Late goal saves Steels against nine men; Sheffield FC beaten

Stocksbridge's Liam McFadyen puts a cross over the bar on the stretch but went on to grab stoppage time equaliser. Photo: Gillian Handisides
Stocksbridge's Liam McFadyen puts a cross over the bar on the stretch but went on to grab stoppage time equaliser. Photo: Gillian Handisides
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Boss Chris Hilton had promised an entertaining game as Steels went all out for a fourth successive win to keep their faint play-off hopes alive.

And those that came along to take advantage of the ‘pay what you like’ offer certainly got good value for money as they watched Stocksbridge twice come from behind then throw away a 3-2 lead against nine-men Romulus before rescuing a point in the last minute of time added on.

Steels fell behind in the fourth minute. David Reay had already done well to push a free-kick over but from the resulting corner Ben Welsh’s volley was deemed to had crossed the line by the assistant after bouncing down off the underside of the bar.

Stocksbridge equalised in the ninth minute, Joe Lumsden unleashing an unstoppable shot from 22-yards after a cross had been half.

The visitors were back in front three minutes later when Barry Fitzharris’ shot took a wicked deflection to wrong foot Reay. Back came Steels to equaliser on 23 minutes as Rory Coleman’s delightful cross left Scott Ruthven with an easy header.

Stocksbridge went in front for the first time just past the half hour. Lumsden’s cross to the far post picked out Coleman who took a touch before thumping a shot back across the keeper and inside the far post.

Five minutes into the second half the visitors were reduced to ten-men, Chad Degville-Cross receiving a second yellow card and 10 minutes later it was nine men as Fitzharris was shown a straight red for kicking out at Coleman.

Instead of taking advantage of the numerical advantage Stocksbridge seemed to lose their way and with 14 minutes remaining Romulus grabbed the equaliser when Luke Keen’s cross from close to the bye-line dropped inside the far post.

Romulus went 4-3 up in the second minute of stoppage time as Malachi Farguharson scrambled the ball home.

But Stocksbridge blushes were saved in the last of four minutes of time added on when Liam McFadyen bundled the ball home at the far post to level the scores.

Sheffield FC suffered a third successive defeat, going down 2-0 at play-off chasing Rugby Town.

The home side had the lead on 10 minutes when a teasing cross from the right saw Stuart Ludlam turn the ball into his own-net at the far post.

Club then lost defender Alex Pursehouse to injury midway through the first half. Rugby extended the lead just before the break when Callum Powell broke down the right to lob the ball over the advancing Jamie Green.

Sheffield never gave up and might well have been back in the game in the second half. James Gregory fired just wide then Ross Goodwin saw his effort cleared off the line after Alec Denton’s shot had been blocked. Jordan Tuner had a free-kick deflected wide as Club enjoyed a much better second half.

Rugby almost grabbed a third on the break in stoppage time but that would had been harsh on Sheffield.

Shaw Lane Aquaforce kept their title hopes alive with a hard earned 1-0 win against lowly Carlton Town.

James Walshaw netted what turned out to be the decisive goal in the 45th minute just after the Ducks stand-in goalkeeper Matt Dempsey had pulled off a penalty save.

Frickley Athletic continued their excellent run of form with a fifth league win in six with a 3-1 victory at Workington. A John Cyrus brace had the Blues 2-0 up on 22 minutes and although the home side pulled one back just before the break. Jack Hazel wrapped up the points with the third 11 minutes from time.

Brad Barraclough’s strike six minutes into the second half was enough to give Buxton a 1-0 win at Rushall Olympic, while goals from Charlie Dawes and Jordan Ball earned Matlock Town a point from a 2-2 draw at Sutton Coldfield Town.

Tuesday, Premier Division: Buxton v Ilkeston FC, Marine v Frickley Athletic, Matlock Town v Stourbridge.

Division One South: Shaw Lane Aquaforce v Goole AFC, Spalding United v Stocksbridge Park Steels.

Thursday, Premier Division: Ramsbottom United v Matlock Town.