After major pitch developments meant a break in 2015, Sheffield United welcomed Football Aid back in 2016 to the fantastic Bramall Lane stadium. It was certainly worth the wait though and with the new pitch in fabulous condition the rain didn’t stop the Blades fans serving up a thrilling game which saw the Away side just edge the result 4-5, after a stirring comeback under the floodlights!
Date: Wednesday 25th May 2016
Venue: Bramall Lane
Shef Utd (Home) vs Shef Utd (Away)
Kick Off: 18:30 pm
Legends & Managers: Ted Hemsley, Carl Bradshaw, Tony Currie & Peter Duffield
Match Officials: Stacey Hall, Aaron Hallam & Jacob Guest
Thanks to the fantastic support of the club we had a host of Blades legends in attendance as usual at Bramall Lane. The Home team had Ted Hemsley managing and Carl Bradshaw playing, while the Aways had Tony Currie managing and Peter Duffield playing.
Despite the rain lashing down, a fantastic playing surface awaited our Football Aid players and the Home team kicked us off with the crowd expecting a fantastic contest.
The early stages indicated that’s exactly what they were in for and the Home team’s Ricky Blades was immediately in goal action soon after the kick-off, however the No 10 was ruled offside and his effort was ruled out as soon as it hit the back of the net.
Home No 11 Lee Patrick was next to test the keeper and his powerful drive was expertly tipped over the bar by the agile Away GK and captain Gary Corby. A very similar piece of action occurred at the other end soon after, with Away legend Peter Duffield forcing Home No 1 Nathan Taylor into his 1st save of the night.
Penalty! Away No 9 Roberto Donay tried to stop Home No 2 Dean Hughes’ darting run into the box, but his challenge brought him down and the referee pointed straight to the spot. Home No 2 Dean Hughes stepped up himself and cheekily scored with a “panenka” chipped penalty in the 15th min (1-0).
Home No 9 and Football Aid regular Terry Rickeard continued his fine goal scoring form from recent seasons, doubling his side’s lead when he flicked the ball home from close range in the 20th min (2-0).
Looking to extend their lead, the Home side rattled the crossbar when Home No 7 and captain Ben Etches’ looping shot nearly found the net.
Then Away No 8 Jay Smith saw Home No 1 Nathan Taylor off his line and tried to lob him from distance, however Nathan Taylor back-tracked well to tip the ball over the bar.
Another penalty! This time Away No 7 Michael Gabbitas was brought down in the box after trying to turn his defender. Michael Gabbitas stepped up and slotted the ball neatly down the left hand side of the goal (2-1).
The referee called half time and a very close game came to a halt. Both teams would be happy with their efforts as they went into the break, but the Home side just edged it so far by a single goal in 3.
Half Time: Shef Utd (Home) 2 - 1 Shef Utd (Away)
The Away team, sporting the club’s bright Green strip restarted our 2nd half, determined to get back on terms as quickly as possible.
However it was the Home side that started the brighter and their efforts were soon repaid with a goal in the 53rd min. Home No 11 Lee Patrick showed great striker’s instinct to head the ball home and make it (3-1).
And it was soon 4-1 to the Home team as a bit of football pinball occurred in the Away box, the ball unluckily deflected off Away No 5 Andrew Scutt last and into the goal in the 57th min (4-1).
However the Away side weren’t disheartened by their deficit and a great through ball by Away No 6 Billy Eckersley caused confusion in the Home defence and allowed Away No 17 Jack Feehan to slide home and get his side back into the game (4-2).
Away No 6 Billy Eckersley turned from provider to scorer in the 80th min when he scored an absolute screamer of a goal from 25 yards out. The comeback was definitely on for the Away team now (4-3)!
2 mins later and the Away side equalised, No 17 Jack Feehan with a sharp turn and excellent high shot from outside the area to bring his side level. He must have learnt that from his dad Home No 17 Mark Feehan (4-4)!
With the result all to play for the play raged from end to end and despite the Home team’s efforts to restore their lead a remarkable turn-around was completed by Tony Currie’s Away side in the 85th min. Away No 7 Micheal Gabbitas showing great awareness to fire the ball home from 6 yards out to make the score (4-5).
And that was it, an incredible end-to-end 2nd half was brought to a close by the referee’s whistle, with the crowd witnessing a brilliant, turn around from the Away team which saw them win 4-5. It was definitely a game of 2 halves, with the 1st half being dominated by a strong Home team performance, however the Away team pulled through when it mattered and did just enough in the 2nd half to edge the result.
A huge thank you to all the players and spectators who made the Sheffield United event such a great evening, also a huge thank you to the FOUR Sheffield United legends Ted Hemsley, Carl Bradshaw, Tony Currie and Peter Duffield, who entered into the spirit of the occasion brilliantly and shared their great experiences of their time at Bramall Lane.
Full Time: Shef Utd (Home) 4 - 5 Shef Utd (Away)
Man of the Match Home: Dean Hughes
Man of the Match Away: Gary Corby
Moment of the Match: Billy Eckersley
Home Team: Nathan Taylor, Dean Hughes, Carl Bradshaw, Kit Walker, Justin Taylor, Martin Walker, Ben Etches (C), Baljinder Singh, Terry Rickeard, Ricky Blades, Lee Patrick, Dean Hughes (H2), Justin Taylor (H5), Mike Hague, Mark Feehan
Home Manager: Ted Hemsley
Home Mascot: Henry Gillett
Away Team: Gary Corby (C), Matthew Parr, Peter Duffield, Timothy Corby, Andrew Scutt, Billy Eckersley, Michael Gabbitas, Jay Smith, Roberto Donay, Nathan Belfield, Craig Mellon, Billy Eckersley (A6), Andy Scutt (A5), Daniel Masters, Jack Feehan
Away Manager: Tony Currie
Away Mascot: Ashton Taylor & Florence Corby
Match Report written by Matt Annis