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Steels Reports

Steels 1-0 Sheffield FC

A stunning strike from Nathaniel Crofts got Stocksbridge Park Steels all three points in a tough battle against Sheffield FC.

The only goal of the game came after two minutes when Sheffield failed to clear their lines and Crofts gathered the ball before hitting it off the bar and into the back of the net.

The original fixture was called off due to fog and both teams got going right from the off. Sheffield almost went lead instantly after a Stocksbridge attack had been stopped. Manasse Kianga, who’d continue to be a thorn in the Steels defence throughout the game, got free on the left and his shot went past everyone and had to be touched on by a defender to prevent it going in.

After this, Stocksbridge would go down the other end and score though. Sheffield FC had several chances to clear the ball away but they couldn’t get it away. The ball would fall to Crofts who after a few touches would hit it with his left foot. It’d crash off the bottom of the bar before making its way into the back of the net. It was the best start possible for Stocksbridge and restored the one goal lead they had when the game had been called off last time.

Considering Sheffield’s form, many might have thought Stocksbridge would have gone on to score plenty of more. Instead the game became quite bitty and both teams struggled to create any sort of fluent play. One good passage from the Oldest Club gave space for Luke Rawson to have a shot but that went over. At the other end, Josh Nodder teed a volley up for himself but could only hit it over.

The best chance before the end of the second half went to Sheffield. Good play allowed Rawson to break through on goal but goalkeeper Michael Roxburgh read the situation well to move off his line and grab the ball from his feet. He took Rawson out in the process, meaning the forward had to receive treatment, but there was no question that it was a fair challenge and not a penalty.

Stocksbridge came out firing in the second half. Kurtis Turner looked to add to his goal from Saturday but fired wide before good play allowed Nodder to find the back of the net only for it to be called offside. Elliott Walker also sent a tantalising ball across the face of the goal but no one was able to get on the end of it for the Steels.

Kianga continued to cause trouble at the other end with his pace and trickery. On this occasion he managed to get himself enough space on the edge of the box to curl a shot in but it ended floating into the arms of Roxburgh.

Sheffield would then have their best chance of the game. A cross into the box was not dealt with and substitute Sam Ackroyd latched onto the end of it. His finish was not strong enough and Roxburgh was able to save it but Kianga got into it first. The Stocksbridge defence held firm and blocked it out to keep the clean sheet intact.

The Oldest Club would continue to throw everything at the wall looking for an equaliser with even Ryan Musselwhite coming up for a corner at one stage. But in the dying moments, it was Stocksbridge who came closest to scoring. Substitute Ben Partridge broke and had plenty of space to operate in after Sheffield had committed men forward. He was forced wide a bit by a defender that had got back but he still got his shot off only for Musselwhite to close down and save well. In the end though, one goal was enough for Stocksbridge to get a win over their rivals.

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