In their last Toolstation NCEL Division One home game, seventh-placed Hallam served up an absolute thriller in that 4-3 win over Winterton Rangers at the end of November. Fast forward to last night, and the Countrymen were involved in another crackerjack fixture, this time a 1-1 draw with third placed Shirebrook Town-and both camps ended the evening with even greater respect for their opponents than they had at kick-off, writes Colin Muncie.
During the Bootiful Podcast, available now on the TBG website, Hallam’s Joint Manager Steven Whitehead and Shirebrook Chairman Cliff Richard had both predicted that it would be one of the games of the season, and so it proved.
A bumper crowd of 210 at Sandygate saw Alex Varley give the visitors a half-time lead with a goal after 42 minutes; but with six minutes left, Jake Currie levelled the encounter with a spectacular finish. So honours even; a result which keeps Shirebrook in the mix for automatic promotion, and the Sheffield club firmly in contention for the Play-Offs.
— Hallam FC (@HallamFC1860) April 17, 2018
Hallam Joint manager Scott Bates felt that their opponents energy and shape nullified his side’s attacking game. He told the Bootiful Game “I thought that we were way off in the first half. Shirebrook didn’t give us a minute and played our pitch well. We improved in the second half, and made a couple of chances to try and combat them, but never thought we threatened that much-they were all half chances, and it was only ever going to be a worldie of a goal if we could manage it. So it was fantastic from Jake Currie; it was worth the entrance fee!”
Assistant Manager Dean Bamforth felt that his side had to dig pretty deep to get their point. “I thought we were a little below par but credit to Shirebrook -they may have played a huge part in that” he admitted. “They were as good a team as we’ve played and didn’t give us a minute to control the game. They’re a huge side and very effective. Credit to our lot also who never gave up, and when you have quality you’ve always a chance to score”
“It was an outstanding finish by Currie to get a well deserved point” Dean added. “Another great crowd at Sandygate who were thoroughly entertained by two teams who gave everything”.
“All the best to Al (Jamie Allan, Shirebrook Assistant) and Cammy (Manager Rob Camm) – two great lads doing a fantastic job”.
Shirebrook manager Rob Camm was in no doubt that the game lived up to expectations. He told the Bootiful Game “I thought it was exactly as advertised in the previews-two in-form teams going head to head and neither wanting to take a backwards step. I don’t think anyone in the 200+ crowd would have gone away disappointed. Maybe we were guilty of trying to kill the game with a second goal and were caught out, but, to be fair, I would rather go for all three points. I’m very happy with the players tonight though, so real credit goes to them, after five games in two weeks, they put in a right shift against a good Hallam side”.
“On that showing I’d say Hallam will make the Play-Offs -and be and be a real handful for whoever they meet”.