Stocksbridge Park Steels claimed their second win in a row with big 2-0 win over the league’s highest scorers Yorkshire Amateur.
Luke Mangham finished off a fantastic Steels counter attack to give Stocksbridge the lead. In the second half the striker scored an incredible curler against the run of play to double the lead and seal the win.
The game started off end-to-end as both sides look to carry on the momentum of Saturday wins. Lewis Whitham was lively again as he forced a near post save from Kyle Trenerry within a few minutes. The big chance was at the other end for Yorkshire Amateur as Simon Ainge had a free header in the box but the Steels were let off as he headed wide.
Yorkshire carried on putting on pressure for the early part of the game and that would end up being their undoing. The Steels unleashed a fantastic counter attack when Whitham found Nathaniel Crofts with a great crossfield ball. The former Toronto winger bared down on the defence before sending in a beautiful cross for Mangham to volley home, netting his first of the season.
For a large period of the game after this, Yorkshire held onto the ball and tried to get an equaliser. They struggled to make clear cut chances though with the Steels defence holding strong. A Yorkshire free kick was whipped in from the left and Stephen Crawford had two chances to score, but both were blocked. Roy Fogarty did have the ball in the back of the net with a neat finish but that was ruled out for a clear offside.
The closest Yorkshire got in the first half was from a free kick which was just off the D of the penalty box. Charlie Jebson-King stepped up and cracked it off the bar before Fogarty followed it up with a header which went early. Hearts stopped for a second but the Steels continued to hold firm.
The Steels did have their own chances at the other end. Whitham was given space from thirty yards and he couldn’t help but have a go though Kyle Trenerry in the Yorkshire net would collect it simply. The best chance fell to Mangham when a battle of headers gave him the ball in the box but Trenerry put in a more impressive save with his legs to keep the deficit down to one.
Many non-league fans come to matches at this level for the blood and thunder of it all but none of that was going to be allowed under a strict referee. This was causing some frustration among the Steels players as both Whitham and Ed Hall would get booked for dissent during the first half. Jordan Lemon and Crofts also joined them in the book for fouls they may have got away with on another day.
Yorkshire Amateurs took control in the second half as well. They had scored seven goals in Saturday’s win over Lincoln United and they were determined not to be stopped by Stocksbridge. However while they had a lot of the ball, they didn’t make clear cut chances with Hall not having that much to do.
Adam Priestley showed why he is an international player with a long run that the Steels didn’t know what to do with. But that run ended with a very tame shot that went wide, showing why he is an international for Gibraltar. Roy Fogarty also had an opportunity but it was right at Hall.
It did feel like Yorkshire Amateurs had around 70% of possession with them also doing a good job containing any attempt at a Steels counter attack. But it was on one of those brief forays up front that Stocksbridge proved goals matter more than possession. Mangham had initially botched his first touch much to the chagrin of the fans, but he gathered himself, took another touch before curling it into the top corner for a Goal of the Season contender.
Yorkshire changed their team around to try and get back into the game. But it is testament to how firm the Stocksbridge defence that their best chance was one that was more of a fluke than a real attempt. Jebson-King looked like he was hitting a pass forward but one of those notorious Stocksbridge winds took it and it almost became a Ronaldinho special. Hall though was more aware of it than David Seaman that day and tipped it over.
Yorkshire continued to press forward but it was the same story as before and the league’s highest scorers were blunted by the Steels on Bank Holiday Monday.
MOTM: Luke Mangham