FOOTBALL: Steels show their mettle to battle back

Matt Hamshaw
Matt Hamshaw
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Stocksbridge Park Steels battled back from 3-1 down to earn a well deserved 3-3 draw against high-riding Hednesford Town at Bracken Moor.

The visitors went into the game on the back of a six-match winning streak in league and cup and undefeated in seven away from home in the league.

However, Steels made a bright start and were rewarded for their early enterprise by taking an eighth minute lead. An excellent ball into the box found Alex Callery in space, who turned to beat the keeper with a low shot into the bottom corner.

But the lead was short lived. Just two minutes later Ben Bailey poked home after his initial header had been blocked. Hednesford edged ahead on 36 minutes, Aaron Rey going on as Steels appealed for offside to score with a fine curling effort into the far top corner.

The visitors went 3-1 up against the run of play on 64 minutes, Elliott Durrell’s strike taking a wicked deflection to leave Xavier Paris wrong footed.

Four minutes later though Steels were back in the game in what was a case of déjà vu when Matt Hamshaw’s 30-yarder struck a defender on the back to loop up and over the stranded keeper. And within two minutes Darren Schofield’s side had bagged an equaliser, new signing Jordan Thewlis making it three goals in two games since joining from Matlock with a glancing, near post header from a Richard Haigh cross.

Sheffield FC’s patchy league form continued with a below-par performance that saw Curtis Woodhouse’s side beaten 2-1 at lowly Romulus who bounced back from a humiliating 9-0 defeat at Belper to register their first home win of the season.

Dexter Ravenhill’s excellent curling 18-yard strike inside the first minute had Romulus in front but Sheffield bounced back immediately when Steve Woolley’s pull-back was thumped home by Andy Gascoigne to make it 1-1 with just three minutes gone.

But Romulus deservedly regained the lead on 23 minutes. The Sheffield defence only half cleared a long throw leaving Tyron Amory to rifle home. Club never looked like getting back on level terms; indeed it was the home side who came closest to scoring when Nathan Walker’s long range effort rattled a post.

Elsewhere, Worksop Town rescued a point with a last minute equaliser in a 2-2 draw at AFC Fylde. Tom Denton finished off a superb passing move volleyed home from six yards to give the Tigers the lead five minutes before the break. But the home side hit back after the break to go 2-1 ahead with four minutes remaining before Denton nodded in a last gasp equaliser.

Frickley Athletic slumped to an eighth consecutive away defeat losing 5-0 at Witton Albion. Buxton lost 2-1 at home to struggling Kendal Town despite Michael Towey giving the Bucks a 1-0 interval lead.

Matlock Town were 2-0 winners at next-bottom Ilkeston. James Ashmore fired the Gladiators in front two minutes after the break with Massiah McDonald heading the second on the hour.

Tuesday - Prem Div: Frickley Ath v AFC Fylde, Matlock Town v Hednesford Town, Nantwich Town v Buxton.

Div One South: Sheffield FC v Mickleover Sports.