Non-League football: Five-star Sheffield FC extend top run to six matches
Both Stocksbridge Park Steels and Sheffield FC enjoyed excellent away wins over the weekend.
Club took their unbeaten run to six games with a 5-2 victory at Northwich Victoria, where on-loan Connor Hall hit four of the goals.
And Steels got their play-off push back on track with a 3-2 win at third-placed Spalding United.
Sheffield were in front inside the opening couple of minutes thanks to Hall, but they were pegged back seven minutes later when Yaw Gyimah levelled following a goalmouth scramble.
With the game evenly balanced Sheffield grabbed what was a vital goal on 43 minutes to take a 2-1 lead into the interval. Matt Roney delivered a dangerous ball into the box for Hall to plant a header beyond the goalkeeper’s reach.
It took just two minutes of the second half for Sheffield to increase the lead and it was perhaps no surprise that it was Hall again with the goal for his hat-trick.
Northwich though were back in the contest just before the hour mark, Damien Magee clumsily bringing down Gyimah in the area - leaving Matt Regan to thump his spot kick past Chris Butt.
James Colliver’s side, though, always looked to have more goals in the locker, and with nine minute remaining Club gave themselves some breathing space as Hall grabbed his fourth from the penalty spot after debutant Adam Johnson had been brought down.
Hall then turned provider for the match-clinching fifth two minutes later, clipping the ball over the home defence for Johnson to run onto and put the icing on a tasty cake.
Steels, meanwhile, seem to have an habit of beating the top teams as a 3-2 victory over Spalding United completed a trio of victories over the top three sides in Division One South.
Joe Lumsden had already tested Michael Duggan in the home goal when Chris Hilton’s side took a deserved 28th minute lead, through Harrison Biggins’ well-struck volley.
Two minutes before the break Steels doubled their lead as Adam Hinchcliffe side-footed home. Spalding got one back right at the start of the second half with Bradley Wells getting in on goal to clip a shot over David Reay from eight yards.
The goal led to a spell of pressure from the home side but Stocksbridge weathered the storm to take a 3-1 lead on 68 minutes, Lumsden scoring what proved to be the winner.
Spalding pulling one back through Chris Hamilton’s close range effort deep into stoppage time but it came too late to affect the outcome.
Shaw Lane AFC went back to the top of the table on goal-difference after a hard earned 1-0 win at Bedworth United. Alex Byrne’s goal proved enough to give the Ducks a 12th consecutive win.
In the Premier Division, Frickley Athletic were well beaten 3-0 at Grantham Town - where they also had Luke Hinsley sent off.
Buxton’s late fightback wasn’t enough to rescue a point at Stourbridge. The Bucks trailed 3-0 on 70 minutes before Bradley Grayson had the home side biting their nails after scoring twice inside the last seven minutes.
Matlock Town climbed up to sixth after a 4-0 home win over fourth-placed Hednesford Town.
n Fixtures, today: Intergro League Cup First Round: Romulus v Sheffield FC.
Tuesday: Premier Division: Barwell v Matlock Town, Buxton v Nantwich Town.
Division One South: Shaw Lane AFC v Witton Albion.