7-a side Premier League set for final day shoot-out at Concord

Unbeaten Barton clinch Championship title after two great wins

League One awaits Wheatley deciders with Sheffield FC (White)

So, into 2022, and everyone at http://www.southyorkshireabilitycountsleague.com wishes our players, coaches, spectators, referees and readers a Happy New Year.

Our seven-a- side Leagues entered what they call “the business end” of the season at Concord Sports Centre last Sunday afternoon; and whilst by 5 o’clock some issues were pretty much done and dusted, others will go down to the last week of the season, again at Concord on February 13th when it promises to be another thrilling finale to another fantastic campaign.

There was a hint of rain in the air when proceedings got under way at just after 1 pm under a cloudy sky and accompanied by a light aircraft circling Concord for most of the afternoon. As always, Website Manager Margaret Gregory fielded the match reports from our reporters on the touchline.

Sheffield (Red) got the Premier League schedule under way with a 2-1 win over Aston Swallownest (Red), with City Knights (Blue) taking the three points by beating Sheffield (Blue) by the odd goal in five.

Meanwhile, Bradford City Ambers were beaten by Club Doncaster Titans (White) in their first game, as Paul Jubb explains. “We came with a depleted squad as only three of the original players were available, due to covid, illness and other commitments. Doncaster played really well and deserved their 3- 0 win. It could have been more, but for some good goalkeeping from John Bigmore.”

Martin Taylor gave www.southyorkshireabilitycountsleague.com the Doncaster perspective. “Titans started quickly off the blocks again and started playing some lovely two touch football to take an early lead with a goal by Liam assisted by Joseph. Then the Titans stepped up another gear getting two quick goals from Joseph both assisted by Aaron, taking the score to 3-0 at halftime.”

“The second half started like the first,” Martin continued. “More lovely two touch football by the Titans opened up Bradford and they conceded a fourth which was scored by Aaron. Another goal by Joseph made it 5-0 which was the final score.”

 After a quick turnaround, Bradford City Ambers were right back in action, this time against Aston Swallownest (Red).  “This game was closer than the score line suggests,” Paul Jubb told us after Aston had taken the 3-0 win.  “We had more chances, but the Aston Swallownest goalkeeper was in fine form saving chance after chance. Our star player on the day was Jaimie.

Sheffield (Red) took the bragging rights in the Sheffield FC derby, beating the Blues by 3-0 at the very same moment that Club Doncaster Titans (White) took on City Knights (Black). The clash was watched by Titans coach, Martin Taylor.”   

“Both teams played some lovely football to start off with,” Martin reported. “Then Titans made a couple of errors which let City Knights in to punish them to make it 2-0 and with that the Titans heads went down, and it cost them the match, which ended up with City Knights winning 5–0.”  

So, with eight games played, the Premier Title heading for a final day shoot-out is between Sheffield FC (Red) and City Knights Black; intriguingly, the teams are due to meet in the last fixture of the Seven-a-side competition. Sheffield FC (Blue) sits in third place, with Aston Swallownest (Red) and Titans (White) level on 7 points. Bradford has one win and one draw from the season so far.

1Sheffield FC Red (Disability) 8710722
2City Knights Black 8620620
3Sheffield FC Blue (Disability) 8305-29
4Aston Swallownest Juniors Disability Tea 8215-37
5Club Doncaster Titans FC (Adult) White 8215-37
6Bradford City FITC Disability Amber 8116-54

Into the Championship, and Barton Athletic have clinched a deserved title after their two wins over Bradford City (Blue); even if Barton loses both of their last two fixtures, only Brunsmeer Awareness can catch them; and in that case, Barton will still take the crown because of their two wins over the much-improved Brunsmeer Athletic earlier in the season. So, congratulations to Sophie, the Barton coaches, and the players.

That said, Barton’s two games against Bradford City (Blue) were two of the best games seen in the competition this season, as Danny Johnson, Bradford’s coach, reports.

“Going into the games against Barton today they were at the top of the table winning every game so far, so we knew it was going to be a hard game,” Danny told wwwsyacl.com. “In the first half it was a close contest with us having the majority of chances, but it was Barton who finished the half 1-0 up. The second half kicked off and was a lot like the first half; we had plenty of shots but couldn’t score. Barton went 2-0 up with a cracking top corner goal then it went 3-0. We managed to pull a goal back with a good run from the middle of the pitch from Ethan who played it to Luke who finally managed to score ending the game 3-1 to Barton, but both managers said at full time it didn’t feel like a 3-1 game.”

“Both teams come back after a 5-minute break to play each other again,” Danny added. “It was similar to the first game; Barton finished the first half 1-0; they then scored 30 seconds into the 2nd to make it 2-0 which is how it finished.”

What a job Sam Dawson and his coaches have done at Brunsmeer this season! Another two wins on Sunday, the first against Derek Dooley (Orange). Claire Cowlishaw, from Dooley, summed up that first game.

“The boys started well with Josh taking the ball and having a long shot which was saved by the Brunsmeer goalkeeper,” Claire reported. “The boys turned and tried again with a lovely pass from Brad to Gregg whose shot went wide. Josh had another shot saved, Nathan took charge giving instructions to his team mates, he sent a free kick but there was no-one on the end of it. Brunsmeer turned up the heat and some solid defending by Richard and good goalkeeping from Nathan F saved them to a goalless draw at halftime. The second half started at full pace and Josh had another shot saved. Richard passed to Greg who went wide. The lads were talking to each other and passing, saw a run up the wing by Jamie Lee but no one was on the end of the cross. Brunsmeer went up to our end and had a good shot which passed Nathan F. The lads didn’t give up for the last few minutes they kept trying and solid defending kept at 1 goal.”

“Well done, that was a good performance from the lads who hadn’t played matches since November.”

Our ace reporter Claire then watched Brunsmeer’s next game, this time against Derek Dooley Kicks (Red). Brunsmeer didn’t have much rest before playing the Red team, they switched their team round and the reds started well, passing up to Jack who shot wide. Nick passed up to Jack whose shot was saved. Stephen took the pass on the left but shot wide. Brunsmeer took the ball up and shot past Shaun taking them into the lead. The lads didn’t give up and Elliott had a shot, but went over the net. Brunsmeer sent a lovely cross up field past our defence and past Shaun giving them a 2-0 lead. Dooley had another shot from Elliott over the goal. Brunsmeer then passed upfront and past Shaun taking them into a 3-0 lead at half time.”

“The second half started more positively with another man on; the lads started to get into the playing as a team, passing and talking to each other. There was a lovely run by Lewis who turned past the defender and scored, this gave the lads a lift; this was quickly followed by another shot from Lewis bringing it back to 3-2. Adam passed up to Lewis who passed to Elliott whose shot went over.”

The final whistle went with the lads exhausted but a good performance from them all.”

Claire’s last assignment of the afternoon was the Derek Dooley derby.  “This was the first Dooley derby which brought great excitement. The lads relaxed and played as a team, like they do at training every week. This was an even match with some great passing by both teams. Jack had a shot saved by Nathan F, then Josh had a chance at the other end, saved by Shaun. Shaun rolled the ball out to Adam on wing, and he passed up front to Lewis, who dribbled past his brother and scored past Nathan F.”

“All the lads tried their best and helped each other out,” Claire added, “helping to defend when the ball past them. Shaun saved a good shot from Nathan and then Gregg passed the ball from the wing to Brad R, and he sent it past Shaun bringing them back level. Richard was solid in defence.”

“The lads played with a smile on their faces and a happy demeanour – so all went home happy!“

Great work again Claire!

The table reflects the excellent seasons that Barton and Brunsmeer have had, but Bradford City (Blue) have enjoyed two wins out of six games this season, and the Dooley clubs have fought hard, played well, and contributed to a super season.

1Barton Inclusive Football Club Barton At 6600618
2Brunsmeer Awareness Awarness 6402212
3Bradford City FITC Disability Blues 6204-26
4Derek Dooley Football Academy Sheffield 5113-24
5Derek Dooley Football Academy Orange 5014-41

It’s tight in League One, too. Wheatley wanderers got their afternoon off to a great start with a narrow win over City Knights (Blue).

“This was an even game,” Wheatley’s Chris Pow reports. “Both teams were trying to avoid a loss. We scored a late goal, which we probably deserved, as we were in control. Asten scored our goal.”

Meanwhile, Sheffield (White) got the better of Aston Swallownest (Blue) in a high scoring encounter, before Club Doncaster Titans (Red) took on Sheffield FC (White).

“The game started out end to end with good defensive structure from Titans and was held to 0-0 in the 1st half,” Titan’s Dan Hall told us. “During the 2nd half Sheffield struck the back of the net, and straight after a cross from Kieran, Dan got a beautiful connection to it with his head but the Sheffield ‘keeper pulled off a tremendous save.”

“Sheffield equalised and again straight after Dan volleyed it and hit both posts and out. Titans were struggling in the last 5 mins and Sheffield FC took advantage of that; the full-time score was Sheffield 3-0 Titans Red.”

Wheatley rounded off the afternoon with a hard-fought draw against City Knights, with Chris Pow in action for Wanderers.  “We were in control again, but it was a scrappy game and City Knights forced the draw,” Chris told http://www.syacl.com.” Asten scored again, and we knew we’d been in a game!”

Club Doncaster Titans brought the afternoon to a rousing finish with a win over Aston Swallownest (Blue) “The game started out great and Asten scored 1-0, with Titans Red playing end to end chance after chance,” Dan Hall told us. “Jordon broke our deadlock with a side line goal 1-1. Into the 2nd half; Aaron headed the ball and cut his nose on his glasses bridge; he came off to be treated: while Titans were on the break Jordon passed to Dan and Dan assisted Cooper aka “NO SALAD” to bang it in against his old team! The celebration was quality! In the last 5 minutes Cooper returned the favour and assisted Dan to make it 3-1 Titans, it was a close game and played with no malice.”

“The chants at full time were COOPER, COOPER, COOPER.”

 So, after that exciting finish to the League One afternoon, it’s everything to play for when the teams get back together in February. Wheatley have a three-point lead over Sheffield Fc (White), but the teams play each other TWICE on the last day of the season in what promises to be a stunning climax to the campaign. Titans (Red), City Knights (Blue) and Aston Swallownest (Blue) will be fighting for third on that final day.

1Wheatley Wanderers SYACL 6510516
2Sheffield FC White (Disability) 6411313
3Club Doncaster Titans FC (Adult) Red 6204-26
4City Knights Blue 6123-25
5Aston Swallownest Juniors Disability Tea 6105-43

Whew.! Time to take a breath before February’s 7-a-side finale. Next week, it’s the Under-16’s and Under 12’s who take the stage at Goals Doncaster on Sunday morning.

As always, the latest reports, news and images are available here at http://www.southyorkshireabilitycountsleague.com, or on our Twitter and Instagram sites.

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