The University of Sheffield Men’s Football 1st Team managed to come back from behind to salvage a 1-1 draw late on against local rivals Sheffield Hallam at Hallam Sports Park.
Uni had the advantage going into this match having already come out on top against Hallam twice this season. This helped Uni to a 3rd place finish in the Northern 1A League with 16 points whilst Hallam finished bottom on just seven.
Despite their final league position, Hallam came out looking the brighter of the two teams in what was a very scrappy and uneventful first-half.
Hallam winger Connor Smythe, former captain of Scunthorpe youth team, caused Uni problems early on with his superb delivery from set pieces as his side started to force the issue.
The first chance of any note for either side came in the 15th minute for Uni but Mark Kendall could only volley his effort straight at Jack Heydon in the Hallam goal.
The forward partnership for Hallam of Andy Ofusa and Matt Harris caused Uni problems in their previous encounter and they were both lively again in this one. Ofusa had a couple of great chances to open the scoring but could not get the better of Jack Farthing in the Uni goal who performed superbly in his last game for the club.
Uni have their own set piece specialist in Liam King and his dangerous free-kick in the 30th minute of the game was almost scrambled home to open the scoring but Hallam were eventually able to clear their lines.
Hallam continued to cause problems with Ofusa’s pace on the counter attack but Uni managed to hold out till half-time with the match remaining goalless.
HALF-TIME: University of Sheffield 0-0 Sheffield Hallam University
Hallam wasted no time in taking the initiative after the break by immediately putting Uni under significant pressure. This resulted in the referee awarding a penalty to Hallam in the 47th minute.
However, Hallam’s Harris could not find the back of the net as his penalty hit the outside of the post and went behind meaning it remained goalless.
Harris did make up for his penalty miss just minutes later as a corner from Smythe caused all sorts of problems to the Uni defence allowing Harris to scramble home the opener and make it 1-0 to Hallam.
It took Uni a while to get going following Hallam’s blistering start to the second-half. Uni left-back Callum Wilson gave them a swift reminder of their quality as his sweet left-footed volley went just wide of the post in the 59th minute.
It could easily have been 2-0 Hallam just moments later as Harris’ low driven effort went just wide of Farthing’s left hand post much to the relief of everyone connected with Uni.
Uni decided to make two substitutions in quick succession to try and get themselves back in the game with Sean Bergiers replacing Albert Davis and then Will Saxon replacing Chike Ejezie.
Saxon made an instant impact for Uni and could have equalised in the 78th minute but he could only head John Brelsford’s cross over the bar.
However, Saxon did manage to get the equaliser for his side just minutes later as the ball fell kindly for him in the box before he managed to volley the ball past Heydon and into the bottom corner to level the scores at 1-1.
This goal caused the momentum to swing in Uni’s favour and they could have gone 2-1 up immediately afterwards but David Lodge was crowded out by the Hallam defence when it looked as though he might be through on goal.
Bergiers also made an impact off the bench for Uni and could have got his team in front but his header was superbly tipped over for a corner by Heydon.
It was all Uni in the final stages of the match and the last golden chance fell to Uni right-back Joe Hunt but he could only head over despite finding himself completely unmarked.
Hallam managed to withstand the late onslaught by Uni to hold on as the two teams had to share the Varsity point following a tight 1-1 draw with arguably neither team doing enough to win.
FULL-TIME: University of Sheffield 1-1 Sheffield Hallam University