Stocksbridge Park Steels lost at home for the first time in 2022 as Brighouse Town came away as 3-1 winners.
The Steels took an early lead as good play allowed Luke Mangham to go free in the box and finish calmly. Brighouse equalised with Laurence Sorhiando heading in from close range after a short corner routine. They took the lead in the second half when Sorhiando finished after a mazy Shiraz Khan run before Zephaniah Thomas killed the game off with his first touch of the game.
It all started so well for the Steels. Good one-touch passing had the Brighouse defence on the back front and it lead to great ball into the box for Mangham to run onto. With the form he’s been in, he didn’t need any extra invitation to finish it and put Stocksbridge ahead.
Not long after, Stocksbridge could have been two up. Kurtis Turner found Nathaniel Crofts with a great ball and his trademark burst of pace took him away from the defender. He cut in and shot in the box but Brett Souter made a great save to keep the game at 1-0.
Stocksbridge were made to pay for not taking that chance later on. A short corner routine flummoxed the Steels defence and had them on the back foot. This gave Brighouse enough time for a great cross which Sorhiando headed in from close range to level things up.
While both teams were looking to play good football, chances were limited for the rest of the half. Thomas Haigh was able to get a well hit shot off from outside the box but Michael Roxburgh was equal to it with an impressive diving save where he was also able to hold onto the ball. At the other end, a Josh Nodder shot triggered chaos in the Brighouse box but the travelling team were able to do enough to clear the ball. This meant both teams went in at half time level and on Pancake Day it’d be a toss up going into the second half.
In the second half, Brighouse almost scored the goal of the season. A staggering curling effort from Sorhiando appeared to be heading into the top corner but Roxburgh was there to add to his catalogue of impressive saves by making sure that one didn’t end up in the end of season highlight reel.
Brighouse were having most of the ball in the second half so it wasn’t against the run of play when they took the lead. Khan had just come on but he made an immediate impact by weaving in and out of players to get into the box. He then looked up, saw Sorhiando in space and passed to him. Brighouse’s leading scorer then punished Stocksbridge by firing in and giving the visitors the lead.
It’d soon get worse for Stocksbridge and yet again, a substitute was making his name against the Steels. Thomas collected a quick throw in from Darius Smith and fired the ball goalwards. It would hit the back of the net and that looked to be that.
Stocksbridge did go down with a fight though. Nodder pulled an impressive shot out of nowhere but it ended up curling into the hands of Souter. Then, Michael Trench put a great ball into the box which Crofts got onto the end of but the powerful header was well saved by Souter. This condemned Stocksbridge to their first home defeat since Frickley back in November.