Stocksbridge well beaten

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It was another sorry night for Stocksbridge on Tuesday after returning from a long trek to Whitby Town well beaten 4-0.

It didn’t help that manager Darren Schofield was without goalkeeper Ben Scott, midfielders Matt Hamshaw and Chris Bettney along with defender Liam Davies and striker Alex Denton, then lost Alex Callery to injury at half-time. But by that time the game was already out of reach with Steels trailing 3-0.

As in the 2-1 defeat at Barwell five days earlier, Steels conceded a goal inside the first five minutes as Adam Rundle sidefooted the hosts in front. Lee Bullock doubled the advantage on 22 minutes.

Whitby went further ahead just past the half hour mark, this time Lee Mason knocking in the rebound after Jack Ward had made a great point blank save. Unfortunately Ward was at fault for Whitby’s fourth five minutes into the second half, missing a cross from the left to leave Craig Farrell with a simple chance.

Stocksbridge started with Nathan Joynes as the lone striker but after the break Schofield reverted to a more familiar 4-4-2 system. Steels looked more threatening but by that time the game was out of reach.

It’s a worrying time for Schofield who has seen his team fail to win in nine league games and 11 in all competitions. It leaves the Bracken Moor club third from bottom with just six points from 10 league games.

Schofield has been loyal to his players and particularly the younger members of the squad recruited over the summer, insisting they would be given the chance to prove themselves in what is a tough Evo-Stik Premier Division.

But perhaps the time has come to make changes to freshen things up, particularly when confidence is likely to be at a low ebb. And a new striker could be in the squad to face fellow strugglers Witton Albion at Bracken Moor tomorrow.