CARDS: GREEN: Ashfat Abdulwahid, Andrew Jackson
The team gave debuts to Andrew Jackson, who has just completed a season in Australia, and to club HDO Phil Butler, who also spent the summer down under. Connor Jameson also returned to the side having spent last week on top of the camera tower. He too played an Australian season.
With a slight variation in the defensive set up, the side looked more comfortable and were rarely in any trouble. During a fairly tame first half, Simon Hujwan in the Sheffield goal and touted as one to watch this season, was called upon to make one extremely important save to keep the scores level. Meanwhile, at the other end of the pitch the Sheffield forwards were carving out a succession of half chances without ever really testing the Wakefield keeper. Martin Sutherland went closest, diving full length at a penalty corner but seeing his deflection fly across the face of the visitors’ goal.
Sheffield remained in full control through to the break and into the second half. Will Blyth and Adam Price put in some hard graft in the Sheffield midfield whilst up front David Smith constantly proved a handful for the visiting defenders. Time after time Sheffield worked the ball into good areas only to find the final ball wanting or a last gasp deflection from Wakefield to keep the scoreboard stagnant.
James Legg was denied a first goal for Sheffield as he loitered around the far post, expecting an easy tap in instead a last gasp deflection took the ball away from his stick. To be fair, Sheffield will rue the fact that they should have made more of the numerous penalty corners that they won. However, they will feel more aggrieved not to have had a penalty flick awarded when it appeared that a Wakefield defender stopped the ball on the line with his shin pad.
As time ran out and Sheffield’s obvious frustration grew, they very nearly gave it away, with Wakefield looking dangerous in the dying minutes. Hujwan was yet again on hand to deny the visitors with some world class saves.
In the end both teams had to settle for a point which moves Sheffield up to second in the table with Wakefield in seventh having drawn both their opening two games. Next week Sheffield travel down to top of the table Loughborough for a Saturday evening fixture against the students