It was late drama at Summerhill Lane on Saturday as two stoppage time goals left the crowd going home happy and thoroughly entertained.
With Matthew Kershaw and Sam Rooke both serving a one game suspension, Martin Bland came in for his first team debut and Peter Hanson returned to the starting XI. With Michael Rhodes’ surprise omission from the county squad it meant that he was eligible to play as well.
The home side wearing an unfamiliar red kit were sharp out of the blocks and Andy King struck an early effort just wide. Adam Spencer then clipped a shot over the bar and then failed to really test Matthew Townsend in the visiting goal when he had a bit more time than he realised. Danny McNulty was just over with a strike from the edge of the box and it looked likely that once Steeton scored then the flood gates could well open. Andy Holden was then denied by the keeper after good link up play from Spencer.
Steeton took the lead just before the half hour mark when Lee Reilly latched on to Holden’s through ball and lobbed the advancing Townsend with aplomb. Irish then rallied themselves and Callum Cook fired straight at Phil Rishton when really he should have picked a corner and surely would have levelled things up.
This should have sounded a warning to Steeton and if it didn’t then they certainly didn’t heed it as a mix up allowed Max Crossley to steal in and level things up with only five minutes of the half left. Spencer then headed McNulty’s cross wide as Steeton looked to restore their lead before the break.
It could have been worse still for Steeton had it not been for Bland’s timely interception as Gareth Jones looked a sure scorer.
The second half saw Steeton looking a by livelier and Spencer had a shot well saved before he and Holden linked up well and Holden stroked the ball home for Steeton’s second of the game. King then struck a long range effort just over after good work from Jack Ogalbe. However as in the first half the lead didn’t last too long and Irish were level within ten minutes. Steeton failed to deal with a ball over the top and Jones flicked the ball over Rishton with a cool finish to set up an intriguing last half hour. Damien Whiteoak then crossed for Reilly whose header was blocked when it looked all odds on a goal.
Steeton then made a double substitution with Jamie Longley and Tim Hird replacing Whiteoak and Ogalbe in the middle of the park. Longley was soon in the thick of things and fed Spencer who was denied by Townsend. Steeton then took the lead in fortuitous circumstances as Hird looked to thread Reilly in the defenders outstretched boot turned the ball past his own keeper and gave Steeton a lead for the third time in the game. Surely this would be enough. However late drama ensued and in the 91st minute they didn’t deal with a short corner and Callum Cook looked to have salvaged a point for the visitors. But straight from the kick off Steeton went on the attack and Reilly was needlessly bundled over in the box and he dusted himself down to confidently smash the ball home to give The Chevrons all three points.