A Marc Newsham hat-trick saw Club into the semi-finals of the Sheffield and Hallamshire Senior Cup, as they ran out 3-1 winners over a tenacious Dinnington Town side, at a windswept (but packed) Laughton Road on Tuesday night.
Despite the torrential rain that swamped most of South Yorkshire during the day, the pitch was heavy but very playable, with the gales blowing down the slope being the biggest obstacle to playing.
Step Seven Dinno made a decent showing against their Step Four visitors, and made good use of the wind and slope advantage in the first half, making the first chance of the game as Cameron Evans’ cross was blasted over the goal from close range by Luke Fletcher.
Sheffield started to get a grip on the game, with Sheldon Jordan the biggest menace with his charging runs, and he could have opened the scoring on at least three occasions from great positions.
Jordan also nearly turned provider after a solo run put Marc Newsham through on goal, with a fine block by keeper Josh Branch, whilst Jordan went even closer from a Ted Cribley corner – missing by millimeters and rattling the side netting.
The turning point in the game came just before the half hour mark, Mitch Ward’s free-kick picked out big Danny Cain, whose header forced a great save from debutant keeper Owen Evans.
Club went straight up the other end, Jordan saw his shot blocked at point blank range by Branch, with Newsham’s follow up shot blocked by Michael Golland on the line.
Referee Danny Guest not only judged it to be a penalty for handball, he also saw enough to show Golland a red card, with Newsham stepping up to slam the ball home for 1-0.
Dinnington’s spirit came to the fore straight after, as Danny Cain pounced on a rebound after Owen Evans couldn’t hold the ball, with the striker slamming home through a mess of legs.
Just before the break Sheffield retook the lead, Cribley sending in a cross from the right, with Newsham stooping to loop a header over the keeper and into the net.
With the wind at their backs in the second half, and with a goal to the good, Club never really looked troubled.
The visitors kept the home keeper busy, and Newsham came close to bagging his hat-trick, with a thunderous effort that rattled the bar.
The game was put out of reach on 78 minutes, as substitute Alex Wonham was hacked down by Dinno skipper Brad Hanson, up stepped Newsham to send Branch the wrong way to make it 3-1.
Club could have made it even more emphatic in the dying minutes, as substitute Kyle Onyon nearly had a dream debut as he burst through one-on-one with the keeper, however Branch was able to deny the youngster with another fine stop.
Dinnington Town: Branch, Atkin, Hanson, Byron, Twibell, Ward, Evans, Barlow, Cain, Fletcher, Golland. Subs: Shelley, Brazier, Short, Sedgewick, France.
Sheffield FC: Evans, Turner, Magee, Darkin, Ludlam, Chapman, Roney, Cribley, Newsham, Thwaites, Jordan. Subs: Rhodes, Chapell, Wonham, Onyon.