Steels ride their luck

Stocksbridge Park Steels v FC United of Manchester.
Stocksbridge Park Steels v FC United of Manchester.
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Stocksbridge Park Steels held FC United of Manchester to a 2-2 draw at Bracken Moor where Steels Gary Marrow was the happier of the two managers with the result despite twice being pegged back by the visitors.

Stocksbridge rocked United and their large following by taking a third minute lead. Defender Greg Stones made a hash of a long ball allowing Jack Muldoon to race away and thump a shot high past keeper James Spencer. It was almost like defence versus attack for the rest of the half as FC United pushed forward with Carlos Roca, Mike Norton and Lee Neville all hitting the woodwork, while Steels keeper Ben Scott made excellent saves to deny Matt Wolfenden and Norton.

Yet Stocksbridge almost doubled their advantage right at the start of the second half when Matt Outram sent Muldoon away but this time the striker could only find the side netting. United broke through on 61 minutes after contentious free-kick when Norton went down too easily under a challenge from Brett Lovell. Roca drilled the kick low through the wall and although Scott saved, Norton knocked in the rebound.

However Stocksbridge regained the lead on 73 minutes Outram sending Richard Stirrup away to steer a shot low inside keeper Spencer’s left hand post.

But this time it took United just four minutes to draw level, Roca the creator again delivering a low cross from Steels left to leave Norton with an easy tap in. Frickley Athletic became only the second team to take a point from the Exacta Stadium in eight games as Peter Rinkcavage’s battlers held second-placed Chester to a 2-2 draw. James Ashmore gave the Blues a 29th minute lead from the penalty spot after Ollie Ryan had been brought down.

Chester levelled seven minutes later through Jamie Rainford whose shot on the turn went in via the aid of a post. Bradley Grayson nudged Frickley in front for a second time on 66 minutes taking advantage of a defensive slip to slot home.

However, Chester scored with a bullet Matt McGinn header, and it took an excellent save from Frickley keeper Adam Billard time in stoppage time to ensure Frickley left with a share of the spoils.

Worksop Town extended their unbeaten run to six games under new boss Simon Clark with a 2-2 draw at Stafford Rangers in a game that had a frantic finish.

The Tigers went in front 10 minutes after the break when Mark Hudson clipped a ball into the box for substitute Marc Roberts to volley home from 10-yards. Two minutes later Jon Worsnop conceded a penalty but the keeper made amends by diving to keeper out Jon Sheldon’s spot-kick. Stafford did level though eight minutes from time through a Glyn Hurst header and the hosts looked to have won it when Sean Kinsella curled in a 20-yard free-kick in the second minute of stoppage time. But in the last of four minutes of time added on, Worksop grabbed a last gasp equaliser as Roberts headed in from an Owain Warlow free-kick.

Injury hit Matlock Town came away from leaders Northwich Victoria with a hard earned point from a goalless draw, while Buxton came from 2-0 down against bottom of the table Burscough to salvage a 2-2 draw at the Silverlands.

Mark Beeeley gave the visitors a 23rd minute lead with Josh Wilde heading past his own keeper to gift Burscough a second two minutes later.

Mark Reed pulled one back for the Bucks just before the break with Michael Towey restoring parity on 53 minutes from 10-yards after Tom Agus had headed down. The home side almost snatched all-three points inside the last minute but Agus saw his drive bounce to safety off the underside of the crossbar.

Sheffield FC were knocked off their perch at the top of the Division One South table after being held to a 1-1 draw in a scrappy game at next to bottom Shepshed Dynamo. The hosts had been rocked 24 hours earlier wit the news that manager John Ramshaw was stepping down after the game against Club to take over at Eastwood Town.

Sheffield broke the deadlock on 55 minutes through an Andy Gascoigne penalty, awarded for a trip on Matt Glass.

However, Shepshed hit back a minute later with a long range Luke Smith volley.

It was Mark Shaw’s side that went closest to grabbing all three points having an effort ruled out for offside, while Dynamo keeper Sam Andrew pulled off a great save to keep out a Gascoigne drive.

Tuesday Premier Division: Frickley Athletic v Buxton.

Division One South: Newcastle Town v Sheffield FC.

Wednesday Premier Division: Matlock Town v Stocksbridge Park Steels, Worksop Town v Rushall Olympic.