The University of Sheffield Men’s 1s secured a dramatic 3-2 win against Sheffield Hallam at Hillsborough in a game which saw Hallam play with 10 men for a large period.
A goal from Alex Bradshaw gave Uni of the lead but goals from Luke Stevens and Rob Worrall turned it around for Hallam, despite the fact Aniyah King was sent off shortly after they fell behind.
However, Uni of had time to turn the game around yet again with two goals in injury time. Strikes from Yann Griffiths and Oli Basham caused jubilant scenes in the Black and Gold end of the stadium.
It was Hallam who had the first big opportunity of the game. A superb turn from Sam Kay presented him with a chance to get a shot in but he was superbly kept out by Uni of’s keeper Jack Farthing, diving low to his left.
However, Uni of came close to scoring themselves with around 17 minutes played. Left-back Callum Wilson had a free-kick from around 35 yards out tipped over the bar by Peter Room.
It was the Black and Golds who managed to make the breakthrough in the 25th minute. Liam King did well to head on a long ball which sent Bradshaw clean through on goal. The striker made no mistake as he calmly slotted the ball into the back of the net, giving Room no chance.
Hallam’s task of getting back into the match was made a whole lot harder shortly after going behind as King got sent off for a very strong challenge on Bradshaw, Uni of’s goalscorer.
Despite being a man down, Hallam managed to level the score just 10 minutes before the break. A sublime cross into the area was not dealt with by the Uni of defence and Stevens was there to sweep home a superb volley into the bottom corner.
Hallam were able to carry their momentum from the end of the first half into the start of the second. Some great link-up play in the area resulted in the ball being flicked on to Rob Worrall who was able to head the ball beyond Farthing to make it 2-1 shortly after the restart.
Uni really struggled to create any clear cut chances in the second half, despite their numerical advantage. John Brelsford was looking one of their most dangerous players, with his superb delivery from wide areas causing Hallam problems on a number of occasions.
However, an incredibly dramatic finish saw Uni come out as 3-2 winners. Yann Griffiths thought he had secured a draw with a wonderful right-footed curling strike, but this turned out not to be the case as Oli Basham stabbed home soon after to cause jubilant scenes among the Uni of supporters as he gave his side a famous late victory in 2018’s finale.
Photo credit: Dan West