A cagey first half saw Stocksbridge eventually get the better over visitors, Jimmy Middleton firing the hosts into a half time lead with a deflected shot. The first 20 minutes saw both sides testing the waters, only testing the keepers a couple of times, with the final 20 minutes providing a bit more entertainment.
The Steels were supplied with an early scare when keeper James Williams was forced into a sweeping role, heading away a looping through ball under pressure from Oughtibridge’s Matt Harrison. Despite this, it was Stocksbridge who looked likely to score first, eventual scorer Middleton couldn’t keep his low shot on target from just inside the box.
OWMFC got their own back, number 18 David Shepherd attempting with his back to the goal the effort narrowly missing. Williams’ bravery was yet again challenged, after Steel’s centre back headed into the path of Oughtibridge forward Harrison but the ball bounced just too far from his feet.
The deadlock was broken in the 35th minute after Mason Wilson Rhiney played the ball into Middleton who let loose inside the box, the ball deflecting off the visiting defender into the top corner to put the Steels ahead.
The second half saw sprung to life with Steel’s highly rated Luca Defalo spinning through the Oughtibridge defence to earn the Steels a sequence of corners, shortly after Oughtibridge number 16 limped off with an ankle injury sustained in a challenge.
Middleton’s confidence was obvious as he attempted an overhead kick, but to his disappointment it sailed wide. The visitors couldn’t offer much as Stocksbridge seemed to pull away, Wilson Rhiney had Oughtibridge keeper Jack Mitchell frozen on the spot as his half volley went inches over the bar.
Late calls for a handball in the Stocksbridge box were waved away to the visitor’s dismay. Stocksbridge capped off a dominant display with their first win, with a trip to Wakefield up next for the Steels.