Gladiators hit back to earn Steels draw

Stocksbriodge v Matlock . Stocksbridge's  Jack Muldoon in the thick of the action
Stocksbriodge v Matlock . Stocksbridge's Jack Muldoon in the thick of the action
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Improving Stocksbridge Park Steels were denied the three points that would have seen them climb out of the bottom four after Matlock Town snatched a last gasp equaliser in a 1-1 draw at Bracken Moor.

It stretched Steels run to just one defeat in the last 10 outings but the Gladiators late goal meant it almost felt like a defeat. Brett Lovell headed Stocksbridge into a deserved 24th minute lead from a Matt Outram free-kick and the home side could have been out of sight by the interval with Richard Stirrup twice rattling the visitors’ woodwork.

Matlock enjoy a good spell after the break with Chris Bettney forcing Steels keeper Ben Scott into a good save from a free-kick, while substitute Nathan Joynes struck a fine 18-yard effort that flashed just wide of the post.

The Gladiators though were grateful to Jon Kennedy keeping them in the game with excellent saves from a Mark Ward free-kick and Matt Telling. However, in the final minute from a controversial free-kick from deep, Tyeisse Nightingale steered home the equaliser.

Nightingale’s afternoon turned sour when a minute later the striker was sent-off after a coming together with Matt Outram along with Matlock manager Mark Atkins for foul and abusive language. (See full match analysis and picture in Friday’s Grassroots).

Frickley Athletic slipped to a 2-1 home defeat against promotion chasing Bradford Park Avenue.

The visitors took the lead on the stroke of half-time when a misplaced clearance dropped to straight at the feet of Rob O’Brien to rifle home from 22-yards. Bradford doubled their advantage seven minutes into the second half. David Cyrus sold goalkeeper Stephen Dickinson short with a back pass allowing Matt James to lob the ball across goal for O’Brien to score from a tight angle.

Frickley responded with James Ashmore sending a 25 yard effort just over the bar, while Alex Callery saw his 20-yard drive saved at the second attempt by Bradford keeper John Lamb.

The Blues finally pulled one back three minutes from time through a header from substitute Danny South following a Ryan Mallon cross, and Peter Rinkcavage’s men came close to snatching an equaliser in stoppage time when Ashmore’s free-kick rattled the visitors’ crossbar.

In Division One South, promotion chasing Sheffield FC had to be content with a point from a 1-1 draw at Romulus.

After James Knowles had twice gone close to giving Club the lead, Romulus snatched initiative on the stroke of half time, Chris Morris tucking the ball away from close range, Sheffield were level within four minutes of the restart as Nathan Modest marked his long awaited debut with a goal. The former Owls striker slamming the ball into the top corner from the edge of the box after Andy Gascoigne and Warren Burrell had combined to create the opening.

Both sides could have won it late on with Jack Barnett hitting the Romulus crossbar from a free-kick, while for the hosts James Reid hit the post inside the last minute.

Worksop Town moved into the Second Round of the FA Trophy with a shock 1-0 win over Conference Premier side Tamworth at Sandy Lane.

The Tigers were unlucky not to be leading at the break with Ashley Burbeary heading just over from a Jamie Jackson while the midfield man fired another opening over the bar.

Tamworth almost Worksop pay when Danny Mills headed against the upright five minute after the interval.

But the Tigers grabbed what proved to be the winner on 62 minutes, Burbeary knocking in the rebound after an Owain Warlow drive had been parried by the keeper.