Stocksbridge Park Steels ended their FA Trophy drought by beating Newton Aycliffe 3-1.
Newton Aycliffe had the better start to the game but it took over 20 minutes before they head a real effort on goal with Jake Petitjean forcing an impressive save from Ben Townsend. After the drinks break though, Stocksbridge were able to improve and had a great chance thanks to a good cross from Jack Tinker but Ross Goodwin could only put it over from six yards.
Stocksbridge would get their goal though. Tomas Poole swung in a corner and the initial effort was well saved by Daniel Cameron in the Newton Aycliffe goal. However, Jack Watson was waiting to pounce and he stabbed home the rebound to give the Steels the lead. Stocksbridge would press to double their lead before the break but it would remain 1-0.
The Steels would continue in the second half in the same way they started the first, by being on top and making chances. They had a big opportunity as Poole was slipped in and went clear on goal. He’d beat the goalkeeper but not the post, which allowed Cameron to get the ball into his arms.
Stocksbridge would be punished for not taking their chances. Newton Aycliffe needed a few bites at the cherry as the initial header was saved at point blank range from Ben Townsend before another deflected shot fell to Mckenzie Diccicio who was able to hit home from close range.
Thankfully, Stocksbridge didn’t allow this to get them down and they were back ahead a few minutes later. It was another corner kick and Poole’s delivery was brilliant, with Luke Rawson just needing to be in the right place to head in his 6th of the season.
And it continued to be all Stocksbridge as they some how didn’t extend their lead. Kurtis Turner was played in and after initially losing the chance, good footwork created the space for himself to have another shot. It took a deflection and went past the goalkeeper but it didn’t have the power to cross the line and it was cleared before getting to the line. Ify Ofoegbu had done all the hard work to beat several defenders before bursting into the box but could only hit wide of his near post.
But Stocksbridge would go on to wrap up the win. Newton Aycliffe were throwing more men forward, even converting central defender Mark Costello into a striker, but this would leave them vulnerable at the back. And so it would be as the Steels broke on them, allowing Rawson to move into the box, beat his man before finishing it to send Stocksbridge into the next round of the FA Trophy.