Match Reports

Emley 2-2 Steels

Stocksbridge Park Steels were denied their first pre-season win in two years after Emley equalised late on in a 2-2 friendly draw.

Emley took the lead in the first half when a long ball found Iwryah Gooden who duly finished. Stocksbridge levelled before the end off the half when a trialist scored from the spot. In the second half, Stocksbridge took the lead through a powerful finish from Luca Defalco. Emley unfortunately got a late equaliser when Joe Jagger lobbed the trialist goalkeeper in the 89th minute.

Stocksbridge had an early shout for a penalty. A trialist winger broke into the box and seemingly went down after an Emley player tripped him. The referee thought he went down too easily though with the official deciding to admonish the winger rather than point to the spot.

Emley had the better of the game but struggled to break down a stubborn Steels defence which saw Mitch Langton and Charlie Oglesby play together in defence for the first time in Stocksbridge yellow. But eventually they did. A long ball was sent over the top and head over the top of the Steels defence. Gooden latched onto it and would finish past Davison-Hale to give Emley the lead.

Stocksbridge were able to get one back though before the end of the first half. The trialist winger broke into the box from the left and this time, the referee was given no doubt as the defender took him out with a sliding tackle. The trialist left-back, who also scored at Handsworth, stepped up and was able to tuck it away well despite the keeper Sam Kelly getting a hand to it. This meant Stocksbridge were level going into the half.

Once again, Stocksbridge had a completely different side going into the second half, with only Ross Goodwin staying on, though he shifted back to central midfield after playing up front in the first half. Emley started off the brighter with Alex Metcalfe’s position from a narrow angle forcing the trialist goalkeeper to punch it away at the near post.

After this, Stocksbridge took control of the game and looked to be the better team. The front three of Clark Greaves, Luca Defalco and a different trialist winger caused a lot of problems for the Emley defence. Greaves’ cross was slammed wide by Goodwin while Defalco forced an impressive save from Kelly with a near post header to show how the Steels were looking likely to get a goal.

Emley should have had the lead though. A long ball went through to an Emley forward and he was initially denied by an impressive save from the trialist goalkeeper. The ball fell back to him with the goal at his mercy but some how he would blast the ball over.

Stocksbridge would then be able to go up the other end and score. After putting intense pressure on the Emley defence, a Steels ball found Defalco in the box who then hit a powerful finish in order to give Stocksbridge the lead.

The Steels almost had a third right after as well. Defalco forced another save from Kelly while Alex O’Connor flighted a free kick just over the bar. It was looking good for Stocksbridge.

However, they’d be punished for not killing the game off. A long ball from Kelly went over the Stocksbridge defence and Jagger was able to get through, lob the goalkeeper and grab the draw for Emley. While it was certainly an impressive performance in the second half for the Steels, they may be disappointed not to have the win.

Photos by Ian Revitt: Emley Photos

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