Club win Pioneers Cup
Sheffield FC won the Pioneers Cup this evening, after beating Genoa CFC 3-2 and Recreativo de Huelva 3-1, to lift the innagural event at the Home of Football.
In a competition designed to bring the Oldest Clubs from around the world, sharing in the core values of Integrity, Respect and Community, a sizable crowd were entertained by some vintage football from all three teams which eventually saw Sheffield FC run out overall winners.
The three games were refereed expertly by Jack Hall, and the young up and coming official was central to the event running smoothly, having already officiated in a pretty feisty County Senior Premier League game earlier in the day.
Sheffield kicked off the event against pre-tournament favourites Genoa CFC, and eventually ran out 3-2 winners, with a brace of goals from former skipper Tom Jones and one from Jack Waddle. The crowed were wowed by the skills of legends such as Carlton Palmer, Chris Waddle, John Beresford and Mark Todd, whilst the Italians saw flashes of brilliance from the likes of Tomáš Skuhravý and Gennaro Ruotolo.
The second game saw Genoa face Recreativo, and despite taking the lead twice, the Italians were pegged back by the Andalusians. The whole competition took a surprising twist in the dying seconds, as Huelva stunned the favourites with an injury time goal, to make it 3-2 - setting up a winner takes all final to finish the evening.
Club fielded a virtually completely different starting eleven for the decider, and despite the likes of Darren Kenney, Lee Wainwright and Matt Pindar all having a bit more "vintage" than their opponents, the adreneline kicked in to produce some heroic performances.
Sheffield raced into a two goal lead, with Gavin Smith rolling back the years to score a typical "Gav Goal", and the marauding right-back provided the assist for Carey Williams to slam home from close range. Nerves were set jangling in the second half as Recre pulled one back to make it 2-1, and Matt Pindar lived up to his "Tractor" nickname by picking up the tournaments only yellow card, with a very agricultural tackle on Dani Pajón.
The nerves were settled in the dying moments when a flowing move down the left saw the ball come across the edge of the area to Jack Waddle, who showed touches of his father to drive home a low hard shot, making it 3-1 and keeping the Cup at the Home of Football.
The whole event was deemed a great success, with both celebrities and fans expressing their enjoyment of the experience, and already looking forward to the next staging of the Pioneers Cup. All that was left to do was to enjoy the post-match party, and paint the town red... and blue... and white...
Photos from a brilliant evening can be viewed here.