Non-League: Steels settle for a point against bottom side, as Sheffield FC pay the price from penalty spot
Stocksbridge Park Steels had to settle for a point from a goalless draw against bottom of the table Rugby Town.
Although the stalemate was enough to lift the Bracken Moor club up one place to sixth in Division One South.
In a forgetful first half Scott Ruthven had Steels’ only real chance, but Stocksbridge came out with more intent at the start of the second half and it took a tremendous block by goalkeeper Louis Conner, son of former Leeds United player Terry, to deny Joe Lumsden straight from the restart.
Liam McFadyen then headed a glorious chance over the crossbar, and Lumsden was denied from a tight angle before Connor saved from Adam Hinchliffe and Josh Meade.
Harrison Biggins did have the ‘keeper beaten with a snap shot from 25-yards in the 89th minute, but unfortunately for Steels it flew inches past the post and with it went the last chance of the game. A disappointed Stocksbridge boss Chris Hilton said: “I thought we deserved to win it on our second half performance.
“Our goalkeeper hasn’t had a shot to save all game. They came and did a job on us and we found it hard to break them down. On a positive note that’s a fourth successive clean sheet in the league which is pleasing.”
A late penalty denied Sheffield FC a first away point of the season, as ten-men AFC Rushden & Diamonds came from behind to win 2-1 in the first ever league meeting of the two clubs.
Club started brightly and some neat passing football ended with Connor Hall forcing a good blocking save from the Rushden ‘keeper Matt Finley.
Hall was involved in the goal that saw Sheffield take a 14th minute lead. He was pulled back by Rory Winters in the area after getting in on goal. Winter was shown a straight red card before Alec Denton dispatched the penalty into the bottom corner.
The lead last just seven minutes. Nabil Shariff managed to get the better of a defender to slide his shot under the advancing Chris Butt and although it bounced off the post, Sharrif got to the rebound to tuck home from a tight angle.
And in the 88th minute the home side grabbed all three points when, from a long throw, Damien Magee was adjudged to have handled despite Sheffield protests.
Shariff dispatched the spot kick into the bottom corner to leave Sheffield with another fruitless journey home.
Shaw Lane AFC went top of the table after beating Loughborough Dynamo 3-0 away, while leaders Spalding United were slipping to a 1-0 home reversal against Leek Town.
Ten-men Frickley Athletic picked up a point from a 4-4 draw against Premier Division leaders Buxton but will be disappointed it wasn’t all three after letting a 4-1 lead slip at the interval.
Fixtures, Tuesday: Premier Division: Buxton v Stafford Rangers, Halesowen Town v Matlock Town.
Division One South: Shaw Lane AFC v Lincoln United, Sheffield FC v Basford United, Witton Albion v Stocksbridge Park Steels.
Wednesday: Premier Division: Corby Town v Frickley Athletic