Steels slip to a third straight defeat and face drop

Jack Muldoon in action for Stocklsbridge at Bradford Park Avenue on March 6 2011. 'Must use Peter Goldstraw byline, free pic
Jack Muldoon in action for Stocklsbridge at Bradford Park Avenue on March 6 2011. 'Must use Peter Goldstraw byline, free pic
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Stocksbridge Park Steels slumped to a third defeat in eight days to leave their Premier Division status in the balance as Gary Marrow’s men went down 3-0 at Bradford Park Avenue.

There are now just two points separating Steels from the bottom four after relegation rivals Mickleover Sports held FC United to a goalless draw in front of the day’s biggest crowd 2,159.

Steels might well have been three-up inside 20 minutes with Avenue keeper Jon Lamb keeping out a stinging 20-yard effort from Dan Dillon before stopping efforts from Richard Stirrup and Jack Muldoon. However Bradford took the lead when James Knowles headed in from a corner.

The hosts extended the lead through a Matt James lofted shot over keeper David Ratcliffe. Bradford grabbed the third when Nathan Taylor slid in.

Frickley Athletic bounced back from two defeats to pick up a valuable point from a 2-2 draw with high-riding Buxton. Neil Stevens gave the visitors a sixth minute lead but Frickley turned the game on its head with two in three minutes. Ashley Burbeary rifled home a 30-yard effort with Ashley Longstaff converting three minutes later to put the home side 2-1 up. But they were denied allthree points when Mark Reed curled in a 30-yard free-kick. Retford United were beaten 2-0 at Marine; Rob Austin turning a cross into his own net on 72 minutes to add to the hosts 39th minute opener.

Matlock Town drew with play-off rivals Northwich Victoria. Dominic Collins forced home a corner to give the visitors the lead but the Gladiators hit back through a Steve Warne header.

In Division One South, Sheffield FC lost 4-2 at Sutton Coldfield Town despite taking an early lead and the hosts finishing with nine-men.

Ant Lynam headed club into a 15th minute lead from a Matt Roney free-kick. But a minute later Jonathan Jones overhead kick from a cross into the box put Sutton back on level terms. Jones then nudged the home side in front from close range on the half hour mark with Mark Bellingham’s free-kick deflecting off Sheffield defender Darren Norman eight minutes before the break to make it 3-1.

Club’s hopes were raised on 57 minutes when Sutton were reduced to ten-men with Jackson sent off for a second yellow card. However, Jamie Hadfield became the second Sheffield player to score at the wrong end when the substitute headed past Dan Whatsize four minutes from time to give Coldfield a fourth with Andy Gascoigne’s’ 90th minute penalty coming too late to effect the outcome, although there was still time for Sutton to go down to nine-men with Miller sent-off deep into stoppage time.

Tuesday - Sheffield & Hallamshire Senior Cup Quarter-final: Frickley v Sheffield FC. Premier Div: Retford United v Nantwich Town, Whitby Town v Matlock.

Wednesday - Senior Cup Quarter-final: Kirkby Coll v Stocksbridge, Worksop Town v Athersley Rec.

Thursday - Division One South: Sheffield FC v Grantham Town.