The scores ended square on Wednesday as the Leeds Uni Mens 3s took on Sheffield 3s in a thrilling 2-2 draw at Weetwood. Uni sat 3 places below their rivals before kick off, but the difference in form was certainly not evident during the game.
Uni started the match brightly, dominating possession and working a couple of decent moves into the Sheffield area. Intense pressure from the Uni front line kept creating opportunities for Jamie Whiteford up front, but there was still no breakthrough.
A Sheffield throw deep in their own half was sloppily messed up finding its way back to their keeper. Whiteford seized the opportunity and quickly closed down the Sheffield keeper, who blasted the ball straight at the Uni man, sending the ball looping into the Sheffield goal to make it 1-0 in the 19th minute.
Leeds continued to dominate play and looked likely to add to their tally before half time, whilst any Sheffield breakaways were halted by the solid Gryphons defence. Kaleem Luthra was putting in some excellent tackles throughout the first half and looked particularly unbeatable.
In the last few seconds of play a momentary lapse in defensive concentration allowed Sheffield to break through. The initial shot was well saved but there was no stopping the follow up to make the score 1-1. Despite the numerous offside calls from Uni the goal stood, giving Sheffield an undeserved share of the spoils at the interval.
Again Uni started the 2nd half brightly with plenty of possession, but 5 minutes in they conceded a free kick around 25 yards out. The resulting shot swerved around the wall and into the bottom left hand corner, giving Sheffield a fortunate 2-1 lead. That lead however did not last long, as straight from kick off Laith Nashashibi picked up the ball in the centre of midfield. The winger took a few steps and unleashed an unstoppable shot which arrowed into the top-left corner from 25 yards out. Uni were back on the front foot and pressing for the all-important winning goal. Uni had more chances to win the game late on; Nashashibi again showed his quality from range but this time was denied by the woodwork. Uni then hit the woodwork again as a whipped corner came straight off the bar and out of play.
The game ended in a 2-2 stalemate, a result which will have disappointed the home side who need important points heading into the final part of the season.
Image courtesy of Jack Roberts