First Team vs. Stamford AFC (1 : 1)
Evo-Stik League First Division South
Sheffield FC stretched their season-turning unbeaten run to thirteen games on Saturday, writes Stuart James, as they took their debut bow at the Zeeco Stadium with a well-earned 1-1 draw against Stamford AFC.
It was another tight game for the World’s First as the hosts aimed to recover from some recent disappointments, and took the lead from Grant Ryan on 57 minutes, however – as has been the case in recent weeks – Club bounced back through a deflected strike from Ross Goodwin on 74 minutes.
The game started somewhat frantically, though neither side really caused any problems for the keepers to get involved, with the end to end action producing very few chances.
Adam Johnson was the first to have an opportunity, having been set up by Pat Lindley and Matt Roney, unfortunately the striker couldn’t get a finish the move deserved.
At the other end, Ollie Luto fired over for the home side after a great move that saw the full-back overlap on the left, shooting off target from a tight angle.
Luto was proving to be a useful tool down the left, and his low cross picked out skipper Jordan Smith – on his first appearance following his return from Corby Town – the finished flick going too close to Chris Butt.
The closest though came to the visitors in injury time, with Johnson letting a thunderbolt go from 25 yards that beat the keeper all ends up, only to see the crossbar rattled and denying what would have been a spectacular goal.
Stamford came out stronger at the start of the second half, however it was a break from Alec Denton that almost brought the opening goal, again the chance was not a simple one with the striker jacking the ball wide of the goal.
The Daniels started to press more as the half progressed, and Butt had to pull off a fantastic fingertip save from Jordan Nodder’s deflected shot, only to see the second wave from the rebound produce the opening goal – Jevani Brown sending a ball to the back post, with RYAN taking advantage of some slack marking to volley home.
Ryan had a chance to build on his goal moments later, screwing his snapshot wide, after good build-up from Curtis Hartley and Jon Challinor.
The equaliser came with fifteen to go, as GOODWIN started a break from his own box, involving Pat Lindley and Sam Finlaw before seeing his shot deflect wickedly off Curtis Hartley, leaving Sam Donkin flat footed as the ball spun into the corner of the net.
If anything, Sheffield could have gone on and finished the job completely, as they pressed relentlessly for the last ten minutes, but in the end this was another creditable result to maintain fourth spot in the table going into the festive period.
Stamford AFC: Donkin, Hartley, Luto, Hill (Challinor), Gordon, Salt , Smith (c), Duffy, Ryan, Brown Brown-Hill), Nodder (Sandy). Subs Not Used: Beeson, McGhee.
Sheffield FC: Butt, Turner, Rose, Lindley, Hamzat, Magee, Roney (Goodwin), Finlaw (c), Johnson, Denton, Hamid (Watson). Subs Not Used: Royles, Foster, Haystead.