First Team vs. Lincoln United (6 : 2)
Evo-Stik League First Division South
Sheffield started the 2012/13 season in the best possible style, writes Stuart James, as they casually brushed aside a Lincoln United side with ease at Ashby Avenue. The game was all but won inside the opening quarter of the game, as three goals inside a six minute spell gave Lincoln too much of a mountain to climb, after an Ash Worsfold double and a Steve Woolley strike put Club three up inside the first twenty minutes. Vill Powell put the game out of reach ten minutes before the break, and even though United pulled goals back in the second half through Nathan Adams and Chris Funnell, Club kept the comfortable cushion with replies from Chris Adam and another from Steve Woolley to give an impressive scoreline.
The leisurely start to this game belied what was to follow, as both teams spent the first ten minutes sizing each other up, without really threatening to do much. As the tenth minute ticked over however, Vill Powell sashayed down the left wing and swung a ball across the face of the goal that left Phil McGann stranded, allowing WORSFOLD the opportunity to scuff the ball home from twelve yards. Buoyed by this early advantage Club started to play some expansive football and pressed the home defence into their own area, and six minutes after the first goal the lead was doubled, as Tyrone Thompson’s effort was blocked on the edge of the box before WORSFOLD struck with a good connection to put the ball in the bottom corner.
One minute later and it was three – a ball down the left found its way to Ash Worsfold, he controlled it and laid it off to WOOLLEY, who in turn crashed his first time effort into the back of the net. The game had turned into one-way traffic, and it looked as if Club could score at will, and they could have had a fourth after a three-on-one break which ended with McGann pulling off a full length save to deny Worsfold a hat-trick. The fourth finally came ten minutes before the break, Brandon Cardwell won a header in midfield which fell to Worsfold, his through ball found POWELL who placed the ball into the bottom corner.
Lincoln were obviously shell-shocked by the way the first half had transpired, so it made sense that they would come at Club with all guns blazing, to try and cause a bit of self-doubt in the visitors to take advantage of. The Whites’ first effort on goal was not long in coming, Brendan McDaid’s long ball found Ben Garrick, his volley however was easily dealt with by Nicky Draper. Seconds later a generous free-kick was awarded by referee Guest on the edge of the visitors’ box, but there was no generosity in the kick itself, which was excellently dispatched into the top corner by ADAMS to give Lincoln a lifeline. Sheffield responded in the best possible way and were up the other end pressing in no time, with Chris Adam’s break down the left setting up Charlie Weir, with the left back forcing a decent save from the keeper. The fifth for Sheffield killed any resistance United may have been harbouring, a swift counter-attack saw Vill Powell breaking clear, with a simple ball across to ADAM ending with the assistant-manager finishing with cool aplomb.
The game lapsed into a bit of a lull for a while, both teams accepting the result was a bit of a foregone conclusion now, and it took until the 71st minute to get another addition on the scoreboard. A break against the run-of-play saw Lincoln outnumbering the Sheffield defence, and whilst the visitors were appealing for a foul in the build-up, Adams squared across to FUNNELL who tapped in.
Stung by the bit of injustice. Sheffield once again went all out to regain the four goal cushion, and they nearly got it immediately, as Chris Adam’s solo run ended with his shot clipping the bar. Ten minutes from the end they got that sixth goal everyone was waiting for, as Tyrone Thompson and Steve Woolley broke down the middle, with WOOLLEY coolly slotting the ball home to put the icing on a very big cake. It could even have ended with a seventh in the last vestiges of injury time, as Woolley’s corner was met by a towering header from Brandon Cardwell, the ball however scraped the outside of the post… not that it mattered.
Whilst tables don’t really matter after just one game, this win does leave Club at the top of the ladder, with the best goal difference. Manager Curtis Woodhouse though retained a sense of realism after the game, “we played very well today, but there’s a long way to go. Nobody’s getting carried away, just yet.”
Lincoln United: McGann, Fleming, Butler, McDaid ©, Reddington, Hone, Funnell (King), Cowan, Wilkinson (Coyde), Adams, Garrick (Coupland). Subs Not Used: Pickering, Shipman.
Sheffield FC: Draper, Turner, Weir (Anderson), Thompson, Cardwell, Burrell, Adam, Foster ©, Powell (Williams), Worsfold (McKenzie), Woolley. Subs Not Used: Knowles, Roney.
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