A late wonder goal from Ben Partridge led 10-man Stocksbridge Park Steels to beat Pontefract Collieries 1-0.
The game was often foul tempered and that came to a natural conclusion when Luke Mangham was sent off for kicking out at a Pontefract defender. At the very end though, Ben Partridge robbed Lloyd Allinson of the ball 30-yards out before hitting a no look shot which floated into the top corner to earn a stunning win for the Steels.
The game started with Pontefract pressing and having more of the ball. At points they were clocking up 80% possession of the ball but at this time, they weren’t creating many clear-cut opportunities with it. The Stocksbridge defence were holding strong and making sure nothing came through.
It would turn out to be a game of few chances as Stocksbridge did struggle to get out of their own half at times. But despite that, the biggest chance of the first half went to the Steels. A great cross from the right was headed goalwards by Kurtis Turner but Allinson was there to save it. The ball rebounded to Nathaniel Crofts but he couldn’t keep the shot on target and it went over.
In the second half, Pontefract pushed forward again as they looked to get the lead. In the early parts of the game, the closest they came was a Joe Lumsden header which went wide. Like in the first half, the Stocksbridge defence were doing well to make sure that Michael Roxburgh didn’t have to do much.
The game had been fairly ill-tempered with there being plenty of clashes between players. Pontefract were working hard to surround the referee when possible and it was generally a rough and tumble game with lots of holding and nibbles at the feet. It felt like it was going to end badly for someone and eventually it did. Mangham had spent the game being held and it was just one too many for him when he lashed out and kicked out at the Pontefract player. After consulting with the linesman, the referee had little choice but to show him a straight red.
This meant Pontefract had the man advantage to try and go win the game. And that is exactly what they did. They piled forward and went for it as they looked to continue their four match winning streak. Despite this, they still struggled to create anything truly clear-cut though some of their long range efforts weren’t far off.
This all led to some late drama. Michael Trench cleared the ball and it would go to Allinson who was 30 yards out of his goal. Partridge went to close him down and at first, it seemed like the keeper got away with it. However, the touch was enough for the striker to rob him of the ball. Partridge did have his back to goal and so had to just try a sighter with his turn and shot. Miraculously, the shot was perfect as it floated into the top corner, sending the Eco Power into delirium.
This didn’t mean the game was over though. A shot from the edge of the box from Pontefract was excellently saved by Roxburgh before a corner kick scramble was blocked on the line on two occasions. After this, the full time whistle blew to confirm a stunning win for the Steels.