Football: Sharpness emerge as victors of hard fought derby
4:25pm Wednesday 20th March 2013 in Sport
Sharpness Res 3
Berkeley Town Res 2
Goals from veteran Brad Thomas and youngsters Ben John and Ben Gibbs secured the win for Sharpness after falling behind twice.
With the game only passed fit at 11am due to the heavy rain, the Sharks knew it would be tough going in a hard fought derby.
With a heavy pitch and defending up the slope against the wind, the Sharks battled hard and did well to contain Berkeley whose goal due to a mix-up in the Sharks' defence. Berkeley could and should have scored more and as soon as the half was over, the Sharks knew it was up to them to put in a decent second-half performance.
Brad Thomas, who caused problems during the dozen corners the Sharks gained in the second half, struck in the 53rd minute to level things after Dan Turner's corner wasn't cleared.
Now on top, the Sharks should have set about getting in front but proceeded to go behind again. Berkeley's Sean Clements found himself free and shot past Pete Waite to regain the lead.
Jamie Bateman then pulled up with a hamstring tweak so on came Ben Gibbs. The Sharks then for the last 30 minutes set up camp in the Berkeley half.
With chances going begging, it came down to a route-one from keeper Waite's long clearance and Ben John stood firm to slot the ball past Jordan Freeman.
It was a case of when not if when the Sharks would score next. George Pennington, having a good game on the left, provided some quality crosses but the final finish up top was lacking with John Turner and Colin Smith all missing the target when well placed.
With five minutes left, another corner - this time from Smith - was met at the back post by Gibbs who powered home a bullet of a header to earn the winning goal.
A big performance from the Sharks and a thoroughly deserved win.
The Sharks travel to AFC Phoenix on Saturday who look set on the title but will be up against a Sharks side who are in good form.