Evo-Stik League round-up: Sheffield FC climb back into play-off spots but Steels can’t climb off bottom of table

Is it or isn't it?  Stocksbridge look to have been denied a winner as Scott Ruthven's shot appears to be over the line  - Credit Gillian Handisides
Is it or isn't it? Stocksbridge look to have been denied a winner as Scott Ruthven's shot appears to be over the line - Credit Gillian Handisides
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Sheffield FC climbed back into the East Division play-off places after defeating relegation threatened Spalding United 2-1 at the Coach & Horses ground.

Club’s early pressure paid off top scorer Marc Newsham fired his side into a 12th minute lead.

Mitch Dunne saw his shot from the edge of the box blocked as the home side looked to build on their early advantage, but Jack Brownell showed the Tulips were still in the contest with a fine shot that flew inches wide of the post just before the interval.

And eight minutes into the second half it was all square as Leon Mettam rifled the ball past Jamie Ingham after Club had failed to clear.

However; Spalding’s joy was short lived as Sheffield regained the lead immediately, the ball dropping to Tom Cribley to lash a shot into the roof of the net on his return to the club.

The visitors responded with a free-kick that Ingham had to push over the crossbar. But it was Sheffield who were looking the mostly likely to add to their score with Dunne’s fine turn and shot being cleared off the line, while Cribley missed a great chance to seal the points late on.

Stocksbridge took a point from a goalless draw against mid-table Marske United in awful conditions at Bracken Moor.

And although it wasn’t enough to take Steels off the foot of the table, it did see them narrow the gap to just a single point on the three teams directly above them.

Stocksbridge thought they had taken a fourth minute lead when, from a goalmouth scramble, Scott Ruthven seemed to have forced the ball over the line  before the visitors keeper had cleared - only for the referee to wave play on.

Steels had further reason to bemoan the match official after he turned down two good penalty appeals late on as Steels looked for the win that would had taken them off the bottom.

Elsewhere, Frickley Athletic were held to a 1-1 draw by Pickering Town but Buxton were beaten 3-0 at home by lowly Marine, while Matlock Town were beaten 1-0 at Witton Albion where a Lee Beevors own-goal  on 51 minutes proved the difference between the teams.