Match Reports

Steels 0-0 Dunston

Stocksbridge Park Steels played out a 0-0 draw with Dunston UTS at Bracken Moor in their final Northen Premier League East Division game of the season on Saturday.

It was an interesting start to proceedings at Bracken Moor on the final matchday of the season after one of the assistant referees picked up an injury ahead of kick-off. The game eventually began following a delay, with a qualified spectator volunteering to run the line.

While the opening few minutes were uneventful, the Steels made a positive start to the game, building up well from midfield.

The match quickly came alive, with Stocksbridge have three good chances in as many minutes. Jack Dolman combined with fellow full-back Tom Charlesworth on the right flank before having a go on goal from the edge of the box in the 19th minute. The shot, though, was straight at Dunston goalkeeper Aaron Steavens.

Alex O’Connor came close to curling the ball in from the left-hand side immediately after, with his shot only missing the target by a whisker. One minute later, Luke Rawson was on the end of a cross from Luke Hogg, but failed to test Steavens.

Stocksbridge found themselves a bit under the cosh after the half-hour mark. Ben Townsend, though, remained comfortable in goal with little to do.

Jack Watson had a sight of goal before the referee whistled for half-time, winning the ball in a good position and attempting a curler from distance. Like O’Connor’s attempt before, the shot was off target however.

The first major event of the second half came in the 50th minute, with Watson having his named taken for a foul on Craig Baxter.

Rawson had a sight of goal three minutes later, but his attempt to cut onto his right foot did not work out. The ball eventually fell to O’Connor, whose first-time shot, though, was well off target.

Watson was unfortunately forced off the pitch after pulling his hamstring just after the one-hour mark, with Tommy Marshall replacing him.

Dunston started putting Stocksbridge under pressure midway through the second half. The likes of Charlesworth and Alex Phillipson had to remain alert to keep the visitors at bay, making timely interceptions and tackles when needed.

The third-placed team won a free-kick in a dangerous position in the 74th minute, threatening to take the lead. Sado Djalo’s effort was defended well by the Steels wall however.

Ian Richards’ men stepped up efforts to break the deadlock in the final 10 minutes of the game, with Tomas Poole coming close on two occasions. He was first on the end of a threatening cross from Marshall, but failed to get enough power on the header, allowing Steavens to make a comfortable save.

83 minutes had passed on the clock when arguably the best chance of the match fell to Poole in front of the Dunston goal. The Steels No. 10, though, could not keep his shot down and saw the ball fly over the crossbar.

Stocksbridge had an array of set-piece situations between the 85th minute and the final whistle, although nothing come of any of it. The game eventually ended 0-0, with the teams sharing the spoils.

Three consecutive stalemates saw the Steels end the season with 40 points, finishing 15th in the table.

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