On a balmy Monday evening, a young Sheffield United XI travelled the short distance up to Sandygate to take on Hallam FC.
Following on from their victory against Stocksbridge Park Steels on Friday, the squad contained many players who featured at Bracken Moor.
With the sun beating down, the United side had the unfortunate pleasure of kicking up hill in the first half.
In a frenetic start, it was the hosts who started the brighter of the two sides, having a couple of opportunities within the first couple of minutes, both ending up off target.
Simon Duckworth had an effort from the edge of the box shortly after, again dragging his shot wide.
Struggling to get hold of the ball and settle into the game, the youngsters then had to defend a corner, which they did efficiently, clearing at the front post.
Trying to calm the game and keep steady possession, the Blades started to hold the ball a little better. Kedman took the opportunity for a first effort at goal after United won a free kick twenty yards out. The full back’s effort went over the bar.
Shortly after, triallist Dallas sent in a cross that just evaded the onrushing Fixter at the back post, Hallam managed to get hold of the ball on the wing and clear their lines.
The hosts came back down the other end and Callam O’Kane really should have done better with his header, which he saw flash wide of Ramsdale’s goal.
After a short drinks break, Daniel Cockerline, playing back up front after his recent outings at centre-back, cut inside and shot towards goal. Unfortunately, his effort was blocked by the body of a defender just inside the box.
Cockerline had another opportunity moments later as Wright saw an effort blocked by the keeper. As the ball dropped outside the area, Cockerline volleyed into the ground, his effort bouncing wide of the goal with the Hallam keeper scrambling back.
The energetic Dallas sprinted into the area from the left hand side, beating three defenders before slicing his shot off target.
Centre back Adebowale had a go from 20 yards, before Shea Gordon kept out Hallam back down the other end, with a header off the line.
Despite United starting to settle and create chances, it was the hosts who were to break the deadlock. A backwards pass towards Gordon put him under pressure and despite his stretch, he was beaten to the ball by Reece Davis, who nipped in and placed the ball past Ramsdale in the Blades goal.
United were quick from the restart, with Cockerline smashing a shot towards the bottom corner, only to see Dean make a quality save, diving to his left to push past the post.
In almost an action replay to the opener, Kedman miscued allowing Davis to nip in behind again. This time the Hallam man could only scuff a shot just wide under the attentions of Banton.
The Blades weren’t out of the game and having switched wings with Fixter, Dallas managed to intercept a ball, quickly playing in Jake Wright. Wright skipped onto the ball, rounded the keeper and placed into the bottom corner to put the Blades level.
Almost immediately from the restart, Cockerline looked to play Wright in behind again, unfortunately this time round the striker was flagged offside.
The same two looked to link up again, Cockerline playing to Wright on the edge of the box. He beat the first man, cutting in towards goal but was slide tackled just as he looked to pull the trigger. From the resulting corner, Hallam struggled to clear and Wright was on hand to finish at the back post.
Khan and Whiteman were introduced at half time, with Banton and Hinchcliffe making way.
The two substitutes were to have an immediate impact as United won a free kick on 20 yards. Khan placed the ball and hit a low shot past the wall, Whiteman managed to connect, sending the ball into the bottom corner beyond the keeper.
Ramsdale was called into action at the other end, saving well from a strong header before Hallam were frustrated not to send the ball goalwards from the resulting goalmouth scramble.
Jake Wright ran onto a ball down the right and stood the ball up for Cockerline on the back post who saw his header beat the keeper but agonisingly come back off the crossbar.
Looking to build on his recent set piece success, Whiteman had a go with another free-kick from 25 yards, this time skimming the top of the bar.
Heh, Slew, Ishmael, Cheeseman, Kelly and Evans came on, with Ramsey, Adebowale, Gordon, Kedman, Cockerline and Fixter being replaced.
The game was losing it’s pace, with Hallam tiring having to chase the game against the gradient.
Slew cut inside from the right, but could only drag his shot wide.
The hosts managed to pull one back shortly after, Liam Osbourne with a powerful header past Ramsdale, meeting a free kick at the back post.
Cockerline came on to replace the shattered Dallas as the Blades played out the final minutes to secure the victory.
Blades Starting XI: Ramsdale, Ramsey, Kedman, Gordon, Adebowale, Banton, Fixter, Hinchcliffe, Cockerline, Wright, Dallas.
Subs: Ishmael, Parkin, Evans, Cheeseman, Kelly, Heh, Whiteman, Khan, Slew
Hallam FC: Dean, Amblin, Rosser, Duckworth, Ramsden, Flynn, Mirfin, Wade, Davis, Osbourne, Callam O’Kane.
Subs: Shires, Taylor, Tyrone O’Kane.
Is that Paddy Kenny in goal for Hallam? 😉
Apart from the free kick the tubby goalie played really well!
Hallam brought on an entirely different XI in the second half. They even wore a different kit. It was difficult for the young Blades when they kicked downhill because Hallam used an offside trap which meant that 9 times out of 10 either the linesman flagged or the ball ran out of play for a goal kick.
Little Johnny Dallas only looks about 12. He's a right tich. In fact he probably needs to grow a bit more to make it as a footballer which is a shame because he has skill. The second goal came from a very nifty corner move in which he played a big part.
Hallam in the sunshine is a smashing place to watch a match but the players would probably prefer a pitch that would not be a Category 1 slope in Le Tour.
We were saying about Slew…. He should be quick enough without having to stand offside to try and beat his man. The linesman was having none of it.
Is he similar as a player to his brother?
This is one of the many reasons our country is fucked up when it comes to picking talent up,if he's good enough he's big enough.
Just clocked what your latest avar is Linz – subtle 😉
From Foxy's vid he seems a lot shorter – Wright- Phillips stature
Played on that Sandygate pitch (oldest football ground in the World, I believe) only once for school – there is quite a pronounced slope but then I went to King Edwards so the first team pitch at Whiteley Woods was never the flattest, anyway.
Don't think the pitch is there at Whiteley Woods any more – nor the pavilion – where the groundsman (Arnold was it?) used to make an urn of really strong tea for our after match beverage.
Quick search on Google earth 53.360619, -1.531516 shows some of the old markings of the pitch but I can't see where the old cricket square was – it was kind of etched into the slope but it would have been relatively near that solitary tree to the south west of the football pitch.
Feck me – seems a long time ago – well it was really :rolleyes: