Heavy 6-1 win for Fairclough's men at Hallam.
By Mike Appleby
Hallam FC’s 150th anniversary celebrations were brought down to earth at the Sandygate Stadium last night, when an FA Representative XI, comprising of players from Conference North clubs, ran out comfortable 6-1 winners against the Northern Counties East side.
England C team manager Paul Fairclough took the opportunity to pull together a group of players that had been under his scouting microscope and they didn’t disappoint, with a very competent all-round performance. They played at a high tempo and employed Fairclough’s customary quick passing and movement style of play which has become a hallmark of England C performances.
The visitors took the lead on 17 minutes when a testing cross from Scott Mooney forced Hallam’s Andy Taylor to head the ball past his own keeper following pressure from James Walshaw. Mooney then had a goal disallowed for offside before The FA side went two up on 28 minutes when a teasing run and cross from the impressive Sam Duncum found Walshaw who, with his back to goal, fired a superb overhead kick into the top corner giving Taylor in the home goal no chance.
The visitors were really turning the screw now and increased their lead further on 33 minutes when a cross from Luke Holden was slid home by Mooney following a mistake by keeper Taylor. Eastwood Town’s Sam Duncum made it 4-0 on the stroke of half-time when he burst through the Hallam defence drew the keeper and slid the ball into the empty net.
Fairclough made four changes at half time but this did not deter the visitors who continued to play at a fast pace despite playing up the famous Sandygate slope. Goal number five arrived on 62 minutes when Luke Waterfall headed home from a corner. The visitors had a number of chances to increase their lead as the second half progressed, but the hosts were holding out and pulled a goal back themselves on 87 minutes with Scott Preece converting a penalty kick following a handball by Boston United’s Antony Church. There was still time , however, for The FA side to add a sixth goal when Justin Marsden broke into the box and laid the ball back for Ben Mills to fire home.
All in all, it was a comfortable run out for The FA side and one or two players will have caught the eye of Fairclough as he thinks ahead to England C’s International Challenge Trophy semi-final in the New Year. However, credit must go to Hallam’s players who never gave up and fought hard throughout in front of a healthy and appreciative crowd.Team
Lee Evans (Stafford Rangers), Josh Law (Alfreton Town), Liam Brownhill (Droylsden), Kieran Murphy (Boston United), Kyle Storer (Nuneaton Town) (Antony Church (Boston United), 46), Luke Waterfall (Gainsborough Trinity), Sam Duncum (Eastwood Town), Dan Dillon (Alfreton Town) (Tom Thorley (Worcester City) 46) James Walshaw (Guiseley) (Ben Mills (Stafford Rangers) 46) Scott Mooney (Hyde) (Justin Marsden (Nuneaton Town) 46), Luke Holden (Droylsden)