Sharrow United overcame a 3-0 deficit to crash their way into the Meadowhall Sunday League Cup semi-finals with a hard-fought 5-4 quarter final victory away to Chapeltown Royal Oak.
A lethargic opening 20 minutes saw Chapeltown race into a 3-0 lead and Sharrow's dreams of a 2nd Meadowhall cup final appearance appeared to be in tatters. A fine cross shot goal from Oday Ibrahim lifted spirits, only for Chapeltown to hit back immediately to restore the three goal margin.
Sharrow really had to raise their game now and two goals from veteran Tariq Akhtar and Iftikhar Afzal reduced the arrears to 4-3 at half-time. A firm talking-to from manager Vill Powell produced immediate results when Afzal followed up to score after the keeper could only parry a Bjorn Taylor effort. Taylor then embarked on a mazy dribble which ended with him being upended in the penalty area by a desperate Royal Oak defender. The Sharrow striker dusted himself down and clipped the spot-kick nonchalently into the top right hand corner.
Sharrow by now were in complete control but a harsh second yellow for Jebran Khan meant the last twenty minutes were played with ten men. A frantic late scramble in front of the Sharrow goal-line culminated in a heroic clearance from Asim Shazad and Sharrow were through.
The semi-final is to be played on Sunday 21st March, at the oldest football ground in the world, Hallam FC, Sandygate, kicking off at 11.00am. Their opponents, Packhorse Inn, may include Jamie Cook, guitarist with the Arctic Monkeys.
(Photos courtesy of Graham Leary)