Stocksbridge Park Steels were not able to break down a stubborn Kidsgrove Athletic and lost 1-0 on the opening day of the Northern Premier League Division South East.
It was not a game for the purists and the only goal of the game came late on when Kingsley Adu-Gyamfi was able to get himself enough space for a strong shot that left Ed Hall with little chance.
In what was a cagy first half, it took 15 minutes until the first real chance on goal. On the back of his FA Cup magic last week, Scott Ruthven used good footwork to get past his man. He hit a powerful shot but the fingertips of Kieran Harrison prevented him getting Stocksbridge’s first goal of the season. The next chance would also go Stocksbridge’s way but Luke Mangham’s volley was comfortably saved.
Kidsgrove had plenty of the ball in the first half and while Stocksbridge had more looks on goal, they did have chances of their own. The biggest chance for them came when captain Anthony Malbon turned his defender and curled the ball towards goal. Luckily for the Steels, it went just wide. They also went close when Hall was forced to palm Kyle Diskin’s corner onto the post to avoid an embarrassment.
After that for the rest of the first half while Stocksbridge did get some shots off but none really tested Harrison. Josh Nodder hit the ball over after a cross and Kurt Turner also hit well over from a long range attempt. The crowd stirred when Mangham attempted an overhead kick but it was blocked. Ruthven also couldn’t repeat last week’s free kick goal when his set piece hit the wall from just outside the box.
The second half was a game of very few chances, with there just being one a piece. Unfortunately, Kidsgrove took their chance.
Stocksbridge’s chance came early in the first half. Ruthven caused chaos in the box and ensued a scramble where it was ended by the number 10 hitting over.
The game was not one to liven up the neutrals but there would be a goal thanks to Kidsgrove. Not much looked on for Adu-Gyami when he picked up the ball on the left but he got enough space to hit a shot into the far corner and past Hall. It would be the only goal of the game and Stocksbridge were not able to get the equaliser.