REPORT | Taddy Lose Seven Goal Thriller
By Jay Taylor
Tadcaster Albion's second half fight-back wasn't enough as a missed penalty by Joe Lumsden was followed by an outrageous winner for Sheffield FC.
Following Saturday’s defeat at Brighouse Town, Simon Collins was boosted by the return of midfielder Pete Davidson who came back in for Jake Rose. The match was labelled as a ‘must win’ by Collins and Casey Stewart, but the Brewers got off to the worst possible start as a corner was recirculated by Richard Patterson before falling kindly for Ashley Grayson who had the simple task of turning in from three yards. Not quite the start that Albion had hoped for.
Things could have got even worse for Taddy on 5 minutes when possession was lost in the midfield allowing James Gregory to surge forward into space before sliding Declan Bacon into the penalty area with Ellis Barkworth trying to recover, but the former Scarborough man was denied by the legs of Michael Ingham. The two went head-to-head again seven minutes later with FC continuing to be first to every ball, Luke Rawson with the simple through ball on this occasion but Bacon’s effort was well read by the Northern Irishman.
The early stages was certainly cause for concern for Taddy who looked second best in every department, Sheffield on the other hand were looking very bright and looking to put their opponents to the sword. On a mild Tuesday evening, there was a somewhat strange aura around the i2i Stadium with the Brewers looking devoid of any kind of motivation or drive to gain a foothold in the contest. Paddy Miller, who announced this week that he will be hanging up his boots at the end of the season, was the only player in yellow trying to galvanise the group fixating on the fact that it wasn’t good enough.
However Albion’s fortunes didn’t look like turning any time soon as Ashley Grayson saw his flying header well caught by Ingham before Luke Rawson rushed a great chance scuffing wide of the mark. Nevertheless the visitors did double their advantage on 36 minutes when Andrew Gascoigne slid through to Declan Bacon who had just pulled off Miller and behind Jack Walters, his first touch took him slightly wider than he’d hoped but take nothing away from the execution of the finish. Bacon leathered right across the face of goal and planted in the very bottom corner in practically the only place out of reach of Michael Ingham.
Taddy were in danger of letting their opponents run away with it after a despondent first 40 minutes, but they did finally create their first chance of the contest when Jonathon Hedge misjudged Pete Davidson’s deep cross only for Casey Stewart to hook narrowly wide of the goal. With five minutes to go until the half-time interval, it almost went from bad to disaster for the Brewers as Bacon almost netted a carbon copy of his earlier goal. The opportunity arose in identical circumstances too, picking up a loose ball in midfield, this time Edward Cribley, ball through between Miller and Walters, but this time he fired wide of the mark despite being in a more favourable position.
Taddy will have just wanted the whistle to come at this point so that Simon Collins could address his players and regroup, however, there was a glimmer of hope and belief found in the 44th minute when Stewart pulled back to Joe Lumsden who fiercely drove in off the near post. There was controversy surrounding the goal though as it looked like Lumsden had pushed defender Stuart Ludlam in the back and nine times out of ten a foul is probably given, but it wasn’t on this occasion and it was game on again.
It felt like the perfect time to score, right on half-time, a chance to regroup and go again, but it didn’t have the desired effect as Sheffield regained their two-goal cushion immediately, 46 seconds into the second half to be precise. It was another cataclysmic goal to concede from Tadcaster’s point of view as James Gregory won a 50-50 with Harry Coates just inside the half-way line before comfortably running past three yellow shirts straight down the middle of the defence and slotting past Ingham.
The drama was only just getting started though as Collins’ side reduced the deficit again two minutes later. Aiden Savory was sent sprinting into the penalty box down the right-hand side, he cut back to Joe Lumsden who hammered home his 18th goal of the season. For the second time this campaign, it was another pulsating and non-stop action packed encounter between the two Yorkshire sides as back up the other end Ashley Grayson found himself unmarked on a free-kick, but he could only head into Ingham’s arms.
Nevertheless Albion looked a different beast in the second half and were now pushing incredibly hard to make it 3-3. Casey Stewart and Ellis Barkworth both saw close range efforts snuffed out before a fantastic chance dropped at the feet of Lumsden, but he appeared to be caught by surprise and could only fire tamely at Hedge. Taddy’s top scorer Lumsden continued to go in search of his treble and again, he looked to have a great chance of doing so when a mammoth header from Jack Walters saw the striker racing clean through on goal only to be denied by a remarkable last ditch goal saving challenge from speedy full-back Alfie Eagle.
The pressure being applied by the home side was only increasing and remarkably we did have a level game on 57 minutes when Casey Stewart’s deep corner was powerfully headed into the back of the net by Harry Coates, his third of the season. The Albion faithful finally had something to shout about and they were roaring their side on now as they pushed for the lead and just two minutes after equalising, Paddy Miller went perilously close as his near post header was superbly clawed out by goalkeeper Hedge. At this point Taddy looked favourites to claim the next goal as they flew forward time and time again, Lumsden was denied from point blank range before Aiden Savory was well and truly wiped out by Stuart Ludlam, stonewall penalty kick. This was a massive moment in the match and it seemed to swing the momentum as Joe Lumsden failed to convert from 12 yards seeing his tame penalty saved by Jonathon Hedge.
Miller was trying his luck again moments later as his dipping free-kick from distance had to be tipped over the bar by FC hero Hedge. The crazy encounter wasn’t complete yet though as Sheffield nudged in front once more scoring what proved to be the crucial seventh goal, and what a goal it was. A free-kick was headed up in the air only for captain Adam Chapman to audaciously volley first time on his left-foot over a crowd of players beating Ingham with ridiculous loop.
Back came the Brewers though who somehow missed a golden opportunity to make it 4-4 a minute later. Casey Stewart did magnificently to dance past two blue shirts down the left making his way to the by-line before cutting back to Joe Lumsden for what looked like a certain goal and his hat-trick, only for disbelief to be heard around the ground as he struck wide from five yards out with the goal at his mercy.
After midfielder Corey Roper received some treatment, the match entered into a lull as some kind of calm was restored with the away side looking to tick down the minutes. As Coates moved up top working as an auxiliary striker, substitute Jake Buckle had a chance to become a hero running through on his weaker right-foot but he smashed a bouncing ball just wide of the left-hand upright. It entered into ‘Last Chance Saloon’ time for Taddy and they always say you’ll get one chance, and that chance was a huge one. The once again eye-catching performer Harry Coates flicked a free-kick on to Aiden Savory releasing the forward one v one with Hedge, only to fire straight at the goalkeeper from six yards out.
A much-improved showing in the second half but ultimately wasn't enough as Sheffield FC held on for the points.
Full-Time: Tadcaster Albion 3-4 Sheffield FC
Tadcaster: Ingham©, Barkworth, Walters, Roper, Coates, Miller, Howarth (Buckle 84), Davidson, Lumsden, Savory, Stewart
Unused: Mycoe, Burn, Rose
Sheffield: Hedge, Grayson, Eagle, Patterson, Ludlam, Chapman©, Cribley, Gascoigne, Bacon, Rawson, Gregory
Subs: Yates, Darkin, Pugh, Newsham, Dunne