It is a well worn adage in football that sometimes over the ninety minutes, you just don’t get what you deserve. Certainly, when lady luck isn’t on your side on the day then life becomes a little more frustrating, no matter how hard you try.
The players, managers and coaches from both SPS and Sheffield FC were a credit to their respective clubs and should be congratulated on the way they approached the game, providing a highly competitive and entertaining encounter.
The game was an open affair overall with contrasting styles on view. In the early stages both teams had created half chances, SPS lively forward Adam Morley just about converting with a looping header from inside the six yard box on 18 minutes. SPS took control of the game midway through the first period forcing numerous corners and free kicks and looked the most likeliest to break the deadlock but couldn’t find a way through. Tom Staniland was brought down in the box as he nipped the ball past the on rushing goalkeeper but the referee failed to give, what looked like a certain penalty.
Disappointingly and In hindsight, on 44 minutes, game management was perhaps the order of the day as SPS were awarded a free kick deep into the Sheff Club half. The cross was headed clear by defenders and SPS fell for the sucker punch, caught on the counter as the speedy forward was allowed to travel from wide areas past two SPS defenders to calmly finish past Charlie Roberts the SPS keeper.
Half Time: SPS 0 – 1 Sheffield Club
Sheffield Club looked a composed outfit and started the second half brightly but the work rate and endeavour of the SPS boys was there to be seen as they nullified the opposition well with outstanding contributions from Ben Nunnington and Ben Donoghue.
SPS went 2 – 0 down on the hour after a scramble in the box. A nice volleyed finish high to Roberts left side.
With time ticking on SPS were pressing forward with more numbers, made tactical changes as they chased the game but always needed to aware of leaving gaps at the back, but had to go for it.
Adam Morley again caused panic down the left, passed a neat ball into the path of the on rushing Dane Cloete who scored from close range.
In a frantic last ten minutes SPS created good opportunities to equalise, forced half a dozen corners then hit the post with a Donoghue header as they piled forward putting balls into the box. Sheffield held firm were strong at the back but no doubt relieved to hear the final whistle.
A valiant effort from the SPS lads, they should hold their heads up high to a man with a terrific performance and could not have given any more.
Back to league action now and the target of finishing the season on a positive.
Good Luck and well done boys!
Final Score: SPS U18s 1 – 2 Sheffield Club u18s