Manchester steal victory from the jaws of defeat in a spirited fightback against Sheffield
Manchester walkout winners in this closely fought tie between the two of the founding members of the Futsal league in the country. Sheffield will feel aggrieved they didn’t at least walk away with a point in the end after only been behind for only 7 seconds in the entire match.
The first half was full of talented play and chances for either side, with both keepers in top form but it was Sheffield who broke the deadlock on the 11th minute of the first period with a clever ball through the middle from James Peech and Alex Popescu from in front of goal was able to guide the ball past a helpless Zak Austin in the Manchester goal. Sheffield then made it two with a well-worked move and lovely skill from Danny Neath to find Mark Chisholm on the edge of the box who calmly places it in the back of the net to make it two with only 6 minutes left to the break.
Manchester kept fighting and was awarded for their persistence and only seconds after going 2 behind Manchester once again found themselves back in the game. A powerful run from Jordan Edge pushing his way through a tight gap and then rocketing a powerful effort, Jordan Wildey in the Sheffield goal who could only watch the ball fly past him with such force to make it 2-1 to Sheffield. But it would be Sheffield who would be going into the half time break the happier of the two sides and restoring their two-goal advantage with a rocket of their own as Chisholm finds Goncalo Andrade in the center unleashing one right into the top corner. As Sheffield went into the half time break 3-1 up.
The second period would see more of the same as both teams aimed to start the second period as they left it, full of skill and tempo. This time it would be Manchester to draw first blood in the second period on the 30th minute, Harry Tozer flicking the ball past Adam Derradji to find himself within shooting distance and he makes no mistake slotting it home. Again, though Sheffield would restore their 2-goal advantage with a very simple finish from the right side from Popescu.
Manchester kept fighting and never gave up and would be back in the game with a decent finish from Edge from the edge of the box to make it 4-3 closing in on the Sheffielder’s but once more Sheffield restored their 2-goal lead through Derradji who saw his chance to intercept a loose pass and had the simple task of placing it past Austin, 5-3 with only 6 minutes of the half to go.
Edge would claw another one back with only 2 minutes to go, and then disaster struck when Manchester was awarded a 10-meter penalty as Sheffield made their 6th foul of the half, and Edge slotted it past to level the game and bag his fourth of the game. Manchester would take this momentum and press on looking for the winner, with Wildey making some impressive saves to keep his team in the fight. Then with only seconds left on the clock, Manchester would break Sheffield’s hearts from a long punt up the court Sheffield tried to clear but could only find Tozer who headed it back towards goal and Wildey could only watch as the ball looped into the back of the net to seal the win for Manchester. Jordan Wildey had this to say after the game;
“It was painful that, only behind for 7 seconds the entire game. We didn’t deserve to lose. But I think looking back in terms of the process of where we want to be, it’s a step in the right direction.”
Sheffield is away again, and it will be interesting to see how they respond to their first defeat under new head coach Jordan Wildey. When they travel up the road to Leeds this Sunday.
Sheffield: Wildey, Thiedeman, Chisholm, Andrade, Peech, Derradji, Butterworth, Brown, Neath, Didici, Popescu