Match Report - Stocksbridge Park Steels vs Sheffield FC - Tuesday 15th February 2022 (1-0)
Sheffield FC slumped to their fifth successive defeat on Tuesday night, as they lost 1-0 to local rivals Stocksbridge Park Steels, with the score line far from a true reflection of the night's events.
After a frantic end to end opening where Manny Kianga flashed an inviting ball across the six yard box with no one able to get the vital touch, and Stocksbridge pressed back up the other end immediately, the game deciding moment came in the second minute, with Club failing to completely clear a corner, allowing Nat Crofts to find space on the edge of the area before curling the ball into the top corner.
What followed was probably the most positive football Sheffield have produced all season, however what also followed was a catalogue of spurned chances, and an inability to capitalise against a team that showed great character to hold on despite being pressed for the majority of the remainder of the game.
The promising aspect of Club's play came down the flanks, with Nathan Modest and Manny Kianga using their pace to exploit space out wide, and naturally with this space came chances as first Luke Rawson shot over the bar following a good move, followed shortly by James Baxendale doing the same thing twice from distance.
In the second half Steels started the brightest, but soon after the pattern set back in with Sheffield doing the pressing, with Kianga testing Michael Roxburgh with a fierce effort. Roxburgh came to the rescue once again on the hour, after Ben Turner burst through in a trademark run, setting up Sam Ackroyd who shot straight at the keeper.
As time ebbed away for the visitors they became more desperate, sending just about everyone - and in one instance literally everyone - into Stocksbridge territory, naturally giving the hosts an opportunity to wrap things up on the counter. It would have been rough justice if a second did come, however late scrambles saw Josh Nodder denied by Ryan Musselwhite after a length of the field break, whilst an unusually quiet Luke Mangham also squandered a chance to wrap things up.
Stocksbridge Park Steels: Michael Roxburgh, Elliott Walker, Michael Trench, Sam Finlaw, Lee Cooksey, Reece Fielding, Kurtis Turner, Ross Goodwin, Luke Mangham ©, Joshua Nodder, Nathaniel Crofts. Substitutes: Jordan Lemon, Jack Tinker, Alex O’Connor, Benjamin Partridge, Jack Bennet.
Sheffield FC: Ryan Musselwhite, Ben Turner, Rory Coleman, Jack Birks, Adedapo Adelekan, Damian Magee, Nathan Modest, James Baxendale, Marc Newsham ©, Luke Rawson, Manasse Kianga. Substitutes: Jamie Robinson, Sam Ackroyd, Scott Ruthven, Jamie Yates, Leigh Whelan.
Referee: Anthony Tankard