Stocksbridge Park Steels came from behind to beat Maltby Main 4-1 in a pre-season friendly.
The first half was a struggle for the travelling side as they found it difficult to find a rhythm in attack. Former Steels caretaker manager Lee Thompson, newly appointed as manager of Maltby, had his side well organised and another former Steel Matthew Reay was able to sweep up anytime the likes of Lewis Macaskill and Ify Ofoegbu found space. It led to a frustrating beginning for the away side.
It got more frustrating when Maltby broke into the box and a clumsy sliding tackle by Jack Tinker made contact with the attacker so while he didn’t go down, the spot kick was given. Sam Ackroyd stepped up but the trialist goalkeeper made the save. Unfortunately, Oliver Currie reacted quickest and was his miskick on the rebound found its way into the net.
With Stocksbridge struggling to make much headway in the attacking third, the first half would end goalless which a much changed team looking to make a bigger impact in the second half.
And make an impact they did! The second half team linked up well and a good, quick passing move unlocked the previously stoic Maltby defence. This allowed the former U18 Luke Needham to break into the box and with a smart finish, he had scored just minutes into the first half.
Not long after, Stocksbridge had the lead. It was a quick break on the left hand side with the trialist left back overlapping into the box causing the problem. It was enough of a problem that he was shoved in the back and a penalty was given. Luke Rawson was the man to take it and he sent the goalkeeper the wrong way.
This was Rawson’s first pre-season after missing out on last year’s due to an injury and he was making the most of having one this time around. He’d get another when after the initial corner was cleared back to Kurtis Turner, he crossed another ball in and Rawson was able to knock the ball to the ground with his back before allowing it to bounce and volleying the ball into the back of the net.
The Steels continued to push and would finish off the game in style as while. Oliver Nowak went on a mazy run but his eventual shot seemed to be curling simply into Myles Wright’s arms. He would spill the ball and Jack Watson pounced to tap in from close range and seal the game as a 4-1 win.