sides sprung to life in the most dramatic fashion this afternoon at the Bright Finance Stadium. Just as it seemed that Micky Goddard’s first league goal of the season had secured all three points for the home side, Lee Chilton equalised in injury time in controversial circumstances, with Sheffield’s Gavin Smith receiving his marching orders for allegedly handling on the line. But whilst the Lockmen were congratulating themselves on a job well done in salvaging a point, Club went directly up the other end and grabbed a winner, with new signing David Graham sending the home crowd delirious with the last kick of the game.


With the spring sunshine bathing the BFS pitch, and with a pretty hard and dusty surface, both sides started this one with plenty of energy and vigour. There were chances at both ends early on, as the lanky Rory May hooked wide for Willenhall and at the other end David Graham forced an excellent one-handed save from Luke Tilt, after a Matt Roney Cross. Graham was the main instigator of the Sheffield threat in the first half, shooting a free-kick just over the bar, whilst he followed that up with an effort from the edge of the box that was well stopped by Tilt. After that though, both sides cancelled each other out, and the game developed into a dour little midfield scrap that offered little in the way of entertainment. Naveed Arshed was causing a few issues with the home players, although not in the best sense, as he got unnecessarily involved with both Stewart Copnell and Gavin Smith – the latter seeing the home player receive a yellow card for an over aggressive reaction. Marc Furniss had little to do in the first period but when he was called on he did well, as he turned free-kick set-piece move round the post at full stretch, after Scott Stevenson set up skipper Lee Chilton.  


Club should really have grabbed the lead in the opening seconds of the restart, as Shaun Griffiths missed the ball completely, gifting David Graham an opportunity that was squandered as the shot was fired directly at Tilt. Stewart Copnell saw a free-kick fly narrowly over the bar, whilst at the other end a mix-up between Paul Smith and Marc Furniss gave Naveed Arshed a chance, one that the Willenhall player failed to take advantage of. It was turning into an afternoon of defensive mix-ups, as Brendan Kelly played a weak under weighted pass to the keeper, David Graham got between the two – sadly the end shot trickled onto the post and out to safety. But just as this game seemed to be drifting into a goal-less draw, Sheffield finally broke the deadlock as a Matt Outram cross was hooked on by Graham, and steaming in to break his league duck was GODDARD who made no mistake from two yards out. It should have been two moments later, as a Greg Wright free-kick was floated into the box, and with Tilt colliding with one of his defenders Micky Goddard was unable to bring the ball under enough control to do anything more than hook it over the bar. The goal seemed to bring the Lockmen out of their shell, and they started to pose a few problems at the other end, with Chilton breaking clear of Paul Smith – producing a great stop from Furniss – and Gavin Saunders saw his header cleared off the line by Paul Smith. But just as it seemed that Club had weathered the storm and achieved their third clean sheet of the week, disaster struck in the most bizarre way, as once again a defensive mix-up came to the fore. As the ball fell between Gavin Smith and Marc Furniss, Smith headed the ball towards the keeper, unfortunately Rory May took the ball and rounded Furniss – only to see his shot headed off the line by the Sheffield defender. The referee however adjudged the header had bounced directly onto Smith’s arm, awarding a penalty, and with it a red card – leaving CHILTON the formality of slamming home the spot-kick. But if you thought that was that – think again – as Club went directly up the other end, winning two throw-ins in quick succession. The second was a “long one” by Leon Wainman, Goddard flicked the ball on with his head, GRAHAM steered the ball into the corner.


There will be people that will say that justice had been done, but in all fairness Willenhall had done enough to warrant a point, but not in the circumstances that they nearly won one. Sadly for them they sat back after that equaliser thinking their work was done, and Sheffield capitalised on that failing, ensuring that they managed their third home win in a week – taking Club up to the heady heights of 14th place. Next along on Tuesday is Lincoln United, who saw that impressive unbeaten away run ended last weekend, and suffered for a second week in a row up the road at promotion chasing Glapwell – where they lost 2-3.


BTF Club Man of the Match – Paul Smith


Sheffield FC: Furniss, Potter, Wright ©, G.Smith, P.Smith, Fretwell (Eagers), Roney (Wainman), Outram, Copnell (Goddard), Graham, Muldoon.

Willenhall Town: Tilt, Lycett (Rofe), Milligan, Kelly, Griffiths, Saunders, Stevenson (Willis), Findlay, May, Arshed, Chilton ©. Subs Not Used: Nisbett, Ryan, Edwards.


Att: 310


Sheffield FC 1 Kidsgrove Athletic 0

UniBond Division One South

Tuesday, 17/03/09


Sheffield completed their first league double of the season, this evening at the Bright Finance Stadium, as for the second game running Club managed to keep a clean sheet that has been sorely missing this campaign. An 8th minute goal settled matters, although it could be disputed who actually should claim it, with ex-Sheffield Wednesday striker David Graham getting the final touch on his debut. Whilst Kidsgrove huffed and puffed, causing the hosts to clear the ball off the line three times, the result never seemed to be in real danger. Overall it turned out to be a dour contest, with only brief glimpses of entertaining football, none more so than with the introduction of Stewart Copnell who gave the visitors more than a few things to think about.


Club started very brightly, and it looked as though it had the potential for a goal-fest, as Sheffield scored on their first proper attack. Steve Woolley crossed the ball into the middle; Matt Roney met it with a sweet volley, which ricocheted off the arse of GRAHAM before cannoning past Stephen Intihar. Woolley was proving to be an early thorn in the visitors’ side early on, with his pace on the left causing grief, and a solo run followed by a wicked shot whipped across the face of the goal and just wide. But as Kidsgrove found a way back into the game, Club went back inside their shell allowing Athletic to come at them more adventurously, although the best they could produce in the remainder of the half was a couple of efforts that were blocked close to goal – including one from a free-kick given for a pass back that Marc Furniss picked up.


The second half was a grim affair, the most interesting occurrence coming when Liam Shotton saw his effort cleared off the line, but it seemed both sides cancelled each other out. The rash of substitutions threatened to change that, with Stewart Copnell seeing his vicious strike deflected wide, whilst he turned provider moments later with some neat footwork that saw Mick Goddard through on goal – his shot however was off target. Jimmy Dunn came close for Kidsgrove, as his shot was lashed wide, whilst Charlie Reeves saw his header cleared off the line. In the end though Sheffield held on, and could have doubled the lead late on with a Stewart Copnell free-kick, sadly there wasn’t to be a typical outcome as the ball struck the post and bounced to safety.


BTF Club Man of the Match – Paul Smith


Sheffield FC: Furniss, Potter, Wright ©, P.Smith, G.Smith, Fretwell, Roney (Muldoon), Outram, Wainman (Goddard), Graham (Copnell), Woolley. Subs Not Used: Eagers.

Kidsgrove Athletic: Intihar, Shenton, Sanders, Schwartz, D.Smith, Beasley, Skelton (Matranga), Dove, Shotton, Benjamin (Dunn), Moss (Reeves). Subs Not Used: Bridge, White.


Att: 279


Sheffield FC 2 Goole AFC 0

UniBond Division One South

Saturday, 14/03/09


Sheffield avenged defeat three weeks ago at The Victoria Pleasure Grounds with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Goole AFC at The BFS Stadium this afternoon. An early goal from Leon Wainman put Club on their way, and despite dominating the game and creating a hatful of chances they had to rely on a Jordan Eagers penalty, wrecklessly given away by Manager Nigel Danby to confirm the win.


There were returning home debuts for Leon Wainman and Matt Roney this afternoon whilst Micky Goddard was looking for his first competitive action since returning from injury, starting the day from the substitutes' bench.  The hosts made the perfect start, catching the visitors cold when with just 2 minutes played Woolley broke away from the half way line and after bamboozling his marker squared the ball across the area where WAINMAN was on hand to bundle the ball home despite the efforts of his marker. The hosts were having plenty of the ball in these early stages, Muldoon latching onto a loose ball and driving forward, but shooting wide of the target. Goole's first shot in anger came just after 15 minutes when a Lee effort was safely gathered by Furniss. Back at the other end some good interplay saw Osborne making a save from Woolley's shot. McGhie then had an opportunity for the visitors but his wayward effort flew high over the bar. Time and again the hosts had the Goole defence on the back-foot and they were more than happy to shoot on site...if not on target, as Woolley and Gav Smith, among others, shot high and wide into the adjoining woods! Play was held up with five minutes of the half left to play when a nasty clash of heads between Outram and Hill saw the Goole captain having to leave the field with a visit to the local hospital pending as a result of severe swelling and bruising around the eye socket, the visitors replacing him with Tate. The resulting free kick saw Jeffs fire well over for the Vikings.


The second half again saw Sheffield on the front foot as Outram, Wainman and Muldoon combined well before the latter fired just over the bar. One of the best moves of the game saw Woolley and Muldoon exchange a one-two in the Goole area where Woolley took the ball to the by-line and then cross to Wainman who almost walked it into the net before Osborne managed to grasp the ball from his toes. With only one goal difference Goole were by no means out of it, but for all their effort, they never looked like worrying Furniss who up to this point had only had to make one save of note. Sheffield livened things up with the introduction of Goddard and, shortly after Copnell, replacing Muldoon and Roney. The game then started to get 'niggly' with petty fouls disrupting the flow of the game. With 20 minutes left Fretwell brought out the best from Osborne as the keeper had to dive full length to palm his shot away. The hosts then had a glorious chance to extend the lead when man of the match Woolley once again delivered a perfect cross onto the head of Goddard, but the striker headed it straight at the keeper. Shortly after that Wainman almost made Osborne pay for a poor kick out as he hoisted the ball goalwards from a distance of 40 yards which only just went over the bar to save the keepers blushes. Goole decided to go for broke by bringing Danby on as Sheffield bolstered the midfield by resting Wainman and bringing Eagers on in his place. With ten minutes left the Vikings beat the offside trap but the effort was cleared for a corner. Furniss then had to punch clear under pressure as Goole pressed for an equaliser. With time running our Furniss was once again called into action as he too had to make a full length save to keep the visitors at bay. With time running out the hosts were happy to keep possession in the corners, or exploit the space at the back when the time was right. The game was settled in the last minute when Goddard ran onto a ball, challenged by Jeffs, the defender claiming raised elbows as play went on. Danby then got involved, pushing the forward in front of the referee who did not hesitate in pointing to the spot for a penalty, which EAGERS dispatched with ease, sending the keeper the wrong way. Although having the majority of the game, Sheffield made hard work against a poor Goole side, but the win is a good platform to start on as the team embark on another four successive home games, starting on Tuesday against Kidsgrove Athletic.


BTF Man of the Match: Steve Woolley


Sheffield FC: Furniss, Potter, Wright, P.Smith, G.Smith, Fretwell, Roney (Copnell), Muldoon (Goddard), Wainman (Eagers), Outram, Woolley. 

Goole AFC: Osborne, Morley, Jeffs, Hill (Tate), Siddall, McGhie (Danby), Rollinson, Darker, Lee, Spilman, Buttle. Sub Not Used: Beard.


Att: 220

Retford United 3 Sheffield FC 0

UniBond Division One North South

Tuesday, 10/03/09


Retford did their championship hopes no harm, this evening at Cannon Park, as they brushed aside a Sheffield outfit with three set-piece goals. Chris Bettney opened the scoring in the 12th minute, followed by a second in the 28th minute by Daniel White, whilst Michael Simpkins put the kybosh on any possible comeback with a third in the 76th minute. Club had rallied and applied a fair amount of pressure in the second period, but lacked any cutting edge, and could hardly argue with the scoreline.


The opening of this game was a tightly contested affair, and if Sheffield were going to get anything from the night the first thing they needed to avoid was an early goal, but when Chambers’ header hit the bar the warning signs were there for all to see. But when the Badgers did make the breakthrough it came direct from a free-kick, with BETTNEY curling a lovely strike into the top corner, leaving Furniss with no chance of getting anything near the ball. Club came out of their shell straight after this, and Paul Smith came close with a screamer from 25 yards, with Simpkins deflecting the shot over the bar with his head. Just before the half hour mark Sheffield were caught cold from a corner, with Ford popping the ball into the middle, and WHITE getting there with an un-marked header.


After the restart the majority of the play was in the home team’s defensive half, although Sheffield rarely threatened, despite the best energetic efforts of Stewart Copnell. But the closest to a goal in the opening moments came at the other end, with Owens getting a shot on target, producing an excellent save from Marc Furniss. At the other end ex-Clubbie Ross Turner thwarted his old team, with Copnell the man being denied, as the Badgers’ stopper got down to stop the Sheffield player’s pile-driving free-kick. Regardless of how much attacking and pressing Club applied, Retford were more than capable of clearing their lines, and with fifteen to go they hit the visitors with the ultimate sucker-punch. Adam Fretwell was penalised for a foul about twenty yards out, Ford dummied the free-kick, and SIMPKINS capped a fine captain’s performance with a neatly curled short into the top corner.


All-in-all Retford never seemed to get out of first gear, all three goals came from set pieces, and a fair few of the hosts’ players never had to really get involved in the game. For all Sheffield’s efforts – and no mistake there was plenty of effort from the visitors – they couldn’t break a well organised and blunt defensive line. Hopefully they’ll be able to take some positives from this one, and with a little luck they’ll be able to capitalise on the pressure in the next game, and convert a few chances against the visitors on Saturday – Goole AFC.


Retford United: Turner, Oldham, White, Ford, Chambers, Simpkins, Bettney, Fisher (Chappell), Godber, Harvey (Longstaff), Owens (Grimes).Subs Not Used: Duffield, Kingston.

Sheffield FC: Furniss, Potter, Wright, Smith P, Smith G, Fretwell, Roney, Muldoon, Copnell (Wainman), Outram, Woolley. Subs Not Used: Gelsthorpe, Dolby.


Att: 204

Sheffield FC 2 Loughborough Dynamo 3

UniBond Division One South

Saturday, 28/02/09



It turned out to be one of those days at the Bright Finance Stadium this afternoon, as Club turned in nothing short of a Jeckyll and Hyde performance, managing to snatch a defeat from a game that looked to be comfortably in the bag. After taking a well deserved two goal lead in the first half, following goals from Daz Winter, pictured left  (12th minute) and Robert Cam (25th minute), Sheffield seemed to fall into an amazing transformation with Dynamo hitting three in return against the subdued hosts. Callum Ross (28th minute) pulled one back against the run of play in the first half, before they turned the screw in the second, turning things totally around with goals from Neil Morgan (67th minute) and a belter from Lewis Allen (77th minute).


Sheffield made a promising start to this game, and had no fewer than three clear cut chances in the first ten minutes, with the visitors rocking with the early pressure. The best of these came as Paul Smith put a free-kick to the back post, with Daz Winter heading straight at Matt Nurse in the Dynamo goal, whilst moments later Steve Woolley dug a ball out on the dead-ball line to cross to Stewart Copnell – whose shot was drilled into the ground and over the bar. On twelve minutes Club made the deserved breakthrough, as Woolley showed some great skill to retain possession before offloading to Matty Outram, and it was his chip across the goal that found WINTER available to head home from close range. The hosts never looked troubled at this stage and the control they had over the game seemed to suggest not only a win, but a convincing win at that, and midway through the half the added to their tally to emphasise that point of view. Again it was Steve Woolley who was at the centre of things, with his cross to the back post finding Daz Winter, who headed back across goal this time – and waiting to receive the easiest of nod-ins was CAM, to make it 2-0. Sheffield’s pressure seemed to be relentless, but after an attack broke down with Matt Nurse collecting the easiest of crosses, he was then able to launch it down field where ROSS was able to outmuscle Paul Smith and hit a volley beyond the diving Marc Furniss to give Loughborough an unlikely foothold in the game.


If the first half was an entertaining game of football, with Sheffield stroking the ball around confidently and composed, then the second half was the complete opposite – with the hosts looking nervous and disjointed. Loughborough weren’t exactly an attacking force, but neither were they under pressure, and soon enough they found the ability to break free of any mental shackles they had and started to put Club under the cosh. I suppose you could say the equaliser was against the run of play, but that would be unfair on Dynamo, as the substitute Lee Dawson found himself in acres of space before letting a shot go that Furniss could only palm into the path of MORGAN – giving the second substitute the easiest of finishes. Sheffield seemed well out of it now, and if there was going to be a winner, it was always going to be the visitors as the first half appeared to be long-forgotten by both sides. The winning goal; when it came was pretty special, as a ball into the box fell out as far as Lewis Allen, and after one neat little touch ALLEN let rip from 25 yards to give Furniss no chance. Eventually Club woke up, but not until it was too late, and started to throw bodies forward in an attempt to salvage something from the wreckage. With seconds to go a Steve Woolley cross was missed by everyone, in the middle waiting was Gavin Smith, but his shot went directly at Nurse – pretty much summing up the second half in its entirety.


This was probably one of the most disappointing displays by a Sheffield side this season; Club literally pummelled Loughborough in the first half (as they did at Nanpantan earlier in the season), yet failed to land the knock-out punch to grab all three points. As it turned out the dismal second half made the first totally forgettable, which is sad, especially as the quality of football on display in the opening half was as good (or better) as any this season. Luckily little rested on the outcome of this game, and manager Chris Dolby will be able to take his team into Tuesday’s game with plenty of positives from this defeat; hopefully managing ending up with a game with two first half performances.


BTF MotM - Steve Woolley


Sheffield FC: Furniss, Eagers (Gelsthorpe), Wright ©, P.Smith, G.Smith, Fretwell, Outram, Winter, Copnell (Muldoon), Cam (Cribley), Woolley.

Loughborough Dynamo: M.Nurse, Jenno, L.Plummer, Latham, Betts, Noble ©, J.Allen (Dawson), L.Allen, Ross (Edmands), Mason (Morgan), Moreira. Subs Not Used: Collis, B.Plummer.


Att: 355

Goole AFC 2 Sheffield FC 1

UniBond Division One South

Tuesday, 24/02/09


After the heady heights of hitting seven on Saturday, Club came down to earth with a bump this evening, losing 2-1 against a battling Goole AFC side. A goal each from Karl Rose (6th minute) and Ben Spilman (23rd minute) gave the Vikings a lead they were able to hang on to, with Jordan Eagers scoring from the penalty spot in the 70th minute, seconds after missing another spot-kick. Sheffield finished the game the stronger of the two sides, and despite losing Daz Winter for a second yellow card, Goole were left hanging on to the death to ensure they were the ones who picked up the vital three points.


All eyes were on Stewart Copnell’s return to the VPG this evening following his controversial exit from the home club, but the home support had other things to occupy their minds early on, as in the 6th minute the hosts were to take a pretty fortuitous lead. A Goole corner was cleared to the edge of the box where ROSE was lurking; he swung a hopeful shot at the ball which skewed skywards; however luck was on his side as it looped over Marc Furniss who could only claw it goalwards – and into the net. In all honesty after this there was little to choose between the two sides, with both involved in a terse midfield battle, with nothing like an opportunity looking likely. That was until midway through the half, as the ball fell out to SPILMAN at the edge of the area, and there was no doubting the quality of the strike which left Furniss with no chance of denying Goole a second goal. It was at this point that Sheffield came to life; Jordan Eagers made an excellent solo run that left defenders sprawling in his wake, the end product sadly was weak to say the least. Stewart Copnell also managed to get the better of the home defence, before shooting rather wayward, whilst Robert Cam was a little disappointed with his header from an Eagers’ cross that ended up a little too easy for Chris Hill in the hosts’ goal. The best chance to add to the scoring though came at the other end, as a wicked free-kick from Jeffs rattled the bar, with Steve Rollinson failing to get any purchase to tuck the rebound away.


If Sheffield were to get anything out of this game an early goal was imperative, and they thought they’d got one as Robert Cam forced a Matt Outram cross over the line, only for the assistant to rule it out for a marginal offside. Goole were always still a threat when they got the ball forward, and Ian McLean forced an excellent save from Furniss, who tipped the defenders’ 35-yard rasper round the post. Sadly as far as the hosts were concerned they were satisfied with the result as it stood, and resorted to some pretty unattractive football, hoofing the ball upfield at every given opportunity. But then as Sheffield pressed forward more frequently and in numbers, the game took a twist as the referee awarded a penalty for an infringement in the box – which one he picked was a mystery, as he had a choice of three trips to choose from. Up stepped Jordan Eagers with the spot kick, however his powerful effort cleared Hill and struck the bar, the rebound fell between Eagers and McLean – with the defender wrestling the Sheffield man to the ground. So seconds after the miss, EAGERS stepped up for a second attempt, this time a more considered attempt that found the back of the net. The controversy woke up the hosts somewhat, and the introduction of speedy substitute Regis Nvhambu livened them up some more, however the home support was appeased a little with the referee awarding Daz Winter a second yellow for an obstruction on Danny Buttle. Nvhambu caused concern down the right for Sheffield, and got behind the defence to set up Buttle who took the ball around Furniss to slot the ball towards an empty net, fortunately for Club Matt Outram was there to stop the ball crossing the line. The visitors managed to get the ball in the back of the net once again, with a sublime move from Eagers who crossed the ball in, Gav Smith flicked the ball on and Robert Cam steamed in at the back post to finish – again the assistant ruled it marginally offside, and with it went any chance of Club salvaging a point.


Sheffield were left ruing a bit of a slow start on this one, and once Goole had their noses safely in front, they set their stall out to launch the ball anywhere but the danger area. Not pretty it has to be agreed, but ultimately effective, and for that they cannot be blamed. The result takes the Vikings up to 15th spot, and away from any danger, whilst Club drop to 17th – although sitting a good fifteen points clear of relegation. Next up for Sheffield is a home game against Loughborough Dynamo, a team sitting in mid-table, who also lost tonight at Shepshed in the Leicestershire Westerby Cup.


BTF Club Man of the Match: Jordan Eagers


Goole AFC: C.Hill, Jeffs (Nvhambu), McLean, B.Hill ©, Siddall, Danby, Rollinson, Darker, Spilman (Beard), Rose (Tate), Buttle. Subs Not Used: Norbury, Osborne

Sheffield FC: Furniss, Eagers, Wright ©, P.Smith, G.Smith, Fretwell, Outram, Winter, Copnell, Muldoon (Cam), Woolley (Lipka). Subs Not Used: Dolby, Gelsthorpe.


Att: 141.

Sheffield FC 7 Spalding United 0

UniBond Division One South

Saturday, 21/02/09


Two goals from Jordan Eagers plus strikes from Steve Woolley, Matt Outram, Stewart Copnell, Janni Lipka and an own goal to start proceedings saw Sheffield trounce Spalding this afternoon at the BFS. After Tuesday night's well earned point against second placed Belper Town Sheffield welcomed back Gav Smith and Stewart Copnell, making a belated home return debut from the bench, after suspension and there was also a place on the bench for Daz Winter finally recovered from injury.


On a bright sunny day Sheffield couldn't have asked for a better start as in their first real attack with just three minutes on the clock Woolley's cross from the by-line was missed by the keeper and as Outram and Kennedy went up for the ball it was KENNEDY who headed it into his own net, while Outram received treatment after heading the post! A minute later and Fretwell unleashed a shot from 25 yards which was just off target. Spalding were all at sixes and sevens as Muldoon then had Roberts diving full stretch to palm the ball away, closely followed by Cam having an effort saved by the keepers feet. There was very little respite for the visitors, as on a rare sortie forward French shot over when well placed. This was soon followed by Furniss having to make a good stop at his near post to smother a free kick. Back at the other end and the already overworked Roberts punched away a typical Paul Smith free kick with Woolley in close attendance. Spalding almost pulled level through Wormall when he slipped the ball past the advancing Furniss, but Paul Smith was on hand to clear the ball off the line. 'Smudge' was then in action again moments later, this time firing in a free kick just the wrong side of the post. Sheffield went further ahead in the 35th minute when a poor goal kick found Woolley, who in turn fed the ball through to EAGERS whose deft touch left Roberts rooted to the spot as the ball trickled into the corner of the net. Three minutes later and EAGERS was again on hand, this time firing home a penalty after handball by Goosey.


The game was over as a contest after just two minutes of the restart as Outram's cross from the wing found WOOLLEY who smashed the ball home from ten yards out. Spalding had substituted their keeper at the break, but his replacement (unknown) was already having a torrid time as Sheffield kept the visitors pinned back for long periods. The best goal of the game came on 53 minutes when man of the match OUTRAM picked the ball up just inside the opponents half, ran past three defenders and the keeper before slotting home from a tight angle. With Winter already on the field from the start of the second half, it was time to give the other two substitutes a run out as Copnell and Lipka entered the fray and it proved dividends as on 70 minutes Outram once again provided a teasing cross into the box, and as defender and keeper stood waiting for each other, COPNELL was in like a flash to poke the ball home. He almost doubled his own tally moments later when Lipka threaded the ball through to him, but as he slipped it past the keeper it was hacked away off the line. The scoring was completed when Eagers' quick thinking saw him take a quick free kick after being brought down, floating the ball into the area where LIPKA was on hand to fire home.


A comprehensive thrashing against what was a poor Spalding side, but it doesn't detract from the performance of the team, whose blend of youth and experience showed it could work. After all, you can only beat what's put in front of you, but it was good to see the team work for the full 90 minutes, never letting up, even though the result was never in danger. Next up is a trip to Goole on Tuesday night.


BTF Club Man of the Match: Matt Outram


Sheffield FC: Furniss, Gelsthorpe, Wright, P.Smith, G.Smith, Fretwell, Outram, Muldoon (Winter), Cam (Copnell), Eagers, Woolley (Lipka).

Spalding United: Roberts (McShane), Jones, Kennedy, Goosey, Foster, Young (Moore), Maddox (Duroe), Miller, Hughes, Wormall, French. Subs Not Used: O'Neill, McShane, A.N.Other.


Att: 304


Sheffield FC 1 Belper Town 1

UniBond Division One South

Tuesday, 17/02/09


Sheffield turned in a fantastic battling performance to deny championship hopefuls Belper all three points, at the Bright Finance Stadium this evening, holding the Derbyshire side to a creditable 1-1 draw. Robert Cam gave Club a well deserved lead ten minutes into the second period, after some excellent build up from Matt Outram, only for the Nailers to equalise midway through the half with an equally well worked goal from Ant Wilson with a Dean Oliver assist. The fact the game even went ahead was credit to the ground-staff, who had worked tirelessly to transform the pitch from a snow-bound tundra to a surface which – whilst difficult – was not even deemed necessary of an inspection.  But with this came a heavy track, making it difficult for both teams to play their natural game, however both sides will be simply happy to have got one more game from their respective backlogs cleared.


It wouldn’t have taken the biggest genius to work out that Belper were clear favourites for this one, given the table positions alone told a huge story, but with the Sheffield side having a massively makeshift look about it the visitors would have been expected to steamroller the hosts with ease. The early pattern of play certainly gave that impression, as Belper went forward with the confidence of a team that is pushing for honours, and in the 17th minute they served notice of what to expect as they bundled the ball over the line – only to have the goal ruled out for an infringement in the goalmouth mêlée. Marc Furniss was making his league debut in the hosts’ goal - following Leigh Walker’s exit to Belper - and he proved himself to be a worthy replacement, making an excellent fingertip save from a James Colliver shot, turning the ball acrobatically over the bar. At the other end Walker was proving his worth, as Adam Fretwell put in an excellent ball to Robert Cam whose shot was well blocked by the big stopper, with Matty Outram’s rebound skewing wide of the post.


Both sides had shown plenty of endeavour in the first half, but neither had a goal to show for the efforts, but it didn’t take long after the restart for the deadlock to be broken – and surprisingly it was the hosts which grabbed the opener. Some great work down the right from Matt Outram turned Andy Rushbury inside out, the winger made enough space to whip in a telling cross, and in the middle CAM was there to slam home past Walker from close range. The game now saw Club in the ascendancy with Belper well and truly on the back-foot and in an almost identical fashion to the goal; Outram got the ball across to Andrew Potter, whose effort was tipped over the bar by Walker. Ironically Belper finally came into the game when the prolific Lee Stevenson was replaced on the hour by Dean Oliver, with the threat of the leading scorer gone it seemed Club relaxed a little and allowed Oliver that little extra space not afforded to Stevenson, and a wild shot seconds after from the substitute gave notice of what was to come. Moments later Oliver found himself in space on the right – and in similar circumstances to the Sheffield goal – the ball was crossed to WILSON, who took a little touch before lashing the ball beyond Furniss. Now it was Belper’s turn to be in charge and whilst they lay siege to the Sheffield goal, they were given a massive wake-up call that it wasn’t a one-way procession, as Club broke up the other end with Steve Woolley forcing a solid save from Leigh Walker. But the hero of the day was at the other end, as Marc Furniss repelled wave after wave of Nailers’ attacks, with some pretty impressive saves. Dean Oliver set up an opportunity for Ben Walker, Furniss did well to get well to get down to block his shot, then ex-Clubbie Peter Smith saw his header denied by the lively young keeper. The last chance for Belper came with a late goalmouth scramble, with Michael Harcourt getting his foot to the ball in the mêlée; once again Furniss was there to block the path to goal.


This was a well earned point for Sheffield, given the difficulties since the New Year, and one that came from a performance that Chris Dolby should be rightly proud of. Excuses could be made by the title chasing visitors around the state of the pitch, which to be fair held up remarkably well, but in truth it was the battling quality of the young Sheffield side that frustrated Belper – as they chased and harried every single ball. As far as this affects the table, the Nailers will be ruing the two points they potentially lost, whilst Club will find this is one earned to give that little bit of space between them and the potentially uncomfortable relegation zone. Sheffield will now go into Saturday’s battle with Spalding United knowing that a vital win is highly possible if they approach the game in a similar fashion to tonight, whilst Belper will be looking at the next two fixtures (away to Retford, then away to Stocksbridge) as a make or break period, if they are to end their twelve season spell in UniBond One.


BTF Club Man of the Match – Marc Furniss


Sheffield FC: Furniss, Eagers, Gelsthorpe, P.Smith, Wright ©, Fretwell, Outram, Muldoon, Cam (Lipka), Potter, Woolley. Subs Not Used. Cribley, Purkiss.

Belper Town: L.Walker, Colliver ©, Rushbury, Kotylo, Harcourt, Haigh, Hudson, Stevenson (Oliver), B.Walker, Hindley (P.Smith). Subs Not Used: Tracey, Litchfield, Carney.


Att: 335.

Rushall Olympic 3 Sheffield FC 2

UniBond League Division One South

Saturday, 31/01/09

Left, Andrew Potter doesn't seem too impressed with Rushall 'keeper  Tony Breeden's deodorant, or lack of whilst right, the same Club man attempts to break down the Olympic defence



Two second half goals by BTF man of the match Stewart Copnell were not enough to save Sheffield from their second defeat of the week, writes Trevor Herrington, at Dales Lane this afternoon.


With Sheffield’s walking wounded still not fit enough to take part manager Chris Dolby introduced two 'new' signings into the squad for today's game. Starting in midfield was Adam Fretwell signed from Worksop, and on the bench was the return of a Sheffield favourite Stewart Copnell. There was little to choose between the sides from the kick-off as both teams tried to get to grips with the uneven playing surface. It was clear that Olympics strength lay in the long ball pumped forward to the attackers whose height advantage would cause problems for most of the game. Sheffield started the game with Muldoon the lone striker, with support from midfield and the wingmen. It was Rushton who had the first real effort on goal when Haywood’s free kick was headed over by Preston. Sheffield started to see more of the ball but were continually thwarted in the final third with a defensive clearance or misplaced pass being the main outcome to their attacking play. The visitors had a good chance from Woolley's short corner as Outram swung the ball in, Breeden in the Olympic goal having to be alert to punch clear off Potters head. With almost half hour played neither side had created a clear cut chance, but Sheffield fell behind on 27 minutes when Eagers tackle fell kindly into the path of STEVENS who made no mistake with the shot. The visitors almost drew level moments later when Thompson's rasping drive was just the wrong side of the post. As stated before, Rushden were content get the ball forward as quickly as possible and one break down the right by Stevens just needed a touch but Marshall just couldn't make contact. Just before the break he had another chance with a header but directed it just wide.


The second half saw Rushall on the offensive from the kick-off, Walker having to save well from Palmer. The hosts then had a succession of four corners before Sheffield could mount any kind of response. Sheffield's task was made even harder on 53 minutes when a free kick from HAYWOOD from about 45 yards out saw a bemused Walker watch the ball float over his head and into the back of the net.


With nothing to lose it was time for Copnell to make his welcome return at the expense of Thompson. This brought about the urgency and passion that had sadly been lacking before, as the team started to show their loyal travelling fans that they were not going to just lie down. A run through the middle by Copnell was brought to an abrupt end by Knight's mistimed tackle, Paul Smith putting the free kick into the wall. Sheffield's hopes were raised on 68 minutes when, with the Rushall defense now under pressure Woolley slipped inside the full back and his cross to the feet of COPNELL was dispatched with venom into the back of the net, despite Breeden getting a hand to it. The visitors went all out for an equaliser, bringing on Gordon at the expense of Potter. However, they were rocked back with ten minutes to go when Stevens broke down the Sheffield left and his cross was met by the onrushing MARSHALL whose first time shot gave Walker no chance. The hosts almost scored again straight after when Gavin Smith was dispossessed by substitute Clarke, but he put the chance against the post. Sheffield made the score respectable on 90 minutes with the best goal of the game when Outram's cross was met by COPNELL whose acrobatic scissor kick was in the net before Breeden had time to react.


Once again a disappointing result as we made an average side look good. For all the possession we had there was very little penetration to trouble their keeper. However, the return (and experience) of Copnell should help the younger members of the team in the coming weeks until the walking wounded are fit enough to play again. Next up is a home clash with Lincoln United on Tuesday


BTF Club Man of the Match: Stewart Copnell


Rushall Olympic: Breeden, Gough, Haywood (Beckett), Preston, Johnson, Knight, Palmer, Marshall (Clarke), Stevens, Cooper (Beale), Fitzpatrick. Unused subs: Williams, Gayle.

Sheffield: Walker, Eagers, P.Smith, G.Smith, Wright, Fretwell, Outram, Thompson (Copnell), Muldoon, Potter (Gordon), Woolley. Unused subs: Cribley, Gelsthorpe.


Att: 119

It might be a bit of a blur but it helps you get the gist and why should we deny you the chance to see Stewart Copnell's first goal at Rushall - Cops is hidden behind the Olympic defender on the right as the keeper fails to keep out his piledriver

Sheffield FC 0 Glapwell 4

UniBond Division One South

Tuesday, 27/01/09


A first half goal for Glapwell and a further three goals in a twenty minute second half period, saw the visitors record a resounding win in a poor game on a 'pudding' of a pitch.


Sheffield started in a positive mood, putting the Glapwell defence on the back foot from the off. Dolby hitting a Paul Smith free kick into the arms of Matthewson. The keeper then being fortunate when punching clear a Woolley corner, the ball rebounding off his own defender and he was able to reclaim the ball. The pitch was not conducive to good football, as it cut up pretty badly from the kick-off, resulting in both teams using long ball tactics for most of the time. What little football that was allowed was being done by Sheffield, who, although having the majority of possession were doing little with the final ball. Glapwell took the lead against the run of play when ex-Clubbie Roney was brought down to the right of the Sheffield area. The resulting free kick saw KENNEDY rise at the back post to head home. This seemed to stir the visitors into action as they started to take command of the game from then, Walker having to make a full length save from Shelley's shot. The hosts had a glorious chance to level the score a minute from the break when, in an attacking position Outram was fouled but the ref waved play-on and as the ball was put into the area Woolley was unmarked and he put the shot against the post with the goal at his mercy.


The second half saw the visitors on the attack again; Trimmer shooting well wide then has another chance, but heads over the bar. Varley was creating chances for Glapwell with his long throw too, one throw into the area found Roney whose shot was turned round the post by Walker from point blank range. Glapwell doubled the lead on the hour mark when some good interplay through the middle of the park saw the ball fed out to Roney, whose low cross was tapped in at close range by BROWN. Sheffield's first real threat of the half followed when Muldoon had a shot on the turn that Matthewson was able to palm down. With 70 minutes played the game was over as a contest as Glapwell grabbed their third goal when Walker's punched clearance fell to KENNEDY who headed the ball over the stranded keeper and into the net. Sheffield rallied a bit after this, but Glapwell's defence held firm. The visitors wrapped up the game with ten minutes left to play when a free kick on the edge of the area was drilled home by GRAYSON giving Walker no chance.


After Saturday's encouraging performance it was disappointing to see the same team create very little in terms of goalscoring chances against a side who were by no means as strong as Leek Town and looked vulnerable when put under pressure. Next up is a trip to Rushall Olympic.


BTF Man of the Match - Greg Wright


Sheffield FC: Walker, Eagers, P.Smith, G.Smith, Wright, Muldoon, Outram (Cribley), Thompson, Gordon, Dolby (Potter), Woolley. Sub Not Used: Gelsthorpe.

Glapwell: Matthewson, Darkin, Coward, Varley, Kennedy, Maguire, Trimmer (Fox), Shelley, Grayson, Brown, Roney (Kimberley). Subs Not Used: Wilson, Wright, Robinson.


Att: 221


Pictured Below - Sean Gordon


Leek Town 2 Sheffield FC 2

UniBond Division One South

Saturday, 24/01/09


A young Club outfit can count themselves drastically unlucky not to head out of Staffordshire with and three points, after being held in a highly entertaining encounter by an in-form Leek Town side, after racing into an unexpected two goal lead. Goals from Jack Muldoon and Sean Gordon gave Sheffield a deserved two goal lead, following a massively improved performance from their previous outing at Belper, only to be pegged back by replies from Matt Johnson and Nick Ward. It was a Sheffield display that was full of energy and enthusiasm, and one that showed that the reports of their demise are greatly exaggerated, and gives heart and hope for the remainder of the season.


After the teams’ respective last game – Leek winning 6-0 at home, Club losing 3-0 away – fears were that this could be a bit of a dour day for Sheffield, with “damage limitation” the buzz phrase on the terraces. But the way this kicked off, it was anything but, as Sheffield looked the most dangerous side on display. They should have taken the lead fifteen minutes in, after some great build up play from Matt Outram and Jack Muldoon set the ball on a plate for Sean Gordon, his first shot was well saved at point-blank range by Matt Cooper – his second was a tame side-footed effort wide of the empty net. The miss of the season though was followed by one of the best goals of the season on 23 minutes, as Leek half cleared a free-kick midway in their half, only for it to break kindly to MULDOON who struck it sweetly from 25 yards beyond the despairing Cooper into the top corner. Ten minutes later and Sheffield were two up; Matt Outram’s cross to the back post was head back across goal by Greg Wright, and rising at the other post was GORDON who headed into the goal to make up for his earlier indiscretion. Whilst Club were deserving of the two goal lead, Town always looked threatening at the other end, and within three minutes they had pulled one back – as JOHNSON managed to beat Leigh Walker to a lose ball, lobbing the keeper, with Greg Wright’s attempted hook off the line adjudged to be too late.


The second period was always going to be a backs against the wall experience for the visiting youngsters, but guided by the experience of Chris Dolby and the two Smiths, the energetic youth made it far from comfortable for Town as they harried and competed for every scrap. There were few chances in the half, with Sean Gordon having a shot stopped by Cooper, with Mark Ruddock heading over from a Matt Johnson free-kick and substitute Oliver Edwards getting on target from distance being the closest. With twelve minutes to go it looked as if Sheffield had weathered the best Leek could throw at them, whilst keeping them at distance with the lightning breaks from the young front-line, however the brave performance was rewarded with a cruel outcome. A disputable free-kick was awarded just inside the Sheffield half, Wayne Corden floated the ball into the box, Leigh Walker failed to claim the ball and at the back post to stab it home for the equaliser was WARD from close range. It could have been so much worse for Sheffield a few moments later, as buoyed by the scoring, Leek managed to force the ball over the line – only to have it ruled out for offside. It would have been harsh on Club, however things could have been so much different in the second minute of added time, when the impressive Matt Outram dug the ball out to cross to the back post where substitute Rob Cam was rising under pressure – he got his head there first, only to see the ball scrape the top of the bar. Close, but not close enough…


Given the recent publicity of comings and goings, commitment and lack of commitment, this was a performance to wash all that away with the last rain. The Sheffield side today chased every single ball, competed for every single 50-50 challenge with guts and determination, and looked like they had belief in their own abilities and their team. It was one to give pride to everyone watching the game, and despite not winning all three points, the one point was a massive morale booster for everyone involved with Sheffield Football Club.


BTF Club Man of the Match: Jack Muldoon


Leek Town: Cooper, P.Johnson, Allen, Ruddock, Ward ©, Bailey, M.Johnson (Edwards), Miller, Mills, Nagington (Ashman), Corden. Subs Not Used: McMahon, Robinson, W.Johnson.

Sheffield FC: Walker ©, Eagers, P.Smith, G.Smith, Wright, Muldoon, Outram, Thompson, Gordon (Cribley), Dolby (Cam), Woolley. Sub Not Used: Gelsthorpe.


Att: 302

Belper Town 3 Sheffield FC 0

UniBond League Division One South

Saturday, 17/01/09


Sheffield's bid to fill the hole left by the departed playing staff continued this afternoon with four new signings on show as Andrew Potter, James Thompson and Sean Gordon were all in the starting line up, with Robert Cam on the bench. This combined with the suspension of Jordan Eagers and Micky Goddard made for a somewhat makeshift side which in the end were no match for a well organised Belper side.


In fact it took the Nailers just five minutes to register the first goal, a break down the right of the Sheffield defence saw the ball fed inside and OLIVER was on hand to drill the ball home, despite Paul Smith's effort at a goal line clearance. Just over ten minutes later and Sheffield had what was to prove their best chance of the game when Muldoon broke the offside trap and crossed to the far post where Woolley was racing in, but his touch just saw the ball trickle agonisingly the wrong side of the post. Belper almost doubled their lead when, from a Sheffield corner the ball broke free to Ben Walker who, from the half way line pushed forward, avoiding the retreating Sheffield defenders and whipping in a cross onto the head of Stevenson who's effort just skims the top of the bar. With half an hour gone it's the visitors who are in the lead on the corner count, but they have created very little in front of goal while the hosts have squandered some glorious chances to increase their lead. with five minutes of the half remaining Ben Walker headed wide in front of goal with his namesake Leigh Walker diving the other way. Walker was again guilty of being wasteful on the stroke of half time when ghosting in unmarked to head wide of the target.


The second half saw the Nailers straight on the attack and once again Walker was in the thick of it, scoring just a minute after the restart, only for the goal to be disallowed for offside. The let off for the visitors lasted precisely a minute, as a deep cross from out wide found WALKER unmarked to head home at the back post. The hosts were in total control now and the game was over as a contest on 54 minutes when WALKER again was on hand to claim his second of the game, again heading home from close range. Sheffield rallied late on, but could not break down a well organised defence. Belper should have been celebrating another goal near the end when full back Haigh found himself in a clear scoring opportunity from ten yards out, but managed to pull his shot wide of the target.


A very disappointing performance although to be fair to the team, bringing in new players all the time is going to mean the side will take time to 'get to know' each other on the pitch.  Next up is a trip to play off hopefuls Quorn on Tuesday night.


BTF Club Man of the Match: Jack Muldoon


Belper Town: Clarke, Harcourt, Haigh, Kotylo (Colliver), Hobson, Barnard, Hudson, Stevenson, B.Walker (Pete Smith), Oliver, Hindley (Litchfield). Subs Not Used: Wilkins, Rushbury.

Sheffield FC: L.Walker, Gelsthorpe, Paul Smith, Gavin Smith, Wright, Potter, Outram (Cam), Thompson (Lipka), Gordon, Muldoon, Woolley. Sub Not Used: Dolby.


Att: 237

Ilkeston Town 3 Sheffield FC 0

UniBond League Cup Round Four

Saturday, 03/01/09

Adamson manages to keep hold of Vill's second half shot

A patched up Sheffield side put up a plucky performance at Premier Division Ilkeston Town this afternoon, but fell short of pulling off a shock, in the end losing by a convincing 3-0 margin. Fielding a virtually unrecognisable side to the one that had beaten Retford United 48 hours earlier, Sheffield were more than a match for their higher division opposition, but two goals in a minute midway through the second half ended Club’s interest in knock-out football for another season. After an evenly balanced goal-less first half Tom Cahill gave the Robins the lead three minutes after the re-start, and after weathering an all out assault from the visitors, goals from Ben Pringle (71st minute) and another from Cahill (72nd minute) wrapped things up to take Ilson into the last eight.


The injuries and bruised bodies from New Years’ Day’s encounter had obviously taken its toll on Sheffield’s team selection, with manager Chris Dolby having to make his first start of the season, and his first start since the Senior Cup final in May. Naturally this meant that Ilkeston started strongly as Club struggled to find their feet, and with the pressure the hosts caused some early worries, although never really testing Leigh Walker in the visitors’ goal. The first chance of the game however fell to the visitors, as Vill Powell found himself with opportunity to open the scoring, only to shoot directly at Chris Adamson. At the other end Ilson should have produced some reward for their endeavours, although when Tom Cahill found himself clear on goal, his effort was hooked just wide of the goal. The opening stages started to produce plenty of opportunities at both ends of the pitch, with Jack Muldoon giving Adamson something to think about after Powell had set the youngster up, whilst at the other end Jon Douglas headed the ball in the net from a Sam Duncum cross – only to have the “goal” ruled out for offside. Midway through the half both sides had the opportunity to break the deadlock with some golden chances; Paul Hurst, Steven Istead and Sam Duncum created a clear opening for Jon Douglas to finish, only for him to inexplicably to blaze wildly wide of the mark – whilst Club came closest as Chris Dolby put in a telling cross that was glanced on by the head of Marc Newsham, the ball being in turn tipped over the bar by Adamson. The end-to-end nature of the game continued to half time, as Duncum showed nimble feet to dribble past three defenders before getting a shot off that was well saved by Walker, whilst at the other end Muldoon broke down the right in injury time to give Newsham a glorious chance of giving Club a half time lead – only for the prolific youngster to lash the ball over the stand.


Ilkeston took the game to Sheffield after the restart, in a similar vein to which they’d opened the first period, and it took them just three minutes to break the deadlock. Ben Pringle caused some problems down the left flank, before whipping in a ball that was only half cleared by the visitors, leaving CAHILL the opportunity to drive the ball past Walker to give the Robins the lead. Club went on the offensive straight after and gave the hosts more than a little to ponder, as immediately a long ball saw Paul Hurst and Kieran Murphy misdirect back-headers goalwards to Vill Powell, with his effort being stopped once again by the impressive Adamson. Moments later Mick Goddard found himself through on goal, again Adamson stood between him and a goal, whilst shortly after Muldoon put another cross into the mix – this time Powell headed just wide under some defensive pressure. Given the balance of play it was hard to tell which side was the injury hit Division One side, and they nearly drew level as once again the Ilkeston left flank was exposed – this time by Newsham – who put a cross into Powell who showed great strength to hold of defensive attention, before striking a shot that rattled the frame of the goal. Sheffield were made to rue that last missed chance as the Robins went down the other end and nearly doubled their lead, as a cross flashed across the face of the visitors’ goal, with Douglas coming inches from making the vital contact with the ball which would have meant a certain goal. That goal came with just under twenty minutes to go, as Duncum put in a great cross that left PRINGLE with the easiest task of finishing, one that he didn’t make any mistake with. The game was wrapped within a minute of the restart, with CAHILL sweeping home an effort from the edge of the area, effectively killing the game off. 


BTF Man of the Match – Jack Muldoon.


Ilkeston Town: Adamson ©, Church, Hurst, Hooks, Garner, Murphy, Istead, Pringle, Cahill (Newton), Douglas (Green), Duncum (Shaw). Sub Not Used: Wild, Haystead.

Sheffield FC: Walker, Linnell, Woolley, Gelsthorpe, Wright ©, Lipka, Muldoon, Dolby (McKenzie), Powell (Purkiss), Newsham, Goddard. Subs Not Used: Ingall, G.Smith.


Att: 270

Sheffield FC 3 Retford United 2

UniBond Division One South

Thursday, 01/01/09


A first half Marc Newsham hat-trick sent a bumper 760 crowd home happy this afternoon, at a freezing Bright Finance Stadium, as Sheffield held on to take all three points against table toppers Retford United. After an outstanding first half display which saw Newsham hit the back of the net after 11, 28 and 30 minutes, The Badgers hit back with a second half offensive that had Club on the back foot. Lee Whittington made matters level in the 25th minute, whilst in a one-sided second period Neil Harvey made things interesting with a 62nd minute strike; however that was his last involvement in the game as he was red-carded for a skirmish in the net following his goal. Despite the man disadvantage Retford had more than one golden opportunity to level things up, only to see Sheffield keeper Leigh Walker pull off some fantastic saves, including an impressive penalty stop. Both teams ended the show with ten men as Club’s Jordan Eagers took an early walk following two yellow card offences, but the job was done already, with Sheffield finally beginning their move up the table – now into 16th spot.


Despite all other games within a fifty mile radius falling to the weather, it seemed as if the Bright Finance Stadium had its own micro-climate, as the pitch was as good as any played on this season. Sheffield were certainly up for this one, and it was they who had the first shot in anger, with Paul Smith striking an effort from distance straight at Ross Turner. A few moments later Turner tipped a harmless looking shot round the post for a corner, one that was only half cleared by the defence as far as Matt Outram, he whipped in the perfect cross for NEWSHAM to head home at the near post. Midway through the half it should have been two, as Outram once again provided a cross into the middle, this time Vill Powell got his head to the ball – steering it just over the bar. The let-off seemed to inspire the visitors and within a few moments they were level, as a ball came over from the right missing everyone, WHITTINGTON steadied the ball first before slamming it into the net. But if anyone thought that Retford would go on and take charge they’d be wrong, as within minutes Club had regained the lead, when NEWSHAM took advantage of some woeful defensive indecision – nipping in to steal the ball, before slamming home from the narrowest of angles. Two minutes later it was 3-1, as NEWSHAM completed his hat-trick with some neat football, taking the ball past the Retford defence before lobbing Turner with the deftest of touches.


Teams like Retford never seem to go in at half time 3-1 down, then come out and play the game out to a tame conclusion, and today was no exception as they put Sheffield on the back foot straight away. Ten minutes into the half Club knew what they were up against, as Ryan Ford headed what appeared to be a certain goal, but in the way was the ever agile Leigh Walker beating the ball in spectacular fashion. Sadly just after the hour mark there was very little Walker could do to save the day, as once again the ball was squared across the Sheffield defence, in the middle to side-foot the ball home was HARVEY. However in his eagerness to retrieve the ball to the middle, Harvey was involved in a moment’s silliness with Walker, with referee Nigel Smith deciding a straight red card should be order of the day for the Barbadian International. Whether this was right or wrong seemed to matter little to the visitors, and they set about trying to rectify matters in the best possible way, with a relentless barrage of pressure. The pressure finally told within five minutes when Paul Smith clattered into the back of Chris Bettney, giving the referee very little option in pointing to the spot; however when Bettney stepped up with the spot kick – Walker was up to mark making an excellent save to keep the status quo. Despite the man advantage Club still sat back allowing Retford to come at them, albeit with little success, but it made for a very nervy ending. Just as time was running out Jordan Eagers picked up a second yellow for a minor altercation with Badgers’ player-manager Peter Duffield, giving referee Smith no other course of action but to make sure both teams ended the game with the same number of players, and taking the sting out of the last few moments of the game.


It was a great way to finally break the hoodoo over Retford, the first win in five attempts in the league, in front of the largest attendance in the UniBond One South this season. Overall it goes without saying this was a game of two halves, and if Neil Harvey hadn’t had a rush of blood, who knows how this game could have finished. Thankfully though this ended up being a much needed league win for Club, the first since November’s win at Kidsgrove, and the first at the BFS since September’s home win over Stamford. With luck this will finally turn the tide for Sheffield, making 2009 more fruitful in the UniBond than the latter part of 2008, but first we have a trip to (now) manager-less Ilkeston Town in the League Cup. If today is anything to go by, we’ll be in for a treat… if the weather lets us anyway.


BTF Man of the Match – Leigh Walker.


Sheffield FC:  Walker, Gelsthorpe, P.Smith, G.Smith (Eagers), Wright, Muldoon, Outram (Lipka), Hawes ©, Powell, Newsham (Goddard), Woolley. Sub Not Used: Dolby.

Retford United: Turner, Ludlam, Cowan (White), Ford, Chambers, Simpkins ©, Bettney, Fisher (Nelthorpe), Whittington (Duffield), Harvey, Grimes. Subs Not Used: Oldham, Kingston.


Att: 760.

Stocksbridge Park Steels 1 Sheffield FC 1

UniBond Division One South

Saturday, 27/12/08

A first half goal from Vill Powell was not enough to secure all three points against high-flying Stocksbridge on a bitterly cold afternoon at Bracken Moor.


It was Sheffield who got the game underway, but the hosts almost took the lead inside the first minute when Ring headed over from a long throw. At the other end a ball into the six yard box saw Powell slip in unmarked but his shot was inches wide. The striker was unlucky again a few minutes later, latching onto a through ball, this time putting it wide of the far post. Back at the other end and this time a free kick for Stocksbridge on the edge of the area saw Ward hit the bar. Outram then went on a mazy run from one side of the pitch to the other before being brought to a halt, resulting in a free kick. The home side managed to clear it for a corner, then were lucky to get the ball clear again in the ensuing goalmouth scramble. It was time for Walker to come to the rescue then with two fine saves in succession from Ward and Vardy. After such a dramatic opening quarter of an hour the game then settled down, with both sides creating chances, but nothing clear cut. Just past the half hour mark a long throw from Muldoon saw the ball cleared to the edge of the area where Wright was waiting, his shot just wide of the goal. Ward then had a good effort punched away by Walker. The breakthrough came on 39 minutes when POWELL chased a long ball which seemed to be well in control of the Stocksbridge defender and his keeper, but they managed to get in each others way and the nippy defender was able to tap the ball into the empty net. The visitors had a chance to extend the lead on the stroke of half time, but went into the break with just the one goal advantage.


The second half almost got off to a dramatic start when Woolley gained possession in midfield and put Newsham through, but with only the keeper to beat the young striker hit it straight at him. Sheffield were by no means taking things easy, pushing forward for more goals and constantly creating panic in the Stocksbridge defence. However, it was the home side that levelled the score on 57 minutes when WARD broke free, with Sheffield looking for an offside decision, to put the ball beyond Walker's reach. Vardy almost gave the home side the lead ten minutes later, his shot just inches wide of the mark. At the other end another superb cross by Outram saw Lovell completely miss it, surprising Powell who could only chest the ball goalwards, before Scott scrambled the ball away. Sheffield was attacking in numbers, but still had to be wary of the pacey forward line of Stocksbridge, who are quick to exploit any gaps in the Sheffield defence. Muldoon almost capped a fine performance with a stunning 25 yard effort that skimmed off the outside of the post with Scott well beaten. In the final minute Stocksbridge almost stole all three points when Cockerill’s deep cross was headed goalwards, but Gelsthorpe was on hand to clear the danger.


Overall, a very solid performance and on the balance of play and chances we should have been walking out of Bracken Moor with all three points, but I think most people would be happy with a point at the beginning of the day. Next up is a New Year's Day encounter at home to table toppers Retford United. Let us hope it's a Happy New Year!


BTF Man of the Match: Matt Outram


Stocksbridge Park Steels: Scott, Adams, Cockerill, Dawson, Lovell, Ashley, Ring (Fothergill), Richards, Vardy, Ward, Riley (Menga). Subs Not Used: Wilkinson, Schofield, Siddall. 

Sheffield FC: Walker, Wright, P.Smith, G.Smith, Ingall (Gelsthorpe), Muldoon, Outram, Hawes, Powell (Goddard), Newsham (Eagers), Woolley. Subs Not Used: Lipka, Dolby.


Att: 451

Sheffield FC 5 Hallam FC 1

Alan Cooper Memorial Cup

Tuesday, 23/12/08


Club ran out easy winners in the latest edition of the World’s Oldest Derby ™, with goals from Steve Woolley (3rd minute), Vill Powell (11th minute) and two from Mick Goddard (22nd and 31st minutes) wrapping the game up well before the half time whistle for the hosts. Hallam grabbed a consolation in the 75th minute from Liam Allott, before Asa Ingall gave the game a convincing scoreline with a fifth for Sheffield a minute from time.


Sheffield FC: Walker, Gelsthorpe, P.Smith, G.Smith, Wright, Eagers, Outram, Lipka, Powell, Goddard, Wolley. Subs: Cribley, Ingall, Dolby.

Hallam FC: Taylor, Rowley, Fawcus, Clayton, Gayle, C.Smith, Hunter, O’Carroll, Ward, Bates, Patterson. Subs: Allott, Tevendale, Highfield, Jones, Elson.


Att: 200 (approx)

Carlton Town 3 Sheffield FC 3

UniBond Division One South

Saturday, 20/12/08

Marc Newsham makes it 2-2 as he glides the ball into the far corner

Santa Claus was in town on Saturday, in Gedling to be precise, in the guise of the Sheffield FC defence, gifting Carlton Town two early goals from which Sheffield did superbly well to pull back, finally departing Carlton Town with their own present in the form of a hard worked point.


The Sheffield line up was pretty much the one that had battled back for a point at Grantham,  the only change arising from the suspension of Ben Leonard with Dan MacPherson dropping into a more central position, allowing Steve Woolley to move across to the left with Matt Outram returning to his usual right hand sided berth.


The contest was fairly even in the early stages but for some unexplained reason the visiting defence seemed to switch off on the quarter hour mark allowing first Fenton to put the home side into the lead, and then three minutes later Thomas doubled the advantage for the league leaders whilst the Sheffield defence simply opened up to gift the Carlton forward all the time and space he needed. At this point even yours truly was questioning the commitment of the side and seriously wondering what had happened to the heart of the team since Dave McCarthy had departed the Managers role. This question remained unanswered for a mere seven minutes as the Sheffield midfield, led by Captain Hawes, drove forward to first supply Marc Newsham with the opportunity to open his Sheffield goalscoring account with a near post knock in following a cross into the box, and then the same player doubled his tally getting a touch to another right wing cross to glance the ball across the face of the Town goal and more importantly the keeper, into the far corner of the net. A goal fest now beckoned but again it was the home side who all they seemed to need to do was attack to score, and this they did five minutes before the break through Gent. Normal service resumed ? Not quite, but three goals conceded from four efforts is a worrying statistic.


The second half was a very different story, with Club dominating large chunks of the play with their determined running, and causing the Carlton No 1 to have a very uncomfortable time of it. Newsham could and should have completed his hat-trick, hitting the bar in the process following Steve Woolley’s run and cross into the box. The on loan striker was clearly tiring and was replaced by another new boy making his first appearance, Jack Muldoon, the former Brigg man promptly putting himself about with the some very enthusiastic challenges. Sheffield were not to be denied, and the positive play brought it’s reward when Dan MacPherson headed home at the back post in the 75th minute to put Club level. The drama wasn’t over however. Vill Powell made a welcome return from injury and looked like he’d never been away, even putting the ball in the net only to be adjudged offside. The last action saw the referee acting as Scrooge and deciding that the Carlton keepers ever so slight show of petulance in reacting to the request to move the ball back for a free kick worthy of a red card, and with that the game was over.


So, questions had been asked, and some answered. The worrying trend to concede goals continues but the forwards looked lively again and it augers well for an entertaining second half of the season. Stocksbridge on Boxing Day now awaits. Will the Manager stick with the same starting eleven or will he look to bolster the defence, and will Vill start ? We’ll soon know the answers.

BTF Club Man Of The Match - Matt Outram
Sheffield FC:- Walker, Wright, Paul Smith, Gav Smith, Haggerty, MacPherson, Outram, Hawes, Newsham (Muldoon), Partridge (Powell), Woolley. Unused Subs: Goddard, Gelsthorpe, Eagers

Grantham Town 1 Sheffield FC 1

UniBond Division One South

Saturday, 06/12/08


Sheffield gained a point this afternoon with a second half goal from Scott Partridge, despite playing for almost an hour with ten men after the dismissal of Ben Leonard for using his elbow in an attempt to win a header.


Sheffield started the game fielding two of the three new signings brought into the club this week, Marc Newsham and Dan MacPherson in action whilst Jack Muldoon was unavailable. It was the visitors who made the brighter start, putting the home side under pressure from the kick off. However it was Walker who had to make the first save of the afternoon, diving low at his near post to stop a shot from Brooks. Mellon then had a similar effort from the other side of the area, but his effort went wide of the far post. Sheffield responded with Leonard heading over from close range. On 25 minutes Wright lofted a ball into the Grantham area which was scrambled away, and then Newsham headed against the bar before the ball was eventually cleared. At this stage it looked liked the Gingerbreads were about to crumble but the game changed ten minutes later when Leonard was given a straight red for elbows as he challenged Mellon for a header. Despite being a man down it was still Sheffield who looked the more likely to score, Newsham bringing out a fine save from Scaithe as he volleyed in a cross from Woolley. The resulting corner saw Partridge nudge the ball goalwards only to see it kicked off the line by Pemberton.


The home side made two substitutions before the start of the second half with Hargreaves and Brown replacing Mallinson and Pemberton. Five minutes after the restart Brooks again went close when his free kick just cleared the bar with Walker at full stretch. Sheffield again came back strong as Partridge got the better of two defenders before the ball found MacPherson who created space and had a great opportunity to crown his debut with a goal but he blazed his shot over the bar. At the other end Walker had to get down quickly saving a shot from Sturgess. Although Grantham were now having a bit more possession, the visitors were working hard to close them down and still creating chances of their own.


Grantham were starting to get desperate at their lack of success in breaking down a resolute Sheffield side, none more so than Mellon who bundle MacPherson over with a hefty challenge. Quick thinking from Paul Smith saw him take the free kick whilst everyone was setting themselves up, catching Scaithe way off his line but the effort was just over the bar to save the keeper's blushes. The visitors took a deserved lead on 63 minutes when Hawes was brought down on the edge of the area. Paul Smith drove the ball goalwards and, despite the announcer crediting the goal to him, the ball was actually touched home by PARTRIDGE says this reporter, who was right in line with the play. Newsham then made way for Micky Goddard. Despite only having ten men, Sheffield strived for another goal, MacPherson's shot being somewhat acrobatically saved by Scaithe. Grantham threw on Zeurner for Turner for the last twelve minutes or so in a bid to salvage something for the home side. Mellon was then penalized for an unwanted challenge on Walker, when the keeper was clearly in control of the ball, the referee finally deciding that a yellow card was warranted. With ten minutes left the Sheffield defence was finally breached, as a cross from the left found ZEURNER unmarked on the edge of the area and his snapshot found the bottom corner of the net. Sheffield replaced Partridge with Outram for the remainder of the game, as both sides went in search of a winner, Grantham probably thinking their man advantage may prove fruitful, but that was nullified when Mellon got a straight red card for a challenge on Gavin Smith. The last action of note saw Walker save from Hargreaves, who almost stole all the points for the Gingerbreads, which would have been an injustice on the balance of play.


Overall it was a well earned point, but things may well have been different if we had not played for almost an hour with ten men. However, the team worked well to get the point and sound debuts from both the newcomers into the side. There's now a full free week until we entertain Loughborough Dynamo here next Saturday.


BTF Club Man of the Match: Steve Woolley


Grantham Town: Scaithe, Pemberton (Brown), Brooks, Mellon, Stubbs, Sturgess, Lister, Robinson, Knowles, Turner (Zeurner), Mallinson (Hargreaves). Unused subs: White, A.Goddard.

Sheffield FC: Walker, Wright, P.Smith, G.Smith, Haggerty, Leonard, Woolley, Hawes, Newsham (M.Goddard), Partridge (Outram), MacPherson. Unused subs: Winter, Lipka, Gelsthorpe.


Att: 196


Loughborough Dynamo 2 Sheffield FC 1

UniBond Division One South

Tuesday, 02/12/08


Sheffield slipped to a disappointing defeat at an icy Watermead Lane this evening, losing 2-1 to Loughborough Dynamo, in a game that was dominated for large parts by the visitors. Despite having nearly all the possession and territory in the first period, Club found themselves two goals down from Jake Betts (10th minute) and Kris Nurse (37th minute), whilst only having a Scott Partridge goal in reply. The hosts’ goals came from two rare attacks, giving the visitors a lesson in finishing, as Sheffield failed to break down a resolute Dynamo defence. Loughborough also finished the game with ten men, as Danny Jenno saw red for two yellow cards, unusually going completely against the nature of a well-contested yet fair contest.


Club started the game as lively as any this season, literally putting the home side on the back-foot, but for all the pressure they had nothing to show for it. Perversely in the 10th minute Loughborough had their first attack – and scored – as Club failed to clear a corner, in the scramble BETTS hit the telling strike that was partly blocked by Leigh Walker, but the keeper couldn’t get enough behind the ball to keep it out. Sheffield went back on the attack, and despite creating several opportunities, couldn’t get back on terms. Steve Woolley and Scott Partridge combined down the left, with Partridge laying the ball on a plate for Ben Leonard, however the big midfielder lashed the ball wide of the mark. It really was all Sheffield, and it seemed more of a miracle that they had failed to score than get the ball in the net such was the amount of pressure, then totally against the run of play Dynamo doubled their lead. A long ball over the top found Kris Nurse galloping towards goal, and showing the composure expected of a player of his standing, NURSE tucked the ball under Walker. The lead was halved two minutes after, as Sheffield burst forward trying to undo the injustice, although Matt Nurse did wonderful to tip over a Scott Partridge effort. From the resultant corner by Paul Smith, PARTRIDGE was unmarked at the back post, giving the prolific striker an easy chance to side-foot the ball in off the post. Instead of Sheffield threatening to go level, Loughborough were the team who had the chance to extend their lead as Luke Plummer was denied by a point blank save by Leigh Walker.


The second half was more balanced as far as play was concerned, with the midfields dominating more than anything, and chances becoming more of a premium. Sheffield went closest with first proper effort, with Mick Goddard being denied at the near post by a Matt Nurse save, whilst José Moreira was denied after some dreadful defending at the other end. Luke Plummer wasted a couple of chances that were amongst the best in the half blasting over the bar with one, and heading over a few moments later. As a contest the game seemed to have died on its feet, but then with five minutes to go things were livened up as the referee showed Danny Jenno a yellow card for a slightly rash challenge on Greg Wright. Yet in a game that was devoid of any real physicality this turned out to be Jenno’s second, as the defender had been shown for an infringement at a throw-in in the first half, and given the place of the foul it seemed an unfortunate red card for anyone to earn. This gave Club a little added impetus in the dying moments, and they nearly grabbed a point as Matt Nurse pulled off a brave double save, firstly from Scott Partridge, then from Mick Goddard. This more or less summed up Club’s night in reality, and they will be wondering how they failed to come away from this one with nothing to show for their efforts, leaving the play-off hopes further away than ever.


BTF Man of the Match: Steve Wooley


Loughborough Dynamo: M.Nurse, Jenno, Allen, Gibbons, Betts, Noble ©, Moreira (Brennan), Morgan, K.Nurse, Wilkes (Ross), Plummer. Subs Not Used: Spriggs, McLarnon, R.Nurse.

Sheffield FC: Walker, Gelsthorpe (Davey), P.Smith, Wright, G.Smith, Winter (Lipka), Leonard, Hawes, Goddard (McKenzie), Partridge, Woolley. Subs Not Used: Outram.


Att: 75


Sheffield FC 5 North Ferriby United 2

UniBond League Cup 3rd Round

Tuesday, 25/11/08


Sheffield turned in a much improved performance from Saturday, this evening at the Bright Finance Stadium, underlining the Jeckyll and Hyde nature of recent weeks. Tonight they produced an entertaining and convincing 5-2 victory over a young North Ferriby outfit, with Scott Partridge leading the way with a hat-trick, aided by goals from Steve Woolley and Daz Winter. The East Yorkshire side made a great game of it, with goals from Peter Davidson and Alex Davidson, before fading in the final moments.


It was clear from the off that Club had attacking intentions in mind, making a bright start, with Daz Winter, Mick Goddard, Jordan Eagers and Steve Woolley all going close as the hosts began on top. Scott Partridge had the ball in the back of the net on twenty minutes, after some great work from Greg Wright and Steve Woolley found the Sheffield front-man; only for the linesman to rule offside. Steve Hawes also produced a fine save from Mark Wilberforce, whilst the best Ferriby could produce was a wayward effort from Colin Hunter; however on 33 minutes the visitors pulled a goal from nowhere and completely against the run of play. David Haggerty was caught in possession by Alex Davidson, and after taking the ball a few yards DAVIDSON finished with aplomb, making it look too easy. But that lead only lasted five minutes, as Scott Partridge burst down the left wing, before drilling in a cross that WOOLLEY drove under the hand of Wilberforce and into the net. Club could have taken the lead almost immediately, as Paul Smith’s free-kick being met by Daz Winter in the middle, with the header scraping just wide of the post. The Villagers couldn’t keep Sheffield out for too long and just before the interval Club were rewarded for their attacking play, although it looked as though Steve Hawes would be the one to score from Steve Woolley’s corner, only to see Danny Moore clear off the line – but as the scramble continued PARTRIDGE kept his composure to strike the ball into the net, albeit deflected off the backside of Sam Denton. Even so North Ferriby still had time to give Sheffield a little scare before the interval, as Colin Hunter showed a neat touch to lift the ball over Lloyd Gelsthorpe, with his shot flashing across the face of the goal and just wide of the mark.


An injury to one of the linesmen saw Sheffield under 19s Guru Phil Wymer step into the action in his place, and to his credit performed excellently and without bias. On the pitch Club looked to carry on where they left off in the first half, with Paul Smith having a free-kick tipped over the bar by Mark Wilberforce, whilst some excellent play by Jordan Eagers set up Scott Partridge with a header that should have found the target. It seemed though that Sheffield’s inability to finish the chances would cost them dear, as North Ferriby came back into the game as expected, and on the hour they deservedly drew level. Colin Hunter found some space on the left, before putting the ball square across goal to Peter Davidson, and without breaking stride DAVIDSON slammed the ball home for his first of the season. If anything though this served as a bit of a wake up call for the hosts and after this there was no living with them, although Leigh Walker had to be on top form first with a fine double save, after Alex Davidson had hit the home side on the break. On 74 minutes though Sheffield got the lead they warranted, with Jordan Eagers through ball finding PARTRIDGE, who beat the offside trap to slot comfortably under Wilberforce. That was the last action for Eagers, who’d had an enterprising night on the field, as he pulled up with what looked like a hamstring pull. With two minutes to go it was all made safe for Sheffield, as a fantastic ball from Greg Wright found PARTRIDGE once again, and this was an opportunity too good to waste for the prolific striker who gleefully grabbed his hat-trick goal – and his SEVENTH in this competition. To wrap things up over a weary looking North Ferriby side, Sheffield grabbed a fifth following some great play from Scott Partridge and Ted Cribley, setting up WINTER with the chance to drive the ball home from eighteen yards.


Sometimes too much is made in these competitions regarding who’ve played a full-strength side and who haven’t; looking at Sheffield it was clear to see this was as near as damn-it to the best available team, North Ferriby on the other hand had a fair smattering of a “mixture”. But following on from the poor showing on Saturday, this was a game that needed winning – and needed winning well – and that is exactly what the Club outfit did, winning a very entertaining contest against an entertaining opposition in a very entertaining fashion. The one downside though was the attendance, the lowest at the Bright Finance Stadium for three years, obviously not aided by the cold weather and competition from televised Champions’ League football and Sheffield United playing at home. Hopefully those who stayed away will be back in droves on Saturday for the home game against Lincoln United, and Club will put in a display more in tune with tonight’s, rather than the regrettable one witnessed at home to Brigg the previous weekend.


BTF Club Man of the Match – Scott Partridge


Sheffield FC: Walker, Gelsthorpe, P.Smith, Wright, Haggerty, Winter, Eagers (Cribley), Hawes ©, Goddard, Partridge, Woolley. Subs Not Used: Lipka, Purkiss, G.Smith, McKenzie.

North Ferriby United: Wilberforce, Moore, Frizzell, Denton, Bloor, Morvey © (Diawarra), P.Davidson, A.Davidson, Russell, Hunter. Subs Not Used: Chapman, Bradshaw, Jackson, Wilson.


Att: 110

Sheffield FC 0 Brigg Town 2

UniBond Division One South

Saturday, 22/11/08


It was one of those days today at the Bright Finance Stadium, as the result, the performance and the game in general matched the weather. In a word it was dismal on all fronts, as Sheffield succumbed to allow basement side Brigg Town to waltz away with all three points – and deservedly so – with a performance that had many scratching their heads in disbelief following Tuesday night’s victory over Durham City. The Zebras looked every bit a team that look favourites for relegation, with very little in the way of confidence, yet they outperformed a Club outfit that was expected to win this game with ease. A 12th minute penalty from Nathan Would gave the Lincolnshire side a shock first half lead, and despite a few efforts on goal, Sheffield could have no complaints when slack defending allowed a 49th minute goal from Scott Helliwell.


The lowest league crowd of the season braved the freezing temperatures for this one, and they could be forgiven for wishing they’d stayed at home, as Club surprisingly started on the back-foot. Brigg opened the first ten minutes on the offensive, but looked very scrappy in their play; however on twelve minutes they must have thought all the birthdays had come at once. An over-hit cross into the Sheffield box looked to be routinely mopped up at the back, but under a little pressure Gavin Smith somehow inexplicably allowed the ball to hit his raised hand; Mr Marshall had little doubt in awarding the penalty and WOULD had little trouble dispatching the ball down the middle for 1-0. Naturally you’d expect Sheffield to come back on the charge, and they did, but not with as much potency as they are capable of. A Steve Hawes’ free-kick found Jez Mitchell who headed over, Mitchell worked the ball to Steve Woolley to force the only real save of the game (and a good one at that) from Leigh Herrick, whilst Jordan Eagers hit the bar with a cheeky little chipped free-kick. Other than that, the game had the look of a match-up between two teams bereft of ideas, with the only hope being it could be sparked into life by a sharp and harsh half-time talk.


Whether that happened or not in the Sheffield dressing room mattered little, as four minutes after the re-start Brigg picked up the ball on the left, put a harmless looking cross that went across the face of goal in slow-motion – missed by everyone in the middle – and at the back post was HELLIWELL to stab it home. This heralded some desperate football, Brigg were by no means a quality side with their play, but their defensive midfield qualities spoiled any hope of Sheffield getting back into the game. Leeroy Cochrane came the closest for Sheffield from a Steve Woolley corner, his header looked goal-bound with Herrick beaten, but Dan Bartlett headed off the line to deny the defender a goal against his old team. The introduction of Scott Partridge and Daz Winter livened things up a little, but still Club failed to create anything of note, whilst Ted Cribley’s entry into the game should have heralded a bit more if he’d not rushed an effort when through on goal. Overall though, Sheffield never tested the keeper half enough, and despite not producing football of any quality Brigg fully deserved their first win – and celebrated justly.


BTF Club Man of the Match – Steve Woolley


Sheffield FC: Walker, G.Smith, Davey, Cochrane, Haggerty, Eagers (Cribley), Roney (Winter), Hawes ©, Goddard, Mitchell (Partridge), Woolley. Subs Not Used: Gelsthorpe, Lipka.

Brigg Town: Herrick, Spall ©, Bartlett, Helliwell, Jacklin, Would, Lamb, Muldoon (Day), Hutchinson (Emson), Ashton. Subs Not Used: Wilson, Roach, Davis.


Att: 315

Sheffield FC 3 Durham City 2

UniBond League Cup Round Two

Tuesday, 18/11/08


Once again the squad and fringe players did Club proud tonight at the Bright Finance Stadium, overcoming a near full-strength Durham City side by 3-2, in a performance that left the north-east side somewhat shell-shocked. Playing against virtually the same eleven players that rocked Rossendale United 4-0 the previous Saturday, Sheffield put in a blistering first half performance, with two goals in the opened fifteen minutes. Jez Mitchell was the man of the moment, grabbing two goals (13th and 63rd minutes) for himself, whilst providing the assist for Mick Goddard’s 6th minute opener. City on the other hand looked a very jaded side, and had to wait until late in the second half to make an impact, with goals from Adam Johnston (73rd minute) and Tommy English (83rd minute) being mere consolation that gave the scoreline a somewhat more respectable look to it than they deserved.


From the off Club looked the more hungry of the two teams with Durham sitting back as wave after wave of Sheffield attacks started to take its toll on the visiting defence, with Janni Lipka’s cross exposing a defensive frailty that Jez Mitchell should have taken more advantage of, as his header never really tested Craig Turns in the City goal. This weakness was soon exploited as from a quickly taken Matt Roney short corner gave Matt Outram time to measure a cross, Mitchell was unmarked at the back post to head back across goal, and with typical predatory instinct GODDARD was there to head home from close range. Goddard almost turned provider seconds later, as he set up Lipka with an effort that had Turns beaten, but his accuracy was just not enough as the ball shaved the post. On thirteen minutes though the lead was doubled, and it could be argued it was something of a gift, as MITCHELL struck his free-kick under the wall and through the hands of a pretty unconvincing Turns into the net. At 2-0 Club looked as confident as in any game this season, and it appeared that it would be a case of “by how much” rather than “could they hang on”, as the chances kept on coming their way. Matt Outram’s cross was headed spectacularly against his own post by Michael Laws, Leeroy Cochrane headed a corner just over the bar, whilst Jez Mitchell found himself in prime shooting positions twice – scuffing the ball wide on both occasions. It took thirty minutes for Durham to get a shot on target, with Adam Johnston’s free-kick being parried out by Marc Furniss, and Calvin Smith making a hash of the rebound. At the other end it was relentless though, and Durham could count them very lucky as a free kick from Matt Roney was hooked back across goal by David Haggerty, and Mitchell’s shot was blocked on the line by Captain Stephen Harrison.


Compared to the first half, the second period was almost pedestrian, with very few opportunities coming either way. Durham had shored up their defences somewhat, whilst never looking likely to breach the Sheffield back four themselves, with Club quite happy with the status quo. Twenty minutes in however Sheffield sealed up the tie with a third; Micky Goddard teed up skipper for the night Jordan Eagers with an opportunity, with Turns doing excellently to block the shot – sadly for him steaming in to tuck away the rebound was MITCHELL with a composed finish. That could – and should – have been added to moments later as Steve Woolley picked out Matt Roney in space bursting through on goal; however with Goddard in support Roney chose to go it alone, with Turns blocking the final shot with his legs. That was it as far as Sheffield were concerned, they did little to trouble the Durham defence for the last fifteen minutes or so, and it allowed City to pull themselves back with an outside chance of getting something out of the game. With fifteen to go they grabbed what at the time seemed like a consolation, as Calvin Smith dribbled through a static midfield before laying it off to Adam Johnston, with JOHNSTON finishing with a pretty fine finish beyond the previously un-used Furniss. With five minutes to go that outside chance looked like an undeserved possibility, as a free-kick was half cleared to the edge of the area, and ENGLISH let loose a volley that gave Furniss no chance. Despite getting within a goal of Sheffield, Durham never looked like taking the game into the extra thirty minutes, as Club finally shut up shop – this time successfully.


On paper this looked like a tie that would be a major challenge to Club, but despite the close looking scoreline, this was a mis-match of the highest order. Durham sadly looked like a team that wanted to pay this game lip-service, and considering the visitors’ recent form, the ease of this game must have surprised the hosts more than anything. Next up for Sheffield is a return to league action, with three points on offer at home to basement side Brigg Town, as Club try to capitalise on the mass of games in hand they have on the leading sides.


Sheffield FC: Furniss, Gelsthorpe, Davey, Cochrane, Haggerty, Eagers ©, Outram (Woolley), Lipka, Goddard, Mitchell (Purkiss), Roney. Subs Not Used: Dolby, G.Smith, Hawes.

Durham City: Turns, Harrison ©, Dodd, Bell (Richardson), R.Smith, Laws, Morris, C.Smith, Toft (Cogden), Johnston, Fisher (English). Sub Not Used: Capper.


Att: 164.

Stamford 2 Sheffield FC 2

UniBond Division One South

Saturday, 15/11/08


Honours even at the Vic Couzens Stadium this afternoon with Club having been just six minutes away from completing the double over one of last seasons relegated sides from the Unibond Premier Division. In defence Sheffield fielded work experience signing David Haggerty from Rotherham United.


In overcast conditionsand with a light drizzle, the opening exchanges were most notable for the tenth minute booking of Mickey Goddard, after the determined front man floored Stamford's Sheehan in  a challenge for a high ball. The defender having to leave the field twice before returning with his head heavily bandaged.


In the 17th minute Leigh Walker was penalised on the edge of his penalty area but Cotton's resulting free kick was well over and wide. However, Stamford were seeing more of the ball at this stage and four minutes later  home pressure from a corner eventually led to Kirk finding himself with acres of room on the right hand side of the box. The wingers cross found the head of the unmarked Pearson in the six yard box  and the centre back scored with ease. Club responded immediately and from the bye line Steve Woolley found Steve Hawes on the edge of the penalty area and the skippers driven shot was tipped over at full stretch by home keeper Davies. Next up was Stamford midfielder Gray shooting just wide of the goal from distance. 


In the 28th minute Sheffield were back in the game and Steve Woolley was again provider, dummying two men on the byeline, the wingers cross evading the attempted flick header of Goddard at  the near post but not Outram at the back of the six yard box. The right winger appearing to be caught off balance and having to stretch to reach the ball but finding enough purchase to steer his shot back towards the far side of the goal and into the net, with the keeper flat footed and firmly rooted to the spot. It was almost end to end stuff at this stage and a sweeping move from Stamford, which saw the referee waving play on after a hefty challenge on the right wing, ended with the ball being swept across to the opposite side of the pitch for Kirk. Not for the first time this season, Club were leaving themselves exposed on the right flank and the little No 11 almost made the visitors pay. Walker rushing out in an attempt to smother the ball found himself beaten and Kirk's shot was cleared off the line by Cochrane, the Sheffield defender injuring himself in the process.

Although the home side were probably having the better of the first half exchanges on the stroke of half time Sheffield found themselves in front. Goddard did well to dig the ball out from under his feet to lay the ball across the edge of the area to find Scott Partridge, and the experienced former Football League striker held off the challenge of his marker whilst deftly flicking the ball over the body of the onrushing Davies to score with aplomb.


The second half started in an almost similar fashion to the first, with Goddard again involved in some physical play with Sheehan. The resulting Sheffield free kick whistling past the post with just a touch needed. Again, the game was becoming end to end with short spells of home pressure and bursts of counter attacking from the visitors. Another foul on Mick Goddard by Sheehan saw Steve Hawes free kick easily cleared whilst at the other end Leigh Walker had to receive treatment after being forced to stretch to tip over a Stamford cross. On the hour mark Sheffield had a golden opportunity to increase their lead. The ball was ricocheting around the Sheffield penalty area with the home side unable to get a clean strike in on goal. The ball eventually being cleared to Scott Partridge on the half way line, the Sheffield hitman racing clear and putting himself one on one with Davies, this time though the onrushing keeper was able to spread himself big enough to save the No 10's flicked shot and the opportunity was lost. Eight minutes later and again Partridge was close, this time getting a firm glancing header to Outram's cross, the ball though flying just over the bar. Stamford appeared to rally from this point. Manager Dolby seemingly deciding he needed extra bodies in midfield at this point, and introduced Jordan Eagers at the expense of Scott Partridge. However,this strategy was quickly undone with six minutes remaining as Cochrane was forced into conceding a free kick on the edge of the box, the resulting free kick from Cotton finding the head of the unmarked Stebbing to head home. The home side might well have won it in stoppage time as Clarke failed to connect properly when presented with a relatively easy header in front of goal, but overall a draw was probably a fair result. Club probably could have had the match sown up midway through the second half but this failure meant Stamford were always in it and their persistence paid off and defeat would probably have been unfair on the home side. There again, when has football ever been fair ???!!!


Next up, back to Cup action on Tuesday in the last remaining knock out competition that Sheffield retain an interest this season. The Unibond League Cup, and the visitors to The Bright Finance Stadium being Durham City.


BTF Club Man of the Match: David Haggerty


Stamford: Davies, Steadman, White (Cunnington), Sheehan, Pearson, Oswin (Watson), Cotton, Gray, Clarke, Stebbing, Kirk. Subs Not Used: Taylor, Hallows, Collis.

Sheffield FC: Walker, G.Smith, Davey, Haggerty, Cochrane, Winter, Outram (Roney), Hawes ©, Goddard, Partridge (Eagers), Woolley. Sub Not Used: Gelsthorpe, Lipka, Mitchell.


Att: 264

Halifax Town 3 Sheffield FC 1 (after extra time)

UniBond Presidents Cup Round Two

Tuesday, 11/11/08


A brave performance was not enough for the young Sheffield outfit at the Shay tonight, as extra time proved to be just a bit too far for them, with two late goals giving Halifax a win that takes them through to meet Retford in the next round of the President’s Cup. Fielding a side that contained just a handful of regular first teamers, and bolstered by the cream of some of Sheffield FC’s young talent from the reserves and academy, the visitors gave an excellent account of themselves and almost pulled off a surprise victory to boot. A deft chip from Matt Roney had given Club the lead five minutes into the second half, and it looked to have been enough against a Halifax side that had failed to impress, but an 82nd minute goal from substitute Junior Brown took the game into extra time – and as time, injury and fatigue took its toll on the makeshift side, Town saved their blushes by avoiding a penalty shootout with two goals in the last five minutes of play from Danny Ellis and Ashley Stott.


Whilst the opening period was a lively affair, it came as little surprise that both sides walked into the dressing rooms without a goal to show for their 45 minutes of toil, with both sides promising lots – but delivering little in the final quarter. Matt Roney was the first to test a keeper, with his drive from the edge of the area being tipped over the bar by Craig Ellison in the first few moments of the game, although after that the game developed into something of an end-to-end pattern with not a great deal to show for some good passages of play from both sides. Halifax’s Danny Ellis was making his mark on the right flank, and he nearly created the opener with a great sprint down the wing crossing into Kris King, who – despite being unmarked and with the goal at his mercy – failed to control the ball. Marc Furniss had little to do for much of the half, but when he was called into action he was more than up to the task and he took quite a knock for his bravery when diving at the feet of Kris King, and whilst everyone was waiting for the referee to stop play the ball fell to Jonathon Smith whose effort was weak to say the least. Halifax looked dangerous on the attack, but surprisingly delicate at the back especially given their collective experience, and Jordan Eagers nearly capitalised on this fragility by whipping in a cross that would have most certainly produced a goal if young Joel Purkiss had got more of a touch on it.


The second half proved to be more fruitful as far as goals were concerned, as within three minutes of the restart Club had the lead, with RONEY chipping over Ellison from the most acute of angles from twenty yards out. It could be argued that the goal had gone against the pattern of play, but with their noses now in front it was Sheffield who were bossing proceedings, with Ellison coming to the Shaymen’s rescue moments later as he stopped a Jordan Eagers stinger. It was clear that if Halifax wanted to get anything from this one they would have to throw men forward and some very attacking minded substitutions started to turn the tide some way, but Furniss was proving to be quite an obstacle for Halifax, as he did excellently to stop a shot from Tom Baker with Ashley Stott missing the rebound under some strong defensive pressure. Sheffield still had the opportunity to kill the game, as Luke Hinsley was tamely disposed by Joel Purkiss who squared the ball into Matt Roney; unfortunately his shot was well stopped by Craig Ellison with the rebound skewing over the top. With time running out and the Shaymen running out of ideas, it looked as if Club had done enough, but with eight minutes left the hosts got the goal they needed to take the game into extra-time. Some neat interplay between Tom Baker and Junior Brown saw the ball fall invitingly to the attacking midfield substitute, and with only Furniss to beat, BROWN picked his spot to give the keeper no chance. Even then Halifax should have snatched it, with both Danny Ellis and Paul Gedman denied by the heroics of the Sheffield keeper, and with the rain now bucketing it down the game dragged on into the inevitable extra time.


The worry for Sheffield was that the youngsters’ tired legs wouldn’t hold out, and when Greg Wright hobbled off moments into the restart to give Chris Dolby his first appearance of the season, it looked like the task might be a bit too much. What followed was a bit of a siege on the visitors’ goal, with Club offering a bit up front, but never really testing Ellison. The writing looked to be on the wall midway through the first period of extra-time, as Junior Brown’s cross was hammered home by Kris King, only for the referee to rule it out for offside. Penalties almost looked inevitable as Sheffield seemed to be riding their luck successfully, with two efforts early in the second period being cleared off the line, but with five minutes to go that luck ran out as Halifax finally made the breakthrough. Ashley Stott put in a telling cross, one that picked out Danny Ellis on the penalty spot, and ELLIS caught the ball with a sweet volley that had Furniss stumped. Moments later the score was given a flattering look for the hosts, as a quickly taken free-kick found Ashley Stott in a position that looked suspiciously offside, but with very few protests STOTT took the ball round Furniss to kill a game in which the visitors had given more than their all – and impressed many onlookers to boot.  


BTF Club Man of the Match: Matt Roney.


Halifax Town: Ellison, Coo, King (Brown), Adams, Barras ©, Hinsley, Gill (Phelan), Baker, Stott, Smith (Gedman), Ellis. Subs Not Used: Kennedy, Meadowcroft.

Sheffield FC: Furniss, Gelsthorpe, Davey, Wright (Dolby), Lipka, Eagers, Cribley, Hawes © (G.Smith), Purkiss, Roney, Outram (Woolley).


Att: 382.


Kidsgrove Athletic 0 Sheffield FC 2

UniBond Division One South

Saturday, 08/11/08


Sheffield got back to winning ways this afternoon, at Hollinwood Road, overcoming a determined Kidsgrove outfit 2-0 and still having a bit to spare. In a game that Club always under control, goals from Greg Wright (his first since returning to Sheffield) in the 37th minute and Steve Wolley in the 75th minute saw the visitors home, with the home side never really testing Leigh Walker at all. There were a couple of moments of controversy in the game, as Kidsgrove had vehement protests waved away for an alleged penalty, whilst the visiting keeper Walker was involved in a little disturbance at the end of the game following some intolerable abuse from the home support.


The game had a lively opening as Club were kicking down the slope, with Scott Partridge having the first effort of the game, shooting just over the bar from thirty yards out. Athletic responded in a bit of style, with Aiden Matranga’s cross being unconvincingly out by Leigh Walker; however with the goal gaping Dave Shaw headed embarrassingly wide. It was end-to-end at this stage, and some great inter-play by Matt Outram and Greg Wright set the ball up nicely for Jez Mitchell, with his side-footed effort going just wide. With both teams settling into their desired pattern of play, the game died somewhat, with neither side creating anything of real note. But with half time approaching, Kidsgrove went close with an attempt from 25 yards, as Adam Beasley hooked his shot pretty close. But any thoughts that this heralded any period of domination for the hosts were soon dispelled, as Club went down the other end and promptly stuck the ball in the back of the net, with WRIGHT driving a sweet strike that beat Intihar to go into the net off the inside of the post from thirty yards.


It took quite some time for the game to come to any sort of life after the restart, and neither side troubled either end for the first twenty minutes of the half, with Club looked comfortable to say the least. As the half progressed though, Kidsgrove pressed down the slope more often, and Leeroy Cochrane had to be at his very best with a last-ditch tackle on Andy Hurst denying the forward an effort on goal. Seconds later there were mass protests from the hosts claiming a penalty, with the linesman waving all claims away for a dive, and the Kidsgrove players picking up a couple of yellow cards for the troubles. But as the home side felt hard done to, the visitors in turn stepped up a gear, with the traditional introduction of Matt Roney adding an injection of pace for the hosts to deal with. With a quarter of an hour to go the visitors’ pace undid the home defence’s offside trap, Daz Winter played a long ball over the top, and it was WOLLEY that raced through from his own half to calmly pick his moment to slip the ball past Intihar. That was it as far as the game went, Club simply held possession until the final whistle, with no frights or scares before the end.


This was a win that Sheffield needed, and it didn’t matter which way it came, with this being an effective if rather unspectacular performance. But the three points make little difference as far as the table is concerned, but as far as confidence goes, this win is worth loads. One little unsavoury aspect to the game was the events at the final whistle, with the normally placid Leigh Walker getting involved in a regrettable incident with a section of the home “support”, after the “banter” went too far. Overall though this was small blight on an otherwise excellent day for the Sheffield side, pushing the memory of last season’s corresponding defeat far to the back of the mind, giving a bit of optimism for Tuesday’s upcoming trip to the Shay for the cup-tie against Halifax.


BTF Club Man of the Match: Scott Partridge


Kidsgrove Athletic: Intihar, D.Smith ©, Dove, Schwartz, Reeves, Beasley, Matranga, Miller (Shenton), Shaw (Elder), Hurst, Sanders. Subs Not Used: Bridge, Leigh, C.Smith.

Sheffield FC: Walker, Wright, Davey, G.Smith, Cochrane, Winter (Lipka), Outram, Hawes ©, (Eagers), Mitchell (Roney), Woolley. Sub Not Used: Dolby.


Att: 170

Stocksbridge PS 3 Sheffield FC 0
Sheffield & Hallamshire Senior Cup 2nd Round 
Tuesday, 04/11/08

A first half strike from Cockerill plus two further goals after the break from Ring and Normanschild were enough for Stocksbridge to loosen the cup holders grip on the trophy for this season (writes Trev).


On a damp and dismal night at Bracken Moor, made all the worse by a swirling fog, Stocksbridge got revenge for their Semi-final exit last season in the league play-offs. In somewhat farcical conditions for the hundred plus supporters who bothered to turn up it was a case of Chinese whispers as, unless you were actually on the half way line AND had a recent meal of carrots it was impossible to see from one end of the pitch to the other. Stocksbridge started the better and soon had the visitors under pressure and took a deserved lead on 10 minutes when COCKERILL fired home from the edge of the area. It took Sheffield another ten minutes until they finally settled into their stride with the return of both Goddard and Partridge causing problems for the home defence, before a typical Paul Smith free kick was cleared away. In fact, at this stage, it was the visitors who looked the more composed and Goddard was unlucky when his shot was tipped over the bar by Hewitt. At the back Pete Davey and the impressive Micah Bleau were containing the free running Steels forwards. Just after the half hour mark Sheffield again went close when good movement in the middle of the park saw the home defence carved open and Eagers had a shot that was well saved by Hewitt. With two minutes to go to the break the visitors were forced into a substitution when Paul Smith seemed to 'tweak' something when challenging for the ball, Lloyd Gelsthorpe slotting into his left back position. Winter then had a shot that was wide of the mark when a pass to the unmarked Goddard would have been the better option. Calamity struck Sheffield on the stroke of half time as Winter was then shown a second yellow (having been booked earlier) for what I gathered was dissent, although it was difficult to see from my vantage point.


The second half saw Matt Roney replace Goddard up front. As expected, Sheffield were finding it tough to break forward and were also wary of leaving space at the back now they were a man short and the Steels defence were containing what attack they could muster at this stage. Sheffield's task was made all the harder on 54 minutes when RING was on hand to put Stocksbridge further in front. The visitors were now in a situation where they needed to be bold and attack as they had nothing left to lose and Woolley was introduced at the expense of Lipka. Sheffield were handed a lifeline when they were handed a penalty with fifteen minutes left to play after Partridge was fouled. With both Goddard and Paul Smith now on the sidelines it was Partridge himself who took the kick, only to see Hewitt dive the right way to push the ball away to safety. Sheffield's misery was complete on 85 minutes when NORMANSCHILD added the third goal for the home side and so dump the holders out of this year’s competition.


Overall it was a vast improvement on Saturday's performance, but the statistics will still read that we have now been knocked out of three cup competitions in just over a fortnight and have now suffered our fourth straight defeat on the trot. Even I can't remember the last time that happened. Next up is a difficult trip to Kidsgrove on Saturday in search of league points and let's hope for a change in fortune and a return to winning ways.


BTF Club Man of the Match - Micah Bleau


Stocksbridge PS: Hewitt, Adams, Stratford, Normanschild, Lovell, Ashley (Wilkinson), Ring (Sidebottom), Telling (Richards), Vardy, Ward, Cockerill. Subs Not Used: Siddall, Schofield,

Sheffield FC: Walker, G.Smith, P.Smith (Gelsthorpe), Bleau, Davey, Winter, Outram, Lipka (Woolley), Goddard (Roney), Partridge, Eagers. Subs Not Used: Dolby


Att: 110 


Sheffield FC 1 Gresley Rovers 4

UniBond Division One South

Saturday, 01/11/08

Solitary shining light on a cold afternoon for Sheffield supporters - Pete Davey's goal



Gresley came to the Bright Finance Stadium this afternoon and took advantage of an under-strength Sheffield outfit, gaining ample revenge for the opening day mauling, without having to turn in an impressive performance of their own. The damage was done in a fifteen minute spell in the opening period, with Louis Briscoe grabbing a hat-trick of goals, in a half that saw Rovers convert every chance that fell their way. Goals in the 11th, 16th and 27th minutes all but gave the visitors the three points, with Club’s solitary reply coming from a Peter Davey effort in the 25th minute. David Blenkinsopp grabbed his customary goal ten minutes into the second half, killing off any threat Sheffield might have given, making Club’s cup hangover all the more painful.


The Sheffield team-sheet raised more than a couple of eyebrows in the ground before the game, containing just eight of the squad that made the trip to the Moat Ground in August; with Scott Partridge, Steve Hawes and Asa Ingall notable absentees through injury, whilst Mick Goddard was missing due to suspension. This meant a first start for Jordan Eagers, with new signing Jez Mitchell going straight into the starting line-up up front, and the opening signs looked promising from this duo as they created quite a bit of pressure on a shaky looking Gresley back line. But this proved to be a false dawn as with the first real attack the visitors created ended in a goal, as a cross from the left was missed by everyone in the middle, leaving BRISCOE the easiest of tasks at the back to sweep the ball home from the edge of the six yard box. It got worse for Club moments later, as Gresley gained easy possession in midfield laying the ball to BRISCOE, and buoyed by the confidence of his strike a few minutes earlier struck the ball from 25 yards beyond a despairing Walker. It would be harsh to say that the visitors were two goals better than Club at this stage, they had two chances and converted them both, but Club were given a ray of hope ten minutes later as Eagers dribbled the ball into the middle to DAVEY who placed the ball excellently into the corner. Sadly that hope was extinguished by some lacklustre play down the left side of defence that allowed BRISCOE to skip into the box, weigh up his options and slide the ball across Walker and into the net, leaving the hosts more than a mountain to climb. It appeared there could be a chance of getting something back, as Club’s best player Peter Davey set up Steve Woolley with a shot that stung Lee Evans’ hands, whilst just before the interval Paul Smith’s free-kick produced the save of the half from Evans.


Club came out in the second half eager to make amends for the first half showing, and came close to pulling one back through a Paul Smith free-kick, this time it was deflected wide of the goal. The game was effectively wrapped up as Briscoe turned provider with a cross field ball, and with the Sheffield defence stopping and waving for offside, BLENKINSOPP had time and space to finish with aplomb. Even with over thirty minutes to go Club offered nothing of note, with the chances created hardly giving a pretty ordinary looking Rovers side much to worry about, the best of which came through Matt Roney’s little through ball that was flicked on by Matt Outram inches wide of the post. Daz Winter tried to force Evans into earning his wage, with his volley being tipped over by the keeper, whilst Roney’s corner beat everyone and hit the post. Gresley had already done enough, and the only thing of true note created by the visitors before the end was a little chip by skipper Carl Slater, one that produced an excellent save by Leigh Walker. Overall though the game had died an early death, with the home support was heading for the exits long before referee Whiteley blew the final whistle to put the remaining few out of their misery, and giving the handful of Gresley supporters the chance to celebrate what had seemed on paper an unlikely result.


BTF Club Man of the Match: Peter Davey


Sheffield FC: Walker, G.Smith ©, P.Smith, Cochrane (Gelsthorpe), Wright, Winter, Outram, Davey, Eagers (Roney), Woolley (Cribley). Subs Not Used: Lipka, Purkiss.

Gresley Rovers: Evans, Chamberlain, Morris, Wooley, Hood, Slater ©, Woodall, Barrett, Briscoe (Lyons), Blenkinsopp (Lock), Edwards (Wilson). Subs Not Used: Liversage, Saunders.


Att: 384.


Blyth Spartans 3 Sheffield FC 1

FA Cup 4th Round Qualifying

Saturday 25/10/08

Steve Woolley's shot goes agonisingly wide

Despite taking an early lead through Scott Partridge, Sheffield's FA Cup dreams came to an end at Croft Park as Blyth Spartans hit back with three unanswered second half goals. 


Sheffield welcomed the return from injury of Paul Smith and Scott Partridge and started the game with the swirling wind to their advantage. There was an early chance for the home side when a ball into the area was cleared with the defence at sixes and sevens but then Sheffield settled and started to play. The game was just ten minutes old when the visitors opened the scoring. A long punt upfield from Walker went all the way into the Spartans area and as Farman came out to collect SCOTT PARTRIDGE to nip in and lob the ball into the empty net from a tight angle, much to the delight of the hundred and fifty or so Sheffield supporters who had made the long trip up to the North East. Nine minutes later and a customary free kick out wide by Paul Smith almost caught out Farman at his near post, but the effort was just wide. Next up was Williams for the hosts, as his free kick was safely gathered by Walker before once more releasing a kick into the Blyth area which caused panic before the ball was eventually cleared. Sheffield were having by far the better of the play and just past the half hour mark some good work from Goddard saw him win the ball in midfield and finding Steve Woolley on the inside who took a couple of strides forward before unleashing a long range effort that screamed past the post with Farman at full stretch. With five minutes of the half remaining another Paul Smith free kick was fumbled by the keeper but he managed to grab the ball at the second attempt just as Partridge was poised to strike. He then had to be at his best, diving low at the far post to push away Goddard's header. Spartans had a rare chance to pull level just before the break as first Dale found himself through on goal, but took too long on the ball and as he was closed down he blazed the ball over the bar. Then on the stroke of half time Dale turned provider, crossing the ball to Todd whose goal bound header was brilliantly saved by Walker.


Sheffield had a great chance to double their lead two minutes into the second half when Partridge and Goddard combined to create an opening, but after all his earlier hard work in making the chance the normally reliable Partridge put the effort over the bar. Then what we thought would happen did happen with Spartans getting more and more into the game, now themselves having the advantage of the swirling wind. Sheffield did manage to venture upfield on what was becoming a rear guard battle as Hawes shot over from distance. Blyth then had a purple spell which stretched Sheffield to their limit. Brown was the first to go close, his shot going over the bar. Walker was then at full stretch to save from Watson then again on hand to push a header over the bar. Blyth's third corner on the trot saw Walker beat out yet another effort as Spartans laid siege to the Sheffield goal. The equaliser finally came on 58 minutes when yet another cross into the area found BROWN unmarked to sweep the ball home. Sheffield tried to stem the tide and move forward but were undone on 65 minutes when an attack broke down and the ball was swept upfield into the visitors area and Spartans substitute Reay was on hand to turn and volley into the far corner, giving Walker no chance. Walker then had to produce yet another wonder save to tip a header onto the bar, while at the other end Partridge had a shot deflected for a corner. Sheffield's fate was well and truly sealed in the most unfortunate circumstance on the 76th minute when DALE hit a hopeful shot from distance which Walker had covered, but the ball deflected off Davey and into the net. Sheffield tried to rally themselves for one last effort in a bid to get back into the game but the Blue Square North side were content to see the game out and progress into the first round of this year's competition.


Once again, it could be said it was a case of what ifs. Just like nine years ago when Sheffield held a 1-0 advantage and spurned a chance to go two up, so the same thing happened today, but make no mistake, Blyth knew they were involved in a game, the only thing spoiling it was the swirling wind, but it was the same for both sides. Only the heroics of Walker saved Sheffield's blushes in the second half, but every Sheffield fan should be proud of what the side has achieved and the potential is there to go from strength to strength. Next up we're back to league action at last on Saturday with the visit of Gresley Rovers.


BTF Club Man of the Match - Leigh Walker


Blyth Spartans: Farman, Leeson, Boyle, Williams, Pell, Brown (Poole), Dalton (Reay), Todd, Dale, Watson, Gildea. Subs Not Used: Wright, Gladwin, Fenton, Bell.

Sheffield FC: Walker, G.Smith, P.Smith, Ingall, Wright, Davey, Outram (Roney), Hawes (Eagers), Goddard, Partridge, Woolley. Subs Not Used: Furniss, Gelsthorpe.


Att: 680



Skelmersdale United 1 Sheffield FC 0

FA Trophy 1st Qualifying Round

Saturday 18/10/08

The last opportunity to salvage a draw disappears at Skelmersdale as Mickey Goddard's penalty is saved

A Georgie Donnelly goal just after the hour mark was the deciding factor to settle this tie at Stormy Corner this afternoon.


In showery conditions and on a heavy pitch it was the visitors who got the game underway, but it was Skem who almost took the lead in the first minute, when McConville from out on the wing fired in a long range effort that Walker had to tip over the bar. Goddard then shot wide of the mark when well placed. After this eventful opening the game became scrappy with little to cheer the supporters of either side as most of the action was contained in the middle of the park, although Skem were having the majority of the possession. Indeed it was the 20th minute before Sheffield had a shot on target, Daz Winter's effort forcing McMahon the save. The visitors then had a spell of good play as Hawes and Winter set up Woolley for a shot at goal which was just wide of the mark. The visitors then made an early substitution, with Outram coming on to replace Gascoigne. Just before the half hour mark the hosts had a lucky escape as Woolley fed the ball to Roney out wide. The winger cut inside and unleashed a shot that almost squirmed under McMahon's body, but the ball came off his feet and the defence were able to clear the danger. Sheffield were far more settled now and taking the game to their hosts who at times were just happy to get a foot on the ball and clear it upfield. Outram was next to try his luck, shooting across the 'keeper but the effort went the wrong side of the post. At the other end, danger man Donnelly fired in a shot that was deflected out for a corner by Smith, as Walker was going the wrong way to save the original effort.  The hosts then had another good chance when a poor back header from Cochrane was seized upon by Donnelly, but his header was wide of the mark as Walker ran out to try and block the effort.


Sheffield started the second half on the attack with the rain and wind now in their favour. They thought they'd took the lead on 49 minutes when a Woolley corner was palmed away by McMahon and the ball was dispatched into the net, but the referee had already blown for an infringement. The game was becoming a bit niggly, not helped by the conditions or some strange decisions by Mr. Hutchinson who took charge of today's game. This half was more like a cup-tie as both sides were now stringing moves together and attacking the goal instead of fighting it out in the middle of the park. The hosts almost took the lead on 51 minutes when Houghton outpaced Cochrane and his cross into the middle of the area was just a touch too far for Donnelly to connect with. Outram then received a booking for clumsy challenge, the referee indicating that it wasn't the first one he'd made during the game. Again Skem went close when a ball over the Sheffield defence was latched onto by Donnelly but his effort sailed over the bar. At the other end, Sheffield had a good opportunity to open the scoring when Outram's in swinging corner was met by the unmarked Smith, but this time his effort was wide of the post. A minute later and the deadlock was broken. Once again it was the pace of the Skelmersdale forwards that caused the damage as on 64 minutes DONNELLY broke free and despatched the ball into the bottom corner. They almost doubled the lead two minutes later, Walker having to make a fine save to deny McConville. A double substitution saw the visitors bring on Ingall and Eagers for Roney and Winter in a bid to get something out of the game and try and get the better of the Skelmersdale defence who were winning the majority of the balls floated into their half. It seemed to galvanise the visitors as they looked to get something from the game as Smith once again headed just wide. Goddard and Turner then found themselves in the referee’s notebook after a bit of nonsense between the pair of them. With time running out Sheffield threw caution to the wind as Ingall and Smith were now employed as temporary attackers to support Goddard. On 90 minutes Sheffield were handed a lifeline as a Hawes free kick found the head of Wright at the back post, his downward header created all sorts of panic in the area and in the ensuing scramble the ball came out to Smith who was up-ended, the referee pointing straight to the spot to award a penalty. Goddard took the responsibility but his kick was well saved by McMahon, and his follow up effort was well wide of the mark. The resulting four minutes of added time saw Skelmersdale close the game down and hang on for the win.


A disappointing result which brings an end to their winning streak of cup matches. The lads must now get their heads up and concentrate on the daunting task that lies ahead of them next Saturday away at Conference North club Blyth Spartans. It will be a difficult game, but there should  be plenty of Sheffield supporters there to cheer them on.


BTF Club Man of the Match: Greg Wright


Skelmersdale United: McMahon, Duffy, Foster, Armstrong, White, Turner, McConville, Wade, Houghton, Donnelly, Morrison. Unused Subs: Prescott, Brockley, Kelly, Pringle, McNally.

Sheffield FC: Walker, Smith, Davey, Cochrane, Wright, Winter (Eagers), Roney (Ingall), Hawes, Goddard, Gascoigne (Outram), Woolley. Unused Sub: Furniss


Att: 201


Sheffield FC 2 Guiseley 1

FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round Replay

Tuesday, 14/10/08


Asa Ingall’s header 25 minutes from time steered Sheffield FC into the 4th Qualifying Round of the FA Cup for the first time since 2000, as they overcame a very good Guiseley outfit, at a rain-swept Bright Finance Stadium this evening. In a game that was as tense and exciting as Saturday’s first encounter between the two teams, Club kept their heads in a frantic game to hold on, with the reward being a trip to the North East in just under two weeks to meet FA Cup giant-killing legends Blyth Spartans. Mick Goddard’s 26th minute strike was never going to be enough in this contest, and following a spirited response from the West Yorkshire team, Steve Burton pulled Guiseley level with a header on the hour. But five minutes later Asa Ingall was the toast of S18, as his goal was the one that was to separate the two sides, sending a damp crowd into delirium at the full time whistle.


The rain which had been prevalent all afternoon in Sheffield showed no sign of stopping in the first half, nor did it have much effect on an excellent surface, as Guiseley followed the same script as Saturday by coming out of the blocks the fastest. For all their efforts though, it took nearly twenty minutes before either team unleashed a shot in anger, as Lee Pugh hooked a corner over the bar from very close range. They went even closer moments later, as a route one ball found Steve Burton wide open out on the right, his cross was met at speed by David Brown who stabbed the ball just over. Eventually Club started to get a foothold, and started putting a bit of pressure on themselves in the monsoon conditions, with success coming very soon after. Captain James Cotterill dwelled on the ball far too long at the edge f his area, and was dispossessed by Matt Outram who showed great vision in spotting Mick Goddard in the middle; GODDARD in turn showed great composure to slot the ball past Piotr Skiba to give Sheffield (what seemed at the time) a surprise lead. But soon Club were the ones on top and could have gone into the break even further ahead, with Peter Davey going close with a curled effort after a one-two with Andy Gascoigne, whilst Skiba had to be at his best to tip a Goddard chip over the bar.


Matt Roney was a half time replacement for Matt Outram, and soon his wing-play was causing all manner of problems for the visitors, creating a great chance for Mick Goddard which was headed just wide. It has to be said that Sheffield looked comfortable for the opening passages of play, without really testing the Guiseley goal; however with a few decisions going in their favour the visitors were soon on the offensive once again – and on the hour they were rewarded with an equaliser. A corner from the left by Chris Ovington was delivered into the middle, and waiting there was BURTON, who steered the ball in off the bar with a neat little flick-header. But to progress in this competition you need a bit of character, and that’s exactly what Sheffield showed, as within five minutes they had regained the lead. Some great work by Matt Roney and Steve Wolley forced the Lions into conceding a corner, one that was delivered with aplomb by Woolley, and waiting in the middle to thump home a typically strong header was INGALL. But with more than a quarter of the game remaining nerves were going to be fraught for the home following, as Guiseley went on the attack once again looking for another leveller, with Chris Bolder going perilously close with a header. Sheffield though did more than a little well to hold on, and could have killed the game late on with a couple of one-on-one chances for Andy Gascoigne, both of which were blocked well by the visitors’ Polish keeper Skiba. But hold on they did, and after the last few nervy moments were ended by the whistle of referee Mr Greenwood, the celebrations and plans for the next round could begin.


Although this was never going to be as much as a classic as Saturday’s clash, this was entertaining nonetheless, with Guiseley more than playing their part in the piece. But how they must be ruing the fact this was one they had let slip away, as at 3.45pm on Saturday it was they who had their name in the hat for the next round, but they hadn’t banked on the spirit of an excellent Sheffield side. So even though there’s a couple of divisions in difference between Club and their next opponents, Blyth Spartans will not be taking that game for granted, and they’ll have their work cut out if they want to see their name in the hat for the First Round Proper of the FA Cup.


BTF Club Man of the Match – Mick Goddard


Sheffield FC: Walker, G.Smith, Davey, Ingall, Wright, Winter, Outram (Roney), Hawes ©, Goddard, Gascoigne, Woolley. Subs Not Used: Lipka, Furniss, Eagers, Gelsthorpe.

Guiseley: Skiba, Lloyd, Merris, Bolder, Cotterill ©, Bambrook, Taylforth, Pugh, Brown, Burton, Ovington (Tiani). Subs Not Used: Camfield, Whitehouse, Husband.


Att: 451

Guiseley 3 Sheffield FC 3

FA Cup Third Round Qualifying

Saturday, 11/10/08


It was an absolutely amazing game at Nethermoor this afternoon, as Sheffield turned around a three goal half time deficit to force a replay on Tuesday night at the Bright Finance Stadium, with one of the bravest comebacks in recent years. With Club looking totally down and out of the FA Cup for another year, after the Lions raced into a seemingly unassailable lead with goals from Chris Ovington and two from Dave Brown, but things started to go terribly wrong after Simeon Bambrook saw red for a daft challenge on Mick Goddard. Sheffield came out of the blocks in the second half, and inspired by young substitute and man-of-the-match Andy Gascoigne, replied with goals from Scott Partridge, Matt Outram and Gavin Smith to take the tie to a replay.


The pattern of the game was hard to imagine in the first moments of the game, as Sheffield were the first on the offensive with James Cotterill’s trip on Mick Goddard being penalised on the edge of the area, and the subsequent free-kick from Gavin Smith deflected over. From the resultant corner by Steve Wolley, Asa Ingall was the one who rose highest, heading the ball just over the bar. From here to the break it became one way traffic, as Gavin Smith became the perpetrator of a similar tripping offence on the edge of the box on Phil Denny, this time Simeon Bambrook drove the ball into the wall, Sean Taylforth had his follow-up effort blocked before Chris Bolder forced a fine save from Leigh Walker. On eleven minutes there was little Walker could do to prevent Club falling behind, as OVINGTON skipped two tackles, and as his momentum was maintained he drilled the ball into the corner of the net. The goal spurred the Lions on to an all-out assault on the Sheffield goal, and when Ovington’s cross-field ball picked out Taylforth at the back un-marked, his effort was just too high. Guiseley could have doubled their lead seconds later, as Phil Denny cushioned the ball down to Dave Brown; once again Leigh Walker had to be on top form to prevent a certain goal. Club had a chance to get level – albeit against the run of play – as a Steve Hawes free-kick found Matt Outram at the back post, he in turn squared the ball to Scott Partridge, who uncharacteristically scooped the ball over the top from very close range. That miss was punished in the most severe way possible, as the hosts went down the other end and scored after a long ball found BROWN, and the little striker turned Ingall before slotting into the corner beyond Walker. It could have been so much worse for Sheffield if it hadn’t have been for some wasteful finishing by Guiseley’s front men, with Chris Ovington and Sean Taylforth the guilty parties, whilst Leigh Walker produced another fine stop to deny Dave Brown and Simeon Bambrook had an effort blocked on the line. Ten minutes before the break the home side made it three to wrap up the game as a contest; as Taylforth got in behind the defence on the left, before giving BROWN the easiest of opportunities to hook the ball home. So much were Guiseley in control it seemed everyone wanted a piece of the action, with Anthony Lloyd trying one from fully 35 yards that went just wide, and Chris Ovington forcing yet another good save from Leigh Walker. Two minutes from the break though things started to go badly wrong for the West Yorkshire outfit, as Simeon Bambrook inexplicably lashed out and kicked Mick Goddard in the midriff, leaving the referee very little option but to show the red card.


The next 45 minutes can only be described as “unbelievable”, as Sheffield turned what had been hoped to be a damage limitation exercise, into one of the greatest comebacks of the past decade for the South Yorkshire side. Three early substitutions from the visitors gave a much more attacking look to the whole scheme of things, with Guiseley seemingly quite happy to sit on the lead they’d built, letting Sheffield come at them – albeit with very little success with the end product. Then just after the hour mark young substitute Andy Gascoigne pulled out a cross from the right, when nothing seemed on, and picked out PARTRIDGE in the middle who headed through the hands of Polish keeper Piotr Skiba. Club had a lifeline and proceeded to assault the hosts’ goal in the same manner they’d been subjected to in the first period, with Asa Ingall forcing Skiba the keeper to make a save from a typical header, whilst a half cleared free-kick found the head of Gav Smith who headed just over. Matt Roney held the ball up for Mick Goddard to shoot just wide, and then Roney himself forced a nervous save from Skiba second later, before the breach was finally broken in the 71st minute. Another break down the right hand side saw Partridge pick up the ball, planting in an inch perfect cross to pick out OUTRAM, who dived in to head beyond the despairing Skiba. Full credit to Guiseley at this point, as they realised the situation they found themselves in, and started to take the sting out of the game. But they couldn’t do it forever; and with ten minutes to go Steve Woolley’s corner beat every defensive head, and picked out that of SMITH who placed it into the back of the net – the comeback was complete. But seconds after the restart the visitors’ hearts were back in their mouths, as the ball fell to Chris Bolder fully 25 yards from goal, he let loose a thunderous shot that nearly snapped the bar in two. It would have been a real fairy-tale finish if Club could have got that vital fourth goal, and when Steve Woolley set the ball back to Gav Smith it looked like that was a possibility, sadly the ball sailed inches over – and with it the draw became the result.


It’s a long time since we’ve experienced such a wild array of emotions at a game of such importance at Sheffield, and even before the game many would have taken the draw, let alone at half-time. Sadly it could be argued that today’s game hinged on the sending off of Bambrook for his mind-numbing reckless challenge on Goddard, but to be honest all it did was to spur Club on with the hope that the game could end up respectable, whilst Guiseley felt they had done enough in that glorious first 45 minutes. The thing is Sheffield could have gone on to take the game, and yet equally if they’d have taken all of their chances in the first half, we could be talking about how Guiseley had been a class above Club and fully deserved such a heavily scored victory. But it ended a draw, the replay is back at the Bright Finance Stadium on Tuesday, and if it could be guaranteed to be as dramatic in that game – well, we’ll be turning people away.


Guiseley: Skiba, Lloyd, Merris, Bolder, Cotterill ©, Bambrook, Ovington (Higman), Burton (Whitehouse), Brown, Denny (Camfield), Taylforth. Subs Not Used: Tiani, Husband.

Sheffield FC: Walker, G.Smith, Davey (Roney), Ingall, Wright, Winter (Gascoigne), Outram, Hawes © (Eagers), Goddard, Partridge, Woolley. Sub Not Used: Furniss.


Att: 431

Sheffield FC 5 Bamber Bridge 3

FA Trophy Preliminary Round

Saturday, 4/10/08


It was another goal-happy day for Club, this afternoon at the Bright Finance Stadium, as they brushed aside UniBond One North leaders Bamber Bridge with absolute ease. Two goals from Micky Goddard (in the 46th and 50th minutes) and one each from that trio of wing-terrors Matt Outram (7th minute), Steve Woolley (31st minute) and Matt Roney (71st minute) ensured that Sheffield booked an Awayday up in sunny Skelmersdale in two weeks time. “Brig” gave a good account of themselves in this one and managed to get three in reply in this goal-fest, with Stuart Howson getting two goals (24th and 80th minutes), whilst “Best Selling Author” Ryan-Zico Black chipped in with a very late consolation for the visitors.


Making his debut this afternoon was new signing from Brigg Town Leeroy Cochrane, and he made a good solid early impression as Brig made the better start, making his mark in the opening minutes with a last ditch challenge on Alex Porter. Leigh Walker also had to be at his best to keep the in-form team at bay, making a brilliant double save from Stuart Howson, when everyone though a goal was a certainty. But the breakthrough eventually came moments later – only at the other end – as Scott Partridge produced some good work, cut inside from the wing to cross into the middle, and OUTRAM was there to scoop it into the top corner. Brig still made the more impressive in-roads, and midway through the half they got their rewards as a corner was not cleared well enough, Adam Tong headed it back into the area and an un-marked HOWSON hooked in from close range. But Bamber Bridge didn’t capitalise on this purple-patch and within five minutes Club had regained the lead, as once again Scott Partridge was breaking down the right, before crossing the perfect ball for WOOLLEY to slot in off the post. It could even have been worse for the visitors as Sheffield were left scratching their heads as to how they hadn’t got a third, when Partridge’s industriousness saw him wrestle possession from some sloppy defending, his cross was then met by Micky Goddard who kneed the ball against the bar from about three yards out.


Somehow Mick Goddard contrives to hit the bar and post with this first half effort, however......
.....the prolific marksman is not to be denied as he heads home to put Sheffield 3-1 up - Goddard is pictured behind the first Bamber Bridge defender on the left


Below, Mick heads home number four......


That would have wrapped up the game by rights for Sheffield, but an early flurry from the hosts in the first five minutes of the restart caught the visitors cold, and two quick goals put Club out of sight and into the next round. The first was a case of the visitors being punished for a bad foul (Howson’s high foot on Roney); Steve Hawes took the mantle of the substituted Paul Smith, and put in an excellent free kick which GODDARD flicked into the corner with his head. If that sounded easy – then Club’s fourth was practically nursery school stuff – as some shocking defending saw a corner needlessly conceded, that was delivered with aplomb by Steve Woolley, and rising in the middle with no-one within yards of him was GODDARD to head home with ease. As you’d expect, even with forty minutes still to play this game was over as a contest, so you could really forgive Sheffield for taking their foot right off the gas. That allowed Brig to have a bit of a rally in terms of chances, and when Stephen Brown’s free-kick was measured right onto the noggin of Stuart Howson, it took a save of the highest order from Leigh Walker to deny a visitors’ goal. But whilst Brig were pushing forward, they were leaving themselves pretty exposed at the back, and it took more than one last ditch challenge from captain Glen Steel (who literally played out of his skin this afternoon) to stop this being a complete embarrassment. The opportunities were coming in floods at this point, with Goddard just heading an Outram cross wide, before the inevitable fifth came. Matt Outram sent a crossfield ball fully fifty yards to Matt Roney, the substitute took it in his stride before driving in on goal, and as he entered the area RONEY blasted the ball through the legs of Andy Banks.

....and substitute Matt Roney strokes home number five

As a result of this sitting back Brig got a second with ten to go, with HOWSON heading home at the near post, after Alex Porter was allowed too much time to stroll down the right and get a cross in. It could have been a whole lot more nervy in the last minutes if not for some good defending and keeping; Porter’s effort was well saved by Walker, and as the ball sat up nicely for a tap-in, Wright was there to stab the ball away at the last second. Perhaps a bit of cockiness had crept in here, but either way the five should really have ended eight or more, not that it needed to be that in a cup tie.  As time was running down Roney burst down the right turning Brown and Steel inside out, before shooting inches wide – with a man in the middle the easiest option – then moments later Woolley did an identical run and trick of the same defenders, with the same result, again with a man unmarked in the middle. Then in injury time Club paid the price for not putting the goals away, as a corner was turned into the net by BLACK, although I doubt it was good enough to warrant an entry into any sequels he may (or not) write. Even then Sheffield could have had a sixth (and Milky a hat-trick), as Outram beat the offside trap and squared to Goddard who seemed to have too much time to waste, and consequently shot tamely at the keeper.


That makes it four out of four in the cup marathon for Sheffield, and impressively, fourteen goals in the last three games. It also makes it five wins on the trot for Club, since the defeat at home to Shepshed, and sets them up nicely for the return to league football on Tuesday against Belper. Bamber Bridge were flattered by the scoreline today, Club could have gone on to get into double figures if they had converted all their “gimmes” - and despite not performing too badly this afternoon  - they looked a good class below the majority of the teams Sheffield have played in the South Division. Next up is a visit from Belper Town, a team with a similar mixed start to the season as Club, and a team (like ourselves) with a decent run in the FA Cup – and as always an interesting game is anticipated.


Sheffield FC: Walker, G.Smith, P.Smith (Davey), Cochrane, Wright, Winter (Lipka), Outram, Hawes ©, Goddard, Partridge (Roney), Woolley. Subs Not Used: Gascoigne, Furniss.

Bamber Bridge: Banks, Fleming, Howson, Steel ©, Tong, Edmeads (Henders), Brown, Mahoney (O’Neill), Black, Porter, Mason. Subs Not Used: Nay, Peterson.


Att: 242


Brigg Town 0 Sheffield FC 5

UniBond League Cup Round One

Tuesday, 30/09/08

Scott Partridge inspired Sheffield to an impressive five-nil victory in the next leg of their Cup marathon, contributing four goals in  one-sided game at the Hawthorns, leaving basement outfit Brigg Town absolutely shell-shocked. Partridge became the first player to score four goals in a game since Asa Ingall, who achieved the feat in a NCEL Cup tie against Louth United, way back 17th November 2001  at the BFS. Goals in the 22nd minute, 62nd minute and two in injury time gave Partridge a well earned man of the match award, with the other coming from Mick Goddard in the 87th minute, and guiding Club into the next round of the League Cup with considerable ease.


Brigg offered some stern opposition in the first half, limiting Sheffield to very few chances, with the best effort coming after Daz Winter kept a Steve Hawes free-kick in to set Gav Smith with an opportunity – one that the defender blazed over. The deadlock was broken though midway through the first half, as a break down the right saw Mick Goddard strong enough to hold off the attentions of Scott Helliwell, with the cross finding PARTRIDGE steaming in at the near post to stab home. Sadly the first half deteriorated with some very niggly play from both sides, and neither really threatening the keepers, with the ball spending more time in the air than on the ground. In the dying seconds Brigg thought they’d grabbed an equaliser, with Adam Rowntree whipping in a cross in for Paul Ashton to flick beyond Leigh Walker, the referee however judged the ball not to have crossed the line.


The Zebras looked to come out of the traps fairly swift in the second period and had an opportunity to level things early on as Tommy Spall cross the ball, and when Nathan Emson got the better of Greg Wright, Sheffield were counting their lucky stars the striker stabbed wide of the goal. Just after the hour the nerves were settled as Goddard beat the offside trap to send the ball into the middle, and PARTRIDGE showed class to chest the ball past Leigh Herrick in the Brigg goal, with the appeals for handball waved away by the referee. The hosts looked totally deflated at this point, and really offered nothing of note, with all the chances coming at the other end. Matt Outram combined with Mick Goddard to set up Scott Partridge with a chance to complete his hat-trick, unfortunately the ball was blazed over the bar, and when Steve Woolley’s cross was met by a volley from Partridge – it took a solid save from Herrick to deny the Sheffield front-man a certain goal. With three minutes to go it looked like everything was wrapped up goal-wise, as Partridge controlled a long ball from defence, and unselfishly squared to GODDARD who had the easy job of tapping home. But if you though that was the end of things you’d be wrong, and in injury time it should have been four, as Outram and Goddard set it up on a plate for Partridge who seemed to have too much time on his hands and conspired to put the ball in Herrick’s hands. Seconds later though he’d made up for this and got his hat-trick goal, as this time Goddard beat the offside trap once more, and he returned to compliment of unselfishly squared the ball to PARTRIDGE who walked the ball into the empty net. To rub salt into the wounds a minute later it was five, as Janni Lipka and Matt Outram combined to give the ball to PARTRIDGE, who embarrassingly left the defenders and keeper squirming as he dribbled the ball past the strewn bodies into the goal.


It ended five-nil, but easily could have been three or four more if Club had really gone for it, as Brigg had disintegrated that much. But a win is a win in cup football, and whilst this makes it a hat-trick of cup wins in a week, the big test comes on Saturday in the shape of UniBond One North high-flyers Bamber Bridge – it promises to be an excellent game. Whilst all this was going on in North Lincolnshire, elsewhere Sheffield’s next FA Cup opponents were being determined in the suburbs of Leeds, with Guiseley coming out top in the local derby clash at Wheatley Park – winning 3-1 – that too promises to be an interesting challenge for Club.


BTF Club Man of the Match - Who else? Scott Partridge!


Brigg Town:  Herrick, Spall ©, Barrett, Borland (Warren), Helliwell, La Rocca, Would, Lamb, Rowntree, Emson (Davis), Ashton (Fletcher). Subs Not Used: McAffery, Roach.

Sheffield FC: Walker, Gelsthorpe (Gascoigne), G.Smith, Ingall, Wright, Winter, Hawes © (Lipka), Goddard, Partridge. Sub Not Used: Dolby. 


Att: 78


Sheffield FC 4 Bacup Borough 1

FA Cup Second Round Qualifying

Saturday, 27/09/08

A first half goal from Mick Goddard, plus further strikes in the second half from Paul Smith's free kick, Daz Winter and Goddard again saw Sheffield comfortably through to the Third Round Qualifying of the FA Cup on a glorious sunny afternoon at the BFS.


It was Sheffield who showed first with Woolley sending Goddard on his way, his pass into the area for Partridge saw the striker dispossessed before he could get a shot in. Bacup then ventured upfield but a tame header from Cosgrave was wide of the mark. Sheffield took the lead in the ninth minute when Hawes laid the ball off to Outram, who's rasping shot was only palmed out by Melville and GODDARD was on hand to put away the rebound. Woolley was next to launch an attack, winning the ball near the halfway line and finding Partridge out wide, who crossed for Goddard to head on, but this time the 'keeper was able to save.  Out on the other wing, Outram easily beat his marker to send over a tempting cross that  Melville pushed away, the winger then sending over another cross that just skimmed the top of Goddard's head. Sheffield were in total control at this point and it was over twenty five minutes before the visitors mounted a meaningful attack which was easily dealt with by Walker who, up to then had been a virtual spectator. Just after the half hour mark, some sterling work from Outram saw the winger wriggle free from three challenges before crossing into the area where Partridge was on hand to head goalwards, his effort striking the post with Melville stranded. A succession of Sheffield corners were eventually cleared  and the last action of the half saw Paul Smith hit a 30 yard effort just  the wrong side of the post. Phil Melville in the visitors goal readily acknowledging his luck after Smith's shot had flashed inches wide.


It was Walker who was in action first after the restart as Cross sent over a cross cum shot that the 'keeper plucked out of the air. Sheffield then increased their lead in 5th fiftieth minute when Goddard was fouled on the edge of the area. Up stepped PAUL SMITH to drill the ball into the top corner giving Melville no chance. Partridge then had a shot skim the top of the bar as the 'keeper could only stand and watch. Sheffield were playing some free flowing football at this stage with the visitors having difficulty getting over the half way line. The game was over as a meaningful contest in the seventy second minute when a break by Woolley saw the busy wingman cross the ball into the area with Daz WINTER lurking at the back post to slot home.


Steve Woolley crosses..............
    ...........and Daz Winter pokes the ball home at the back post for 3-0

Roney and Gascoigne were then introduced at the expense of Outram and Partridge, and it was Roney who set up the fourth goal on 77 minutes, feeding the ball inside to GODDARD who turned and fired high into the roof of the net.


MotM Mickey Goddard hits his second goal and Club go 4-0 up

Bacup did at least get on the scoresheet when COLLIER found himself through on goal and lobbed the ball over Walker but it was no more than a late consolation.


So Sheffield recorded their second cup win of the week, the reward for which is a trip to Leeds to face either Guiseley or Garforth Town; next up is yet another cup game, this time away to Brigg Town in the League Cup on Tuesday.


BTF Club Man of the Match: Mick Goddard


Sheffield FC: Walker, Davey, P.Smith, Ingall, Wright, Winter (Lipka), Outram(Roney), Hawes, Goddard, Partridge (Gascoigne), Woolley. Subs Not Used: G.Smith, Furniss.

Bacup Borough: Melville, Harrup, Andrews (Sheil), Marley, Cross, Taylor(Blundell), Collier, Hampson, Ellis (Rothers), Cosgrave, Slavin


Att: 247


Sheffield FC 2 Goole 1

UniBond Presidents’ Cup 1st Round

Tuesday, 23/09/08


Sheffield ticked the first victory box in Cup fortnight, winning the first of four cup ties in eleven days tonight at the Bright Finance Stadium, beating Goole 2-1 in an entertaining Presidents’ Cup contest. Goals from debutant goal-machine Andy Gascoigne and Mick Goddard, saw Club through to the next round, after the Vikings had shocked the hosts with a third minute goal from Adam Lee. Despite being behind for much of the game, Sheffield always looked on top of this game against their old rivals, and the makeshift side were excellent value for their win.


If league form was anything to go by, Sheffield should have coasted this one, but the visitors obviously hadn’t read that script and stunned the hosts inside the first few minutes. Picking up the ball on the left, LEE went on a solo run across the face of the goal, and when it looked like the danger had passed the placed a meticulously accurate shot that crept past the outstretched hand of keeper Martin Kearney. If anything this goal stung Sheffield into action, and provided the loyal spectators who’d bothered to turn up for this one to a great exhibition of flowing attacking football, with Steve Woolley coming close by lashing a shot just over the bar. Matty Outram forced Craig Parry into making a great save, whilst Outram again created mayhem down the right wing, forcing Craig Morley to put the ball past his own post. The pressure was relentless from Sheffield but bore very little fruit in front of goal, and if it hadn’t have been for a fantastic save from Martin Kearney, David Henry could have doubled the lead just before the break.


The introduction of Andy Gascoigne at the interval gave hope that he could convert his form from reserves and under 19s football into something similar in his first outing for the first team, and almost immediately he made an impact by combining with Mick Goddard to set up Daz Winter, unfortunately Winter scuffed his shot wide. Again it was all Sheffield, and Steve Woolley’s volley forced Craig Parry into making another cracking save, whilst Club had a valid call for a penalty waved away when Willi McGhie appeared to trip Matty Outram in the area. The pressure finally paid off in the 73rd minute as Paul Smith sent the ball down the wing to Matt Roney, he in turn put in a typically telling cross to the near post, and there to volley home with a net-buster was GASCOIGNE. Goole still held some threat in this game, and even as time ticked on it looked very unlikely we would have to suffer the ignominy of extra time, with Andy Parton testing Kearney with another fine effort. At the other end Goddard’s strength held up the ball, to set up Roney with another trademark run and cross, all that was missing was the vital touch. With six minutes to go though that vital touch came as Janni Lipka was tripped thirty yards from goal, Paul Smith took a swift free-kick into the area, and an unmarked GODDARD was there with a deft header to steer the ball home.


All in all this was an entertaining game, with some promising displays from the players making their debuts, Micah Bleau in defence – and of course – Andy Gascoigne coming on to great effect in attack. Next up on the cup trail is Bacup Borough on Saturday in the FA Cup, with the promise of bigger fish on the horizon, if that is they can overcome another tricky NWCFL team.


Sheffield FC: Kearney, Davey, P.Smith, Bleau, Wright, Winter, Outram, Hawes © (Lipka), Goddard, Styles (Gascoigne), Woolley (Roney). Sub Not Used: Gelsthorpe.

Goole AFC: Parry, McDaid (D.Smith), McGhie, Hill ©, Pollock, Morley, Henry (Jeffs), Darker, Lee, Parton, Hardy (O’Callaghan). Sub Not Used: Osborne.


Att: 211


Sheffield FC 3 Stamford 1

UniBond Division One South

Saturday, 20/09/09

Two first half goals from Gavin Smith and Matt Roney and a late strike from Pete Davey saw off the challenge of a strong and well organised Stamford side on their first visit to the BFS.

 Sheffield lost the toss and was kicking towards the Dronfield end, facing a very bright September sun. There was an early chance when Woolley tested Davies in the visitors net with a deep cross, the 'keeper pushing out of the way of Goddard and his defenders clearing the danger. Stamford then had a decent effort when Stebbing headed wide from close range.  Winter then broke through midfield for the hosts and fired a shot just over the bar, Gav Smith having a similar attempt moments later, with the same result. It was a somewhat scrappy affair at this stage, with the main action condensed in the middle of the park. The visitors had a golden opportunity to take the lead on the half hour mark when Stebbing fed the ball through to Cotton, and with only Walker to beat, promptly fell over the ball......twice! Stamford were posing a threat at every set piece, Clarke going close with yet another header won by the visitors. Walker then had to be at his best to save from substitute Cunnington. On 39 minutes Sheffield took the lead, somewhat against the run of play when Hawes' free kick from the right of the area was met at the back post by GAVIN SMITH to head home (as predicted by John Shepherd). The home side then produced a flurry of attacks, Winter shooting a long range effort straight at the Davies and then Winter again releasing Roney down the right, his cross along the six yard box going begging with the 'keeper left stranded. However, the lead was short-lived as Stamford hit back just before the break when Kirk's cross into the area was met with a diving header from CUNNINGTON to level the score. With the visitors probably thinking they deserved to go into the break at least on equal terms they were stunned in added time when some good work by Winter found Woolley, the winger  threading a pass inside to RONEY who's first time shot on the turn went in off the inside of the post.


The second half saw the home take the initiative, Goddard looking to head home before the ball was whipped away from him by Pearson. It all became a bit niggly for a while, with the visitors constant moaning at the officials eventually resulting in bookings for skipper Gray and  Hawkins for arguing with the referee. Just past the hour mark, a through ball from Hawes found Goddard in a 50-50 challenge with Davies, the 'keeper just winning this particular encounter. At the other end, Paul Smith had to be alert to head away at the back post with Cunnington ready to pounce. The resulting corner saw Walker making a reflex save with his legs as the ball was threaded through a melee of legs. The visitors then had a glorious chance to level the scores as Clarke beat the offside trap and was through on goal but Walker was on hand to make a full length save and keep the home side in front. Not to be outdone, Davies in the Stamford goal had to produce a spectacular save from Winter's goal bound header. The ever willing Partridge then found space to cross to the unmarked Townsend, but with an open goal at his mercy he put his header just over the bar. Stamford were not going to give in without a fight and Paul Smith had to use all his experience when making a last ditch tackle to deny  Clarke a goalscoring chance. With less than ten minutes to go Pearson was the next player to try and equalise for Stamford when he rose unchallenged from a corner, but he put his effort over the bar. Sheffield finally sealed the victory on 89 minutes. A kick from Walker found Partridge and, despite the striker going down under the challenge he managed to release the ball out to Outram whose run and cross found DAVEY on his own in the area and he made no mistake with a volley into the roof of the net.


A game of two halves, where the team seemed to struggle in the first half, but set about the opposition after the break and managed to grind out a result against a well organised side. Next up is a break from league action on Tuesday evening as Sheffield play hosts to Goole in the 1st round of the Presidents Cup.


BTF Club Man of the Match: Leigh Walker


Sheffield FC: Walker, G.Smith, P.Smith, Ingall, Wright, Winter, Roney (Davey), Hawes, Goddard (Townsend), Partridge, Woolley (Outram). Unused Subs: Styles, Dolby.

Stamford: Davies, White (Oswin), Hallows (Collis), Watson, Pearson, Hawkins, Cotton, Gray, Clarke, Stebbing (Cunnington), Kirk. Unused Subs: Whitby, Sheehan.


Att: 457


Sheffield FC 3 Colne FC 2
FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round
Saturday, 13/09/08

Sheffield eased into the next round of the cup following a comfortable enough victory over a lively Colne outfit. The Lancashire side stunned their higher league opponents by taking the lead inside the first five minutes, with Martin Broderick converting from the penalty spot. Two minutes later things were level as Daz Winter headed home, and on 20 minutes the hosts ad the lead when Mick Goddard finished following a ricochet. Five minutes later Sheffield all but wrapped up the result, when Scott Partridge headed in from close range. Colne put up more resistance in the second period, forcing keeper Leigh Walker to make two outstanding saves, and gave themselves a bit of late hope of snatching a shock result, when Adam Whiteoak stabbed home a rebound three minutes from time.


Sheffield kicked off, in this, their second game in this year's FA Cup competition. Despite early pressure it was the visitors who took the lead on 5 minutes with their first attack of the game, as Greg Wright brought down Garbutt in the area and the resulting spot kick was tucked away by BRODRICK despite the effort of Walker. Sheffield's response was swift, as, two minutes later the sides were level. A Hawes free kick out on the wing was headed home by WINTER. The midfielder went close moments later when a typical long range shot was just wide of the mark. Colne then had a chance to take the lead as Crorken's free kick found the head of an unmarked Nestor, but he put the effort wide.  The host's took the lead on 20 minutes when a Colne clearance ricocheted against another defender and as the ball looped up into the air GODDARD was on hand to get it under control and slot home, despite Crossley's attempt to save it. Sheffield were in control at this point, putting the North West Counties side under severe pressure and it was no surprise when they extended the lead on 26 minutes when good work from Roney saw his cross deep to the back post headed home by man of the match PARTRIDGE.  Heffernan stopped the home side a few minutes later when Wooley's ball into the area was cleared by the Colne captain with two Sheffield players bearing down on goal. Both Ingall and Goddard then had chances go astray. Colne's only real effort was a Broderick free kick that Walker dropped as he fell heavily but Cruz missed the target.


Sheffield carried on the second half on the attack and Partridge had the ball in the net two minutes after the restart, but the linesman’s flag had ruled the goal offside. Colne then went on the attack, gaining a free kick on the left side of the area, this was charged down, but Winter gave another free kick away, this time on the opposite side of the area. Crorken's effort looked to have found the top corner but Walker made a magnificent save to tip the ball to safety. Just past the hour mark a Roney free kick found Smith unmarked in the area but his header was over the bar. Wooley then had the 'keeper scrambling after he spilled the ball from the wingers effort. Five minutes later and he was at it again, this time cutting inside and avoiding two tackles before unleashing a shot just wide of the post. Despite all the pressure Sheffield couldn't make the breakthrough they richly deserved and had a scare on 77 minutes when Whiteoak broke free to cross into the area for Longley who was on his own, but he managed to put the ball over from eight yards out. Garbutt at least got his effort on target, making Walker dive low to his near post to turn the ball away for a corner. With the game entering the final stages, Partridge did well to hold the ball up for Woolley to run on to, and his first time shot was saved by the feet of Crossley. Colne made it a nail-biting finish as, on 84 minutes Hall's cross to Whiteoak saw his effort saved but the rebound was stabbed home by COCKETT.  However, there was to be no dramatic fight-back for the visitors as Sheffield held on to secure their place in the next round.


BTF Club Man of the Match: Scott Partridge


Sheffield FC: Walker, G.Smith, Boulter, Ingall, Wright, Winter (Davey), Roney (Outram), Hawes, Goddard (Sykes), Partridge, Woolley.  Subs not Used: Furniss, Townsend, Dolby

Colne FC: Crossley, Hargreaves (Priestley), Heffernan, Broderick (Whiteoak), Nestor, Howarth, Cockett, Cruz, Garbutt, Hall, Crorken (Longley).Sub not Used: Brennan.


Att: 242


Sheffield FC 0 Shepshed Dynamo 2
UniBond Division One South
Tuesday, 09/09/08

Sheffield FC might have beaten the weather this evening, but they came off second best against high-flying Shepshed this evening, losing 2-0 at a pretty soggy Bright Finance Stadium. This was a game that always looked to be a tougher prospect than last season’s form suggested, and two second half goals from Shane Benjamin saw Club’s worst fears realised, as the home team failed to break down a resolute and well drilled defence. The home side looked second best for much of this contest, yet when they did threaten the Leicestershire outfit, they were thwarted by some rather top-notch (and sometimes fortunate) goalkeeping by Gary Hateley.


The early signs in this game were that Shepshed were a well organised side, one that could cause problems for the home team, and the visitors exploited the acres of space down the left wing given to Sam Saunders. It was through this channel that Dynamo exposed Sheffield, with Saunders providing several telling crosses that caused the hosts quite a few headaches, and Club could count themselves quite fortunate not to go in at the break behind. It was from a Sam Saunders header that produced a spectacular tip over the bar by Leigh Walker, and from the resultant corner the same player had the ball in the net, only to see it ruled out for pushing. Sheffield did a bit of threatening too, but never really tested the visitors’ keeper, with the best chance coming when Gary Hateley produced a good stop from Paul Smith after a corner wasn’t cleared effectively enough. But Shepshed were looking the better of the two sides by some distance, and could have gone ahead from a couple of chances, both of which were supplied by the visitors’ best player Sam Saunders. Firstly a cross from the left found his brother Ben in the middle, with his header just wide, and just before the interval another one from the same side found Shane Benjamin sliding in – with his effort rattling the frame of the goal with Walker beaten.


If the first half had been sounded as a warning, it was one that wasn’t heeded by the home side, as within two minutes of the restart Dynamo were in front. Once again Sam Saunders was the provider, crossing in from the left side, and rising at the back post to head home was BENJAMIN – scoring in his fifth consecutive game. The goal jolted the hosts into life, and within seconds Club’s Steve Woolley had a shot tipped round the post by Gary Hateley, starting what seemed to be a pattern for the second half. The introduction of Steve Hawes added a bit more urgency for Sheffield, and with his influence the space, and chances started to be created. A Scott Partridge cross was met by the head of Daz Winter that was turned round the post spectacularly by Hateley, and the keeper had Lady Luck shining on him as a free-kick rebounded off Gavin Smith, the ball squirming under the body of the keeper before he pawed it off the line with Partridge ready to pounce. It was the Sheffield centre-forward that was directing most of the traffic from hereon in, with Partridge’s cross finding Asa Ingall’s head in the middle – producing yet another frustratingly good save from Hateley – and when a sweeping move involving Partridge and Roney put the ball on a plate for Goddard, Hateley was there again to deny the equaliser. But the threat of a second goal always loomed, and when pushing forward Dynamo were awarded a late penalty, BENJAMIN made no mistake in sending Walker the wrong way to secure all three points for Lee Wilson’s men.


The season is still in its very early stages at the moment, and whilst results like this seem hard to take, it can hardly be considered the end of the world. But in reality it shows there are more competitors for the top slot this season than first meet the eye, with other unexpected names likely to give Sheffield a proper run for their money, making that sunny first day at Gresley seem light years ago. Sheffield will obviously have to pick themselves up once again, starting with goal-happy Colne heading to the BFS on Saturday for some FA Cup fun. After that comes a trip to top of the table Retford United; I’m sure no-one needs to be reminded of the importance of that task, nor the size of it either.


BTF Man of the Match: Daz Winter


Sheffield FC: Walker, G.Smith, P.Smith, Davey, Wright, Winter, Woolley (Roney), Ingall ©, Goddard, Partridge, Townsend (Hawes). Subs Not Used: Boulter, Outram, Dolby.

Shepshed Dynamo: Hateley, Powell, Fletcher, Screaton ©, Millns, Robinson, Norris (Frecklington), Marshall (Magee), Benjamin, B.Saunders (Menga), S.Saunders. Subs Not Used: Wilkins, Walker.


Att: 322.


Sheffield FC 4 AFC Fylde 0
FA Cup Preliminary Round Replay
Tuesday, 02/09/08
Game, Set and Match, as Mickey Goddard makes it four for Club from the spot

Club made it safely into the next round of the FA Cup tonight, as they convincingly beat AFC Fylde 4-0, in a fierce contest at the Bright Finance Stadium this evening. Leading the way with a two goal salvo was Mick Goddard, whose strikes in the 15th and 87th minutes were his first in competitive football for Sheffield, with goals from Gavin Smith and Daz Winter wrapping up an easy win. The visitors were never likely to repeat their performance of Saturday, as the hosts were in control of proceedings from the off, and a stout defensive performance allowed keeper Leigh Walker the opportunity of his first clean sheet of the season. Sadly though the contest is likely to be remembered for the home following for the host of rash tackles AFC produced, and the under-par performance from the officials, as frustration started to get the better of the visitors. Luckily though both of these memories have been rendered irrelevant by the ease of this victory, and the knowledge that Sheffield have safe passage to the next round, where they will meet Colne FC of the NWCFL.


It has to be said that Sheffield had to work hard to break down the resilient defensive line, and were thwarted several times in the opening ten minutes by some sound tackling, along with some tactical nous that frustrated Club’s efforts. But on the first occasion the hosts wandered into opposition territory and threatened the goal – they scored – as a typical Paul Smith cross was met by a typical header by Asa Ingall, who headed it across the face of goal for GODDARD, who is deadly from six inches. Fylde did throw themselves forward in an attempt to get back in the game, but at no time did they ever really come close, as everything was stifled by am alert performance from Peter Davey and Greg Wright – who it seemed were alive to everything. But as everything was being blocked at the home end, it wasn’t so at the other as the Smiths were at it again on 32 minutes following a foul on Mick Goddard, Paul floated it in and Gav ghosted in unmarked for another SMITH headed goal.


At 2-0 Sheffield looked at ease and it should been three very early on after the restart, as good work from Outram and Goddard found Partridge in the middle, with the striker dinking the ball over Sommerfield – sadly though the goal was ruled questionably offside. It wasn’t to matter though as it was three on the hour, as Partridge burst into box and sent the ball into the middle, the increasingly nervous looking Sommerfield failed to hold the ball under little pressure and WINTER slammed through the crowd of players into the net. Sheffield sat back and soaked up a bit of pressure, and nearly paid the price for taking their foot off the gas, as Gavin Smith had to clear off the line from Phil Blackwell. Club had a couple of efforts go close, Sommerfield finally made a save from a tame Janni Lipka effort, whilst Matt Roney had everyone diving for cover with a shot that sailed inches over. Unfortunately the game started to degenerate somewhat and the referee lost a bit of control of matters, as tempers started to fray a little, and some very poor challenges were being let off very lightly. With three minutes to go it was all wrapped up, as Matt Outram was bundled over in the box by a Fylde defender, it seemed a little harsh but GODDARD wasn’t showing any remorse from the spot – giving the keeper no hope at all.


This was as easy as the scoreline suggests, Fylde looked nothing like the threat they did on Saturday, and the gulf in class really did tell this time. Overall this is the kind of result that Club needed to get things back on track, following the last few disappointing scores, and they will go in to Saturday’s game at Loughborough Dynamo with the confidence that seemed to have gone missing recently.


BTF Club Man of the Match – Paul Smith


Sheffield FC: Walker, G.Smith, P.Smith, Davey, Wright, Winter (Lipka), Outram, Ingall ©, Goddard, Partridge (Townsend), Woolley (Roney). Subs Not Used: Gelsthorpe, Furniss.

AFC Fylde: Sommerfield, McNiven, Moran (Patterson), Shaw ©, Thompson, Palmer (Lawler), Clark, Horsfall, Blackwell, Wane, Walwyn (Rowe). Subs Not Used: Sheppard, Keefe, Allen, Savlear.


Att: 285

AFC Fylde 1 Sheffield FC 1
FA Cup Preliminary Round
Saturday, 30/08/08

They say there’s nothing like a good FA Cup tie to get the juices flowing, and today was no exception, as Kellamergh Park witness the proverbial classic this afternoon. It was one-each after ninety minutes of pulsating cup football, with nothing to show between two very good sides in an end to end contest, a game that both Sheffield FC and AFC Fylde could consider to have been theirs in the bag. It had everything, end-to-end football, red cards and penalty saves – and not one of those present could feel short changed with their admission money. It all came to life in the second half really, as first Club’s Paul Smith hit the post with a penalty, then Fylde’s Richard Allen was shown his marching orders for a tackle that ended Gavin Smith’s afternoon. From the resultant free kick Fylde were punished, as Asa Ingall headed Club in front in the 77th minute, before Wembley hero Matt Walwyn restored parity from the spot five minutes later. It means that this goes to a replay on Tuesday night at the BFS, with the winners earning a home tie against Colne, who turned in an impressive 5-0 away victory at Formby.


This game was always going to be tight, and those who thought it was going to be a cakewalk for either side were in for a rude awakening, as both Sheffield and Fylde looked to bounce back from their respective defeats last weekend. Returning for Club this afternoon following suspension and injury was Darryl Winter, and it was he that made the first impact on the day’s proceedings, having his effort deflected onto the bar after a Paul Smith free kick. Fylde proved they were no mugs, and Mark Wane went close as he lashed a shot across the face of the Sheffield goal, after a little flick had seen last season’s top scorer put through on goal. Scott Partridge and Gary Townsend worked well together to set Asa Ingall up with a chance, on that the Sheffield skipper whizzed just over the bar, whilst at the other end Wane’s cross was put into the side netting by the head of Richard Allen. It was too hard to call as to who had the upper hand, but a tight first half ended with the hosts on the offensive as a Michael Clark corner was glanced just wide, by the head of Phil Thompson.


If the first half was a tame but tense affair, the second half came to life as both teams stepped up the tempo, with the visitors in particular looking the most dangerous early on. Mick Goddard had more time on the ball than he realised as he turned a shot over the bar four minutes after the restart, then moments later Scott Partridge looped a shot over the bar, after making just enough space to force one on the turn. Seconds after Club were awarded a penalty, as Scott Partridge turned the home skipper Dougie Shaw for a clear run on goal, only to be hauled down by the defender in a desperate last ditch attempt to stop the Sheffield forward. Normally when the reliable Paul Smith steps up to the mark it would be all over, but after sending keeper Pete Summerfield the wrong way, the ball hit the post (see the photo below) with the rebound headed over by the penalty taker (yes, it wouldn’t have counted if Smith had headed the rebound, but the miss was still frustrating).  


Above, Paul Smith hits the woodwork with his second half penalty

The reprieve seemed to inspire the hosts to kick-start their game, and as the game stepped up its pace, the chances started coming thick and fast. Phil Blackwell was denied not once – but twice – as first Greg Wright bravely blocked his first effort, then seconds later the forward hit the bar with a solid attacking header. This was never going to end goal-less, and when Gav Smith’s trickery down the right was met by a rash and dangerous high tackle on his shin by Richard Allen, there was only one decision the referee was going to make. So Fylde were down to ten men, and with a Paul Smith free-kick to defend, it was always going to be a tall order – too tall in fact – as INGALL rose in the box like a salmon to head home. No-one was going to be confident to say Sheffield were home and dry, and they could only hold onto the lead for five more minutes, as Martin Moran’s cross seemed to strike Greg Wright in the box. The linesman had no hesitation in awarding a handball decision for the referee, and having showed coolness and composure at Wembley only a few months ago, WALWYN was calmness personified as he planted the penalty down the middle. It seemed that it wasn’t going to end there; as Phil Thompson was on hand to scramble the ball off the line, as Steve Woolley’s cross confused keeper Peter Sommerfield along with everyone else (see picture below).

How Did This Not Go In ???!!! The home side somehow manage to scramble this goalbound effort away

And if Sheffield felt they could have stolen it – then so could the hosts – as Joe Booth squared to Mark Wane, whose effort hit the upright, then Martin Moran set up Matt Walwyn with a chance, one that was smothered by a great save from Leigh Walker. And that was the last of the action, in a great game that both teams could have won, but neither feel they should have lost.


It sets up the scene for another big match on Tuesday at the Bright Finance Stadium, with the prize a nice little home tie against Colne of the NWCFL, and the potential for a good cup run. Overall the draw was a fair result, and both teams will relish another bite of the cherry, in front of a hopefully bumper crowd in downtown Dronfield. With a little luck the replay should suit Sheffield better, as Fylde will be without Joe Booth, who has an imminent suspension starting Monday, whilst keeper Pete Sommerfield was in great discomfort with a leg injury sustained early in the first half – rating his chances of starting as slim – and his cover between the sticks Joe Abbott also suspended, it gives manager Mick Fuller an unenviable situation. As I say, “with a little luck”, as with FA Cup football – you never know what’s coming next…


AFC Fylde: Sommerfield, McNiven, Moran, Thompson, Shaw ©, Booth, Clark (Horsfall), Allen, Blackwell, Wane, Patterson (Walwyn). Subs Not Used: Keefe, Shepherd, Lawlor.

Sheffield FC: Walker, G.Smith (Lipka), P.Smith, Ingall ©, Wright, Winter, Outram (Roney), Goddard, Partridge, Townsend (Woolley). Subs Not Used: Furniss, Dolby.


Att: 291.

Spalding United 2 Sheffield FC 1
UniBond Division One South
Monday, 25/08/08

The luck couldn’t last, after two late rescues that salvaged lost causes in the last week, it was third time unlucky for Sheffield FC as they fell to a revitalised Spalding United team. In a scrappy game, and with Club playing well below par, the Tulips turned the form book upside down to record a surprise 2-1 victory. After falling behind to a 19th minute goal from Ricky Miller, an equaliser from Scott Partridge seemed to have turned things around for the visitors, but as Sheffield pressed forward they were hit by a sucker punch from Martin Wormall in the 76th minute. It was a rather uninspiring display from Chris Dolby’s charges, and one that sees Club fall from top spot to fifth place, and ending their unbeaten start to the season.


As with last season’s corresponding fixture, this was a game where the stiff breeze had a big influence on the game; however the scrappy standard of football served up from both sides could hardly be blamed on the conditions. Sheffield as expected were the team to do the majority of the pressing, although some of the final balls were well below the par of the players that were delivering, and many failing to beat the first man. Midway through the first half Spalding ventured out of their own half, and with their first attack got themselves on the score sheet, as the skipper Stanhope sent a ball into the box and MILLER steered it home with a flick header. Club came back at the Lincolnshire outfit and within ten minutes they were level after Gav Smith was hacked down at the edge of the box, Paul Smith’s free-kick was blocked by Scott Partridge, but PARTRIDGE showed great awareness and skill to turn the ball into the net. Sheffield could have gone into the break ahead, with Partridge hooking the ball back across the face of the goal, only for Peter Davey to scuff the finish.



Scott Partridge inadvertantly blocks Paul Smith's free-kick, but.......



is alert enough to pounce on the rebound to net the equaliser for Club at Spalding

Spalding were a better proposition in the second  period, and went close with a couple of decent efforts as first Andy Stanhope rasped a shot inches over, and Adam Jones’ header went over the bar moments later. Luke McShane got down well to deny Steve Woolley’s snap-shot, whilst Sheffield’s best chance came as Matt Roney took the ball round the keeper, and Scott Partridge’s subsequent shot was blocked on the line. Substitute Mick Goddard had a volley spectacularly tipped over the top by McShane, and from the resultant corner Asa Ingall saw his header cleared off the line by Nicky Hurst, it looked promising but Club seemed to be lacking that vital edge to get ahead. With fifteen minutes to go Sheffield were hit by a sucker punch as Gavin Smith and Asa Ingall combined to mess up a routine clearance, substitute Kevin Ward capitalised and tore down the left wing, and his cross allowed WORMALL the luxury of a simple tap-in to give Spalding an unlikely lead. The visitors did manage to get the ball in the back of the net, as a Roney cross was headed back across the goal by Goddard, sadly Partridge’s header into the empty net was met by a linesman’s flag. It was a last chance for Sheffield, and Spalding did what was needed to close the game down, giving the Tulips their first home league win since the beginning of April 2007.



Steve Woolley's shot saved by McShane


This was not a performance Club will want to remember for too long, and proof that no-one in the UniBond One South League can be taken lightly, even last season’s whipping boys. Not many of the Sheffield players can honestly look at their performances and say that was the best they could do, and they will be more than aware that this kind of game is the type that should end up with something to show for their efforts; if not three points – then at least one. But Spalding aren’t going to be the pushovers they’ve been for the last few seasons, and with a totally new side on show, they’ll certainly not be one of this season’s strugglers. As it has been said before – Sheffield have to pick themselves up from such a disappointing display and result, to get back on track with their first foray into the FA Cup this season, and it couldn’t be a more tricky against a confident AFC Fylde outfit. One thing is for certain, they’ll have to turn in a much better showing than today to get anything out of the tie, anything similar will see an early exit for the World’s Oldest Club.


BTF Club Man of the Match - Scott Partridge


Spalding United: McShane, Jones, Tocco, Carey (Ward), Julian, Hurst, Stanhope © (Blake), Miller, Kennedy, Wormall (Allen), Reeves. Subs Not Used: O'Neill, Roberts.

Sheffield FC: Walker, G.Smith, P.Smith, Ingall (Wright), Boulter, Davey, Outram, Townsend, Partridge, Carney (Goddard), Woolley (Roney). Subs Not Used: Lipka, Dolby.


Att: 163

Sheffield FC 3 Quorn 1

UniBond Division One South

Saturday, 23/08/08


Pictured left, Penalty ! Scott Partridge is clattered to the ground, Quorn keeper Bowles appears to be surrendering

Club got an amazing get out of jail this afternoon, at the Bright Finance Stadium, as they produced a late-late show to take all three points against a gutsy Quorn outfit. In a classic game of two halves, Quorn raced out of the blocks grabbing a goal from Justin Jenkins on 21 minutes, and looked to be sailing away with an unlikely victory. However the late introduction of Matt Roney to the game changed the complexion dramatically, with the live-wire winger grabbing two excellent solo strikes, whilst he was involved in the build up to Paul Smith’s penalty spot success. It seemed rough justice for the Leicestershire outfit, and at the same time Club will be wondering how they got away with this, as well as showing an amazing resilience and a never-say-die attitude.

Pictured below, Paul Smith puts Club in front from the spot


The visitors didn’t look like a team that hadn’t started the season in the best of form, and they took charge of this game early on, getting Sheffield on the back foot with some very sharp and dangerous attacks with the front two of Justin Jenkins and Liam Hearn looking particularly menacing. Leigh Walker had to be alert early on, as a free kick from Nick Hawkins was whipped in from the left, with the Sheffield keeper leaping acrobatically to tip the ball over the bar. Midway through the half Quorn snatched a well deserved lead, as Hawkins chipped a sweet little ball through the middle to JENKINS, with the striker showing great poise to stand up Walker and pick his spot with the coolest of finishes. It was no more than the visitors deserved, and although it sparked Club into life, Quorn looked steady and organised and unlikely to concede. As time was running out on the half Sheffield threatened, with Steve Woolley’s cross being cheekily flicked goalwards by Mick Goddard, and Sean Bowles in the visitors’ goal had to be sharp with an excellent reflex save. Bowles was turning out to be having the performance of the day, denying everything that was thrown at him, and making it look anything like it was going to be Sheffield’s day. He produced a list of quality stops, with the best in the first half being from the head of Mick Goddard, following great build up from Steve Woolley, Matt Outram and Asa Ingall. Quorn nearly made it too much of a mountain to climb for the hosts, as a break down the right found the ball landing to Leon Darby, whose volley was held by Leigh Walker when any spill would have resulted in a sure-fire second goal.


Pictured right, Oh Yes ! Matt Roney (beyond Quorn No 3) seals the win with his second goal


If the first half was all Quorn, the second was categorically all Sheffield, but the structure of the game had a strange similarity to the Carlton game the previous Tuesday. As much as Sheffield plugged away, the less likely it looked that they would be rewarded with a goal for all their efforts, and nothing gave any indication of the events to come so late in the piece. Mick Goddard sent a cross into the box that was hooked over his shoulder by Scott Partridge – that went wide – whilst a Paul Smith free-kick was spectacularly turned from the top corner by Sean Bowles, and the keeper denied Gary Townsend with his foot after being found with a ball over the top. The frustration was starting to show as time-wasting tactics were being used, and when Asa Ingall’s header was cleared off the line by something that suspiciously looked like a hand, it had disappointment written all over it. Then the introduction of Matt Roney came into play, and although he didn’t produce much for the first few minutes of his appearance, he more than made up for it with the last few minutes of it. With five to go and with nothing on RONEY picked up the ball on the left, beating three players before letting rip from twenty yards, giving Bowles literally no chance and seemingly salvaging an unlikely point for the home side. Two minutes later all the good work Sean Bowles had do in the previous 88 were undone in one moment of madness; throwing the ball half-heartedly to a defender, Roney capitalised and intercepted to send in a pinpoint cross to Scott Partridge who was clattered in the back by a clumsy Adam Wigley challenge. Referee Smith had no doubt in pointing to the spot, and PAUL SMITH had no doubt in planting the perfect penalty into the bottom corner; hardly justice but the turnaround was complete. And to rub salt into already raw wounds, with Quorn pushing everyone forward a long ball over the top found RONEY, and with Bowles and his defenders hesitating the substitute drilled the ball straight through from a tight angle and into the net – giving a rather stilted scoreline to a very even game.


This win catapults Sheffield to the top of the table, and although this was far from the performance manager Chris Dolby will have wanted, it shows the old adage of “if you can play badly and win” gives hope that this could be an excellent season. The other results today went Club’s way, with the biggest eyebrow raiser being the home defeat last season’s champions Retford United suffered against last Saturday’s victims Gresley Rovers, whilst Spalding’s draw at Leek Town gives the impression that Sheffield’s next away game (on Bank Holiday Monday) will not be the cakewalk it was last season. Next up is that trip to deepest darkest Lincolnshire, before the FA Cup exploits start in earnest in the North West, at FA Vase champions AFC Fylde.


BTF Club Man of The Match – Matt Roney


Sheffield FC: Walker, G.Smith, Ingall ©, Wright, Davey, Outram, Townsend, Goddard (Lipka), Partridge, Woolley (Roney). Subs Not Used: Boulter, Carney, Dolby.

Quorn: Bowles, Shaw (Byrne), Peel, Wigley, Hart, North, Darby, Doughty, Jenkins (Turner), Hearn, Hawkins (Marriott). Sub Not Used: Gould.


Att: 408.


Sheffield FC 2 Carlton Town 2

UniBond Division One South

Tuesday, 19/08/08

Club will be relieved to get this one out of the way, as former bogey side Carlton Town made Sheffield fight for all their worth tonight at the BFS, with the hosts snatching a point with a late Scott Partridge after falling behind to a typically tenacious performance by the Nottingham side. A first half Vill Powell goal looked to have set Sheffield up for a more comfortable than usual evening against this opposition; however two stunning goals against the run of play from substitute Martin Ball and Grant Brindley put Club on the rack, and the Millers put up the usual defensive resilience that had frustrated Sheffield FC so many times in the past. Making matters worse for the home side was the injury to popular striker Vill Powell, who left the ground in an ambulance following a collision with the visiting keeper Alessandro Barcherini, with a suspected broken leg the first worrying reports.


Despite these two teams having results on Saturday poles apart from each other, based on previous encounters, this was always going to be a close one. And it was the visitors who were the first to worry the large attendance, as a Fabian Smith cross totally baffled everyone, forcing Sheffield keeper Leigh Walker to make a spectacular palm over. Club started to try and get their act together, but as on previous occasions Carlton played the high defensive offside trap, that frustrated the hosts once again. Sheffield did manage to get the ball in the back of the net, as Vill Powell got on the end of a Scott Partridge through ball, sadly though the linesman had spotted Powell straying the narrowest of margins offside. The Millers still posed a threat with their pressure, and Darryl Thomas capitalised on a stray Peter Davey pass, with Walker having to make another fine save. That was the last involvement Davey had in the game, as he hobbled off the pitch with a hamstring injury, leaving the hosts with a defensive issue causing them to reshuffle the side. It didn’t seem to harm matters though, as just on the half hour mark Partridge sent another defence splitting pass, this time POWELL was onside and he made no mistake as he slotted the ball under the advancing Barcherini.


The goal advantage by no means flattered the hosts, but the general feeling was that this wasn’t going to be a repeat of Saturday’s walkover at Gresley; such was the threat of the visitors. But the way the second period started, it looked as if this could be a little more comfortable than encounters in the past, as Sheffield found more opportunities to get behind the visitors’ defence. It was perilously close to being two-nil, after Willis Francis hacked Gary Townsend at the edge of the box, Paul Smith rattled the bar with the free-kick with the keeper nowhere. Matty Outram and Matt Roney combined with a free-kick, causing all manner of problems in the Carlton defence, with skipper Danny Caine forcing Alessandro Barcherini to make a reflex save. It was pretty obvious that lady luck was shining on Carlton, but nothing could legislate for the long ball over the top of the Sheffield defence on the hour, with BALL hitting it first time to loop freakishly over Walker’s head into the far corner. The goal seemed to give the Millers added impetus, and moments later they had the lead, as Terry Hawkridge’s corner was met by a towering header from BRINDLEY. Club’s luck seemed to have abandoned them on all fronts, and when Powell and Barcherini went for a 50-50 ball on the edge of the area, the sickening collision saw the Sheffield man carried from the field with a serious looking leg injury. What did happen though was the tide completely turned, and as Carlton reverted to type with the high defensive line, they were punished by referee Marshall for some industrial tackling. A series of free kicks from Paul Smith had Town on the back foot, with Mick Goddard going closest by getting on the end with a diving header, and Alessandro Barcherini having to be at his best with a classy one handed save. Five minutes from time another Smith free kick was fumbled out by Barcherini, following up was PARTRIDGE, who showed remarkable composure by chipping over the keeper from six yards out. Sheffield could have snatched it moments later, as Paul Smith pounced on a defensive slip to square the ball to Mick Goddard who was steaming in on goal, amazingly the striker’s effort went flying over the bar – and the points were shared.


After the euphoria of Saturday’s rout, Club came crashing back to the reality that not every game is going to be as one-sided as the Gresley game, not that anyone really expected anything else. Club performed as well as can be expected against the frustrating Carlton defence, and given a little more fortune, the point could so easily have been three. What must cause everyone great concern is the injury to Vill Powell, who - like Scott Partridge - has started the season in a fine vein of scoring form. Hopefully it won’t be as bad as feared, and a speedy recovery is on the cards, with similar sentiments to Peter Davey who hobbled off in the first half. Even though it is still early days, this result sees Club drop to fourth place, behind 100%-ers Stocksbridge, Rushall and Glapwell. Next along for Sheffield at the BFS is a meaty encounter against Quorn, who’ve not had the most fruitful starts to the season, picking up just the one point from a possible six – losing 0-2 tonight in their local derby against Shepshed Dynamo. Hopefully this will see Sheffield produce a similar result, to get the team back to winning ways…


BTF Man Of THe Match - Scott Partridge 


Sheffield FC: Walker, G.Smith, P.Smith, Davey (Roney), Wright, Ingall ©, Outram, Townsend, Powell (Goddard), Partridge, Woolley. Subs Not Used: Lipka, Carney, Dolby.

Carlton Town: Barcherini, F.Smith, Fenton, Brindley, Caine ©, Francis (Ball), M.Smith, Gent, Chaplin, Darryl Thomas (Hawkridge), Brady (Walters). Subs Not Used: Dom Thomas, Martin.


Att: 480 

Gresley Rovers 2 Sheffield FC 5

UniBond Division One South

Saturday, 16/08/08


Lethal ! That’s the way to describe today’s performance in the first hour from Sheffield Club, as they ran five goals past Gresley Rovers in sixty minutes without reply, at the Moat Ground this afternoon. The last ten minutes saw a different side as the visitors took their foot off the gas, allowing David Blenkinsopp to put a couple of goals on the scoreboard, giving the overall result a heck more respectability that neither team deserved. Leading the rampage for Sheffield was the strike partnership of Vill Powell (28 mins and 52 mins) and Scott Partridge (12 mins and 55 mins), grabbing two goals each, whilst Asa Ingall snatched a typical Salmon-esque effort after 59 minutes. But it wasn’t only the goal-scoring that caught the eye this afternoon; an outstanding performance from debutant keeper Leigh Walker between the sticks raised more than a few eyebrows, whilst at the back Greg Wright and Peter Davey put in an almost faultless display in the centre of defence.


An unusually early kick off for this game gave the ideal opportunity to kick-start the UniBond Division One South season off with the first goal of the campaign, and Sheffield didn’t disappoint as at just five minutes past the hour they were off the mark, with Gav Smith, Vill Powell and Scott Partridge all taking part in some neat inter-play in the Gresley box – with PARTRIDGE taking the honours with a top class finish that made the net bulge with the finishing shot. The hosts had a chance to level matters moments later, as a cross from the right by Tom Liversage found the head of Jamie Barrett who’d wandered up the park, fortunately for Club the effort sailed just over the bar. Any worries Sheffield had about any resistance were short-lived, and midway through the half it was two, as Matty Outram leaped two hacked challenges to square the ball to POWELL who slammed the ball home past the despairing defence. At this point it has to be said that Gresley were well and truly shell-shocked; however they still managed to test Leigh Walker with a couple of efforts – the best coming from Jamie Barrett, whose shot from thirty yards out was tipped over in spectacular fashion. Such was Sheffield’s dominance in this half, they really could have gone in the dressing rooms four or five in front, and the fact they didn’t was down to some excellent keeping from last season’s ever-present custodian Dave Clarke. In a crazy two minute period just before the break Clarke had to prove his worth; the first came when Matty Outram crossed to Scott Partridge who’s volley was palmed out acrobatically by Clarke, Vill Powell followed up the rebound with a volley of his own – which was again tipped over the bar with an even better save. Powell and Partridge combined together to test Clarke again, with Partridge’s chip being turned wide of the post by the keeper, denying another almost certain goal. Down the other end of the slope Leigh Walker was doing his reputation no harm, pulling off another fantastic one-handed save, after David Blenkinsopp tried to convert a pin-point cross from Brian Woodall.



The only way to describe the start to this second half is “awesome”, as Club blew the hosts away with a master-class in finishing, leaving Rovers chasing shadows. It took no more than a few minutes of the half for Sheffield to wrap the points up once and for all, as POWELL showed great balance and poise to turn Miles Chamberlain to get a shot on goal, a shot that squirmed embarrassingly under the body of Clarke and into the net. Three became four moments later, as Steve Woolley and Gavin Smith played a little interchange of passes in the area before squaring to PARTRIDGE, who hooked the ball into the far corner of the net. Still, even at 0-4 down Rovers kept on plugging away, and Walker had to be on top for to pull another one-handed save from Blenkinsopp. But that was a mere punctuation in the one-way traffic that was heading down both flanks, and it was five moments later when Paul Smith coasted down the left wing, pulling out a perfect cross that found INGALL rising at the back stick to plant a header in the back of the net as sweet as you like. Obviously when you are five-nil up, and with a game in the diary for Tuesday, you are going to make some energy-saving changes – and that’s what Chris Dolby did – and Gresley boss Gary Norton must have been delighted to see the back of Scott Partridge and Matty Outram, who’d tormented the hosts all afternoon. But naturally when you make wholesale changes the team is likely to go off the boil, and apart from a Steve Woolley chip that was headed off the line by the skipper Jamie Hood, there was very little in the way of adding to that total. Gresley managed to grab two late consolations against the run of play, as a rare lack of concentration saw Robbie Banks put in a cross to BLENKINSOPP, who got in behind the defence to sweep home at the near post. In injury time BLENKINSOPP got a second, as a ball into the box bobbled around for a bit, before being stabbed home by the prolific striker.




As far as new seasons start, that performance gives a great deal of hope for the rest of the campaign, and the result must make new manager Chris Dolby very happy. This was a contest that only had one winner from the word go, as the difference in class was there for everyone to see, and from this performance it bodes well for a season near the top of the table. Gresley for their part were a very disappointing side, although the old adage goes you can only beat what’s in front of you, they looked very average at best. All Club can do after this is keep up the momentum, and the next challenge for the BFS Boys is a game on Tuesday night against Carlton Town, who suffered a 1-3 opening day loss at home to Retford today. Hopefully Sheffield can produce more of the same, and grab a similar result to today’s against our old “bogey” side, and if they can reproduce the same form as the first sixty minutes a home win could be on the cards.


BTF Club Man of the Match: Matt Outram


Gresley Rovers: Clarke, Barrett, Wilson, Chamberlain, Hood ©, Slater, Hancock, Saunders (Lyons), Woodall (Lock), Blenkinsopp, Liversage (Banks). Subs Not Used: Douglas, White.

Sheffield FC: Walker, G.Smith, P.Smith, Davey, Wright, Ingall (Townsend), Outram (Roney), Hawes ©, Powell, Partridge (Goddard), Woolley. Subs Not Used: Lipka, Dolby.


Att: 285.

Sheffield FC 1 Chengdu Blades 4

Pre-Season Friendly

Friday, 08/08/08

Scott Partridge gets off the mark for Club against Chengdu Blades

Sheffield rounded off their pre-season schedule with a visit from the Chengdu Blades at the Bright Finance Stadium and, despite taking the lead through Scott Partridge it was the visitors who emerged the victors.


It was the Blades to kick-off but it was the hosts who took an early hold on the game, pushing the Chinese back into defending in numbers. Paul Smith had his customary 'top corner' free kick heading  goalwards, only to be thwarted by the very tall Fu Bin who had little difficulty in plucking it out of the air as it was just about to creep in between bar and post. Sheffield did take the lead on ten minutes when Paul Smith's quickly taken free kick across the area found a chink in the defence and PARTRIDGE was on hand to slide the ball home for his first goal for the club. This seemed to wake the Blades up who then started to string one or two good moves together. Kearney having to be on his toes as Jun fired a fierce shot straight at him. The 'keeper was then fortunate when he fumbled a cross in the area but the ball was cleared by Davey. He made amends moments later when a cross from the right was perfectly met by the onrushing Jun whose header was going in until Kearney dived full length to turn the ball away for the save of the match. The home side eventually succumbed to the pressure when, on 37 minutes another cross from the right was met once again by JUN, who this time made no mistake in shooting into the far corner.


Three minutes after half time and the Blades went ahead when PENG was not closed down quick enough, giving him time to fire home beyond the reach of Kearney. At the other end, assistant manager Gav Smith went close with a header from Roney's cross, but the chances were few and far between. The Blades extended their lead on 56 minutes when a defensive mix up saw XIANG have the easiest of chances to walk the ball around a stranded Kearney and into the empty net. On the hour mark Ingall had a header cleared for the hosts before Kearney once again had to be at his best as Xiang laid the ball back to Zezhi, whose powerful shot was turned over the bar from point blank range. The Blades then had the opportunity of extending their lead when Roney was adjudged to have tripped Zezhi in the area. Up stepped Jun with the kick but Kearney was on hand to save it. Defender Xiaogang then set off on an amazing run from his own half, dribbling his way through the home defence before Kearney had to save well to deny him what would have been the goal of the night. It was the big centre forward JUN who completed the scoring, rising above everyone to head home.


Overall it has been a very positive pre-season campaign with plenty of competitive games, for the manager to assess his side’s capabilities. Next up is the real thing, as Sheffield starts this season's league campaign with a trip to Gresley Rovers next Saturday.


Sheffield FC: Kearney, Gelsthorpe (Lipka), P.Smith, G.Smith (Winter), Davey, Townsend (Carney), Roney, Ingall, Powell, Partridge, Woolley. Unused Subs: J.Smith, Holmshaw.

Chengdu Blades: Bin, Cheng, Chao, Jianbin, Mingyi, Peng, Xiaoyu, Qing, Xiang, Anzhi, Jun. Subs Used: Wenxin, Zezhi, Chaosong, Xinli, Xiaogang.


Att: 152


Sheffield FC 1 Chesterfield 1

Pre-Season Friendly

Monday, 04/08/08

Vill Powell (partly hidden) crosses for Mick Goddard to head home

After Saturday's exertions against York City, it was yet another opportunity for manager Chris Dolby to take stock of his squad's fitness level as they took on near neighbours Chesterfield at the BFS, (writes Trevor Herrington at: A crowd of almost 700 turned out to watch this entertaining local derby as Sheffield played their penultimate friendly of this busy pre-season period.  It was the visitors, who set the early pace with a string of attacks, but the final decisive ball was missing on most occasions and even when they were able to get a shot on target, Hernandez was there to thwart the danger. Sheffield then started to play their own game, getting the ball out wide where Outram's cross was headed away ahead of the onrushing Goddard. This was swiftly followed by Powell laying the ball off to Gav Smith, but his shot was high over the bar. Outram again featured, sending a cross over which left young 17 year old keeper Whatsize stranded, but Hall was on hand to head clear. Back came the visitors as a good break on the left by Uduro saw him cut inside before hitting a shot just wide of the mark. Hernandez then had to be alert to turn away a first time effort at his near post from Bowery. At the other end it was Outram once again, making life difficult for the visitors as his cross was met by Goddard, who's header was just over the bar. On the half hour mark Uduro had another good chance for the Spireites, but his powerful shot was straight at Hernandez. The breakthrough came on 35 minutes, as once more the industrious Outram played the ball to Powell who managed to jink his way past two defenders before crossing for GODDARD to head home. Unfortunately for the home side, the lead lasted barely two minutes as a lapse in the Sheffield defence found BOWERY unmarked on the edge of the area and his shot was beyond the reach of the diving Hernandez. A couple of more chances fell to both sides but the defences held solid to end the half on equal terms. 

Sheffield started the second half on the attack, the Goddard/Powell pairing combining well as Goddard sent over a cross which was volleyed over the bar by Powell. Chesterfield then had a good break downfield, as Boden did well to send the ball into the area but Davey was first to react and clear the danger. This was quickly followed by Bowery shooting across goal, his effort just wide of the far post. Algar was next to test his shooting skills, this time his effort going over the bar. Goddard then had the ball in the net for the home side, but the referee had already blown for offside. It was the Spireites who were having most of the play in this period, as next up was Hall, who's shot took a deflection before hitting the foot of the post and rebounding to safety. Sheffield had their chances too, Roney cutting inside and unleashing a shot over the bar. Sheffield debutant James Smith came on to replace Goddard but had little opportunity to impress as Chesterfield were not content to just play the game out, with Uduro just missing the target and Bowery having his close range snapshot well saved by Hernandez as they pressed forward for a winner. However, no more goals were forthcoming as the referee blew to end what had been a very entertaining game between these two close rivals. Next up is the visit of the Chinese club, Chengdu Blades for what will be Sheffield's last friendly fixture before the real action starts.


Sheffield FC: Hernandez, G.Smith (Carney), P.Smith, Davey, Boulter (Roney), Townsend, Outram, Hawes, Powell, Goddard (J.Smith), Woolley. Unused Sub: Furniss

Chesterfield FC: Whatsize, Charlesworth, Robertson, Gray, Hall, Downes (Clay), Uduro, Winter, Bowery (Freestone), Boden, Alger. Unused Subs: Burns, Holmes, A.Smith, Malak.


Att: 693


Sheffield FC 0 York City 1

Pre-Season Friendly

Saturday, 02/08/08


A late goal from skipper Dave McGurk was the difference in a highly competitive and entertaining game at the Bright Finance, writes Stuart James at, as York City ran out 1-0 victors in the latest pre-season friendly for Sheffield FC. After a first half that saw Sheffield keeper Steve Hernandez produce a wonder show, there was very little between the two teams, and no doubt Chris Dolby will be delighted with the performance his charges produced.


York looked eager to ensure their pre-season campaign ended undefeated with the start they made to this game, and they started the game with all guns blazing, with Sheffield keeper Steve Hernandez being called into action very early on – making an excellent fingertip save from a Martin Woolford effort. Club though weren’t to be outdone given the promise shown in their recent friendlies, and Scott Partridge could consider himself very unlucky not to open the scoring after Gary Townsend sent the striker behind the keeper, with Ben Purkiss coming to the rescue by clearing off the line. The rest of the half though turned into “The Steve Hernandez Show” as the keeper produced a goalkeeping master-class the drew appreciation from both sets of supporters; first denying Onome Sodje with a stretching save, followed by another big solid block when the same player was through one-on-one on goal. Moments later the keeper showed great reflexes to block a deflected shot from Martin Woolford, and saving the best for just before the break as Woolford’s volley was tipped over, with the ball seemingly heading for the top corner.


Club weren’t exactly chasing shadows in the first half, but City definitely held the upper-hand in the possession and chances stakes; the second period though was a much tighter affair. Hernandez produced another good stop, cementing his place as man-of-the-match (if there was one), denying Richard Brodie’s header from a Mark Robinson cross. Sheffield started to gain more in the way of control in the second half, restricting the best chance York had to a rather speculative effort from substitute Ben Wilkinson, one that was hooked well wide. Despite holding their own, and looking good going forward, the hosts never really tested Josh Mimms in the York goal – with the best effort coming from Mick Goddard (pictured above), after some good build-up play from Steve Woolley and Scott Partridge. With a stalemate looking an almost certainty, York hit with a sucker punch in the dying moments, as Ben Purkiss’ corner was headed back across goal by Danny Parslow allowing McGURK to hook home from close range.


Sheffield FC: Hernandez, Gelsthorpe, Boulter, Davey, Wright, Townsend, Roney, Hawes ©, Powell (Goddard), Partridge, Woolley. Subs Not Used: J.Smith, Carney.

York City: Mimms, Purkiss, Robinson (Kelly), Hogg (Wilkinson), McGurk ©, Parslow, Sodje (Farrell), Rusk, Brodie (McBreen), Henderson (Greaves), Woolford (McWilliams). Sub Not Used: McDonald.


Att: 252.


Sheffield FC 2 Sheffield Wednesday 2

Pre-Season Friendly

Wednesday, 30/07/08

                                                Super Vill !

On a gloriously sunny evening, and in front of a good sized crowd, a goal in each half from Goddard and Powell saw Sheffield in control before the Owls saved their blushes with two strikes to finish the game on level terms. The game was barely five minutes old when Owls skipper and goalkeeper O’Donnell had to fingertip a shot from Wright over the bar as it bounced awkwardly in front of him. It was then the turn of Hernandez to show his capabilities, diving full length to save from Connelly. Powell then showed his pace and skill, taking the ball round O’Donnell at the left side of the area before laying the ball back to Outram, whose cross into the six yard box was met with a last ditch clearance from Wood, saving what would have been a certain goal. Sheffield were creating the better of the chances and were ahead on 17 minutes as, following a corner, GODDARD was on hand to convert Outram's cross with a diving header. Five minutes later and the striker almost grabbed a second, rising first to flick Davey's cross goalwards, only this time the effort was just wide of the mark. It was just past the half hour mark before Wednesday troubled the home side with a long range shot from Boden just wide of the mark. This was followed by a corner, which Wood glanced wide of the target when in front of the goal. The last decisive action of the half saw Davey misjudge the bounce of the ball, allowing Boden in on goal, but Fernandez was alert to the danger and came racing out of his goal to save at the striker’s feet and clear the danger.


The second was only a minute old when Sheffield doubled their lead. The ball was threaded through to POWELL, who held off a strong challenge before dispatching the ball into the net via the inside of the far post. Sheffield had little time to reflect on the scoreline though, as straight after the restart the Owls pulled a goal back, MOHAMMED firing in a scorching shot from the edge of the area that gave substitute 'keeper Furniss no chance. Next up it was Matt Roney showing his shooting skills, first with a snapshot which was just wide of the mark and then a couple of minutes later he cut inside and unleashed a shot which O'Donnell did well to save at his near post. The Owls were showing a bit more spirit this half and went very close when Boden crept in on the blind side to power in a shot which Furniss saved at point blank range. They then did have the ball in the back of the net but the flag had already been raised to indicate offside.


At the other end Goddard could have doubled his own goal tally when finding himself unmarked in the area, but the striker scooped the ball over the bar and almost out of the ground. Just passed the hour mark a mix up in the home defence allowed Lekaj a free shot but Furniss was on hand to block the effort from close range. The game was free flowing as Sheffield once again attacked the visitors, Goddard again on hand to supply the finishing touch, but once again wide of the mark, but decidedly closer than his last effort. With ten minutes to go, Sheffield had a lucky escape when Mohammed jinked his way into a shooting position and fired hard and low, hitting the post with Furniss well beaten. The Owls did finally draw level in the 84th minute, LUNT equalising with a well placed shot. Both teams were not going to settle for the draw and the last few minutes saw frantic action at both ends of the pitch, the best effort coming from Lekaj for the Owls, as his chipped shot just went over the bar with Furniss stranded.


Overall a very enjoyable game, with both sides contributing some entertaining football. Next up is the visit of Conference side York City on Saturday.


Sheffield FC: Hernandez (Furniss), Davey, Smith, Boulter, Wright, Winter (Gelsthorpe), Outram (Roney), Hawes, Powell (Styles), Goddard (Townsend), Woolley.

Sheffield Wednesday: O’Donnell, Lekaj, Moc (Wragg), Lunt, Wood (Hadfield), Liversedge, Connelly, Boden, Tunnard, Lekaj, Mohammed. Subs Not Used: Sturrip, Jameson.


Att: 865

Sheffield FC 7 NEWI Cefn Druids 0

Pre-Season Friendly

Saturday, 26/07/08

Daz Winter (behind the NCD No 15) lets rip to put his name on the scoresheet against Newi Cefn Druids

The perfect antidote to a game where you have been on the back foot for ninety minutes, conceded four and barely had a shot on goal, would probably be best described as a game that was the exact opposite. So on a baking hot day in S18 Sheffield did exactly that, running in seven goals against League of Wales outfit NEWI Cefn Druids, giving the “Battle of the Ancients” a bit of a one-sided look to it. Two first half goals from Gary Townsend gave Sheffield an interval lead, but the second half saw Club open up the accelerator, running in another five from Matty Outram (two), Mick Goddard, Daz Winter and Eugene Francis. The Welshmen had very little in the way of reply, giving a pretty sub-standard performance that left the words of Coach Lee Jones echoing into the car-park, and giving him an idea of the standard of the players that wore the blue and white hoops this afternoon.


I suppose you could say the writing was on the wall from a very early stage for Druids, as in the very first minute of the game a confused defence somehow scrambled the ball away, after a goal-bound Rob Ward volley struck a defender. Gary Townsend and player-manager Chris Dolby showed some nice inter-play that resulted in a good stop by Carl Edwards, whilst debutant Scott Partridge showed his class with a defence splitting pass that set Daz Winter free, sadly (and a little embarrassingly) the cross was missed by Gary Townsend. But those blushes were spared and forgiven seconds later, as in the 23rd minute another badly cleared attack was met by the sweetest of volleys by TOWNSEND, leaving the keeper with no chance whatsoever. Four minutes later TOWNSEND got his and Club’s second, as Matt Roney broke clear down the right and sent the perfect cross to the back post, with GT rising at the back to head in the opposite corner of the net.


You could say the introduction of Matt Outram at the interval had a bit of impact; thirty seconds in, three touches on a solo run down the left and a cracker of a shot into the back of the net said OUTRAM did exactly that. Club were on fire and both Matt Roney and Gary Townsend could have added to the total, as thy turned up the heat, whilst the Druids simply wilted. In the 65th minute it was four, as Steve Woolley let one rip from the edge of the area, Carl Edwards saved but only giving FRANCIS an easy opportunity to head into the empty net. The 72nd minute saw the goal of the game – the fifth one – a goal that saw Sheffield play keep-ball on the edge of a stunned Cefn area, with Woolley, Goddard, Hawes and Outram giving Francis the opportunity to lay the ball on a plate for WINTER who struck a half-volley from the edge of the box that nestled in the corner of the net after hitting the inside of the post. Three minutes later Outram hit a cross-field ball, finding that goal predator GODDARD, who showed what’s in store for the league this season by making it six with a cool finish. In the 81st minute OUTRAM picked the ball up on the half-way line, went on a weaving solo run, and it was seven in the blink of an eye. It was obvious enough was enough, and referee Craig Grundy decided this was one contest that needed stopping, with the man in the middle blowing for time a good five minutes before time.


It was more of a surprise that Sheffield found it so easy against League of Wales opposition, especially seeing as the Welshmen proved such a difficult prospect just two years ago, when they drew 1-1 at the BFS. No doubt it will serve more as a confidence booster than anything else, and with more tricky opponents in the pre-season pipeline, it gives a good pointer for Chris Dolby as to the potential in store with a very exciting squad.


Sheffield FC: Kearney (Styles), Davey, P.Smith, Ward, Wright, Winter, Roney (Woolley), Hawes ©, Partridge (Francis), Townsend (Goddard), Dolby (Outram). Sub Not Used: Powell.

NEWI Cefn Druids: Edwards, Rowlands, Dean (Wright), Barnett ©, Jones, Powell, Cook, Mazzarella (Edgar), Feeney, McGinn (Hematinafar), Ward. Sub Not Used: Harrison.


Att: 140

The ball just escapes Eugene Francis as he attempts to add to his goal tally against the Druids

Sheffield FC 0 Sheffield United 4

Pre-Season Friendly

Thursday, 24/07/08


A strong United outfit coasted to an expectedly easy victory at the Bright Finance Stadium, with goals from Lee Hendrie, Nick Montgomery, Danny Webber and Jordan Robertson doing the job in front of a big turn-out in Dronfield. Playing their second game in twenty-four hours, Club were never in the hunt - and whilst it was a good run-out for both teams, there was only ever going to be one winner.


The Blades were quick off the mark, taking less than five minutes to open the scoring, with MONTGOMERY hitting a sweet strike from 25 yards that gave Hernandez no chance. Hernandez was no doubt going to be the busiest of the two keepers, and he did his reputation great service with some fine stops, keeping the visitors from running up a cricket score. The Club keeper had to be at his best to deny a diving header from Jack Adams, followed by another fine save from a long distance Sun Jihai effort, topping a competent first half off with another one from Lee Hendrie.


The second period was not as good for the home side, as United’s class told moments after the restart, with Jordan Robertson chesting the ball down to HENDRIE who swept the ball into the corner. The expected rash of substitutions punctuated the game, but it wasn’t too long before the Blades hit a third; with WEBBER hitting a shot from the edge of the area that went under the Sheffield keeper’s body. The scoring was completed just after the hour mark, as Quinn’s free kick was flicked home by the instep  of ROBERTSON, leaving Martin Kearney with no chance. United could have made it five, as Chapman rattled the underside of the bar, but fortunately for Club the ball stayed out as it bounced down – leaving the scoreline with a good deal of respectability for the UniBond outfit.


Obviously the result means not a great deal, but it will serve as a good boost to the Blades’ morale, in their build up to the start of their Championship campaign. Club on the other hand did well in parts to contain a very strong opposition; however the lack of shooting opportunities will be the biggest disappointment, hopefully the game on Saturday against League of Wales side NEWI Cefn Druids will give more attacking scope for Chris Dolby’s charges.


Sheffield FC: Hernandez (Kearney), Davey (Gelsthorpe), P.Smith, Boulter, Ward (Wright), Winter (Thorpe), Outram (Roney), Hawes © (Townsend), Powell, Goddard (Styles), Woolley.

Sheffield United: Annerson, Naughton, Jihai (Tahar), Montgomery (Chapman), Ehiogu ©, Lowton (Chanot), Law (Fitos), Hendrie (Travis), Robertson, Adams (Webber), Carney (Quinn). Subs Not used: Ho Lee, Wedgbury, Askham


Att: 1,103

Daz Winter gets this second half header in on goal against Tamworth

Sheffield FC 0 Tamworth 2

Pre-Season Friendly

Wednesday, 23/07/08


After 24 hours rest, 'Club' continued their busy pre-season period with a visit to the BFS from Conference League side Tamworth.


The visitors started off very lively and were the first to show after 6 minutes when Kearney had to tip over a shot from Law. It was ten minutes later when Sheffield got their first real chance, Roney cutting in from the left and unleashing a shot just wide of the far post. Just before the half hour mark it was the visitors who broke the deadlock when a through-ball found Kearney going 'walkabout' and Luke EDWARDS was on hand to lob the ball over the stranded 'keeper and into the empty net. Sheffield almost drew level two minutes later when Smith's corner was headed back into the area by Ward and Style's effort was cleared off the line. Just before the break Sheridan had a good chance to increase Tamworth's lead, but headed over with the goal at his mercy.


A minute into the action of the second half and Tamworth doubled their lead when Lea got to the by-line and sent a low cross into the area which was fired home by SHELTON. The home crowd had to wait a further 20 minutes before they had anything to cheer, with Townsend having the home sides first shot on target of this half. Sheffield's substitute 'keeper Furniss then pulled off a fine point blank save from Shelton, and then had to be alert again, diving at his near post to divert a shot from Hendrie to safety. With just over ten minutes left to play Sheffield went close again, Smith's free kick just headed wide by Winter. Roney then had a shot that was palmed away by the 'keeper, before Furniss once more got into the action, saving from Sheridan. Roney once again was in the thick of things, this time testing Ransome in the visitor's goal, who had to stretch to tip the ball away for a corner. The resulting kick saw Goddard fire over.


This was more of a typical pre-season friendly, with little to get excited about and the visitors looking comfortable from the first whistle. Although it could be said that the home team could well have had one eye on tomorrows more prestigious friendly against Sheffield United in their minds


Sheffield FC: Kearney (Furniss), Gelsthorpe, P.Smith, Ward, G.Wright, Davey (Winter), Outram, Carney (Thorpe), Styles (Francis), Townsend (Goddard), Roney. Unused Subs: Boulter, Powell.

Tamworth: Ransome, Burgess, Law, Woollston, McAughtrie, Warburton, Lea, Hendrie, Edwards (Shelton), Jones, Sheridan. Unused Subs: C.Smith, Foster, Hildreth, N.Wright, Rodman, Lytle, Langdon.


Att: 140


New 'Boy' Steve Woolley causes first half havoc in the Milers defence

Sheffield FC 2 Rotherham United 1

Pre-Season Friendly

Monday, 21/07/08


Club got a pre-season win under their belt tonight, beating Rotherham United 2-1, in an interesting encounter at the Bright Finance Stadium. First half goals from Matt Roney and Gary Townsend saw Sheffield home, coming either side of a neat little goal from Alex Rhodes, with several good performances giving plenty of promise for the new season.


Rotherham fielded a strong mix of reserves and youth, similar to the side fielded against Derby County on Saturday, whilst Sheffield had a mix and match of the squad that faced Barnsley at the weekend. Club threatened first in the game, with Steve Woolley forcing a fingertip save from Mark Oxley in the Millers’ goal, with ex-Blades’ keeper Steve Hernandez doing his part blocking bravely at the feet of Steve Connor after a bad back-pass from Peter Davey. Sheffield took the lead on eight minutes, as Woolley crossed for Vill Powell to stab goalwards, the ball was blocked by a combination of Oxley and Dave Haggerty – but that combination confused each other sending the ball to RONEY who had the easiest tasks to tap; home from ten yards. Midway through the half Rotherham pulled level, with a nice cross from the right by Steve Connor being met by RHODES, who steered the bal into the corner of the net. The stalemate was short-lived though, as five minutes from half time a Steve Woolley corner beat all comers, except TOWNSEND who rose to flick the ball home with a glancing header. There weren’t that many more chances in the game, with the best effort coming midway through the second half, as Tom Cahill hit the post with a long-range shot.


Sheffield FC: Hernandez (Furniss), Davey (Gelsthorpe), Boulter (Ward), Ingall, Wright, Winter, Roney (Outram), Hawes ©, Powell (Goddard), Townsend (Styles), Woolley (Carney)

Rotherham United: Oxley (Cann), Todd, Sharps ©, Haggerty, Lynch, Connor (Hirst), Holmes (Darkin), Davies (Darley), Rhodes (Gladwin), Reid (Cahill), Yates.


Att: 328

Sheffield FC 1 Barnsley 4

Pre-Season Friendly

Saturday, 19/07/08

New boy Mick Goddard is unlucky with this second half chance

Club kicked of their pre-season campaign with an entertaining game against a very lively Barnsley XI, this afternoon at the Bright Finance Stadium, with the scoreline doing scant justice to the closeness and quality of this contest. Four goals in the last twenty minutes from the visitors made the result look pretty one-sided, as the Tykes’ outfit took advantage of the hosts' spate of substitutions, with Simon Heslop and Steven Bennett grabbing a pair each. But it was Sheffield that opened the scoring, with newby Nathan Styles grabbing an opportunistic header, and looking reasonably in control. Sadly however a home win was not to be on the cards, and Club manager Chris Dolby’s first game in charge ended in defeat, but no doubt he’ll take plenty from this performance.


The first half, despite being goal-less, was a lively old affair with both teams creating plenty of space and playing some nice open football. Sheffield appeared to having the upper-hand with new signings Steve Wooley, Matty Outram and Mick Goddard looking a handful for the Barnsley outfit up front – with Greg Wright slotting in nice at the back with Asa Ingall. Barnsley were the ones to create the first chances, with Sam Togwell pulling an effort wide, whilst Jamil Adam’s header was easily taken by Martin Kearney. But it was Sheffield that looked most likely to break the deadlock, with Matt Outram putting in Vill Powell , with Danny Free having to stop the Sheffield striker with his feet. A defensive lapse let in Mick Goddard, again Free had to come to the Tykes’ rescue with his feet, and had to produce the best save of the half after Goddard and Powell had put Daz Winter through on goal.


Sheffield started the second period like they ended the first – on top – and should have taken the lead after Steve Wooley’s cross was met be Mick Goddard steaming in on goal, who somehow failed to produced his trademark finish, instead clearing the ball off the line. Goddard almost turned provider with a wonderful cross, sadly for everyone present the ball was not to end up in the back of the net, as Powell’s spectacular acrobatic volley sailed over the stand and into the car-park. Barnsley still looked as if the posed a threat, and shots from Jamil Adam from distance – followed by a doubled effort by Simon Heslop and Adam once more – were thwarted by a very competent looking Kearney. On 65 minutes though Club earned a free-kick on the edge of the area, skipper Steve Hawes’ chip was deflected onto the bar, and there to pounce with a header from five yards was the substitute STYLES. It was no-more than Sheffield deserved on the balance of play; however the rash of substitutions at this point seemed to unsettle the hosts a little, and within five minutes Barnsley were level – with HESLOP curling in a sweet shot from the edge of the area. Five minutes after that substitute Lee Cooksey committed a clumsy challenge in the area, bringing down Keiron Scargill in the area, HESLOP was once again on the score sheet after blasting the spot kick down the middle. All of a sudden it became one-way traffic as the visitors scored two in as many minutes; BENNETT coolly lobbing Kearney after finding himself through on goal, and moments later BENNETT again put the ball in the net with an excellent shot on the turn from 25 yards.


Much encouragement can be taken from this performance, and there were plenty of positives for coach Dolby to highlight, with the result only a side issue. Sheffield have quite a hectic week ahead of them in the pre-season friendly stakes, almost comparable to the run-in to the end of last season (but not as critical), and next along is the challenge of a very strong Rotherham United team on Monday night.


Sheffield FC: Kearney, Gelsthorpe, Boulter, Wright (Cooksey), Ingall (Ward), Winter (Carney), Outram (Roney), Hawes ©, Powell (Styles),  Goddard (Townsend), Wooley.

Barnsley: Free, Grundy (McRory), Mellor (Crapper), Branson (Scargill), Atkinson, Johnson ©, Taylor (Fearnclough), Togwell, Warburton (Bennett), Adam, Heslop.


Att: 341

Club debutant Lloyd Gelsthorpe takes time out on his Club debut to brush up on his ten pin bowling technique

Match Reports For 2008/09