First Team vs. Lincoln United (1 : 1)
Evo-Stik League East Division
Sheffield FC earned a creditable point on Saturday, writes Stuart James, as they came from behind to draw 1-1 with second placed Lincoln United. Kallum Smith had given the hosts a 50th minute lead, however Stuart Ludlam steered home the leveller on the 59th minute, giving Club a well-deserved share of the spoils.
Club started in positive fashion, but despite the frantic pace, neither team really troubled the opposition keeper.
Lincoln thought they’d taken the lead after 18 minutes. Scott Matthews whipped a free-kick low into the Sheffield area, the ball took a deflection on its way into the net only for the linesman’s flag to rightly rule it out.
Kallum Smith was next to threaten, sending a powerful shot just wide of the Sheffield post. The lively Matt Cotton looked to do just that, bringing the ball down in the box and getting a shot away which looked goal bound until it was well blocked by a Sheffield defender.
James Gregory earned a free-kick in a dangerous position, as the winger went on a direct run at the heart of the Lincoln defence like a Cocker Spaniel chasing some silver paper on the wind, only to be upended. After the resulting free kick was cleared, Stuart Ludlum had Club’s best chance of the first half, the centre back volleying wide from 15 yards.
Lincoln took the lead five minutes into the second half, after good work from Matt Cotton set up captain Sean Wright on the edge of the box, his low shot was saved by Adam Kelsey, however, the Sheffield keeper could only parry the ball into a dangerous area and Kallum Smith was first to react to turn the ball home.
Club responded well to going behind, building momentum before grabbing an equaliser in the 59th minute.
After a free-kick was initially cleared, the ball was audaciously crossed back in by the backheel of Ash Grayson, Gregory had a shot towards goal and Mark Newsham was able to divert the ball into the Lincoln net and level the game at 1-1.
The next chance came with ten minutes to go, Cotton striking over from just outside the box for Lincoln.
Soon after the Whites defence were under pressure, frantically clearing away after a goal bound header from Ludlam was blocked on the line by Smith.
As the minutes ticked away towards the final whistle it was Sheffield who looked more likely to get a decisive second goal.
They came close on two occasions in injury time. First, Michael Jacklin sliced a clearance and the defender was grateful to see it drift narrowly wide of the post.
The Whites were then thanking their goalkeeper as Emery produced a fingertip save to see an Adam Chapman header round the post.
Lincoln United: Emery, Blunden, Matthews, Wright ©, Jacklin, Wilson, Norris, Williams, Cotton, Grimes, Smith. Subs: Karkach, Hemagou, Nichol, Garrick, McGann.
Sheffield FC: Kelsey, Mackie, Turner, Ludlam, Chapman ©, Winter, Grayson, Wright, Dunne, Newsham, Gregory. Subs: Hastings, Wilson, Eagle, Kay, Mohammed.