First Team vs. Loughborough Dynamo (2 : 1)
Evo-Stik League First Division South
Sheffield FC rallied to come from behind on Tuesday night, writes Stuart James, to win a hard-earned three points that took them into the play-off places against second-bottom Loughborough Dynamo.
Club had fallen behind to a 65th minute strike from Myles Arnold, but showed great spirit to extend their unbeaten run to eleven games, with a 69th minute free-kick from Mohammed Hamid and a 76th minute winner from man-of-the-match Pat Lindley.
James Colliver’s men started the game lively, and should really have taken the lead in the opening moments, when James Gregory’s cross was blasted over by Matt Roney.
Gregory was only to last 11 minutes, after falling injured, with live-wire midfielder Mohammed Hamid taking his place – however even with the introduction of the unpredictably brilliant wing-play, the first half created very little in the way of chances.
The closest anyone came to breaking the deadlock prior to the break was from some typical trickery from Hamid, setting up Alec Denton, who in turn teed up Adam Johnson who saw his shot saved at point-blank range by Dynamo’s keeper Liam Sharpe.
After the break it was pretty much more of the same, and nothing Sheffield created really tested a comfortable looking visiting defence, with the best effort a tame strike from Pat Lindley that Sharpe gathered with ease.
Despite carrying the injury that curtailed his appearance at Rugby on Saturday, Lindley was a menacing presence, and it was his bursting run that brought the liveliest moment of the game to that point. A bursting run through defence set the ball up for Johnson, Sharpe made another good save, with Johnson’s rebound suspiciously stopped by what looked like a defender’s hands.
The claim woke Loughborough up, and should have taken the lead seconds later, if not for a fine double save by Chris Butt from Myles Arnold and the Karl Demidh.
Dynamo stunned the hosts midway through the half, as a great break down the left saw an inch-perfect cross to the middle of the box, with ARNOLD giving Butt no chance with a fine half-volley that went in off the post.
Sheffield responded in the way they seem to most weeks now, and four minutes later Denton burst to the edge of the area to be upended; up stepped HAMID to curl the ball around the wall and beyond the diving Sharpe.
Four minutes further into the contest and the turnaround was complete; this time Matt Roney left the defence in his wake on the right, sending a fantastic cross for debutant Kieran Watson to blast at the keeper – with LINDLEY appearing from somewhere to poach the rebound to the delight of the Sheffield faithful.
Dynamo looked a spent force at this point and could have found themselves out of reach; Finlaw and a cheeky Hamid flick set Denton on his way, only to see Sharpe pull off yet another fine stop.
It could have been a great finish for the outright man of the match, with young Tom Rose playing another solid game to tee the midfielder up, this time the ball went high wide and handsome – but by this time the game was all but over.
Sheffield FC: Butt, Turner, Rose, Lindley, Hamzat, Magee, Roney, Finlaw ©, Johnson, Denton, Gregory. Subs: Watson, Hamid, Goodwin, Treasure, Foster.
Loughborough Dynamo: Sharpe, Guest, Chidi-James, Keenan, Gray ©, Holmes, Ball, Oldham, Demidh, Arnold, Beckett. Subs: White, Durkin, Robinson-Jones, Renshaw, Hallcro.