Steels crash out of FA Cup


Handsworth Parramore 4 Stocksbridge PS 1

by James Grayson www.nonleagueyorkshire.com

Photo: Gillian Handisides

Goals from Kieron Wells (2), Tom Dugdale and Conor Higginson propelled the Ambers into the first qualifying round for the first time since the merger of Handsworth and Parramore.

The hosts, the Toolstation NCEL Premier Division title favourites, did not have it their own way for the majority of the first half.

Stocksbridge were organised and, despite missing key players Joe Lumsden and Corey Gregory, dangerous going forward. The Steels had been threatening for some time when Scott Ruthven pounced on the rebound from Ash Burbeary’s parried effort.

Tempers flare between Handsworth defender Sam Denton and Burbeary

Chris Hilton’s men were full value for their lead at this point. However, just like their opening two league games, the tie started to unravel for them.

With half-time looming, Parramore seized the moment and never looked back. A long free kick from their own half fell kindly for Dugdale and he made Stocksbridge’s defence pay for their slow reactions.

That was the equaliser and during the final three minutes of the first half, Stocksbridge found themselves under siege. Goalkeeper David Reay produced a wonderful save to tip Wells’ long range pile-driver over the crossbar as the pressure mounted. Wells was soon back probing and he headed Parramore in front from the resulting corner.

The end to the first half was one hell of a sucker punch for Stocksbridge and they never recovered. Parramore were excellent from there on and looked capable of scoring in every attack. There were one or two last ditch tackles that had to be made in their own penalty area, but they were rarely threatened.

A quick-breaking counter attack put the victory beyond doubt. Substitute Danny Buttle broke down the left before sending a low ball across the box for Wells to finish.

More misery was piled on Stocksbridge when Higginson struck with a low drive.