Steels suffer drop shame, but Woolley inspires Club

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While Sheffield FC were celebrating a first win in nine games, there was little clear at Stocksbridge Park Steels as their relegation from the Premier Division was confirmed.

Steels suffered a 3-1 defeat against Trafford at Bracken Moor, while Sheffield produced a determined display - helped by an inspired performance from man-of the match Steve Woolley - to beat Rainworth Miners Welfare by the same scoreline.

The attacking midfielder opened the scoring on 35 minutes, turning a defender before rifling low into the corner from Andy Gascoigne’s assist.

The hosts suffered a blow two minutes later when they lost Richard Stirrup to a poor challenge, with Rainworth’s Damian Magee shown a red card in the resulting melee.

Ben Algar had an effort scrambled off the line just after the break, but he got his goal on 75 minutes with a sweet drive into the bottom corner.

Manager Ian Whitehorne could have been forgiven for fearing another late collapse when former Sheffield man Ashley Longstaff pulled one back five minutes later. But he needn’t have worried, as Gascoigne sidefooted in Matt Roney’s cross with four minutes remaining to seal the points.

It was a former Stocksbridge player that put the final nail in their relegation coffin, as Shelton Payne grabbed a hat-trick.

Payne had a short spell at Bracken Moor at the beginning of last season after being signed by ex-boss Chris Willcock.

And at the end of an end-to-end first period, Payne edged the visitors in front.

Steels, though, were back on level terms three minutes into the second half when Jamie Smith marked his debut by rifling in an angled effort that looped up off a defender to drop inside the near post.

Smith dragged a good chance wide of the far post as Stocksbridge enjoyed a good spell of pressure.

But Trafford regained the lead on 65 minutes with the award of a penalty for handball against Brett Bowden-Lovell.

Payne stepped up to send Scott the wrong way from the spot, and three minutes later Payne completed his hat-trick when he caught Scott off his line and lobbed him, to condemn Steels to Division One.

Elsewhere, second-placed Worksop Town maintained their title challenge with a 2-0 win at relegation threatened Stafford Rangers.

Adam Quinn nodded the Tigers into a 33rd minute lead from a Conor Higginson corner just moments after Leon Mettam had missed from the penalty spot.

But the Worksop hot shot made amends when the Tigers were awarded a second penalty on 66 minutes, and this time Mettam made no mistake.

Frickley Athletic remain in the bottom four, and a point adrift of safety, after a 3-0 defeat at Kings Lynn Town, while Matlock Town’s play-off hopes look to be over after being held to a goalless draw at lowly Barwell to leave the Gladiators without a win in three.

Ten-man Buxton beat Grantham Town 3-1 with second half goals from Mark Reed, Liam Holden and a Josh Davies long range effort five minutes from time.