Stocksbridge Park Steels got back to winning ways with a 2-0 victory over Shildon.
The Steels got off to a positive start. Lewis Macaskill, making his first start since his injury, tried to catch Shildon goalkeeper Matthew Bateman out when he was off his line but couldn’t keep his shot on target. He’d cause several other problems, almost setting up Ify Ofoegbu not long after as well, and showed he was good value for the start.
Eventually though, Stocksbridge would get the goal their play had deserved. The ball was played in from the right and Luke Rawson got it, back to the goal. He was able to turn his defender though and tuck the ball into the bottom corner, giving the Steels the lead.
Two minutes later, Stocksbridge had doubled their lead. The Steels got a free kick from deep, and Tomas Poole put in a great delivery. The Shildon defence completely turned off as Mitch Langton controlled the ball, took a step forward and finished into the bottom corner. Considering Stocksbridge have had an issue defending leads immediately after taking them, getting the goal was a marked changed.
Shildon needed to fight to get back into the game but they took those words too seriously. As they attacked, Langton fouled Dean Thexton. Shildon’s star man reacted badly, stamping on Langton’s leg. This caused a fracas between the players that could have boiled over into something nastier. After the referee had calmed the situation down, he talked to his assistants before producing a straight red for Thexton.
In the second half, Shildon started off as the better side though. Perhaps the Railwaymen knew there was nothing for them to lose so thought they might as well go for it. But while they had a lot of the ball, and Stocksbridge did give away some silly free kicks, they lacked much cutting edge. Obviously missing Thexton after his sending off, they never really did test Harrison Davison-Hale despite having more of the ball.
After being fairly poor for the first twenty minutes of the second half, Stocksbridge were able to settle back down and take control of the match. They could count themselves unlucky that a third wasn’t scored either. Good play between substitute Alex O’Connor and Kurtis Turner gave the latter some space just outside of the box but he could only curl the ball around the far post. Rawson also looked to turn his defender and score again, but this shot would be well saved by Bateman.
Shildon did have the final shot of note, with a free kick from the Railwaymen being well saved by Davison-Hale. The young goalkeeper would claim a clean sheet though on the way to Stocksbridge claiming a vital three points.
MOTM: Thomas Poole
- vs Shildon (H) – 22/10/22 (Photos by Shildon AFC)
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