Gresley 3 Stocksbridge PS 3
Report: Dave Rhodes
Steels travelled to Gresley FC on Tuesday night with both teams looking to get their respective seasons under way with a moral boosting three points after defeats on the Saturday.
A large vocal home support, reflecting the fine weather and the summer holiday period, turned up to give a warm welcome to the teams as they took to the field.
And what a cracker of a match it turned out to be with both teams providing non stop, end to end drama from the first whistle to the last.
Steels were undeservedly 2 – 0 down after 20 minutes, both goals coming from defensive mistakes really as the hard, bobbly pitch took responsibility for scuffed clearances and shanked errors. But the ever dangerous Tyler Williams gained a clear cut penalty after 25minutes to get Steels back in the game, tripped as he went past the last of two defenders in the area. Scott Ruthven (pictured) slammed the ball past the goalkeeper, hard to the right giving him no chance. 2-1.
Steels were back on level terms on the half hour mark when great link up play down the right involving, Mangham, Rhodes and Moxam gave Ruthven a free looping header which crept under the bar leaving the home goalkeeper stranded.
Half Time: 2 – 2
Gresley came out of the blocks on the front foot but Steels weathered the storm and on 59 minutes took the lead with an own goal as Alex Wiles fired across the box from a tight angle, again after good one touch play down the right.
Steels fought hard to keep a determined and uncompromising Gresley side at bay and it was 3 -3 on the 66minutes after a defensive lapse in concentration let in Kieran o Connell who scored for Gresley with a free header from 10 yards out.
Williams supported and supplied by Charlesworth and Wiles were a constant threat down the left creating numerous opportunities to get into the last third.
Three glorious SPS chances were spurned in front of goal in the last ten minutes where Williams, Whitham and Wiles all scuffed shots or hit them straight at the goalkeeper.
A full blooded affair, a terrific advert for non league football and played in a great spirit, both teams can be proud of their endeavour and will to win. Steels can be pleased they scored three times away from home but I got a feeling that manager Chris Hilton will reflect on whether this should have been enough to win.
Next up its Bamber Bridge FC at the Look Local Stadium in the FA cup on Saturday, 3pm kick off.
Full Time: Gresley FC 3 – 3 SPS
Black eyed peas