On a windy, rainy Saturday afternoon Sheffield Bankers took on Shepley FC in the second round of the Rosehill Association Cup. A pre-game team talk to the lads to maintain recent good form and clear instruction not to be overawed by the talk of semi-pro players turning out for Shepley was well received.
Watching Shepley in the warm up was like watching Barcelona in their warm up drills, but from the first minute of the game Bankers’ energy and intensity was immense, making it clear Shepley weren’t allowed to dictate with their passing game. The best chance in the first 20 minutes fell to Bankers, with a great ball into the feet of Robert Jerrison who turned the defender on a sixpence and fed a brilliantly weighted ball through to Jack Roe. Roe had the speed to outpace the defender and when the goal keeper came rushing out, he looped the ball over him but unfortunately the ball clipped the outside of the post. Bankers were the better side throughout and never let Shepley start their passing game. On 35 minutes, Bankers conceded a throw in which was fed down the right wing and a cross across the box allowed the striker an easy tap in, it was feared that Bankers of “old” were back!
Overall Bankers knew they were the better side; so they picked themselves up, increased the pace and retaliated. The lads came in at half time very disappointed, but positive they could turn the game around. There were chances in the second half where Daniel Beech tested the keeper and the Bankers kept up the pressure, but even with a number of corners, the bounce of the ball just wasn't falling for Bankers.
Ben Clitheroe replaced Tommi McCormick around 75 minutes in. Some might call it a genius tactical decision from the manager moving Robert Jerrison the left, Daniel Beech to central striker, Ben Clitheroe in the number 10 role and Jack Roe on the right side. Within minutes Jack Roe had beaten the full back and whipped in a cross and picked out Daniel Beech in the box who side footed into the top corner.
The supporters were cold, soaking wet and dreading extra time. To add some sparks an on the pitch an argument between Jo Robinson and Robert Jerrison began after a comment from Negative Nigel - Richard Bartimote - this seemed to fire Bankers up.
Robert Jerrison gave the Shepley defence a torrid time all game with their supporters saying “HE IS TWO STONE HEAVIER THAN YOU BUT BEATING YOU EVERY TIME”. On 80 minutes Robert Jerrison collected the ball on the left wing and ran at the right back beating him for pace once again. The centre back came over to try and stop the ‘Jerrison steam train’, which only caused the ball to fly into the air. Rob improvised and knocked the ball back down to the pitch with his hand, carried on the ‘juggernaut run’ and struck the ball at the goal. After a good save from the Shepley keeper, the ball fell to Daniel Beech who slotted it in to the corner. Bankers 2-1.
The defence held firm and after some alternative clearances and blocks from Andy T, Bankers came out 2-1 winners.
Great result for Sheffield Bankers.
Next week Bankers are back in league action against Byron House at Hillsborough College.
Manager's Man of the Match: James Nield-Smith
The Bankers' Christmas party gimp costume winner was Jo Robinson - well deserved.