University of Sheffield Men’s Futsal fell to a shock goal-filled 9-11 defeat to the underdog Sheffield Hallam side.
Sheffield lost a three goal lead during the match – with Hallam scoring five unanswered goals to lead 7-9.
It was evident from kick-off that Hallam’s goalkeeper was right in form, making a couple of brilliant saves in the opening minutes – diving to his right to prevent Sheffield from taking the lead.
Sheffield’s Nathan Lightowler managed to break the deadlock with a wonderful finish. A long ball came over his shoulder and he met it with his left foot, putting it back across the goal to make it 1-0.
Hallam answered well, raining down shots on Laurence Bimson in the between the Sheffield posts. Within a couple of minutes the Hallam team saw two shots cannon back off the post, following some long distance drives.
It was not long before Sheffield’s luck ran out. A lovely side footed finish beat Bimson to level the score.
Tom Wilkes answered back for Sheffield almost immediately, finishing calmly at the near post to regain the lead.
The end-to-end action continued when a missed tackle saw the Hallam forward one-on-one and able to finish nicely into the bottom corner.
Hallam went on to take their first lead of the game, with another rocket from distance finding the back of the net – putting them 3-2 up.
Next it Sheffield’s Nwokobia’s turn, a deft finish guiding the ball home, to the joy of the fans in black and gold.
Hallam scored again to retake the lead, but Lightowler scored again, connecting sweetly first time to fire home – leaving the score 4-4 at the half.
Sheffield started the brighter in the second half, with Nwokobia breaking through to square to Enric who fired emphatically home. They continued to build their lead with Wilkes getting his second from an Enric assist – soon after Lucho Gonzalez netted, putting Sheffield 7-4 up.
But then the remarkable Hallam comeback began, with a low shot arrowing into the net. Their next goal, to put the score at 7-6, forced Sheffield to take a time-out.
Tensions hit a high when Enric got involved with two Hallam players after a couple of poor tackles – two yellow cards were brandished.
Sheffield continued to live on the edge and were punished by a sliding finish to level it up at 7-7.
Then came the first Hallam penalty, giving them their first lead of the half at 7-8. Sheffield were briefly back level but Hallam answered back immediately to retake a 8-9 lead.
New Sheffield goalkeeper Rich Wilkinson misjudged a long throw from the Hallam keeper, and the Hallam forward headed home to give them a two goal advantage
Wilkes scored his third of the game but a dubious handball penalty decision again captain Ryan Willson gifted Hallam the chance to restore their two goal lead – it was converted with ease, confirming the 9-11 Hallam win.