First Team vs. Newcastle Town (0 : 2)
Evo-Stik League First Division South
Sheffield FC's unbeaten start to 2018 came to an end today, after losing 2-0 away at Newcastle Town in the Evo-Stik First Division South, writes Luke Phelps.
A goalless first half was met by an early goal in the second for Newcastle Town, when a Louis Jones mistake presented James Askey with an easy goal. The deficit was doubled minutes later when cousin Luke Askey finished neatly inside the Sheffield box.
Newcastle kicked off on yet another wintery Saturday in the Evo-Stik First Division South, but it was the visitors Sheffield who applied the early pressure. Adam Chapman had a headed effort saved from an early corner, whilst Leon Osbourne had half a chance in the Town box. Osbourne was the only change to the side that drew with Stamford last weekend, replacing Tyler Williams on the left wing.
A lapse in concentration almost cost Sheffield the lead on 12 minutes when a mix-up between Chapman and centre back partner Julian Lawrence left striker Aaron Bott with a chance to score, but he couldn’t finish past a sprawling Louis Jones in the Sheffield goal.
The last encounter between these two teams ended in a 7-goal thriller which finished 4-3 to Sheffield at The Coach and Horses. This time round it seemed as though there were goals to come but in the opening 25 minutes, chances were few and far between for both sides.
The home side were growing into the game after Sheffield had been the better side in the opening stages. Club looked to break with Andrew Gascoigne who ran at the defence throughout the first half, and Rob Worrall had a shot from distance which sailed over the bar.
Sheffield manager Mark Shaw spoke of his team “clicking” after the Stamford game and in the build up to this game, but his side were struggling to string a succession of passes together in the first half of the game.
The restart marked the end of relatively uneventful half of football. Chapman excited fans on 47 minutes when he spotted Newcastle keeper Raajan Gill off his line and attempted the lob from inside his own half, but Gill managed to find his footing and prevent an embarrassing goal.
After a strong finish to the first half Newcastle came out for the second on top again. An injury to full-back Ben Turner left Sheffield with a make-shift defence, and the defence was breached just minutes later. A low ball came in from the right-hand side and keeper Jones came to meet the loose ball, but was beaten by Town’s James Askey (54) who tapped home for the lead.
With their unbeaten start to the year under threat, Shaw made an attacking change with James Gregory replacing Kuda Muskwe up front. This proved ineffective though as Sheffield conceded a second minutes later. Good play from the Newcastle attack fed James Askey’s cousin Luke Askey (59) who from inside the penalty box curled a shot in off the far post.
Shaw didn’t give up on his side’s unbeaten run and introduced another attacking substitution with Grant Ryan fresh from injury, replacing Leon Osbourne. Sheffield switched to a three-man front line consisting of Gascoigne, Ryan and Gregory as they searched for a way back into this game.
Ten minutes to go and it seemed Sheffield would be leaving empty handed. Club had good possession all game in fairness but failed to get in behind a solid Newcastle defence and trouble the keeper.
A couple of Worrall corners ricocheted off the Newcastle woodwork in the final 10 giving keeper Gill a fright, but there was no Sheffield player on the second ball. Club pushed and pushed till the bitter end but still couldn’t fashion a clear goal-scoring chance. Perhaps our best effort of the game came from another Worrall set piece, this time a low free-kick from the youngster which Gill did well to push around the post.
It was all Sheffield in the final stages, Sam Finlaw rolled the ball across the goal line and Yates fizzed a thirty-yard volley just wide of the top corner – the final talking point of a disappointing day out for Sheffield.
Newcastle Town: Gill, Freeland, Bridge, L.Askey, Davies, Dennis, J.Askey ©, Lee, Bott, Bailey, Morris. Subs: Bradbury, Kapend, Curtis, Wilson, Alcock.
Sheffield FC: Jones, Turner, Brown, Nyoni, Lawrence, Chapman, Gascoigne ©, Finlaw, Muskwe, Worrall, Osborne. Subs: Ryan, Yates, Gregory, Orlando-Young, Harrison.
|Andrew Gascoigne ©||more|