Olton & WW 3 Sheffield Hallam Civica 3
OLTON upset the bookies and began the second-half of the season with a solid point against high flyers, Sheffield Hallam, in the National League Northern Conference.
They may feel a little aggrieved that they did not take all the spoils, but this performance set a benchmark for the remainder of the season.
It was Sheffield who started the stronger, taking the lead on 19 minutes through a ferocious strike from Duncan Longson. This kick-started Olton who created a host of chances before the half time that could not be converted.
A tactical switch allowed Dan Sulway to effectively distribute across the pitch. The momentum was all Olton’s and it was James Kyriakides who eventually netted for the home team sparking a pulsating final 20 minutes.
First Nick Samra converted a trademark short corner deflection for Olton to make it 2-1 before a lapse in concentration allowed Sheffield’s Will Musgrave to level with a quality reverse stick finish.
Ill discipline saw Sheffield reduced to 10 men, but despite this they went in front after a long ball found England U21 Phil Roper who rocketed a reverse stick shot from the baseline into the net.
With only two minutes remaining Simon Thompson found himself with space in the Sheffield circle where he showed incredible composure to casually flick the ball into the roof of the net to grab a point for Olton.
Olton will reflect on a hard earned point that sends a strong message to the rest of the league. A double header this weekend sees them travel to Belper on Saturday before making the short trip to Barford Tigers on Sunday where six points is an attainable target.