Pickering Town 3 Stocksbridge PS 0
By: Dave Rhodes
As storm Callum battered the east coast over the weekend a lingering drizzle welcomed the players as they entered the field of play at the Recreation ground Pickering. The FA Trophy tie rearranged as a Sunday fixture due to the 1940s event in the town on the Saturday.
With an ever increasing demand on finances for non league clubs both teams would be keen to progress in this first preliminary round match.
With a slope on the pitch from wing to wing the home club utilised it well with long diagonal balls stretching the home defence on numerous occasions but by enlarge these were dealt with comfortably by the Steels back line.
A half volley from Mangham, as steels countered was parried by Charlie Andrew the home goalkeeper going out for a corner, then the same player had another right foot shot that deflected wide when it looked on target. Both corners taken by Coleman lead to nothing as the Pickering defence won the heading duals in a crowded 18 yard box.
Steels looked organised and bright and started to pick up second balls too, but all too often lost the ball in critical areas of the pitch as the transition from defending to attacking was in process.
On 22 minutes a poor goal was conceded by Steels as Josh Greening latched onto an inside left channel ball lifting it calmly over the advancing Amissah from close range.
Confidence levels dropped, chins were down and passes went astray as Steels tried to force the play, they needed to regroup as half time approached with Pickering looking to add to their one goal advantage. But it was Steels who took the bull by the horns with great spirit and pressed forward gaining three corners on the bounce towards the end of the half. It was better from Steels and although nothing came from the corners the away side went in at the Half -Time interval with fresh optimism.
Steels came out of the traps strongly and were the better side pushing forward at every opportunity, good play down the right gave Coleman a chance which he struck from 20 yards only to see it deflected past the post, then Ruthvens cross shot was saved. It was all Steels but on 55 minutes a killer blow when Pickering countered well, taking a two goal advantage as a left wing cross was met by Greening as he slid in at the far post. The goal was a real blow as Steels did look likely to get something at this point in the game. The excellent Wiles was a constant threat and a driving force in midfield but alas ploughed a lone furrow.
Again Steels were guilty of over playing in the final third, not looking after the ball when passes to runners were easier options as Steels strived to get back into the match.
Certainly Steels were not getting the rub of the green as Colemans terrific long range drive came back off the inside of the post and Rhodes, two yards out, just inches from connecting his head to a fine right wing cross from Coleman.
But it was poor defending again that lead to Pickering sealing the game with a third goal on 80 minutes, when Joe Danby fired high into the roof of the net, left footed from 15 yards out.
Pickering saw out the last ten minutes without a problem and Steels were left to lick their wounds, didn’t deserve a three nil score line and hope that new injury worries don’t add to Chris Hiltons already depleted squad.
Full Time: Pickering Town 3 – 0 SPS