Formby 4 - 3 Sheffield University Bankers
Formby 4 - 3 Sheffield University Bankers Formby got the second half of their season off to a winning start in an entertaining match with Sheffield. The visitors made a lively start without troubling the Formby defence unduly, and it was a little agasinst the run of play when Formby took the lead after 10 minutes. Josh Birtles took a free hit just inside his own half and fired the ball towards Will Miles, whose deft deflection wrongfooted the defence and found Jonny Davis with some elbow-room at the top of the visitors' circle. He tunrned an shot instantly, giving the 'keeper no time to set himself, and the ball went through his legs to make it 1-0. The lead didn't last long as Formby quickly conceded a penalty corner. The drag-flick seemed innocuous, lacking any real pace, but it somehow eluded both 'keeper Sam Birtles and captain Giles Hampson. 5 minutes later, Formby re-took the lead as Rob Baxter squared the ball to Miles in the centre of the pitch just inside the Sheffield circle, His shot on the turn found the bottom right corner. Again, however, the lead was short-lived as, having made a good stop from a shot following another Sheffield penalty corner, Birtles somehow managed to knock the ball back into his own goal with his right mitt. 3 minutes later Sheffield took the lead, on the break, as the Formby defence were caught napping. A fine effort from Birtles to get his stick on the ball didn't result in sufficient contact to prevent it from going in and Formy were 2-3 down at the break. They tidied up their game in the second half and laid siege to the Sheffield goal. Both the Davis-Guzmans, Ricky and Felipe went close, and Miles has a shot deflected over the bar, whilst a couple of penalty corner chances came and went (Formby's usual specialist, Connel Capper, being sidelined with a knee injury). Eventually it proved third time lucky from penalty corners, as Josh Birtles and Miles managed to set up Ste Wright to squeeze the ball home from a tight angle. Formby didn't let up, pressing for the winner, and found the target again with 7 minutes left as an excellent passing move between Baxter and James Riley saw the latter pick out Felipe Davis-Guzman who had an open goal from just left of the penalty spot, and gleefully accepted the chance. Another penalty corner failed to make things safe, Birtles missing the target, and Formby saw out time defending a re-awarded corner, which they managed to do without undue stress. With the match between Timperley and Alderley Edge (the two teams immediately above Formby in the League) falling foul of the frost which Formby didn't experience, Formby move up to second in the Northern Premier League.