First Team vs. Lincoln United (1 : 2)
Evo-Stik League First Division South
It was a tired and subdued display from Sheffield FC on Saturday, writes Stuart James, as Lincoln United took all three points in a dour 2-1 victory. Club never really got going at Ashby Avenue, and it took until injury time for Jamie Hadfield to get the visitors in with a shot, after falling behind to first half goals from Josh Nichol and Andy Toyne.
Sheffield were the first to show on the heavy surface, going close after Michael Onovwigun teed up Ash Longstaff, with the big centre-forward shooting wide of the mark. Lincoln responded moments later, as Matt Cotton forced a save from Jake Eastwood at the other end.
On 19 minutes the hosts took the lead, as Sam Duncum's cross was nodded back across goal by Kallum Smith, allowing NICHOL to bundle home from close range to make it 1-0.
The game descended into a bit of a scrap-fest, but it soon sprang to life on 36 minutes, as a corner was scuffed across the edge of the box, and the unmarked TOYNE hitting the ball as sweet as you like into the bottom corner from 20 yards.
Club should have gone into the break with a goal in the bag, following some good work by Matt Roney who picked out Michael Onovwigun in the middle, only to see the big teenager tamely strike the ball straight at Robert Peet.
It was almost a repeat chance moments after the restart, as once again Onovwigun was given a golden chance to get the visitors back in the game, and in carbon-copy fashion the shot found its way tamely into Peet’s hands.
Lincoln could – and probably should – have buried the game, as Ioan Evans came to the rescue to deflect Sam Duncum’s drive onto the bar, and out to safety. Ex-Clubbie Scott Ruthven should also have made it three, as he galloped free after beating an offside trap, luckily for Sheffield the shot ended out of the ground.
Club gave it one last push in injury time, and after Ash Longstaff had gone close with an excellent shot on the turn, they finally got the goal they’d been pressing for. Two minutes into injury time a ball over from Joel Purkiss was met in the middle by HADFIELD, and despite a last ditch all-out assault, it was to prove to be just a consolation in the end.
Lincoln United: Peet, Ward, Field, Cotton, Jacklin, Toyne, Duncum, Nichol, Hutchinson, Ruthven, Smith. Subs: Broughton, Frecklington, Brooks, McDaid, Wilkinson
Sheffield FC: Eastwood, Obed, Turner, Knowles, Walker, Evans, Roney, Burrell, Longstaff, Onovwigun, Gregory. Subs: Ludlam, Hadfield, Purkiss, Pemberton, Stirrup