A low scoring thriller was played out at IM Marsh in Liverpool on Sunday afternoon as Sheffield FC looked to pick up 3 points in a fixture they were unbeaten against in their last four outings.
From the first whistle both teams made their intentions clear looking to press high up the court and get shots off early. It was Sheffield that settled into their rhythm first breaking the press on numerous occasions with the final pass being the only stumbling block. However, it only took until the 3rd minute for Sheffield to find the breakthrough. Another poor final pass from Sheffield looked like it would let Liverpool off the hook but miscommunication between the goalkeeper, Ryan Kelly and his backman, Scott Froggartt, meant the ball was cleared straight into the path of Daniel Neath who had the simplest of tasks to roll the ball into an unguarded net.
Liverpool looked unsettled and although they were putting together some nice attacking play together they looked open through the middle and in transitions with Kelly making a couple of good stops to keep Liverpool in touching distance.
The game quickly changed in Liverpool’s favour in a matter of minutes and Sheffield only had themselves to blame. Sheffield attempting to play out from the back only to gift the ball away and Jake Quarmby did not need a second invitation as he hammered the ball home ruthlessly past a helpless Jordan Wildey.
Two minutes later and Liverpool had the lead. A quickly taken corner and a clever reverse pass caught the Sheffield defence sleeping allowing Quarmby to volley the ball home from 3 yards out.
This left Sheffield rattled and after a good positive start they were now on the ropes and they had Wildey to thank for a tremendous double save to keep Sheffield in the game after more careless touches at the back.
The second half started at a similar intensity to the first half with Liverpool keeping up with the press that had been so successful towards the end of the first half and Sheffield looking to drop a little deeper and hit quickly with counters. Both teams now looked a lot sharper without the ball and both teams were causing problems in transitions. Both goalkeepers, Marcos Magalhaes and Wildey, were in inspired form however and the score, despite numerous clear chances at both ends remained the same.
Sheffield skipper, Wildey reflects after the game:
“To be honest, I’m very disappointed with the game. On a personal level it’s always good to be told you’ve played well but as a collective we know we should have done more. The first two games we have shown how good we can play and although we had a couple of players missing we know we can be much better and ultimately we let ourselves down. All we can do now is refocus and look to put things right this Sunday.”