Three winners, four losers, and a wash out was the sum total of our clubs fortunes last Saturday but it was a day our fans will remember but sadly not our managers, as it left three facing grim relegation battles. With matches now getting fewer all eyes will be on Saturday when seven of our clubs face tough tests and only two are at home.
In the Toolstation North Counties East Leagues First Division, Hallam battled hard against top of the table visitors A.F.C. Emley, before going down 1-0. Emley led at the interval and on the hour Hallam’s Simpson was sent off as Dennison saved Sykes’ penalty kick but it was of no avail as the ten Countrymen could not find the net. Then on Tuesday they travelled to Teversal hoping to get back to winning ways and move out of the bottom two and they did so in some style as they won 5-0 after being three up inside the first 25 minutes. On loan Jake Wright signed on work experience from Sheffield United hit two as Westlake, Brammer and an own goal completed a great night. Things do not get easier though on Saturday when they visit bottom club Grimsby Borough hoping to complete a winning “Double”.
In the Premier Division Peter Duffield took his new club Handsworth Parramore to his old club Retford United and came home with a 3-1 win to make it back-to-back wins for the first time since September 10th, with Lee Whittington hitting a brace and Sam Smith completing the scoring. On Saturday they visit neighbours Parkgate hoping to complete a winning double and next Tuesday they travel to face minnows from the County Senior League, Swallownest Miners Welfare in the Senior Cup Quarter Finals.
In the Evo-Stik Leagues Division One South, Sheffield visited Newcastle Town and found themselves three goals adrift but in a spirited fight back they battled hard and scored twice but could not find an equaliser as they slipped to a 3-2 defeat. Substitute Roney tormented the Town defence and Longstaff headed home his cross before Roney himself scored.
Roney almost snatched a late equalised but his drive was well saved.
Sheffield have now lost five in a row away from home and have slipped to 17th in the table. On Saturday they visit next to the bottom Brigg Town where they simply have to win.
Stocksbridge Park entertained Spalding United and crashed to another 2-0 defeat. Once again they played well but could not find the net for the third time in a row. The Tulip men were full value for their success and it leaves Stocksbridge in eighteen place in the table and their trip Newcastle Town is unlikely to help their cause.
In the Toolstations North Counties East Leagues Premier Division, I visited the seaside last Saturday to watch the two inform teams Cleethorpes Town and Staveley fight out a great encounter between two teams who have not lost a league between them in fifteen outings.
The “Owls” were the first to show and took the lead on seven minutes but debut boy Jamie Kay, signed on Wednesday from Sheffield F.C, equalised with a centre cum shot that went in off the post and then Craig Fisher put them in front when his shot was deflected home. Cleethorpes drew level early in the second half and completely dominated the half but with six minutes remaining Jamal Smith hit home a sizzling winner to make it 3-2.
Certainly the Cleethorpes players were justified in thinking they had been mugged, but credit Staveley with a sterling defensive display in the second half as they stay fifth in the table after their record breaking eighth league win a the trot. They have no game on Saturday.
Maltby Main visited their old rivals Parkgate and were in a goal down inside four minutes when Stapleford-Jones found the net and were under fire most of the half.
But after the break the “Miners” dug deep and equalised through Fearon and then stand in keeper Hibbert scored a dubious goal from the penalty spot to take the three points with a 2-1 score line as Parkgate made it four games without a win. On Saturday Maltby entertain a struggling Retford United whilst Parkgate have another plum home “Derby” game against Handsworth Parramores.