Sheffield FC 3 Stocksbridge PS 1
By: Dave Rhodes Photos: Ian Revitt
Steels travelled across the city on Tuesday night to meet with local rivals Sheffield Club in the first round of the Integro cup. It was a much changed first eleven on show as Manager Chris Hilton used the opportunity to have a look at some of the clubs promising younger players.
With an average age of 19 (not including Tommo) (42 including Tommo) the squad consisted of eight debutants, all untried at this level.
After only 3 minutes on the clock Steels were 1 down, caught cold as the home side came out of the blocks with purpose, Fairhust tapping in a simple chance from close range. It was a real learning curve for the away sides youngsters as Sheffield continued to dominated the early exchanges with quick direct football.
Once Steels had adjusted to the tempo of the game they rallied very well and scored a fine goal when Rory Coleman delivered a terrific cross from the left which was met firmly by Swinburns head from 7 yards giving the home goalkeeper no chance.
HT: 1 – 1
The second half was more of an even contest up until Sheffield'
s second goal, on the hour, a brilliant 20 yard Free kick strike into the top right corner from Pugh.
Credit to the way the Steels boys responded, they never gave up and all the new lads should take confidence from their individual performances and take this into their next outing.
Sheffield pressed forward and always looked dangerous, keeping Greaves on his toes time after time but Steels were set, defended stubbornly and were well in the game at this point, Pickford was replaced by Hudson at the back, then Bruce and Morley made a three up top as Hilton looked to gamble a little by making positive substitutions.
But James Gregory, Sheffields bright spark put paid to any chance of an equaliser on 77 minutes, by beating the race to the ball with Greaves and slotting the ball under the advancing keeper from 12 yards.
The excellent Coleman hit the bar from a whipped in Free kick towards the end of the game and if this had gone in would have meant an interesting final 5 minutes, but all in all Sheffield ran out comfortable winners. Not to discredit the Steels boys who ran their socks off and showed great energy, character and spirit.
Final Score: Sheff Club 3 – 1 SPS
Next home game is Tuesday night against Pontefract Collieries FC with a 7–45 KO