In The End Goole Are Cut Down To Size
Sheffield FC have averaged home league crowds of 417. But yesterday evening in the first round of something called the President's Cup the attendance dropped to 211. It didn't help that the Club's web site and match programme told us nothing about the nature of the bauble that was at stake. From the teams playing in the cup that night, it seems to be a contest involving the teams in both the North and South Leagues of the Unibond First Division.
As this is a sort of Unibond Carling Cup for the lower leagues; Sheffield rested their goalkeeper Leigh Walker, full-back Gavin Smith, mid-fielder Asa Ingall and striker Scott Partridge. That's almost the guts of the team. They did not even have a substitute goalkeeper on the bench.
Sheffield still spent most of the match weaving towards the visitors goal. They were playing Goole AFC, but I have no idea how many reserves Goole were playing. Sheffield missed chance after chance, desperate defenders bodies got in the way of goal bound shots and two of the Goole players almost scored spectacular own goals.
Yet it was Goole that grabbed the lead in the 7th minute, when our goalkeeper failed to stretch out his hand far enough when he dived at a shot from Nicky Darker. He made amends in the second half with a fine tip over the bar. Which was just as well as we were still 1-0 down.
Yet it was nearly all attack, attack, attack from Sheffield. Man of the match, Martin Goddard won ball after ball in the air, controlled through balls and set up his colleagues. It was justice when he got the eventual winner. But this did not arrive until the 84th minute. Andy Gascoigne coming on as substitute having vollied a fine equaliser in to the back of the net after 73 minutes.
But we had trailed for over an hour in a game that we were dominating. Our only problem was that we were so extended in attack that some of our reserve defenders were in danger of falling to the odd sucker punch from the Goole attack.
Yet when the deserved victory finally arrived it meant that Dave, Janet and myself could then reflect on the good things in this non-event when we finally retreated to the Coach and Horses bar. Its a pity that the President's Cup doesn't provide a backdoor into a European Cup Competition.