Stocksbridge Park Steels banished their penalty woes after beating Swallownest on spot kicks in the First Round of the Sheffield Senior Cup.
The Steels started off as the better side as they looked to put their Step 6 opposition to the sword. Lewis Macaskill was very lively down he left hand side and he did well with a mazy run before blazing over. Unfortunately while Stocksbridge put the Swallownest defence under a lot of pressure, they didn’t make many clear cut chances.
After Swallownest weathered the storm, they were able to fight back and get into the game themselves. They also struggled to create clear cut chances, but were not too far off when Skelton headed just over from a corner that the Steels failed to defend. Williamson would have also been cursing himself when after some great play put him clear, he sliced wide of the goal.
Stocksbridge had some great chances in the first half themselves though. Ify Ofoegbu got the beating of his defender and was able to get through on goal. Zac Walker though close down well in the Swallownest goal and was able to stop his shot. The follow-up effort from Kurtis Turner was well blocked. Towards the end of the half, Alex O’Connor took over from Tomas Poole on set piece duties and would get a free kick just outside the box. He kept it on target but Walker made an impressive diving save to keep it out.
In the second half, Swallownest had the better start and got the opening goal of the game. Oliver Grady was given too much space and pulled off a ridiculous curling effort that dipped perfectly into the top corner. It was an effort worthy of the final of the FA Cup, not the first round of the Sheffield Senior Cup!
Stocksbridge were not behind for long though. Jack Tinker had been a constant danger down the left hand side and his ball found Ofoegbu in the middle. With his back to goal, instead of copying Luke Rawson’s goal from Saturday, he simply backheeled it in the cockiest goal you’ll see this season.
Ofoegbu had been filled with confidence as he looked to outdo his backheel goal with something even more outrageous. After a corner, the second ball was played in and Ofoegbu pulled off an overhead kick. Unfortunately for the highlight reels, the acrobatic effort went wide.
Swallownest were still a constant danger though and weren’t too far off getting the win themselves. Grady continued to make himself a nuisance and tried to replicate his earlier goal but this time it found its way over the bar. Substitute Ethan Kenney also nipped onto a ball that wasn’t properly cleared but he hit the ball into the stanchion of the goal.
Stocksbridge had the final chance of the game. Mitch Langton got the ball from distance and tried his luck and his piledriver of a shot stung the hands of Walker. Rawson tried to get onto the rebound, but he was penalised in the process and instead of a goal, he got a telling off from the referee. This meant the game went to penalties.
After Stocksbridge’s traumatic experience against Ossett United where they failed to convert a single spot kick, bad memories were brought up when Turner put the opening penalty wide. Williamson gave Swallownest the advantage after this.
Ofoegbu scored Stocksbridge’s first penalty of the season at the fifth time of asking, but Swallownest continued to maintain an advantage. Even when Swallownest had one saved, Walker was able to save Langton’s effort. However, Harrison Davison-Hale saved a potential game winning penalty and Rawson handled the pressure to convert his spot kick to send the game to sudden death.
Former Stocksbridge U18 Leighton Sawyer stepped up for Swallownest, but Davison-Hale saved the penalty to give the Steels the chance to win. Elliott Murray, making his first appearance since his shoulder injury back at the start of September, sent Walker the wrong way to send Stocksbridge through to the next round.