In what was an exciting end to pre-season, a superior University of Sheffield Men’s Football 2s smashed Manchester 2s 4-0. It was a dominant performance from the first minute to the last, preventing Manchester from ever achieving a foothold in the game. Manchester were expected to provide a tough test but received a battering from the black and gold as Sheffield ran out comfortable winners.
Sheffield settled into the game quickly enjoying large periods of possession in Manchester’s half. All the chances were coming Sheffield’s way and an early goal was inevitable. Following some clever play down the left wing, Captain James Smith whipped in the perfect ball directly to Bradshaw’s feet, who calmly and coolly slotted it into the bottom corner from close range to make it 1-0.
The match didn’t feel like a friendly with Sheffield’s physical approach paying off, winning every 50-50 and making Manchester uncomfortable on the ball. Sheffield’s strength proved costly for Manchester as two goals came in quick succession. Lienau was given the time and space to send a dangerous ball into the box which was deflected into the net via the Manchester centre back and pressure from Bradshaw. Minutes later it was 3-0 as man of the match Alex Bradshaw provided an assist as he unselfishly played the ball across the face of the goal, giving Francis a simple close range finish.
The rout was not over. Manchester began to grow into the game and seek consolation only for Sheffield to dish out a final sucker punch. Substitute Butler caught the Manchester defence out and ran through one-on-one with the keeper. Although hesitant at first, Butler eventually put the ball past the keeper and into the bottom corner to make it 4-0.
The result sent out a powerful message to the rest of the league and was the perfect preparation for next week’s season opener at home to York St John 2s.
Team: Mooney, Chappell, Milosevic, Khawaja, Lienau, Saxon, Harrison, Needham, Iroegbu, Smith ©, Bradshaw
Subs: Wreathall, Mclaughlin, Francis, Dally, Simpson, Butler
University of Sheffield 4 (Bradshaw, Own Goal, Francis, Butler) University of Manchester 0