Stocksbridge Park Steels claimed an impressive scalp as they continued their unbeaten pre-season with a 2-1 win over Northern Premier League Premier Division side FC United of Manchester.
The Steels were edging things from the start but the goal still came from very little. Luke Rawson got the ball just outside of the box but there was very little one for him. He decided to go for it and launched a bullet of the shot that beat Pat Boyes and smashed the ball into the bottom corner.
FC United had more of the possession but the Steels had more of the cutting edge. Stocksbridge were happy to let the visitors pass it around in their own midfield and they struggled to break through. The Steels looked most dangerous on the break but often lacked the final pass.
They didn’t need one for their second goal though. Ify Ofoegbu was a problem down the wings and he was hauled down for a free kick on the left hand side of the box. Tomas Poole stepped up and swung the ball into the back of the net with Boyes’ hand not being strong enough to stop it going in.
In the second half, FC United were much improved. Their half time substitutes added a lot more energy to them and they pushed forwards far more often. Their improved play deserved a goal and they got. Frustratingly for the Steels, it was a from mistake. A back pass didn’t have enough pace on it and Max Cane latched onto it before going round Ben Townsend before finishing from a narrow angle.
FC United had the momentum and came very close on a few occasions. A good ball into the box caused a melee and after an initial shot was blocked on the line, a follow-up was saved at the near post by Townsend. It would be a very good performance from the goalkeeper who made some other key saves to keep the score line at 2-1.
As if challenged by the quality of saves by Townsend at one end, Boyes decided he was going up his game at the other. Luca Defalco had a powerful shot well saved at his near post while Lewis Macaskill seemed to get denied by him at the last minute after gathering the ball from a corner. In the end, neither team could beat the keeper the second half and the Steels would continue their unbeaten run.