Stocksbridge Park Steels were unable to avenge their FA Trophy defeat against Ossett United after falling to a 1-0 defeat at Ingfield.
The only goal of the game came in the first half when a counter attack finished with Luke Aldrich firing the ball into the bottom corner.
Stocksbridge almost got a stunner early on into the game. The Steels earned a free kick from distance after debutant Ify Ofoegbu caused problems only for Bradley Beatson to knock the ball away from his path with his hand. Tomas Poole stepped up and from 35-yards away, he smashed the ball against the bar with former Steels goalkeeper Ed Hall well and truly beaten.
However despite some good early play from Stocksbridge, Ossett were able to take the lead. They broke after a Stocksbridge attack and two missed tackles allowed Basille Zottos to get free on the right. With Aldrich in tow, they were able to isolate Mitch Langton and pass the ball across him to Aldrich, who duly finished past Harrison Davison-Hale to give Ossett the lead.
After this goal was scored, Ossett were able to take control of the match and they put plenty of pressure on the Steels defence. They were unable to create anything clear cut though, and this meant Stocksbridge were able to turn it around towards the end of the half. However despite having numerous set pieces, none of them came to anything and the Steels would be behind at the break.
Stocksbridge had a scary start to the second half. Ossett got an attacking free kick and Joe Stacey’s delivery was fantastic. Former Steel Brad Grayson had a few attempts on goal after getting the ball, but Stocksbridge made some key blocks and were able to survive.
The Steels would go on to have their best chances of the game. Their own good play down the right created the opportunity and eventually it fell to Luke Rawson. He hit the ball first time and the volley had plenty of venom, but it would go just over the bar.
Not long after Davison-Hale made a key save to keep the game competitive, Stocksbridge would have their final major chance. Ofoegbu showed how much of a nuisance he was by outmuscling his man to break into the box. His shot was saved by the feet of hall and Harry Gagen was the first man onto the ball, stopping Poole from getting the easy tap in.
Ian Richards would chuck on Oliver Norman and Luca Defalco while looking for the equaliser, but neither got many touches on the ball. In the end, Ossett would shut out a Stocksbridge side that will now look to Saturday’s match against Ashington.