Liversedge FC have top spot in sight after winning scrappy game against Sheffield

Liversedge stayed within striking distance of Pitching In Northern Premier League East  leaders Marske United after a 3-2 Northern Premier League East victory over Sheffield FC - and now take aim at top spot tonight.

By Tony Harber
Tuesday, 22nd March 2022, 4:56 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd March 2022, 4:58 pm
Gav Allott gets a shot away and was one of the scorers as Liversedge FC beat Sheffield FC 3-2. Picture: Jim Fitton

Any dropped points would have put Sedge further than a win behind the Seasiders, which means the final whistle against the world’s oldest club brought a great sense of relief.

Now Jonathan Rimmington's men can reclaim top spot tonight if they can win again when in action at Clayborn once again.

Worksop Town are their opponents for the rearranged game and have plenty to play for themselves as they are live contenders to reach the end of season play-offs.

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Sheffield goalkeeper Ryan Musselwhite tips the ball over to deny Liversedge. Picture: Jim Fitton

"It's going to be tough," said manager Rimmington.

"A couple of my old players play for them - Vaughan (Redford) and Cody (Cromack).

"They'll come with a good following, they'll bring some fans up with them and it will be another crunching game.

"But we've done very well against all of the topo teams - I don't think we've been beaten by any of them yet. Hopefully we can get another three points and get to the top of the league - that's the aim, no matter how we do it. It's just about ticking them off now."

Lewis Whitham takes control of the ball in Liversedge's game with Sheffield FC. Picture: JIm Fitton

The early signs suggested a scrappy game against second from bottom Sheffield last Saturday as both sides struggled to get their football going on a dry and bobbly pitch.

However, a breakthrough came on the quarter hour mark with the first real opening of the game.

Lewis Whitham and Connor Smythe combined on the left with the full-back zipping the ball across goal where Gav Allott was waiting to tap home.

A Max Dearnley long ball almost opened the Sheffield defence soon after but Paul Walker could only blast wide from the edge of the area.

Joe Walton climbs to head the ball for Liversedge. Picture: Jim Fitton

It probably should have been a two-goal advantage at the break, as the visitors had not threatened much and Whitham smashed over the bar from a good position inside the box.

Sedge finally doubled the margin within 10 minutes of the restart when Sheffield’s defence opted not to clear Smythe’s hopeful aerial ball and Joe Walton beat goalkeeper Ryan Musselwhite in the race to finish through his legs.

With the scrappy nature of the game and the run of play, there was a feeling that a two-goal lead might be decisive.

However, Sheffield came back at the high-flying hosts to make it a nervy finish for Jonathan Rimmington’s title-chasers.

Former Sheffield Wednesday man Nathan Modest broke onto Sam Greenhouse’s lobbed pass and was adjudged to have been tripped by Smythe inside the box.

Rory Coleman stepped up and confidently stroked his spot kick into the bottom-right corner despite the best efforts of Dearnley.

Sedge soon restored the advantage when Ben Atkinson hit a fantastic volley into the left corner from the edge of the box.

But Sheffield pegged Sedge back again with 17 minutes to play when the hosts failed to clear their lines from a cross and substitute Marc Newsham capitalised to poke past Dearnley from close range.

Despite the tense feeling to the finish, the conditions took their toll with neither side offering much threat in front of goal, which helped Liversedge get over the line with all three points.

After the game manager Rimmington said: “The pitch didn’t help us, we need it rolling.

“It was a scrappy affair and I think it was the pitch. There’s hardly any grass on it at the minute, it was bobbly and it was not conducive to playing any football really.

“It was about getting the ball into areas and about winning second balls and hopefully winning flick ons.

“We didn’t do it at the start, but then we started dominating. It was a strange game, but three points is three points.

“They were definitely up for the fight. Their lads were 100 per cent committed and their manager got them all wound up.

“It wasn’t a game for the purists, but hopefully we can get the pitched rolled and it will make it better.”