Sheffield defy odds with great comeback

Andy Ring celebrates after heads in steels 2nd goal'must byline: by Peter Goldstraw
Andy Ring celebrates after heads in steels 2nd goal'must byline: by Peter Goldstraw
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Stocksbridge Park Steels and Sheffield FC both enjoyed excellent away victories with Steels giving their relegation survival hopes a huge lift with a 3-2 win at promotion chasing Kendal Town.

But the most remarkable win was Sheffield’s at Goole which possibly ranks as the best of the season, Chris Dolby’s side bouncing back after two successive defeats.

In an amazing comeback, they rallied from 2-0 down despite losing goalkeeper Dan Whatsize to injury to beat Division One South promotion hopefuls Goole AFC 5-2.

It looked like it wasn’t going to be Sheffield’s day when the game swung Goole’s way in a frantic last five minutes of the first half.

Whatsize, struggling with an injury, could only parry a corner into the path of Grant Allott who drilled in a low 10 yarder to give Goole a 42nd minute lead.

Whatsize was unable to carry on and replaced in goal by winger Matt Roney with Ryan Ruddiforth coming off the bench to go up front.

But before Club had time to reorganise they found themselves 2-0 behind when Simon Harrison galloped away a minute before the break to leave Dolby’s men with a mountain to climb.

However, in first half stoppage time Ruddiforth gave Sheffield a lifeline with a cheeky back heel after Brian Cusworth had headed down from a cross.

Four minutes after the interval Club were back on level terms with a splendid 30-yard drive into the top corner from Oliver Banks that left former Sheffield keeper Leigh Walker helpless.

It got even better on 77 minutes as Cusworth swung this amazing game Sheffield’s way putting them in front for the first time from the penalty spot after Joel Purkiss had been brought down.

Roney then had to make a magnificent save from a Terry Barwick free-kick to keep Club’s lead intact. With two minutes remaining Sheffield put some daylight between themselves and Goole as James Gregory lashed home the fourth from a Purkiss pass.

The remarkable comeback was completed in stoppage time with a classic far post header by Cusworth from Gregory’s deep cross for goal No 5.

Gary Marrow’s Stocksbridge are now three points clear of the bottom four after the 3-2 victory in Cumbria, a third win on the trot in all competitions against teams in the top six. In windy conditions on a very heavy pitch that made any sort of passing football near impossible, Stocksbridge adapted to the conditions the better taking a 29th minute lead when Mark Ward’s corner saw Brett Lovell’s header go in off the post and the back of the Kendal keeper.

Andy Ring headed in a Colin Marrison cross to double the advantage 10 minutes after the interval and they looked home and dry on 78 minutes when Luke Fedorenko broke clear before setting up Richard Stirrup to score with a good finish.

Kendal reduced the deficit through Kieran Walmsley two minutes from time with Rory Winters heading a second deep into stoppage time but it was too late as Stocksbridge held on for a richly-deserved three points.

After losing the last three league outings, promotion-chasing Matlock Town bounced back with a comfortable 4-0 win at bottom club Retford United.

James Lukic headed the Gladiators into a 16th minute lead. James Knowles fired in the second on 65 minutes and although Ross Hannah saw his penalty kick saved by Badgers keeper Luke Herriott, Matlock’s top scorer was not to be denied, slotting home the third on 77 minutes. On-loan Anthony Wilson (87) bagged the fourth.

Midweek: Tuesday - Premier Division: Chasetown v Buxton, Frickley Athletic v FC United of Manchester.

Division One South: Sheffield FC v Newcastle Town.

Wednesday - Premier Division: Whitby Town v Stocksbridge Park.