War of the roses
Manchester victory blows title race wide open.
The FA National Futsal League - North
Sunday 27 November
Manchester Futsal Club claimed their third successive victory at the expense of Sheffield in a thrilling contest at the English Institute of Sport in The FA National Futsal League North.
The visitors went into Sunday’s game against the current league champions in good form having won their previous two fixtures against Crewsadors and East Coast.
Sheffield got off to a great start, pegging back Manchester four minutes into the game through Ryon Leyshon who rifled one in from distance. The visitors hit back within a few minutes as Sam Richardson crashed the ball home from close range after a mesmerising run from Eduardo Betancor.
Chances were few and far between in the first half, with much of the play being broke down before either team could create a shooting opportunity.
However, Leyshon was on hand to capitalise on a defensive mix up between Betancor and goalkeeper Marcos Magalhaes to claim his fourth goal of the season.
Manchester piled on the pressure towards the end of the first period in search of an equaliser, but they were unable to find a way past England Futsal goalkeeper Curtis Holmes in the Sheffield goal.
A fiery start to the second half saw Jese Priego and Magalhaes receive yellow cards for the visitors. But it was not long before they pulled level as Spaniard Priego lashed the ball into Holmes’ right hand corner to score a deserved equaliser for Manchester.
The goal sparked the game into life, with chances coming thick and fast at both ends. Priego saw a spectacular effort from his own half rattle the cross bar, before hitting the post after rounding Holmes.
It looked as though both sides would play out a stalemate – which would not have done the encounter justice. But as the seconds ticked agonisingly away Richardson exchanged passes with Ilya Ovechkin and beat Holmes at his near post, with just 31.3 seconds remaining.
Both Manchester, Sheffield and Middlesbrough appear to be the three teams that will now be vying for the title going into the second half of the season in The FA National Futsal League North.