Steels lost back to back games last night with a 2-1 defeat at Grantham Town. Grantham took the lead on the 38th minute and doubled their lead on 68 minute, Luke Rawson pulled one back on 76 minutes but Grantham’s defence managed to hold back wave after wave of Steels attacks to secure all 3 points.
A game that was full of action for 98+ minutes but for the second game running Steels came away with nothing to show for their actions. Manager Ian Richards made 4 changes to the team that started in the FA Cup, in came Poole, Macaskill, Baker and O’Connor. Watson and Ofoegbu dropped to the bench and Lemon, Turner both absent from the match day squad. The game started at a frantic pace and the action would be end to end in what was an entertaining encounter. This was a full bloodied affair from the off, with the Grantham pitch being very narrow you could see how they wanted to play with their target man Gregg Smith being the focal point.
Both sides challenged hard in the opening minutes with referee Mr Mason a busy man. The two teams created openings early in the game, but neither could make the most of them. Steels first major chances came from Luke Rawson who headed straight at Curtis Hall in the Grantham goal who had an inspired game, then a good low cross from Macaskill missed everyone in the box.
At the other end Grantham had a good spell with Smith heading over and half chances were easily claimed by Townsend in the Steels goal. Stocksbridge then grew into the game with plenty of action, Rawson managed to get the wrong side of Christie on 22 minutes but dragged his shot wide of the post. Dwyer was sent through for Grantham after a mistake by Baker, but Townsend just got there first for the visitors. Jack Tinker had two good chances first his header was saved and resulting ball cleared off the line and then moments later hit a 20 yard volley that flew just wide of the post.
However Stocksbridge was on top when against the run of play Grantham took the lead from a corner. Townsend saved well from a towering header from Smith but the Steels defence couldn’t clear the loose ball and Muggleton bundled it over the line.
Half time Gingerbreads 1-0 Steels
The second half was more of the same but both teams were guilty of giving ball away and it was Stocksbridge who should’ve been all square with the best chances. Around 60 minutes, first Hall made a fantastic point blank save and then after a long ball over the top by Townsend found Macaskill, Hall rushed out to block the chance. Steels made changes with Watson coming on for Macaskill.
Stocksbridge then got caught napping on the right as former Steels player Elliot Walker chased down a lose ball and his cross was met by Francis who got in front of Townsend to give Grantham a 2-0 lead. Steels almost responded immediately but again Hall was up to the challenge. Dolman came on for Langton for his debut.
For last 20 mins it was wave after way of Stocksbridge attacks, Goodwin found himself clear in 6 yards area but couldn.t get ball out from under his feet and the ball bobbles wide. As we entered the last 15 mins Steels through Watson’s pace really pressed to get back into the game and after a brief moment where Grantham had 3 chances in succession blocked as Stocksbridge threw themselves into challenges. Steels broke quickly and the ball to Rawson beat the offside trap and he slotted home his 3rd of the season.
Then it was all Stocksbridge as we pressed for an equalizer but for all our possession didn’t have many clear cut chances and Ofoegbu came on he almost set up Rawson for the equalizer and with 8 minutes of injury time to loads of Grantham time wasting it was only a post, two goal line clearances and bad luck meant Steels travelled back to Sheffield with nothing to show for it.
We will play a lot worse than that this season and win but when your luck is out, your luck is out. Steels will dust themselves down and got again Saturday when Ashington will be the visitors.