Stamford 1 Stocksbridge PS 0
By: Dave Rhodes
With Steels embarking on an important clutch of three games in ten days over the Christmas period, they will be hoping that todays away fixture against a mid table Stamford AFC side will bring them an early and very welcome present of three points.
Steels efforts of hoisting themselves up the table were dealt a cruel blow on 25 minutes when a hopeful long punt upfield deflected into the path of Ryan Seal 20 yards from goal who unleashed a half volleyed drive that flew past Ed Hall the Steels Goalkeeper giving him no chance.
It was not what the away side had deserved as they dominated much of the play up to the last third overall but again Steels were lacking the luck and fortune as balls crossed into dangerous areas were not capitalised on.
Typical of Steels season so far, as a terrific run and shot from Grayson hit the post, flush and hard.
Prior to this the referee failed to award a clear cut penalty to Steels as the home goalkeeper Danny Haystead blatantly pushed Scott Ruthven sending him crashing to the floor when the ball was gone.
Steels lads pressed and pushed men forward with good passing phases but couldn’t get onto the end of some decent crosses into the box, as second balls just didn’t go their way to compound all the purposeful and constructive play.
Half Time: Stamford AFC 1 – 0 SPS
The start of the second half was all Steels with Todd Jordans free header from 8 yards going the wrong side of the post after only 4 minutes in, a great opportunity to level things up early on.
Stamford were being pegged back but always looked a threat on the counter, Steels showed good ball retention, won the ball back well and enjoyed long spells of possession but alas, failed to provide the elusive end product.
Not for the want of trying, team spirit and the will to work hard to a man was clearly on view.
The hard luck stories becoming all too familiar for Manager Chris Hilton as he strives to get the best from a talented pool of players.
The game was dominated by Steels all but the first 20 minutes or so, substitutions Coleman on for Wiles, Swinburn on for Williams and Rhodes on for Langton didn’t diminish the positive performance as Steels tried everything to score.
Again it wasn’t to be, and with the home goalkeeper slow timing from 75 minutes and home forwards running the ball into the corner flag instead of heading for goal, it was testament that the share of the points may have been a little unfair on this occasion, the home side and significant home support glad to hear the sound of the referees whistle to end the game with little or no extra time being played.
Next up Its Frickley Athletic on Boxing day with a 3pm kick off
Final Score: Stamford AFC 1 – 0 SPS