Ossett United 3 Stocksbridge PS 0
By: Dave Rhodes
Glad to see the back of an ill-fated November Manager Chris Hilton and his staff will be keen to get the boys back onto the pitch after a much improved performance against fellow strugglers Spalding United last time out. With the squad now looking stronger in both quantity and quality there is an emerging, quiet optimism around Bracken Moor.
Ossett United provide todays formalities as the teams enter the field of play, with an unchanged line up for Steels.
A bright start for both teams on a quick pitch with well organised defences dominant early on. Ossett looked a strong experienced outfit but threatened Ed Hall, the away keeper very little over the course of the first 20 minutes or so, indeed, it was Steels who opened up the home team well.
Good play by Litchfield as he cut inside from the right, fired a strong left footed shot that Brett Souter parried into the path of the onrushing Ruthven who missed a great chance with Souter saving at his feet then Grayson missed the rebound from point blank range when Souter reacted and saved well.
On 25 minutes a long dead ball punt to the edge of the area found the head of Tom Corner the Ossett centre forward who connected with a clean header into the path of the lively Marco Basic who calmly slotted the ball over the advancing Hall after picking up the second ball. A typical passage of play for Steels as one minute they missed opportunities at one end then concede at the other soon after.
The hard working home side now looked capable and dangerous playing the slope of the pitch very effectively with some direct football.
On 37 minutes Steels were two down. It was Aiden Chippendale who was allowed to run freely from deep in midfield that unleashed a terrific left footed long range effort that zipped fast off the surface past Halls left hand post giving him no chance. Again Steels reacted well with good spirit and desire but couldn’t find a way through a disciplined and well drilled Ossett back four.
Half Time: Ossett United 2 – 0 SPS
The second half was mostly nip and tuck with both goalkeepers having little to do really, Steels kicking down the slope were more of a threat early on forcing a few corners and free kicks but these led to nothing with defenders winning the personal battles overall.
The home side competed strongly in midfield and gave Steels nothing during a turgid opening half hour.
It was Litchfields right footed free kick wide on the right that was perfectly flighted into the six yard box where Steels players failed to anticipate with little meaningful movement in crucial attacking areas of the pitch.
Frustrated Steels players, Jordan, Charlesworth and Litchfield were all booked in the last ten minutes as Steels started to lose composure as they just couldn’t find a way through a solid home outfit.
To compound all Steels decent work and vigorous second half efforts, Steels were dealt a cruel blow on 90 minutes when they were dispossessed on the half way line wide on the right. In fairness to the home side they played it brilliantly and picked off Steels back line easily as they passed the ball across the pitch to give substitute Jack Vann a simple side foot shot past the helpless Hall.
A tough encounter in difficult conditions yes, but Steels must raise it, work even harder together, to get the ball back sooner, higher up the pitch perhaps and create their own fortune to get rewards, as tough games come thick and fast.
Final Score: Ossett United 3 – 0 SPS