Steeton Reserves went down to Overthorpe Sports Club for the second week running. This week’s game was a league fixture whereas that on 19th September was a League Cup match. For the third consecutive match the Reserves found themselves being refereed by Chris Rhodes.
On an immaculate surface the hosts thought they had taken the lead after ten minutes when Joe Mason and Harry McGowan combined well on the right before the latter crossed for Andrew Briggs to nod home. Unfortunately Mr Rhodes judged that the ball had crossed the goal line just before McGowan centred. Two minutes later the visitors had a superb opportunity to take the lead but their number 6 put the ball over the bar from very close range. The same player then brought out the best in Steeton’s goalkeeper Harry Jarman with a snapshot which saw the keeper twist in mid-air to block a shot for which he was initially going the wrong way. The visiting number 10 showed great dribbling skills down the right wing but was kept in check by Chris Mawson with the help of the covering, back-tracking Ben Sutcliffe. Overthorpe then seemed to adopt a “shoot on sight” policy with many long-distance efforts raining in on the home goal but only one of these caused any real consternation when it struck the crossbar. However, the deadlock was broken on the half-hour mark when after a scramble in the goalmouth in which Jarman was injured, the ball was stabbed home. Further efforts from the visitors were thwarted by good defensive headers by Kyle Fox and centre-back partner skipper Alistair Morgan as well as some well-positioned keeping from Jarman but the lead was doubled in the thirty-eighth minute when a neat interchange of passes led to a firm cross being smartly headed home. In the remaining minutes of the half a glancing header from Ross Chapman after fine work from (restored to midfield) Jamie Longley, a superb 25-yard effort which went inches wide from Damian Whiteoak and a shot from Briggs which brought a smart save from the goalkeeper almost secured the goal the hosts so desperately needed to stay in touch.
After only three minutes of the second half some very good wing play by the visiting number 8 led to an accurate pass to the number 10 who lashed the ball home leaving Jarman with no chance. Strange as it may seem Steeton’s game seemed to pick up from this point and after 55 minutes Whiteoak’s curling left-foot drive from the edge of the box brought the goal of the game. In a total transformation the Overthorpe goalkeeper became the busier of the two as the hosts pushed forward but they were unable to break down the visiting back line though it was not for want of trying. Of course this left Steeton vulnerable to a quick counter attack and twice they had to be grateful to Jarman who was smartly off his line, once to collect at the very edge of the penalty area and once to divert a chip around the post as an Overthorpe forward burst through unchallenged in the dying minutes. The game did not peter out as both sides created a number of chances in the minutes leading up to the final whistle.
This was a hugely entertaining game and although Steeton will be disappointed with the result no one should feel the same way about the effort put in by a youngish side (especially in the second half) which was playing against a first team which has made a good start to the season.
Team: Jarman, Mason, Mawson, Fox, Morgan, Whiteoak, Chapman, McGowan, Briggs, Longley, Sutcliffe. Subs Fox & Hudson.
Report compiled by Norman Rhodes & Joe Markham