Well, they got there in the end – however it took thirty minutes of free football at Sandygate to separate Hallam and Jubilee Sports in the second round of the Sheffield and Hallamshire County Senior Cup last night. The visitors – from the Sheffield and Hallamshire County Senior League Premier Division – proved to be well organised, hard-working, determined and talented opposition.
Without the late intervention of the prolific local Doctor it might have been them celebrating an upset at Sandygate last night, writes Colin Muncie.
A fine crowd of 133 turned up at the Oldest Football Ground in the World and watched the home side dominate possession in the early stages. The visitors were always lively on the break; taking the lead on the half hour when the excellent Charlie Hobson converted a spot kick after being brought down by home keeper, Dave Darwent. As Anne’s Cabin did the usual brisk half time refreshment trade, the visiting supporters, of whom there were many, voiced their enjoyment of their side’s interval lead.
Into the second half, and again on the break, Darwent made a stunning double save to deny James Binney from point-blank range. The home side, still having the lion’s share of the football, fortuitously introduced strikers Sam Smith and Keiran Watson late on, allowing Watson the opportunity to level matters with just one minute left, after forcing his way into the six-yard box, to send the tie into extra time.
Within five minutes, Hallam had established a 3-1 lead again through Watson, who completed a six-minute hat-trick with goals after 93 and 95 minutes, and Jubilee’s plucky resistance was snuffed out by a double sending-off in the second period of extra time as Hallam’s fitness began to tell. It was a fine effort from the visitors, and a good win for the much-changed home side.
Joint Manager, Scott Bates, acknowledged the contribution Jubilee had made to a tight contest. He told TBG “It was a really slow start from us, which wasn’t acceptable. We spoke about it at half-time and the lads did react, which was great. It was a tough game to be honest; they made it really hard for us, but I always thought if we got the equaliser we could push on and win it”.
Joint Manager, Stephen Whitehead, agreed that it had been a tough evening. “We got through by the skin of our teeth” he acknowledged “and that’s credit to Jubilee. They got a goal in the first half and that gave them something to hold on to – and they nearly did. We didn’t play well at all – but we’re in the hat for the next round”.
Assistant Manager, Dean Bamforth, was pleased to progress, but felt that his side were a little wasteful in possession. ”We got out of jail to be honest” he admitted. “We were well off it; no disrespect to Jubilee but when we’re not pressed as much – then we tend to make the wrong decisions – it’s happened before. However, having quality within the squad allows you to change things around and that’s a great privilege”.
“Once we got the equaliser, we dominated possession and chances; I’m also delighted that we kept our discipline late on.”