First Team vs. Basford United (3 : 0)
Evo-Stik League First Division South
Sheffield FC shook off the disappointment of the previous few weeks, writes Stuart James, by running out convincing 3-0 winners over Basford United at The Home of Football on Tuesday night. All the goals and the majority of the action came in a superb second half display from Club, with Matt Roney, Lee Cooksey and Conor Hall all finding the net for the home side.
The first half was more or less a midfield war of attrition in the rain, but early in the game Sheffield had to resist wave after wave of Basford attacks, with last-ditch tackles from Stuart Ludlam stemming the tide more than once.
There was a loud shout from the visitors midway through the half, as a shot from the edge of the area was handled on the line by Lee Cooksey, and much to the dismay and anger of the Basford players neither the referee or his assistant had clear enough views to gamble on awarding the penalty.
If anything this was a game changer, and effectively the sting started to fade from the visitors’ threat, with Club comfortably dealing with everything that was sent towards the home goal.
The second half saw a complete reversal of roles, as Sheffield came out the blocks all guns blazing, and could have taken the lead just after the restart when Lee Cooksey’s effort was cleared off the line by Robbie McNicholas.
Club took a deserved lead on 57 minutes; yet again it was the constant bombardment of the Basford goal that paid dividends, with the ball falling to RONEY 20 yards out who drove his shot – via a little deflection – beyond Deeney and into the net.
Sheffield’s recently badly hit confidence looked to have found its way back again, and for once the defence was able to play its part in absorbing everything the Nottingham outfit had to throw at them, and counterattacking with both speed and ease.
It was from one of these counterattacks that could have brought a second, as Conor Hall bustled his way through the middle with a tenacious show of persistence, only to see his efforts thwarted by a very brave stop by Deeney in the visitors’ goal.
That second came just after the hour mark, another attack saw impressive debutant Corbin Shires get a shot on goal that could only be parried by Deeney, and quickest to the rebound was COOKSEY who lifted the ball over the pile of bodies to make it 2-0.
Once again Sheffield soaked up more Basford attacking and another counter saw Sheffield grab a third on 72 minutes, with substitute Alec Denton bursting upfield to beat the defence and bear down on goal, Deeney made another brave save but HALL was there to follow up to secure the points.
Whilst the scoring and victory was all but wrapped up, Club still had the objective of keeping their first clean-sheet of the season to achieve, that was all but wrapped up when Chris Butt pulled off an outstanding save from a Jamie Walker free-kick – all but summing up the story of a real confidence boosting night.
The one downside of the evening came two minutes from time, as Corbin Shires was shown a second yellow card for “persistent fouling”, but by that time the decision was academic at best.
Sheffield FC: Butt, Ludlam, Rose, Lindley, Cooksey ©, Shires, Roney, Finlaw, Cusworth, Hall, Gregory. Subs: Treasure, Hadfield, Goodwin, Denton, Bailey.
Basford United: Deeney, McNicholas, Walker, Bertram, Carr ©, Meikle, Grayson, Dixon, Grantham, Smith, Wood. Subs: Pickbourne, Podier, Duffy, Carruthers, GK Wood.
|Lee Cooksey ©||more|