Thursday, 7 March 2013

Sheffield FC U19 2 v Staveley MW U19 2 - NMU19L Div 1

A wet, wet, feckin' wet night, in down town Dronfield
Thursday 7th March 2013,
at The BT Local Business Stadiu,
AKA the Coach and Horses Ground, Dronfield
North Midland U19 League, Division 1
Sheffield FC U19 (2) 2
Liam Bryan x 2
Staveley Miners Welfare U19 (1) 2
Sam Finlaw
Luke Walker
Admission £2 inc. programme
It's been a turbulent time for Staveley Miners Welfare of late.
The indecent clamour of players leaving the club, smacks, just a little, of ungrateful deserters abandoning a sinking ship, except for one very important factor ... Staveley aren't sinking. 
Quote from the SMWFC website:
Staveley MWFC are delighted to confirm that a new sponsor has come forward to offer to take up the clubs vacant sponsorship package. Committed to supporting the clubs 16-teams and ensure the on and of the field progress of the past 6-seasons continues the long term strategy of developing the club with a strong bond within the local community and our supporters is key to this potential deal. We hope to be able to announce the final sponsorship details within the immediate future.
The redistribution of players and staff alike, through the ranks of the club, has obviously taken it's toll on recent results, as they all acclimatise to playing at unfamiliar levels.
But even though a good number of them have been fast-tracked through the ranks out of necessity, the Under 19s team are still in with a shout of silverware on two fronts still this season and though the 2-2 draw favoured 'champions elect' Retford United more than either side who actually played tonight, it's still very tight at the top of Division 1 and the end to the season promises to be an intriguing one.
North Midland U19 League current standings
Liam Bryan put Sheffield ahead after seventeen minutes,with a close range strike from inside a crowded goalmouth.
But Staveley were back on level terms on 28 minutes, when Sam Finlaw pulled the home sides defence all over the place, twisting and turning left, then right and powering home a shot from the edge of the area.
Sheffield were in front again before the break, when the ever lively Liam Bryan, made space for himself inside the visitors box and scored with an angled finish from 8 yards out.
HT - Sheffield 2 v Staveley MW 1
Possession wise, the home side had the better of the first half, but after the break, the roles were reversed and Staveley put the Sheffield goal under a lot of pressure as they battled their way back into the game.
With the rain hammering down and the pitch becoming ever more waterlogged, the Sheffield keeper, Joe Green, had plenty of opportunity to dive about in the puddles.
Everybody knows the real reason anybody ever became a goalkeeper is so that they can get really muddied up on pitches like this.
Green's resistance was finally broken on 78 minutes, when Staveley sub Luke Walker, bore down on goal from the right hand side of the box and smashed the ball home with aplomb.
Sheffield had a lucky escape, when Luke Walker almost scored again from an identical position, but with the keeper beaten his shot crashed against the post.
FT - Sheffield U19 2 v Staveley MW U19 2
A Sheffield supporter told me on the way out, that if they win their last four games, the title is theirs. However, three of those games are against Retford, Handsworth and Staveley.
I travelled over with a contingent from Retford United U19s and U18s tonight.
They enjoyed the result.
Personally, 'neutral' little old me, was out of my seat ready to cheer Walker's winning goal right at the death, until it hit the upright and stayed out.