I visited Kiveton Miners Welfare ground to watch a Saturday match between Sheffield Town and South Kirkby Colliery in the Sheffield and Hallamshire County Premier Division. The interest was that Sheffield Town FC were playing their first game as the home team at Kiveton after agreeing a ground share with the local club. The pitch looked immaculate and shone a bright green in the early autumn sun that was occasionally snuffed out with rolling wispy white clouds.
It was also a game in the Sheffield and Hallamshire League Premier Division having seen a Division 1 game the previous week at Denaby. That game also had a Sheffield named team, Sheffield Union and I had just read an article in the Guardian about a University of Sheffield study that ‘has demonstrated once and for all that Sheffield is the home of the beautiful game – sporting the oldest clubs, grounds, trophies and even many of the rules that shaped the way football is played today.’
Sheffield Town are not at the level of United or Wednesday and even have some way to go to match Sheffield F.C. Hallam, Dronfield, Handsworth or Swallownest but they are on the journey. With teams such as Sutton United and Harrogate having made it to the Football League and the National League made up of almost all previous League members it seems dream’s can come true. Perhaps it will be a new first for Sheffield.
I have tried in vain to find some history to Sheffield Town but failed miserably whereas South Kirkby Colliery look as if they have been playing football in the area since 1894. South Kirkby is situated North East of Barnsley and South East of Wakefield where the local pit closed in 1988. Up until the end of the 1930’s the club played in senior non-league football but after the Second World War there has been a spiralling decline that finds them in the Sheffield and Hallamshire League although they did gain a recent promotion.
Sheffield Town 4 South Kirkby Colliery 1
Sheffield and Hallamshire County League Premier Division. Kick Off 15.00 pm
Sheffield Town: Yellow tops with green shoulders and blue shorts. South Kirkby Blue shirts and Blue shorts,
Sheffield dominated the first half with some very intricate play and made it difficult for South Kirkby to clear their lines and mount any forward counter attacks. Sheffield seemed to be trying to create the perfect goal, perhaps it was their Brazil look a like kit, with some great inter passing, running and ball skills but they failed with the final pass and a phobia about shooting at the goal. The half’s excitement was the size of the crowd, to start with there were 3 of us but every couple of minute a few more turned up until at one time there were 21.
The same pattern carried on in the second half with Sheffield Town playing uphill, but 15 minutes in after some more intricate passing Robert Seck found himself one on one with the South Kirkby keeper and coolly slid it into the net. Minutes later though the away side had a great chance to equalise when their number 9 was fouled by the Town keeper, Aaron Stockton and a penalty was awarded. Luckily for the keeper he was not sent off and dived to the right of the No9’s spot kick for it to hit him and balloon onto the bar and over.
A more open game was now unfolding and Robert Seck again produced some fancy footwork and a run to the goal line to cut it back for Jamal to tap home. Ten minutes later Robert Seck again after more skilful play slid the ball back for Jamal to again score. This pattern of play just kept coming and Town made it 4 nil on 38 minutes with another tapped in goal this time from Ahmed.
It wasn’t until 41 minutes that South Kirkby scored their consolation goal when No4 hit a beautiful powerful shot from a free kick 30 yards out into the top left hand corner of the net.
Sheffield Town won easily on their home debut and as they become more accustomed to the surroundings could see many more victories, especially if they shoot more often. Looking back a week at the lower division game I would think any of the two teams I saw would have given either side a strong contest.
I had hoped that the Kivo cafe would have been open to give them a chance to retain the Chip League Trophy but obviously only for their home games. I will have to visit again. I was impressed with the food huts new colours.