The University of Sheffield Men’s Football 1s maintained their superb run of form courtesy of a late winner giving them a 2-1 win over local rivals Sheffield Hallam at Norton Playing Fields.
Uni, who recorded a dramatic 4-3 victory away at Manchester last time out, made a very bright start and put Hallam under considerable pressure in the early stages of the match.
However, it was Hallam who had the first big chance of the game as their Number 10, Andy Ofusa found himself in on goal but fluffed his lines with 10 minutes gone in the match.
It was a very tight start to the game with a lot of tasty, derby-match challenges being made, and George Philipson picked up the first yellow card of the match for Uni as the referee deemed his challenge unfair.
Uni were eventually rewarded for their bright start to the match in the 20th minute as centre-back Jasper Khawaja headed home a fantastic corner from Liam King to make it 1-0 to the home side.
Hallam responded well to going behind and were inches away from levelling as their Number 9, Matty Harris, had a header which was just wide of the target.
This was followed up by another chance for Hallam’s Andy Ofusa who was again denied as Jack Farthing made a good save. Ofusa felt he had been impeded when taking the shot and appealed for a penalty but the referee disagreed.
A sending off was always a possibility in this game and it came in the 35th minute as Jack Haslam was put through on goal and the Hallam keeper cynically took him out on the edge of the area giving the referee no choice but to show the red card.
The sending off appeared to inspire Hallam as they started to really put Sheffield on the back foot and they were rewarded for their response as Andy Ofusa finally got the better of Farthing with a low driven finish despite appeals for offside from the Uni defence to make it 1-1.
By half-time Uni were left very frustrated as they found themselves level at 1-1 despite being a man up.
It was an uneventful start to the second half with very few chances for either team, and it became clear that 10-man Hallam would happily take a point from the match.
Hallam started to sit very deep and were relying on Andy Ofusa’s pace on the counterattack as their only real outlet.
This led to Uni deciding to make two substitutions in quick succession with Sean Bergiers replacing David Lodge and Chike Ejezie replacing George Philipson.
In the 65th minute as the rain started to pour down at Norton Playing Fields, Uni really started to put Hallam under considerable pressure. However, Hallam were able to continue to frustrate the hosts and still had some threat themselves on the counter and volleyed over the bar with an opportunity they perhaps could have done better with.
Uni decided to bring John Brelsford on off the bench he made a significant difference to the game by upping the tempo for the home side. His bursts of pace going forward were causing the Hallam defence all sorts of problems.
Hallam had a huge appeal for a penalty turned down at the other end as they felt that their free-kick had clearly been handled but the referee disagreed. Hallam also failed to make the most of a free header from a corner just minutes later to put themselves back in front.
Uni punished Hallam in the 85th minute as Liam King found himself in space on the right hand side and delivered the perfect cross for Albert Davis to score a tap-in from close range and give Uni the 2-1 lead they deserved.
Uni squandered many opportunities to get the killer third goal on the counter attack but managed to see the game out with ease for a huge 2-1 victory before tempers flared at full-time.
Uni captain and goalkeeper Jack Farthing said that the team have had to change their goals for the season due to their superb start.
He told Forge Sport: “Our aim was just to stay up but we’ve had to change our aim because this group of lads have been giving me so much every week and they are playing so well that we are now sat 2nd or 1st and we’re not even half way through the season. There is no reason why we can’t go and win this league now.”