Stocksbridge Park Steels 1-1 Cleethorpes Town
By James Grayson www.nonleagueyorkshire.com
A generous last minute free kick led to Cleethorpes Town equalising and denying Stocksbridge Park Steels a victory over one of their play-offs rivals.
It was a harsh ending for the Steels, especially for their fearless man of the match goalkeeper Jordan Greaves.
Although they had to weather a lot of pressure in the second half, they had stood firm and looked set to hold on until Liam Dickens scored.
That cancelled out a magnificent first half goal from key man Joe Lumsden – a quality goal that inspired his mentor Ryan Laight, the Steels assistant manager, to gallop down the touchline punching the air.
Stocksbridge’s first half display was excellent. Lumsden’s goal came off the back of an error from rattled Cleethorpes goalkeeper Walton Richards who had to smash the ball out of play after briefly losing control of it. Brodie Litchfield reacted quickly and his throw-in caught Cleethorpes cold and sent Lumsden away down the left. Stocksbridge’s perennial hero cut inside into the penalty area and sent a tremendous effort past Richards into the far corner.
More pressure followed. Litchfield was a constant threat and Scott Ruthven went close with a good effort.
The Steels could not maintain the same tempo in the second half, but they looked very dangerous on the counter-attack. Cleethorpes were exposed several times and had the final pass been better, the visitors would have been finished off.
Goalkeeper Greaves, in the side because David Reay was suspended, was a busy man, but he dealt with almost everything thrown at him. He attacked and claimed crosses, made several good saves – most notably when he put his body on the line to deny Cleethorpes number ten Daniel North.
Ultimately the referee Brad Hall played a starring role at the death. His decision to award Cleethorpes a free kick on the attacking right was debatable to say the least. The free kick was swept in and a header came back off the post, trickled across the goal-line before Dickens blasted it over.
Greaves was called upon again in stoppage time as he denied Marc Cooper from snatching victory for the visitors by saving his header.