17.11.2012

Evo-Stik Northern Premier League

Stocksbridge Park Steels

Callery (8), Hamshaw (68), Thewlis (70)

Hednesford Town

Bailey (10), Rey (36), Durrell (64)

(1) 3

(2) 3

Attendance

MoTM

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143

Elliott Durrell

L L D W W W W W W D

Matlock Town (A) 20.11.12

Struggling Stocksbridge earned themselves a vital point in their fight against relegation, ending the Pitmen's recent six-game winning streak in the process this afternoon

Following last weekend's win in the F.A. Trophy at Romulus, manager Rob Smith recalled two players to the starting line-up; Elliott Durrell returned to the side after a one-match ban, replacing Luke Bottomer. Aaron Rey also returned to the side, in place of Michael Lennon

Steels - currently languishing second bottom of the table - made a good start to the game, as they looked to make an early impact. Matt Hamshaw tested the Pitmen's resolve on three minutes, striking a wayward free-kick wide of goal from a good position

Five minutes later, Steels did indeed take the lead, as Alex Callery was gifted time and space in the penalty area to set himself and fire past Dan Crane, despite the best efforts of Sam Barnes to make a last-ditch tackle

The Pitmen were behind for less than two minutes, as centre back Ben Bailey grabbed his first goal of the season to level matters once more. Nathan Woolfe sent over a deep corner kick that found Ben Bailey lurking, with the centre back allowed time and space to fire home from four yards out

Hednesford could have gone in front four minutes later, as skipper Dave MacPherson hit a firm shot at goal from eighteen yards out, but a last-ditch defensive block took the venom off the shot and landed in the hands of Stocksbridge stopper Xavier Parisi

Hamshaw fired another warning shot narrowly over Dan Crane's crossbar on seventeen minutes, taking advantage of the Pitmen's inability to clear the ball fully

Top scorer Durrell thought he had grabbed an audacious goal midway through the first half, as his inswinging corner kick arrowed in towards goal. Just as it looked to be dipping under the crossbar, Parisi managed to get enough on the ball to claw it away right on the goal line

A minute later, another spot-on delivery from Durrell, this time from a free-kick, found Sam Barnes. The defender failed to match his defensive partner Bailey in getting on the scoresheet, dragging his effort just wide of the ball at the far post

The creative talents in the Hednesford midfield continued to provide scoring opportunities for their team-mates, as Woolfe bat his man and sent over an excellent cross for Rey, who headed over the bar from a great position

Rey made amends six minutes later, as the in-form striker did finally put the Pitmen into the lead with some wizardry down the right-hand side. After collecting the ball out wide, the forward appeared to have very few options. Instead, he carved out a chance for himself, dancing past two Stocksbridge challenges before curling a delightful shot past Parisi from an angle as he cut inside

The second half saw Stocksbridge look for a route back into the game early on, with Hamshaw forcing Crane into a smart save low down to his right on fifty-one minutes

Despite winning three corner kicks in a row, the Pitmen failed to capitalise on their territorial advantage, with Woolfe and Durrell unusually wasteful with their deliveries

Woolfe's game came to a premature end on fifty-eight minutes, as the winger was replaced by the pacy Bottomer

The Pitmen thought they had wrapped up another three points on the road on sixty-four minutes, courtesy of a piece of magic from Durrell. Picking the ball up from long range, Durrell steadied himself before letting fly with a simply unstoppable swerving shot that sailed over the head of Parisi

The ineffective Neil Harvey, who had picked up a knock earlier on the game, was replaced on sixty-seven minutes by Sean O'Connor as Rob Smith looked to close the game out

However, Steels managed to claw themselves back into the game with a certain element of luck on sixty-eight minutes. Hamshaw's driven free-kick looked as though it was to be cut out by Bailey, only for the ball to take a wicked deflection off the defender and loop over the head of the backtracking Crane

This gave Stocksbridge renewed vigour, with the hosts drawing level two minutes later. Poor defending allowed Jordan Thewlis to dart into the penalty area and fire past Crane from close range unchallenged

Shocked into action, the Pitmen went in search of a fourth goal they should not have needed; with fifteen minutes remaining, Alex Melbourne got a shot in on goal but was denied by a good save from Parisi. From the resultant corner, Bailey headed Durrell's cross wide of goal

The Pitmen's last throw of the dice came in the form of Michael Lennon, who came on with thirteen minutes remaining in place of Rey

The Pitmen were wasteful in the final ten minutes, with a succession of crosses and free kicks straight at Parisi or easily cleared by a resolute Stacksbridge defence

A late winner for North Ferriby at Chorley added to the deflated feeling at the final whistle, as the Villagers extended their lead at the top of the table. Tuesday night sees the Pitmen go after all three points as they visit mid-table Matlock Town

Stocksbridge Park Steels: Paris, Darker, Turner, Haigh ©, Swirad, Callery, Bettney (Payne 79), Senior, Ring (Goff 61), Thewlis (Todd 86), Hamshaw      Subs Unused: Norbiesse, Payne

Hednesford Town: Crane, Disney, Campion , Bailey, Barnes, MacPherson ©, Melbourne, Durrell, Harvey (O’Connor 66), Rey (Lennon 77), Woolfe (Bottomer 58)      Subs Unused: Francis, Morris