Friday, 17 February 2012

Stamford AFC 4 v Sheffield FC 3 - Evo-Stik NPL Division 1 South

Daniel Lambert, immortalised in badge form
... I couldn't resist!

Friday 17th February 2012, at the PK Arena
Evo-Stik NPL Division 1 South
Stamford AFC (1) 4
Kieren Watson 42, Joe Pheasant 55, Bruno Holden 72,
Daniel Brooks 90 (and a bit)
Sheffield FC (1) 3
Steven Woolley 19, Dean Whiley 82 OG, Matthew Varley 90
Admission £8, Programme £1.80, Attendance 244
Left click team sheet image to enlarge

When I was here a few weeks ago, Stamford's clubhouse had Greene King on tap and it was very nice too. Tonight's game was sponsored by the Jolly Brewer public house, so we eagerly entered the bar anticipating guest beer heaven.
Alas, we were met by the unappetising prospect, of "Just John Smith's Smooth tonight", which was hampered by a problem with the gas in the pumps, the Cider was off too and ... oh well, we're here for the football not the drink, but ... an hour to kill and a considerable income loss for the Daniels. A visit to the Beer Capital of Lincolnshire' without a tipple. Unthinkable!
But we had a good natter with a bloke wearing some VERY nice Trimm Trab trainers.
I would kill for shoes like that ... but he was a lot bigger than me ;-) so I will keep monitoring Ebay instead.
A Sheffield FC 'casual' and owner of some very nice trainers

Following some frantic opening exchanges, the game settled down and the visitors took the lead on 19 minutes, when Steve Wooley worked himself a bit of space on the edge of the box and planted the ball just inside the upright.
It looked as though the ball was going wide which deceived Ross Whalin the Stamford goal.
Wayne Diuk, the Daniels captain wasn't slow in criticising his keeper, but maybe he should've considered two important factors leading up to the goal.
1) Whalin's sight line to Wooley had been obscured by Wayne Diuk.
2) Wooley's effort should've been charged down by, err ... Wayne Diuk.
I like Diuk's style of play and his verbals are always worth listening out for (not that you have to try too hard), but a bit of collective responsibility and blame wouldn't have gone amiss this once.
Both teams took it in turns to be in the ascendancy throughout the first half, with an above average number of corner kicks amounting to nothing.
And although it was an open game, both defences were on top for the most part.
Just before the break, the former Kirkby Town striker Keiren Watson, had his shot blocked on the edge of the Sheffield area, but fired home the equaliser for the rebound.
Keiren joined Stamford from Hucknall Town earlier this season.
It is rumoured that McDonald's in Hucknall have gone into liquidation since Daz Bailey left the staff at Hucknall Town to join the Daniels, but that business is booming at the local tobacconists in Stamford.
Half time 1-1
If Ross Whalin is comfortable going out in a black mini dress and tights
on a Friday night, then that's nobody else's business but his own.

Stamford were in front on 55 minutes when a half cleared corner fell to Joe Pheasant who hooked the ball back into the mix, over the Sheffield defence and Dan Whatsize and just under the crossbar.
Bruno Holden was being man marked by the Sheffield captain Matt Varley, the latter was apparently very keen to let Holden know he wasn't going to have an easy night.
As a consequence Varley was booked just after the hour for clattering into the Stamford striker with a 'full bodied challenge' near the half way line.
Holden got up to run his knock off, while Varley knew he would have to reign his 'firm but (borderline) fair' challenges in a bit now.
Five minutes later Keiren Watson swung the ball in from out on the right in front of Holden who had arrived right on cue at the back post, but he fired over from 2 yards out with Whatsize beaten.
Somebody suggested that Bruno Holden had been rattled by the challenge and rushed his effort to avoid getting 'tackled' again.
But that theory was dispelled on 72 minutes, when he belted home a ferocious shot from just outside the box. An unstoppable shot, a goal out of nothing. Obviously he had recovered from the side effects of being roughed up and was 100% focussed on the job in hand.
Keiren Watson took a through ball into the box, but Dan Whatsize saved his close range effort. And Sheffield rolled their sleeves up and got on with the task of getting back into the game.
Matt Roney attacked the Stamford defence down the right flank, his cross into the danger zone was turned home by defender Dean Whiley who couldn't get out of the way.
With Sheffield pressing forward in numbers, looking for an equaliser, Stamford exploited the space and a long pass picked out Bruno Holden out on the ride hand side of the box, his effort stung Whatsize's hands and 'Club' were still in the game.
Back down the other end, Connor Higginson launched a free kick into the box which Warren Burrell put agonisingly wide.
Matt Roney made a big difference to Sheffield on the right wing after coming on, which freed up Higginson on the opposite side.
Referee Sian Massey puts all of that Hogwarts training to good use and
vaporises a Stamford defender. Yes! I phuct my photos up ... again!

With five minutes remaining Nicholas Ghislanzoni, neatly flicked a pass to put Holden clear through, but he shot straight at Dan Whatsize.
Sheffield attacked again, Roney's cross was flicked goal bound from the head of Dan Williams. It looked every inch the equaliser, but Ross Whalin twisted in mid air and showed the agility of a man half of his age to pull of a fingertip save that looked to have won the match for the home side.
In the very last minute of normal time, Connor Higginson latched on to a short corner, his first attempt at crossing the ball was blocked, his second found Matt Varley who headed home a last gasp equaliser.
What a dramatic finale that looked like being to this great second half ... but there was still a sting left in the tail.
Stamford pushed forward from the restart in injury time and won a free kick on the edge of the Sheffield box.
Up stepped Danny Brooks, who slammed the ball through the wall and a crowded goal area into the back of the net to break Sheffield's hearts.
On the balance, Stamford probably just about shaded the game and deserved to win, but Sheffield and their travelling fans must've been gutted after they fought so hard to get level after going 3-1 down.
Friday night football ... it rocks!