First Team vs. Stocksbridge Park Steels (2 : 3)
Evo-Stik League East Division
Sheffield’s losing start to the season continued through to the Bank Holiday derby fixture at Bracken Moor, writes Stuart James, as Club disappointingly lost 3-2 to local rivals Stocksbridge Park Steels.
It was a frantic first 15 minutes on a blustery day in the northern hills, and it was Steels who drew first blood on just 4 minutes. When James Hastings tripped Ben Rhodes in the box. Up stepped ex-Clubbie Scott Ruthven, drilling the spot kick into the opposite corner to the one Ross Durrant chose.
Durrant had to be at his best to stop it being two moments later, Tom Charlesworth chipping a ball into the box, with the keeper bravely saving at the feet of Luke Mangham.
Sheffield started to come into the game, Mitch Dunne bringing a long ball down on the edge of the box, and curling his shot on the turn just over.
James Gregory was at his liveliest best moments later, bursting through the defence to cross a ball, Dunne stepped over the ball to allow Waide Fairhurst the shot - with the post coming to the home side’s rescue.
It was another Gregory burst that led to the equaliser on 15 minutes, with the winger brought down in a dangerous area, and skipper Jamie Yates placing the free-kick just inside Jordan Greaves’ post.
The game more or less ground to a half after that point, with neither side causing much interest until the 42nd minute when Steels’ were awarded a free-kick on the right, the ball put into the mix with another ex-Sheffield player Aaron Moxam capitalising on the lack of a clearance to hook home from close range.
It took two minutes after the restart for Stocksbridge to grab the decisive goal, once again Mangham was the player causing the trouble for the visitors, driving a shot which Durrant couldn’t hold and Moxam once again on the spot to slam home the rebound.
Club looked a shadow of the side that had shown so well 48 hours earlier at Hyde United, and could have suffered a similar scoreline, if not for some wasteful finishing - with Lewis Witham hitting the post, and Rory Coleman and Mangham being denied by the ever-busy Durrant.
The score was given a closer than expected look in injury time, as Greaves was harshly judged to have tripped Dunne in the box - Dunne dispatched the penalty with ease, but it was too little and far too late for the World’s First.
Stocksbridge Park Steels: Greaves, Charlesworth, Turner, McFadyen, Jordan, Rhodes, Wiles, Moxam, Ruthven, Mangham. Subs: Poulton, Reaney, Swinburn, Whitham, Coleman.
Sheffield FC: Durant, Ofoegbu, Turner, Hastings, Winter, Lawrence, Yates, Wright, Dunne, Fairhurst, Gregory. Subs: Wakefield, Osborne, Newsham, Mohammed, Roney.