First Team vs. Newcastle Town (4 : 3)
Evo-Stik League First Division South
Sheffield FC were deserved winners today as they overcome play-off hopefuls Newcastle Town by 4 goals to 3 in front of a packed-out Coach and Horses, writes Luke Phelps.
After a strong start to the game the home fans were disappointed to see Bott put the visitors ahead, but were jubilant minutes later when Williams scored a memorable goal. Ryan rose to put Sheffield in the lead after half time, before a communication error put them back on level terms. All was not lost however as Williams finished from close to give Sheffield the lead. James Gregory came off the bench to zeal the victory for Sheffield, despite Newcastle grabbing a third late on.
New signing Louis Jones started in goal for Sheffield. Manager Mark Shaw made eight changes to the side that lost to Frickley Athletic in the week, giving Cecil Nyoni, Adam Chapman, Grant Ryan and Tyler Williams their second starts of the season after signing for the club.
Today’s captain Andrew Gascoigne started after being named on the bench against Frickley. Callum Harrison, Julian Lawrence, Jamie Yates, James Gregory, Joel Purkiss started in mid-week but were all dropped to the bench for today.
Sheffield were coming off the back of a 4-0 defeat to Frickley in mid-week as they crashed out of the Sheffield and Hallamshire Senior Cup on Tuesday. Club had gone three league games without a win before today, having just won two wins of their last thirteen games.
Newcastle on the other have lost twi of their last ten games, picking up nine points on the road this season.
The game got off to a slow start. Sheffield had the better of the possession in the opening ten minutes, but the first chance of the game fell to Newcastle forward Matt Thomas. Thomas's effort from the edge of the box was easily saved by new-boy Jones.
The home side had their first chance of the game five minutes later, when Nyoni slipped in Ben Algar who featured on the left wing today. Algar’s effort was easily saved by Rajaan Gill in the Newcastle goal.
Mark Shaw’s men had been the better team in the opening 20 minutes, Nyoni was controlling the midfield whilst other new signing Williams was causing trouble down the right hand side.
Club had a couple of good chances in quick succession. First Adam Chapman who drilled a free-kick into the side-netting, and next Andrew Gascoigne who had fans gasping as his twenty-yard effort flew just wide.
Alex Brown had the best chance of the half for Sheffield, as he drilled a shot across goal which almost found the foot of Williams at the back post before the ball went out of play.
Continuing to push for that opening goal, Sam Finlaw was the next player to come close as he put his shot over the bar after good play down the left by Algar and striker Grant Ryan.
With just five minutes of the half remaining, Newcastle took the lead. Full-back Sam Wilson fed striker Bott (40) who turned his marker to find himself one-on-one with Jones. Bott kept his head and finished neatly to out his team in the lead.
Just as it was destined to be a tricky half-time talk for Shaw, Williams (45) produced a moment of magic. The winger cut inside onto his left foot and curled a beautiful stoke into the top left corner, his second goal in as many games for club.
Sheffield started the second half brightly having a lot of possession in the Newcastle box but failing to create a goal-scoring opportunity.
The game was becoming scrappy especially in the midfield region. Chances were few in the opening fifteen of the second, striker Ryan was gifted one when Gascoigne played him through but the target man couldn’t test the keeper.
It was Ryan who had the next chance and he took it beautifully. After good build-up play winger Algar crossed in towards Ryan (62) who made the finish look easy as he headed past a beaten Gill in the Newcastle goal.
In a frantic period of Sheffield pressure, Brown almost caught keeper Gill off-guard when his cross was heading for the top corner only for the keeper to find his feet and parry the ball.
The Home side were caught sleeping when a cross came into their box, two defenders could not clear which left Newcastle defender Wilson (70) to head in an easy goal.
In a game that was entertaining from the first whistle, Algar who was superb for Sheffield today had an effort cleared off the line just after scoring.
Just moments after however, Sheffield restored their lead with fifteen remaining. A short corner came to Williams (73) who weaved his way into the box and blasted home Sheffield’s third goal of the game.
The third goal dealt a hard blow to the visitors, as did the fourth. Substitute James Gregory (84) burst through the Newcastle defence and produced another neat finish through the legs of Gill.
Bott (90+2) got his second of the game late on, again tapping in from close range after a ball flew across the Sheffield six yard box but proved to be nothing more than a consolation goal.Mark Shaw will be pleased with his teams performance today as they stood strong in the final exchanges, putting on a good show for the fans and fully deserving their three points.
Sheffield FC: Jones, Turner, Brown, Nyoni, Hadfield, Chapman, Gascoigne ©, Finlaw, Ryan, Algar, Williams, Subs: Harrison, Lawrence, Yates, Gregory, Purkiss.
Newcastle Town: Gill, Wilson, Bridge, Bradbury, Askey ©, Dennis, Bott, Lee, Thomas, Bailey, Kapend. Subs: Morris, Ritchie, Shaw, Alcock.
|Andrew Gascoigne ©||