Hallam FC 3 – 2 Brigg Town FC
Following 24 hours of rain, there were concerns that the December 28th game at Sandygate would be postponed. However an early morning pitch inspection revealed that the hallowed turf had held up well, and thanks to work by Hallam’s amazing team of volunteers, the match would go ahead. This was great news for the football fans of Sheffield looking for a Yuletide match to attend, and an amazing crowd of 1128, including a sizeable (and very vocal) contingency from Brigg Town, turned out to cheer on their teams.
With Hallam standing in second place in the NCEL Division One and Brigg Town in third, this game was very much a classic ‘six pointer’. Both sets of fans knew exactly what was at stake, and the excitement and tension was almost palpable.
The first half was a very even affair between two very competitive sides. However it was the silky skills of Hallam’s Iren Wilson who opened the scoring on the 19th minute, beating Brigg Town’s offside trap to put away a wonderful individual goal. First blood to Hallam.
As the half wore on, it remained a tight contest, with Brigg Town coming close to an equaliser on a number of occasions, Hallam’s lead only being maintained thanks to the heroics of ‘keeper Wright. On the 28th minute Kieren Watson almost doubled Hallam’s lead when his header crashed against the Brigg crossbar. However as the halftime whistle was blown, the score remained 1-0 to Hallam.
No sooner had the second half started than disaster struck for Hallam. A foul in the box led to a Brigg penalty, which was duly converted to even up the score-line at 1-1.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man. With Brigg Town now seemingly in the ascendancy, it was Iren Wilson who once again lifted Hallam’s spirits, scoring another wonderful goal, and restoring the Countrymen’s one goal advantage.
As the second half wore on and darkness fell across Sandygate, it was Brigg who fought to gain the upper hand. Yet for all their possession they were unable to find a way past a stalwart Hallam, who always looked dangerous on the counterattack. And in the 83rd minute Hallam seemed to have sealed victory when the ball was fumbled over the Brigg line by Craig Mitchell following a frantic goalmouth scramble! The home fans roared with delight and joy!
But there was one more twist to come in this Christmas football feast! With just three minutes left on the clock, Jonathan Oglesby pulled a goal back for the visitors. The Sandygate faithful held their collective breaths, fearing a Brigg Town fightback. However the final whistle was not long in coming, and the final score of 3-2 was greeted ecstatically by the majority of fans within Sandygate. With North Ferriby losing their game, Hallam FC now stood proudly at the top of NCEL Division One, a fact that will have warmed the hearts of the home fans as they poured out into the chilly Crosspool evening, leaving the travelling Brigg Town fans to ponder ‘what if’ on their long journey back into North Lincolnshire.
Hallam FC Media
Photographs courtesy of Rich Havenhand, and Antony of focussingonphotography.co.uk - thank you!