The Steels Reserves fell to a, well fought, defeat at the hands of Sheffield Town.
Despite signs of a comeback, it wasn’t to be as goals from Diof Moussa, Mansaray Alusine and a brace from Ahmed Essa sank the visitors. The Steels did draw level in the game through Luke Webster and pulled back a late goal through Luca Defalco.
The first half began explosively, Webster was first to warm the gloves of Luke Parker who made an impressive save to push the effort onto the post, however it wouldn’t have counted as the linesman’s flag was raised.
Despite an attacking start from the Steels, Obud Oday gave them a fright with an 18 yard effort which rocked the crossbar.
Some silky buildup play including a backheeled lay off from Webster saw Stocksbridge have another chance on goal but Payne’s low driven shot wasn’t quite enough to beat the home side’s custodian.
Deadlock was finally broken midway through the half, Diouf Moussa’s free kick fizzed it’s way through the wall and nestled into the corner of the near post.
The game opened up following this, and it wouldn’t be long until the Steels hit back. An underhit back pass was latched onto by Webster and he made no mistake in slotting it between the keeper’s legs.
The second half began in the same fashion as the first, Olukotun Abiodun gave the Steels a real scare when his shot on the turn smashed against the post.
After another period of level play the hosts took the lead again, on the edge of the 18 yard box Ahmed Essa tried his luck with an outside of the boot effort, William Bond in the Steels goal could do no more to keep it out.
Minutes later the misery was furthered for the visitors, a wide cross from Mansaray Alusine evaded everyone including Bond and somehow found its way into the net.
The hosts pressed forward and had yet another chance when Abiodun pickpocketed Milan Vrzal, but the latter made a terrific last ditch challenge to deny Town.
But the home side couldn’t be kept at bay for long. A short corner led to some impressive link up play and Essa got his second of the game with a near post finish.
Despite the deficit, the Steels did anything but lie down. Holmshaw’s men battled through the half and created numerous chances but couldn’t find the net until second half substitute Defalco showed some tremendous individual skill to spin his man and fire at goal, his initial effort was saved but it eventually found its way into the net to claw one back for Stocksbridge.
More chances came for the Steels but the final ball just wasn’t there. Before the end Defalco tested the palms of Parker at his near post with a stinging drive, as well as efforts from Josh Millen and a Jimmy Middleton header which fell inches wide, which summed up the performance today; a valiant effort from Stocksbridge but they miss out on the top six for now.