First Team vs. Stamford (2 : 2)
Evo-Stik League First Division South
A freakish goal by James Gregory three minutes into injury time gave ten-man Sheffield FC a point they had thoroughly deserved on Saturday, writes Stuart James, as they salvaged a 2-2 draw at Stamford when all had looked lost.
In another game where manager Mark Shaw continued to ring the changes with four more debutants, Club took an early lead through one of those – Tyler Williams on 9 minutes – however Bradley Fortnam-Tomlinson levelled things on 39 minutes, before Sam Hollis stunned the crowd on 76 minutes. With the game petering out Gregory denied Stamford the win in dramatic circumstances.
Sheffield started off brightly, playing some nice passing football into the teeth of a biting win, though it was the hosts who made the first strike of the game, with Rob Morgan lashing an effort just off the mark.
Club were the ones to break the deadlock however, and on 9 minutes some nice work from Ben Turner set up Tyler Williams, with WILLIAMS looping a shot over the top of ex-Clubbie Danny Haystead to make it 1-0.
With the advantage of the win at their backs, Stamford always looked menacing in the first period, turning the visitors onto the back foot with some long balls and shooting from distance – with an effort from 30 yards by Pearson Mwanyongo not too far away from the target.
Sheffield lost young Alex Brown on 19 minutes, after coming off second best in a robust aerial challenge, subsequently finding himself on his way to hospital with suspected concussion.
He was replaced by James Gregory, and he soon was making his mark on the game, going close after being set free by Andrew Gascoigne.
Stamford’s use of the wind finally paid off, as a long ball caught the Sheffield defence out, allowing FORTNAM-TOMLINSON to run on and tuck the ball under Sam Ledger.
Club should have regained the lead moments after, Williams’ cross picked out the head of German, forcing Haystead to make a fine fingertip save with Turner putting the follow up into the side netting.
The second half started off a calmer affair, however Ben Turner’s cross found Ricky German early on, with the header going just over the top.
Rob Morgan was looking the hosts’ most potent threat, and a weaving solo run nearly brought a fantastic goal, only a deflection coming to Club’s rescue and looping the ball over the bar.
The game took a massive diversion on 68 minutes, as Fortnam-Tomlinson getting on the end of a ball that held up in the wind, and following Richard Adam’s challenge, referee Ed Pidduck deemed the foul worthy of a red card.
With the man advantage Stamford started to make the most of Club’s enforced shape change, and they took the lead in the most spectacular way, as HOLLIS slammed home a majestic bicycle kick from the edge of the area.
That looked to be it for Sheffield as Stamford did their utmost to see out the game, however deep in stoppage time a lazy pass to keeper Haystead saw him closed down by the non-stop Gregory, and as the keeper struck the ball directly at GREGORY the ball returned over his head with interest… and into the stunned hosts' net.
Stamford: Haystead, George, Putman, Morgan, Gordon, Eze, Mwanyongo, Duffy, Smith, Fortnam-Tomlinson, Burgess. Subs: Challinor, Hollis, Clarke, Swan.
Sheffield FC: Ledger, Turner, Brown, Nyoni, Hadfield, Adams, Gascoigne, Finlaw, German, Algar, Williams. Subs: Harrison, Chapman, Yates, Gregory, Purkiss.
|Richard Adams ©||