First Team vs. Spalding United (0 : 3)
Evo-Stik League First Division South
Sheffield FC’s dismal away run continued on Saturday, writes Stuart James, as they lost 3-0 to Spalding United at the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field.
On what could only be described as a substandard pitch for this level, Club tried to play their usual brand of passing football, however they were undone by a no—nonsense home side who stung the visitors with a Jamie Jackson hat-trick.
Sheffield – who were fielding a much-changed line-up, which included six new signings in the squad - always looked the brighter of the two sides, however were unable to really test the home keeper.
Jack Brownell had an effort blocked by a crowded area, whilst Sam Finlaw forced a fancy acrobatic save from Duggan, however it was rather unnecessary as the referee had blown for offside.
After a dull period that had both teams struggling to string a coherent passage of play together it was Spalding who broke the deadlock somewhat against the run of play, as Cenk Acar capitalised on a half-hit clearance to dribble through and put Jordan Lemon in on the right, with the winger’s cross dispatched from close range by JACKSON.
Club made an attacking substitution on the hour with Chesterfield loanee Ricky German replacing Derry Robson, and the big forward made an instant impression, looping a clever ball over a defender before hooking his shot wayward.
It was the visitors that were the ones doing all the pressing, however the work was undone from a moment of madness from debutant Grant Ryan who over-reacted to provocation from home skipper Adam Jackson, deservedly receiving a red card from Referee Buck.
Even with the one-man disadvantage Sheffield still looked as though they would level, and should have done better when German turned the defence inside out, however chose to shoot from an awkward position instead of playing aa better-positioned James Gregory in.
The notorious rutted pitch came to Sheffield’s rescue ten minutes from time, as Jon Lockie was able to dispossess Alex Brown, however he was unable to get a firm strike on the bobbling ball hitting his shot on the outside of the post.
Spalding doubled their lead two minutes from time, as Leckie managed to somehow stumble the ball through and over the mêlée of defenders’ legs, eventually teeing up JACKSON for a close-range finish.
Once more Club pressed forward, Jamie Hadfield had a header easily smothered by Duggan, whilst moments later he made a speculative shot from German look routine as anything else he had faced.
In the third minute of injury time Spalding made the scoreline even more skewed, as JACKSON in the right place again to fire home, following saves from Laurence Bilboe that had kept out shots from substitute Jordan Neil and Jon Lockie.
The score line didn’t do Sheffield justice, who in the end were beaten by a team whose style of play was much better suited to the conditions than the visitors, and an inspired performance by an excellent centre-forward.
Spalding United: Duggan, Walker, A.Jackson ©, Marshall, Humble, Spafford, Lemon, Beeson, J.Jackson, Lockie, Acar. Subs: Fixter, Millington, Clarke, Neil, Smith.
Sheffield FC: Bilboe, Turner, Brown, Robson, Hadfield, Adams ©, Brownell, Finlaw, Ryan, Gregory, Algar. Subs: Cooksey, Dawes, Koroma, Yates, German.
|Richard Adams ©||more|