First Team vs. Scarborough Athletic (0 : 5)
A youthful looking Sheffield FC outfit were given a baptism of fire on Tuesday night, writes Stuart James, as they were outgunned and outmuscled by a more experienced Scarborough Athletic outfit. With both teams ringing the changes for this Integro Cup tie, it was the Seadogs that ran the young Clubbies ragged, eventually running out 5-0 winners in a game that could have ended even more convincing.
Leading the way for Athletic was Emile Sinclair, who rattled home a hat-trick - with goals in the 44th, 55th and 88th minutes - along with Dan Stimpson on 16 minutes and Billy Logan on 76 minutes.
The threat of an easy victory always looked on the cards, and Sinclair gave fair warning of what was to follow, with an effort poked over the bar after bursting through the lightweight defence.
Club looked to have an air of dangerous on the break, with Matty Waller mesmerising the defence on more than one occasion, whilst Joel Purkiss went close with a header and forced a decent save from Tom Morgan in the Boro' goal.
The deadlock was broken just after the quarter hour mark, as Craig Nelthorpe sent a corner into the mix, Leon Osborne won the header in the box with STIMPSON forcing the ball over from close range.
It started to become rather one way after this with young keeper Jamie Ingham being kept extremely busy, denying both Sinclair and Nelthorpe chances, whilst Charlie Binns sent a rasping drive just over the top.
Club were now starting to feel some serious pressure, and were fortunate to keep the score to one after a series of headers were deflected wide, whilst Scarborough had the ball in the net from a corner only to have it ruled out for pushing.
Sheffield came closest to grabbing a goal just before the break, Waller showing some excellent ball control to tee up Purkiss, whose shot scraped the outside of the post.
Straight from the goal-kick though Scarborough scored, it was all "Route One" as Morgan's kick found Sinclair shoulder to shoulder with young Brad Howe, with SINCLAIR showing strength and poise to hold off the challenge of the defender before lofting the ball over the head of Ingham.
The second half was only ten minutes old before the scoreboard started to tick over again, Ross Daly put the ball over the top of a rather static defence, with SINCLAIR having the easy task of sliding the ball around Ingham.
There was a minor moment of concern for the hosts after keeper Tom Morgan clattered into Ben Turner, himself fresh back after injury, with the hosts' stopper having to be replaced by First Team regular keeper Tom Taylor.
Again the tide of attacks continued, and if not for two excellent last-ditch tackles from Ishmael Dawson, the score could have been much worse.
The fourth eventually came by way of a gift, a wayward defensive pass found Billy Logan, and despite being denied by a save from Ingham there was no stopping LOGAN slamming home at the second attempt.
Two minutes before time it became 5-0, another corner into the middle was blatantly handled by a Sheffield defender, SINCLAIR stepping up to send Ingham the wrong way.
There was still time for Scarborough to waste another pair of glorious chances, as Sinclair somehow stumbled over the ball to clear Sheffield lines instead of tapping into an empty net, whilst moments later Ingham was forced to make a fine stop following another drive from the hosts' man of the match denying him a fourth goal.
With nine players making their first starts of the season and five debutants this was never going to be an easy tie for Sheffield, but given the inexperience it was a brave performance, and probably a lesson in football many won't forget.
Scarborough Athletic: Morgan, Johnson, Merris, Daly, Stimpson, Hewitt, Melthorpe, Binns, Sinclair, Osborne, Cadman. Subs: Turnbull, Dean, Valentine, Logan, Taylor.
Sheffield FC: Ingham, Turner, Dawson, Turnbull, Howe, Rose, Roney, Brownell, Purkiss, Dawes, Waller. Subs: Mawson, Souter, Robson, Tijani, Algar.
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