ON a crisp winter’s morning, the Lancaster Whites minibus made its way over the Pennines to the oldest ground in the Football League, Bramall Lane.

We were met by one of the friendliest stewards in the league, who jumped on board and directed us to a parking spot as near to the away fans’ entrance turnstiles as possible without blocking them. Then he kindly pointed us in the direction of a nice friendly pub, the Golden Lion for pre-match drinks and a chat with the Blades fans.

They had divided opinions over their signing of Gary Madine, and some were surprisingly nervous about playing Wanderers as we got one over on them last year. We reassured them they had nothing to worry about.

We welcomed Callum Connolly to bolster the ranks, after an otherwise disappointingly barren Transfer Deadline Day, not helped by rumours of staff and players not getting paid again.

In a hard-fought first half, we more than held our own but crucially neither team looked like scoring.

In the second half, Billy Sharp soon changed that by making the first and scoring the second to give Sheffield a lead that we were unable to challenge.

It was an all-too familiar story of working hard, making a couple of defensive errors and then game over.

You cannot fault the players for effort but the lack of confidence, particularly up front, is frightening.

No one wants to get in the box and when they do, they would rather turn away and make a pass than take a shot on. Numerous times, there were three or four players out wide with no-one in the middle to pass to.

This was the 16th time we have failed to score this season. Connolly made an impressive start in midfield and Luca Connell has added some much-needed creativity and skill to the team and is fast establishing himself as one of our own. Thankfully we kept the vultures away on Deadline Day.

It’s beginning to look like any three teams out of the bottom four to go down, so it is not over yet. But where are we going to get the goals from to survive? Without the goals, as Sergeant Fraser would say ‘We’re doomed.’

On the way back, rumours began to circulate of a potential sale of the club to a UK consortium. Let’s hope that they are true.