Three-way scrap in the Ability Counts 7-a-side Premier League

Barton and Wheatley stay unbeaten at Concord Sports Centre.

Photos from the day are over on our gallery page.

It was almost impossible to know where to look at Concord Sports Centre on Sunday afternoon as the South Yorkshire Ability Counts League 7-a-side competition roared back into life after a month’s break. It was a tremendous afternoon of football, and all the teams played their part in a brilliant spectacle in front of a good crowd. As usual, www.southyorkshireabilitycountsleague.com Editor Margaret Gregory and sidekick Colin Muncie picked the bones out of the high-calibre reports from our teams.

The Remembrance Sunday match day began with a short poem and a minute’s silence in tribute to those brave men and women who lost their lives defending and protecting our freedoms.

The League fixtures were preceded by three County Cup ties, one of which saw Derek Dooley Orange bow out of the competition after a tough battle with Aston Swallownest Red.

Dooley’s Claire Cowlishaw was pitch side. “Our Orange team started their Cup campaign against Aston Red,” Claire reported. “This was a close game with some great defending by Clarke and some super saves by Nathan. The team had only 7 players so there was no let up for them and they were missing their coach & captain Nathan. The first-half was a good run by Josh, but it was saved. Then we saw some lovely passing between Richard to Josh and onto Jamie Lee, unfortunately he shot wide. There were still no goals at half-time so there was still hope that they could go on and win. Not long into the second-half, after a good shot from Jamie Lee, Aston had a corner and had a great shot which went past Nathan. The lads didn’t give up and kept trying to get a goal back, Josh had another run that went wide.” 

In the other ties there were wins for Barton Inclusive and Aston Swallownest Blue.

And so, to the League, and in the Premier Division, Club Doncaster Titans went down to Bradford City Amber. Bradford’s Paul Jubb told www.syacl.com, “This was a really close game, end-to-end some great defending plus a brilliant goalkeeping display from John Bigmore. We swapped it around a bit in the second-half with George going up and Mackenzie dropping back; we created a few more chances and eventually got the breakthrough via a penalty due to a sliding challenge and a handball. George calmly slotted the ball in the corner sending the keeper the wrong way for the lead. We held out for the last 2 minutes to win 1-0. Our star man was John Bigmore.” 

Titans (Whites) Martin Taylor was disappointed but delighted by his team’s display. “It was a brilliant game of football by both sides, end-to-end all the way,” Martin noted. “Nothing could separate both teams and the first half ended 0 – 0. The second half started in the same fashion, and it looked like it was going to end up a 0 – 0 draw but Bradford was awarded a penalty with 30 seconds to go which Bradford City (Amber) converted to make the score 0 – 1. Titans were unlucky to not have got the point, which they deserved.”

Sheffield FC Blue got off to a good start with a win over Aston. Sheffield’s Lee Higgins told the website, “Sheffield FC Blue opened with a closely fought game against Aston Swallownest. Sheffield FC opened the scoring but were quickly pulled back to 1-1. In the second-half Sheffield FC applied pressure and managed to get the winner.”

Game three saw Titan’s White lose in another close match with City Knights Black. “The game started fast and furious and end-to-end,” Titan’s coach Martin told us. “Both teams had equal amounts of opportunities to score, but City Knights broke away and scored making it 1 – 0. Then City Knights started to control the game, but on the break Titans (Whites) equalised by Aaron scoring with an assist by Joseph, and it ended 1 – 1 at half-time. The second-half started like the first-half finished. City Knights scored a second goal after a long-range shot crept in through a crowd of players. Titans kept their heads up and started looking for the equaliser, however, City Knights scored again on the break to make the final score 3 – 1.”

City Knights Sharon Lavender commented, “Well done guys in both your matches, great team work, you all played well against tough competition you showed determination and grit for your team and club. This resulted in winning both your matches.
Doncaster Titans White 1  City Knights Black 3
Sheffield Blue 1  City Knights Black 2
So proud of you all!

Sheffield FC Red shared the points after a thrilling draw with Bradford City Amber. “We played Bradford in our first match and secured a battling 3-3 draw,” Reds Peter Duxbury told the website. With a player short we struggled throughout the game; however, we ran ourselves into the ground with a goal from Archie and a brace from George.”

Bradford’s Paul Jubb was delighted by his side’s fighting spirit. “This was an exciting game, with Sheffield taking the lead 3 times but we equalised 3 times and nearly got a winning goal. Mentions for Henry, Jordan, James, Eddie and John too; George scoring 2 and Mackenzie getting the other one. Our star man was George Dubej.” 

“Everyone’s attitude was brilliant today and they showed they can recover from going behind,” Paul added. “Well done to everyone and thank you for your behaviour and attitude. You did yourselves proud. Our star man for the day was ‘keeper John Bigmore.” 

“Sheffield FC Blue’s 2nd game was against reigning champions City Knights,” Lee Higgins reports. “It was another close match, but some sloppy defending allowed Knights to take the lead. We pulled one back before the break; tired legs led to Knights scoring the winner early in the 2nd half and whilst we dug deep, we couldn’t find a second equaliser.”

The last Match on Pitch 1 took place under the lights. Sheffield FC Reds Peter Duxbury takes up the story, “we played Aston Swallownest where our passing game shone through, and we looked more organised in defence. George scored another brace with Jordan chipping in with a spectacular brace from distance. Despite having a player short our players showed character and worked hard.”

So, after two matchdays and four fixtures each, the top three sides are covered by a single point, with City Knights Black and Sheffield FC Red both on ten points, and Sheffield Blue just a point behind. Titans and Aston have one win each, with Bradford Amber still looking for that first win after losing their points due to an administrative error in registration.

PosTeamPWDLGDPTS
1City Knights Black 4310310
2Sheffield FC Red (Disability) 4310310
3Sheffield FC Blue (Disability) 430129
4Aston Swallownest Juniors Disability Tea 4103-23
5Club Doncaster Titans FC (Adult) White 4103-23
6Bradford City FITC Disability Amber 4004-40

 In the Championship, there were four matches on Pitch 3. In the first, Brunsmeer Awareness got their afternoon off to the best possible start with a win over Bradford City (Blue). Bradford coach, Danny told the website, “it was a really close game between the two teams with Bradford not putting their chances away. The only goal in the game came from a shot that the keeper saved from close range, but the ball came back off him and a lucky deflection took the ball into the back off the net, with Brunsmeer coming out of the game 1 – 0 winners.”

Next up, the impressive Barton Inclusive won an outstanding game of football with Derek Dooley Football Academy. Here’s Dooley coach Claire, “Reds started the day playing Barton. The game started at a fast pace with Dooley needing to defend, which Jack S was on top form today stopping the ball getting through. Then Stephen had a good run up front to Elliott who shot went wide. Dom was solid in defence and got the ball up to Aiden who won a corner, this was saved, and Barton broke up front but made a great save by Shaun. Elliott won a free kick; he had a shot that was saved. A corner from Jack across the goal, but no one to put it in. Barton went ahead just before half-time. The second-half saw Barton go up, but a double save by Shaun kept them out. He passed out to Jack on the wing who passed to Adam who passed back to Jack, and he ran up, but shot wide. Barton went up and scored making it 2-0 but the lads didn’t give up and kept on trying, with Aiden having a shot going wide. Shaun saved twice but it went in making it 3 – 0. Thank you to Barton who then allowed our 2 extra players on.”

“The team valiantly kept on pushing but couldn’t get the ball in the net.” 

It had been a tough week for Barton leading up to match day and it was all about the team showing togetherness and displaying the incredible team spirit they have at the football club.

Our first game was a tough cup match against Sheffield Blue who was top of the Premier League. We had a game plan with our formation that we hoped would frustrate such a good premier league team and disrupt them form playing their great football.

Right from the first whistle Barton was incredible. Everyone had good early touches on the ball, lead by our captain Ryan, who’s leadership from the back provided encouragement to his team.

Our goalkeeper Jay had the ball and played it to Barton’s Messi (Jamie) and Messi played a brilliant through ball to Seb who ran onto it and fired an unstoppable shot into the bottom corner. Seb’s movement and finishing has been world class and it was great to have him back in the team. The game restarts and Sheffield have some powerful long range efforts that was brilliantly saved by Jay. Jay was on a mission to keep a clean sheet and his important saves keeps Barton in front. Then a break away for Barton. A brilliant bit of skill and a perfect through ball from Bentinio (Ben) and our super striker Seb was there to put the ball in the net again.

I have been asking Bentinio recently to clear his thoughts and show us how much he loves football through his play. He was outstanding. His first touch and ability to find space in a tough midfield battle was exceptional. His passing and vision was outstanding. This is the best I have seen this young man play and it was great to see.

Halftime

At the start of the second half we knew Sheffield would have a good go at us and that is exactly what they did. Our solid defensive partnership, Shaun and Ryan stood tall, blocking shots and not letting anyone passed them. Barton had made a sub resting Bentinio and making his debut was Celtic fan, Andy. Andy has been at the club a short time but has fit straight in with a great team attitude. Andy involves himself in the game immediately and his movement and work rate cause Sheffield problems. He soon gets his reward. Great play from Tim our General in midfield, and Andy fires home with a powerful strike. Not a bad start to his Barton career. Shortly after this goal it got even better for Barton. Great play from Messi and there was Andy again ready to flick the ball passed the keeper.

The final whistle went and it was Barton through to the next round of the cup. I would like to thank the referee and Sheffield in what was a great game of football. We wish Sheffield well for the rest of their season.

To quote our Captain, Ryan “We played crazy good football”

Barton’s next game was a league game against an in form Derek Dooley side. Both teams started confidently with chances created at both ends, but then Barton’s Messi goes down injured with his knee causing concern to all. Thankfully, after a few minutes on the side he was ok to return to the game. Super striker Seb finds space and puts in a brilliant cross to Messi who side foots it passed the keeper. His goal showed he was fine after what initially looked like a bad knee injury. Messi’s work rate and skill to go passed players is second to none and Barton are so lucky to have him play for our club.

Halftime.

The second half begins with Derek Dooley working hard to level the score only for Shaun, Ryan and Jay to rise to the challenge. Barton had a different type of threat going forward now with giving Seb a well deserved rest and bringing on Dave Firmino who was just coming back from a bad leg injury and praying he would get through the half ok. Dave’s first touch was from a great through ball and he fires a hard and low shot only for Dooley keeper to make a brilliant save. But Dave Firmino didn’t have to wait long for his next chance. Great play from Andy and Dave unleashed a powerful shot from close range that flew into the net. More impressively, that powerful shot came from his injured leg and we knew how much that goal meant to him. There wasn’t long left but still enough time for Barton to score one more. Great play from our captain ‘Sergio Ryan’ and the ball fell to Messi who hit a powerful shot passed the keeper.

Thank you to the referee and to Derek Dooley. We wish you all the best for the rest of the season.

And as for Barton, I am so proud of the players. It was special to see them enjoying the game and watching them discover just how good they can be when everyone plays with togetherness as a team.

Well done to Ryan who won an award for his leadership and encouragement of his team mates and to Bentinio who was awarded for his skills and showing us his love of the game.

 Next up, Brunsmeer took their second win of the afternoon, beating Derek Dooley (Orange). “Our second game was against Brunsmeer, who were having a good afternoon,” Dooley coach Claire told Syacl.com. “It wasn’t a good start as Brunsmeer had a good shot and it hit the post and bounced off Nathan’s back into the goal, giving them the lead. The lads didn’t let their heads go down and kept trying; there was another from Josh, but it went wide. Richard passed up front to Gregg, who was fouled as he went to shoot. Unfortunately, the penalty went over the top, Brunsmeer then set off on another run up and got it past Nathan to give them a 2-goal lead. Once again, the lads didn’t give up and we saw some good defending and then Josh had a run and passed to Jamie Lee who passed back to Josh who scored taking it to 2 – 1. The boys passing between each other and showing some good defending.”

“Well done for their performance today and to keep trying, and the win will come. “In the final Championship match of the afternoon, the points went to Bradford City Blue with a win over Derek Dooley Football Academy. Bradford coach Danny described his team’s win. “Bradford came out, off the back of a defeat, and a tactical change from the management team saw Bradford take an early lead, with a kick in up field from Stephen, saw the ball reach Dale who fired home. The second goal came from a similar kick in, which saw Luke in front of the goal convert, despite the keeper getting a touch to it. The third goal came from a good counter attack from Luke and Ethan, Luke squared the ball to Ethan who hit the post, but luckily Luke was there to slot the ball home. The fourth goal came from Ethan who hit the ball with a sweet shot and scored. Although, Derek Dooley managed to score late on, Bradford won 4-1.” 

“Our Player of the day was Jed,” Danny added.  “Fantastic defending!”

Great credit must go to Derek Dooley Football Academy for offering to start this last match with just five players. “Our next game was against Bradford Blues,” Claire told the website. “This started with 5 against 5 whilst the rest of Bradford team arrived on pitch. Bradford started the quicker and got it past Shaun to take the lead. The team was back to 7-aside and saw lots of shots saved from the Bradford goalkeeper. There was some good passing between Nick and Jack and solid defending by Dom, Aiden and Adam. Bradford scored past Shaun to make it 2-0. We made a substitution with Dean coming on for Aiden. There was a great pass from Dom to Adam who passed on to Aiden with a shot saved again and another corner. Bradford broke again and Shaun saved, but couldn’t save the rebound so putting them 3-0 up. Dooley added another player on. The team were inspired by Jack’s run up and Elliott’s shot was saved, with Bradford breaking up front to make it 4-0. From kick-off Jack broke up front and passed to Elliott who scored to make it 4-1.”

 Claire was proud of her team, “the lads did well today with key players missing with Covid and injury,” she pointed out. “Hopefully they will be back to full strength for our next matches in December.”

After the last whistle, welcome League newcomers Barton Inclusive lead the way in the Championship with three wins from their three games so far. They head a resurgent Brunsmeer Awareness and Bradford City FC (Blue) by just three points, with the two Dooley Clubs a little further back.

  PosTeamPWDLGDPTS
1Barton Inclusive Football Club Barton At 330039
2Brunsmeer Awareness Awarness 320116
3Bradford City FITC Disability Blues 420206
4Derek Dooley Football Academy Sheffield 3102-13
5Derek Dooley Football Academy Orange 3003-30

In League One, there were five matches with Bradford City FC (Claret) unable to make the trip to Sheffield. In the first game, Sheffield FC (White) took the points with a victory over Club Doncaster Titans (Red).

 Sheffield’s Kevin Marsh summed up the game for www.southyorkshireabilitycountsleague.com. “The game started even with Sheffield FC carving out chances, but finding Titan’s goalkeeper in excellent form. Doncaster got the first goal of the game in the first-half. Sheffield continued to apply pressure and still found Titans keeper hard to beat but managed to grab 2 second-half goals from Lewis and Adam (both were their first goals for the adult team!). “

Titan’s coach Daniel Hall gave his perspective on the game. “The game started out great- end-to-end action in the first-half. A cross came in to the Sheffield box for Titans Jeffrey to slot one in to make it 1-0 to Titans. The second-half started the same with end-to-end action, but Sheffield equalised to make it 1-1. Then just before full-time a goal keeper error from Titans made it 2-1 to Sheffield FC White.”

Aston Swallownest took a win over City Knights Blue, then Wheatley Wanderers joined the action with a three-point haul after beating Club Doncaster Titans Red. Wheatley’s Chris Pow summed up the win. “We started very eagerly today,” Chris said. “Titans were organised and dangerous on the break. At half-time it was 0-0, but we had a lot more chances in the second half and scored a patient goal.”

Titans Red’s Daniel Hall agreed that it had been a close game. “With Wheatley being top of the table we had to try play better than we did the first time we met,” said Daniel. “It was end-to-end action in the first-half and we worked very well as a team. In the second-half Wheatley Wanderers got a goal which Titan’s keeper did save, but it was too powerful to hold on to. Titans pestered and pestered their defence, but could not break the deadlock and the game ended 1-0 to Wheatley Wanderers.”

City Knights took the points in their next game with a win over Sheffield FC (White) “The second game was another closely fought game with Sheffield FC taking the lead through Danny Black, after a swift passing move,” Sheffield’s Kevin Marsh told us. “Knights soon levelled with an excellent strike in the first-half. The second-half was tight with Knights scoring the eventual winner.”

Kevin is thrilled by his side’s upward trajectory. “This season represents excellent progress from Sheffield FC White after a few years of struggle,” he told www.southyorkshireabilitycountsleague.com

The match was marred by an injury to one of City Knights players just after he had scored the best goal of the afternoon. Our best wishes go out to both club and player.

City Knights Sharon Lavender commented, “Guys, your first Cup match of the competition, you should be proud!  That  game was one of your best this season, great team work. This resulted in us winning the match! Aston Blue 0  City Knights 3

The first league game of the day didn’t down too well, but the second match was better, except for one of our players getting injured, our team pulled together and won the game 2-1 against Sheffield White. So proud of you all!

The latest news on the injured player, Warren, he had an X-ray and he has not broken his ankle but he has to use crutches and have physio. He has an appointment today. Many thanks to the staff, they were amazing!

The last match in League One saw the second victory of the afternoon for Wheatley Wanderers, beating Aston Swallownest. Chris Pow told Syacl.com that his team got off to a fast start, “our striker Asten scored after 18 seconds,” Chris reported, “and another of the players got on the scoresheet too. We played with more composure in this game, with Joshy scoring his first League goal. It was a good sporting game.”

It’s Chris’s Wanderers who’ll carry an eight-point lead into the December match day after yesterday’s two wins, giving them a super one hundred percent record after five games. Sheffield FC (White) are a deserved second, just ahead of Aston Swallownest and Titans Red. City Knights Blue have four points, leaving Bradford Claret with ground to make up when they hopefully get back into action.

PosTeamPWDLGDPTS
1Wheatley Wanderers SYACL 5500515
2Sheffield FC White (Disability) 421117
3Aston Swallownest Juniors Disability Tea 420206
4Club Doncaster Titans FC (Adult) Red 5203-16
5City Knights Blue 4112-14
6Bradford City FITC Disability Claret 4004-40

Thanks, as always to our brilliant referees, Sean, Gary and Mike, and to all our teams for their pictures and match reports.

It’s five-a-side Match Day 2 next Sunday, when our teams head off to Goals Doncaster. If you can’t watch the action in person, you can catch up on the latest news, reports and pictures on the Website, or by following us on Twitter.