Stocksbridge Park Steels won their first game of the season with a big victory over Dunston.
After a goalless first half, Stocksbridge took the lead through a smart finish from Luke Rawson. Dunston equalised a minute later through a header from Richard Coulson. Dunston would shortly take the lead through a similar header from Michael Fowler. The Steels equalised themselves when Gareth Curtis got onto the end of a good ball and finished well. Curtis would get his second after catching out the goalkeeper with an impressive curling shot.
Dunston got off to the better start and could have easily had the lead and not just the first goal of the game but the first goal of the Northern Premier League season. The corner was whipped in and Jon Shaw was unmarked to head goalwards. The former Sheffield Wednesday striker was foiled by Harrison Davison-Hale who was able to punch it away.
Davison-Hale had to be on form later on as well to keep the game goalless. Jack Elliott, a constant bother on the left wing, put in a very dangerous cross that the young goalkeeper had to batter away. Liam Thear also had a shot from distance but it went right at the keeper.
Stocksbridge struggled to get out of their own half for this half and when they did, they were often let down by their final both. Both Jack Tinker and Tomas Poole got the ball in dangerous positions on the ball only for their crosses to end up with the picnic tables behind the goal. With Dunston also fail to break through, it’d be goalless at half time.
Stocksbridge got to the best possible start in the second half. The Steels got an early corner, Poole whipped it in and Elliot Murray headed it into the path of Luke Rawson who slammed it home to give Stocksbridge the lead.
Dunston were right back into it though. Liam Thear got the ball on the right wing, whipped in the cross and it went over Davison-Hale’s outstretched arm, allowing Coulson to head in at the far post.
The goals didn’t stop coming and soon Dunston had the lead. In much the same way of the first goal, Michael Pearson whipped in a cross from the right handside and this time it was Fowler on the end it to give the North East side the lead.
But this mad few minutes weren’t over yet. Rawson controlled the ball well before slipping through Curtis who was able to latch onto the ball. He broke into the box and lifted it over the goalkeeper to level the game.
Dunston looked to continue the madness that had took over the game. Elliot continued to be a danger but when he broke through, he slammed the ball into the side netting. There was also a goal mouth scramble where seemingly everyone had a kick at the ball but Davison-Hale claimed it on the ground.
Stocksbridge would then take the lead. The ball was hit long and James Anderson looked to go and clear it. He was indecisive though and Curtis was able to nip in and get the ball. Anderson backtracked but Curtis had already curled the ball over his head and into the back of the net.
Dunston would throw everything at Stocksbridge in order to equalise. Sado Djalo came on and the North East side would send in plenty of teasing balls which begged to be tapped in but Stocksbridge were just about able to survive them. Kurtis Turner almost put it into his own net when he headed over from a Dunston corner. But Stocksbridge were able to hold on to get a massive opening day win.
- vs Dunston – 13/8/22 (Photos by Ian Revitt)
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