Wisbech Town 1 Stocksbridge PS 1
by: Dave Rhodes
With the season just passing the half way stage it may be too early to start talking about six pointers. But with both teams struggling at the wrong end of the table, todays fixture against Wisbech Town is certainly a game that takes on a “must not lose” feel to it.
The game started as expected really, with both teams searching for early dominance, which, as a consequence wasn’t achieved by any. Not without trying it must be said but attacking flair was absent as each side cancelled one another out during a hectic first ten minutes or so.
But a simple long and lofted ball down the left hand channel caught Steels square at the back and with Lemon engaging his opposite number, space was exploited by a lively Sam Murphy behind. Murphy coolly slotted the ball under the advancing Ed Hall from 18yards.
Not the start Steels had hoped for and with Wisbech having a spare man in midfield Steels were second best in a scrappy encounter so far.
On the half hour mark Steels equalised with a terrific volley from Scott Ruthven. The free kick central to goal and 40 yards out was taken left footed by Roz Coleman, initially looked as though he had over hit it, but Ruthven expertly turned and connected sweetly with the ball as it came over his left shoulder taking the home goalkeeper Dan Swan by complete surprise as the ball went in, far post, from a narrow angle.
Just what the away side had deserved but Wisbech came back strongly with numerous corners and free kicks leading up to half time, but Steels held firm.
Half Time : Wisbech Town 1 – 1 SPS
Steels had tweaked their formation slightly as the second half got under way, one presumes to stop balls getting through to a lively Wisbech front two. Against a rigid four, four, two steels were certainly more compact but found it difficult to retain the ball up top as Ruthven dropped into deeper role.
The home side tried to press forward with more intent but Steels had enough bodies in there to prevent any real goal threats by enlarge.
Both teams strived hard to break the deadlock, up until the 80th minute without any real success with both defences well on top. Wisbech came closest when a long free kick floated into the away side box by Danny Setchell was headed over. The home crowd now extremely voiciferous, mostly against the referee it must be said, baying for blood at every ball competed for. But Steels were strong and gave as good as they got.
As full time approached a lively and frantic final ten minutes or so gave Steels opportunities to possibly claim the points on the counter as the home side went for broke but sadly, composure and awareness were absent at the vital time.
A fair result overall.
Full Time: Wisbech Town 1 – 1 SPS