Boxing Day spoils were shared at the Home of Football, as Sheffield FC and Belper Town fought out an entertaining 1-1 draw, with Ted Cribley scoring for both teams in an end to end contest.
It was the hosts that started the brightest, and should have opened the scoring in the opening minutes after a goalmouth mêlée, with Rieves Boocock somehow diverting the ball over the bar from a matter of feet away from the goal.
At the other end ex-Clubbie Derry Robson had two golden opportunities gifted by generous defending, the first effort blocked, followed seconds later with another gift that was scuffed wide.
It was more generous defending that broke the deadlock on 10 minutes, Danny Gordon’s corner was only partially cleared, with the ball fired across the goal only to be tripped into his own goal by Ted Cribley.
For much of the half Belper managed a stranglehold of the game, but it was Club that had the better chances to add to the scoreboard, with Regan Hutchinson and Cribley both having efforts from distance that weren’t too far off the mark.
The start of the second period saw Sheffield come out all guns blazing, and within minutes they had rattled the crossbar, with Cribley’s corner picking out Marc Newsham’s head only to be denied by the woodwork.
It became an end to end contest, and Belper’s Evan Garnett was the next to go close, forcing a fine save from Jonathan Hedge.
The equalise finally came on 73 minutes, Cribley more than making up for the earlier own goal, picking up the ball 25 yards out before unleashing a curling shot that left Ryan Mussellwhite with no chance.
Whilst Sheffield looked like the better team, the away side were awarded a penalty for a foul on Riece Bertram, up stepped Garnett with the spot kick only to be denied by a great stop by Hedge.
In the final seconds of the game, Sheffield survive a last ditch assault on their area, with Hedge once again coming to the rescue – along with the bar, several brave defenders – surviving a barrage of shots to hold on for a well earned point.
There was still time for a moment of history to be made, with Matt Roney making a cameo appearance for the final moments, reaching the magical 500th appearance mark for the World’s First Football Club. Some achievement.
Sheffield FC: Jonathan Hedge, Stuart Ludlam, Ben Turner, Cody Prior, Rian McLean, Adam Chapman, Ted Cribley, Ashley Grayson, Marc Newsham, Rieves Boocock, Regan Hutchinson.
Subs: Matthew Roney, Joe Stacey, Jordan Chapell, Alex Wonham, Damian Magee
Belper Town: Ryan Musselwhite, Kyle Bryant, Cameron Clark, Derry Robson, Danny South, Riece Bertram, Danny Gordon, Sam Wright, Alex Peterson, Evan Garnett, Nathan Curtis.
Subs: Steve Ridley, Harley Kozluk, George Milner, Charlie Dawes, Louis Wardle