Tyre blowout puts Stocksbridge Park Steels on road to 3-0 away defeat
Stocksbridge Park Steels were the only side to survive last week’s wet weather as matches involving Sheffield, Hallam and Handsworth fell victim to waterlogged pitches.
But Stocksbridge were perhaps wishing their BetVictor South East Division game at lowly Sutton Coldfield had suffered a similar fate as the home wide turned the table upside down.
For Chris Hilton’s side went down 3-0 on the plastic pitch at Coles Corner, condemning them to a first defeat in four after enduring a day to forget.
Perhaps the writing was on the wall that it wasn’t going to be Steels day when their coach suffered a blown-out tyre en-route.
The unexpected delay while it was replaced meant the side finally arrived at the ground just 45 minutes before kick-off.
But they shrugged off the bad luck and made a bright enough start.
First Josh Nodder shot straight into the keeper’s arms after decent build-up play. Then Scott Ruthven just failed to get on the end of Jordan Lemon’s teasing cross as they looked to take an early advantage.
However, Steels gifted the lead to Sutton on 14 minutes when goalkeeper Jacob Carney went for a cross but didn’t get there, allowing Reece Gibson to score with a simple finish.
The home side’s forwards were causing the Stocksbridge defence all sorts of trouble and although Luke Mangham tried to lift his side with a decent shot that deflected for a corner, Sutton left Hilton’s side with no way back with two further quickfire goals before the break.
First Isai Marselia doubled the lead on 36 minutes with a well struck free-kick from the edge of the box.
Two minutes later the home side added a third, Ryan Shaw curling a fine effort into the far corner out of Carney’s reach.
Reece Fielding almost gave Steels hope of mounting a fightback hope but headed wide when left unmarked at the far post.
Stocksbridge at least kept the hosts at bay in the second half, although Carney had to make a superb save at the start of the second period.
The keeper tipped a fierce shot over the crossbar to keep the score at 3-0.
Then to round off what had been a bad day at the office, Stocksbridge had to play out the final 10 minutes with ten-men after Mangham was forced off with an injury, with Steels having used their substitutes.
The defeat left the visitors sixth, while the home side climbed to 16th.
Stocksbridge host Kidsgrove Athletic on Saturday and travel to Frickley on Boxing Day. Their festive fixtures conclude with a home match against Glossop North End on New Year’s Day.
Sheffield FC, who go to Newcastle Town next weekend, are eighth, three points behind Stocksbridge. On a day when the wet weather disrupted the local fixtures once more, Sheffield’s home clash with Worksop Town, as well as Hallam’s match against Armthorpe Welfare at Sandygate Road and Handsworth’s home encounter with Maltby Main were all postponed due to wet pitches.
Hallam, who dropped to 11th in Division One of the Northern Counties East League, travel to Yorkshire Amateur in the Third Round of the League Cup on Wednesday, before a home match against Parkgate on Saturday.