Stocksbridge Park Steels had a frustrating trip to Ossett United after losing 3-0 to the Sheepicorns.
Ossett took the lead when Nash Connolly was able to convert from close range after the Steels failed to clear from a free kick. They doubled their lead in the second half when substitute James Walshaw finished from close range. The game was ended with Walshaw getting his second after he smashed in from the left hand side.
Stocksbridge had the brighter start. Nathaniel Crofts was being marked by as men as possible but this allowed space for Lewis Whitham who almost took advantage. The ball broke well for him in the box and he looked to take it around Max Dearnley. His touch was just a bit too heavy and it went out for a goal kick but it was a good statement of intent from the Steels.
The Steels weren’t far off a few moments later. There was a great exchange of play on the right wing which gave new signing Elliott Walker plenty of space to work with. He chose to hit a low cross in the box and Joe Lumsden was just inches away from tapping in and scoring against his former club.
While Stocksbridge were the better side, that didn’t mean that Ossett weren’t having their own chances. Ed Hall had to get down low quickly in order to save a fizzing shot from an Ossett attacker and then a short corner routine came close to unlocking the Steels defence but they were very happy to see Tabish Hussain hit it over.
The swing of power went back Stocksbridge’s way though as they continued to have most of the possession and attacking play. There was some great play which lead to Ross Goodwin hitting a powerful shot over while Whitham continued to cause issues down the left side though his latest shot was easily saved by Dearnley.
With Stocksbridge having the best play of the game so far, this was of course when Ossett scored. It was from a free kick on the left which was whipped in. The initial shot was blocked but that was followed up by Nash Connolly who was able to score from short range.
The goal took the excitement out of the game for the rest of the half as a shellshocked Stocksbridge struggled to get back into it. They got another fright when Hussain’s tricky feet almost lead to goal and Robert Ludlam would be booked for what appeared to be an altercation with an Ossett player.
The best the Steels did before the end of the half was a cross by Whitham which was collected by Dearnley, much to the frustration of Lumsden who kicked the post. The child in the stand who kicked the bin in imitation was probably not what he wanted on his return to Ingfield.
The second half started with an incident that could have been very embarrassing for the Steels. Hall went to clear the ball and hit it well but it hit the onrushing Ossett attacker. The ball rebounded towards goal and was heading painfully towards the back of the net. Thankfully for Stocksbridge, Liam McFadyen rescued it with a great clearance but it easily could have ended up being a goal that found itself on YouTube montages for years to come.
It was all Ossett for the second half. Aaron Haswell looked a threat and had a good run which took him far up the pitch before hitting it wide. Then came a massive moment of pressure which was triggered when Connolly went clear, though Walker put enough pressure on him to stop a clear shot. The ball stayed around the Steels box for a full minute but they held out for now.
And for now was meant with its truest meaning as Ossett soon scored again. This time Connolly turned created as he crossed in from the right and substitute Walshaw converted from close range with Hall being unable to do anything about it.
Stocksbridge never really looked like getting a goal back. A long throw did cause some trouble for the Steels but that ended up being cleared. Both Sam Finlaw and Crofts were able to get shots off but they headed into the stand rather than the goal.
It ended with an Ossett goal. The ball was played to the left hand side and Walshaw was there again to smash in, sealing a big win for the Sheepicorns and sending the Steels back home without a point.
MOTM: Elliott Walker