Steeton progressed into the second round of the County Challenge Cup following an exciting 4-3 win over Goole United. In a repeat of the 2013/14 season semi-final, it was probably a tie that both sides had hoped to avoid at this stage of the competition.
With Steeton having to re shuffle things following Nicky McNally’s move back to Silsden on Friday, manager Roy Mason elected to bring in Declan Consoli to the midfield and push Andy King further forward to support Lee Reilly. Joe Meegan returned to the side as well following his absence over the past two weeks.
The opening stages were a bit scrappy with the home side enjoying the lion’s share of possession. Steeton keeper Sam Moore had to be alert to tip a long range shot over the bar and both Sam Rooke and Meegan were called into action as the home side looked to get the ball into the box at every opportunity and use their height advantage.
It was the visitors that struck the first blow after twenty minutes as from their first attack they forced a corner. Andy Holden whipped in a great ball and Sam Rooke rose at the far post to head home to give Steeton the ideal start. The goal seemed to change the course of the game and it was Steeton now who looked the more likely to get on the scoresheet again and that was soon the case after a great passing interchange saw Joe Park and Tim Hird combine to feed Andy King. King moved the ball from his left foot to his right before cooly stroking home the ball from just inside the box. Steeton were really in charge now and Reilly failed to get onto Sam Moore’s long kick as the high ball eluded the whole of the home defence. At the other end Consoli made a great tackle on the edge of the box as the home side looked to get back into the game before half time.
The second half started in the same vein as Steeton took the game to their hosts and they were the ones again to strike first. Reilly picked the ball up on the touchline and his deft ball over the top picked out Tim Hird breaking through from midfield. Hirdy exquisitely lobbed the advancing keeper to put Steeton three goals to the good and really knock the stuffing out of Goole who by now seemed to be dead on their feet. Reilly was then felled in the box and dusted himself down to confidently despatch the resulting penalty kick to put Steeton four goals to the good and there was still over half an hour left to play. With Reilly complaining of a slight strain, Steeton took no chances with their leading scorer and replaced him with Aaron Abass.
With Goole now looking out of it, they knew that they needed to get an early goal back in order to give themselves a fighting chance of getting back into the game. They got the lifeline that they needed when Thomas Bryan headed home at the near post from a corner. As goals often do the game then started to change and Steeton now looked a bit nervous and started to defend a bit deeper. Skipper Michael Rhodes did well to make a last ditch tackle as the home side sensed a way back into the game, that five minutes previously was beyond them. Hird was then penalised for a challenge of the edge of the box and Rob Constable curled home a free kick to really put the home side back in with a shout. Joe Park then made a block inside his own area that looked all the way a goal for the home side and Ryan Cox did the same a minute later.
Steeton then thought they had increased their lead but frustratingly Holden’s free kick hit the side netting with the keeper looking well beaten.
With people tiring, Consoli made way for Andy Briggs to make his first team debut and King was pulled back into a more defensive role. With eight minutes remaining Constable was allowed space in the box and he volleyed home a third and really set up a grand finale. The home side threw everything at Steeton and even clipped the top of the bar as they looked to take the game to penalties. Steeton held on though and after a turbulent week off the field for the club it was a great performance to see them through to face West Yorkshire league side Horbury Town at Summerhill Lane in November.
Steeton: Moore, Rhodes, Park, Meegan, Rooke, Hird, Holden, Cox, Reilly (Abass), Consoli (Briggs), King. Sub not used R Mason
Report by Roy Mason