Stocksbridge Park Steels completed a winless pre-season after losing 2-0 to a Chesterfield XI.
Just after the start of the second half, Chesterfield took the lead after a one-two allowed Matty Feutardo the space to fire in. Kian Tansley made the most of a Spireites break to go past Ed Hall and score to finish the game off.
Chesterfield started off as the better side and put the pressure early on. While they didn’t make any clear cut chances, Stocksbridge would have breathed a sigh of the relief when they just about cleared a low corner away which could have ended badly for them.
After withstanding that pressure, the Steels did break out and have some of their own chances. Jordan Lemon’s great ball forward found Scott Ruthven in good space but he fired the opportunity wide. Just a few minutes later, Josh Nodder turned his full-back inside out on the right hand side before whipping a quality ball which Ross Goodwin headed wide. The best chance fell to Joe Lumsden though as he was able to take a few touches in the box following another good ball from Lemon. Owen Evans in the Chesterfield goal though was able to save with his legs to keep it scoreless.
For the longest time after this, the game fell into a dull even stevens as neither side was able to link up enough passes in order to get an attack going. Eventually though, Stocksbridge got going again. Lewis Whitham cut inside though his shot was right at Evans in the near post. Lumsden also had another shot right at the keeper, though Evans did give a brief bit a hope for the Steels fans when he spilled it. He gathered it up an the half time whistle soon blew.
While Stocksbridge got a good look at goal when Lumsden had a shot at the near post saved, Chesterfield quickly took advantage of the second half with a goal. A quick one-two gave Feutardo the space in the box to run into and his drive couldn’t be stopped by Ed Hall.
Chestefield very easily could have doubled their lead a minute later as well. Alexander Dunameay escaped his marker and raced on through to go one-on-one with Hall. This time, the Steels keeper was even to it and made sure the deficit remained at one.
Stocksbridge did grow back into the game and had a few chances which on another day could have led to an equaliser. Nodder was showing plenty of energy and he raced onto a great ball to force a good save from Evans inside the box. Nodder was also there outside of the box with a long range shot which Evans could only parry onto his post. The closest the Steels came was from a corner when Liam McFadyen’s header was cleared off the line. The ball went back to Ruthven whose shot was also blocked off the line.
The Steels didn’t take their chances and they would then be punished for it. Chesterfield broke with a big ball forward and a square ball was played to Tansley who was in acres of space. He went past an onrushing Hall and despite the best efforts of a defender coming back to help, he was able to finish.
Stocksbridge tried to come back into the game but nothing was doing. Whitham was working very hard and had two shots saved by substitute keeper Josh Watson in short succession but it wasn’t enough. Stocksbridge finish pre-season without a win and will host Stockton Town on the 14th at the Eco Power Environmental Stadium.
MOTM: Josh Nodder