Steeton were left to rue a couple of missed chances in a tight but pulsating game at home to Lower Hopton. Again Steeton were forced into making changes with leading scorer Lee Reilly unavailable and Joe Park away Ryan Cox and Lee Thompson came back into the side with Tom Baker on the bench after joining the club this week from Thackley.
Both teams were cagey in the opening moments of the game with neither keeper really tested. Steeton were getting into their stride and Andy King was causing no amount of problems on the left hand side and that despite a couple of strong challenges that went un punished.
Stephen Pearson continued where he left off last week and dominated things aerially, winning everything that came his way, with Joe Meegan sweeping up well alongside him Hopton only really had one shot of note that Sam Moore did well to grab at the second attempt. King was first to strike with his free kick going over the bar and also a long range effort flew just wide, whilst Aaron Abass then forced the visiting keeper to get down sharply as he struck a shot from the inside of the box.
Pearson and Declan Consoli, filling in as an emergency left back then combined well to block an attempt by the visitors who looked to hit Steeton on the break. The home side almost opened the scoring on the half hour mark when Joe Mason fed Andy Holden and his deep cross was met by Lee Thompson, whose header was just the wrong side of the bar. Thompson’s strong running from midfield was a big feature of Steeton’s play and also the discipline showed by skipper Tim Hird allowed him to break forward at regular intervals. Hopton forced a couple of corners near the end of the first half but it was nothing that the young Steeton defence couldn’t handle.
The second half had barely got underway when Simeone Fletcher capitalised on a mistake and he burst forward from midfield and then drew Moore before slipping the ball calmly past him. This saw a bit of pressure from the visitors and Steeton were getting pushed further and further back as Hopton looked for a second goal. However it was Steeton who had the best chance of the half as Holden skipped past his man on the right hand side and he drilled the ball hard and low across the box and King just got underneath the ball and fired over when it looked in all intense and purposes as Steeton leveller. The vistors then clipped the top of the bar and Moore made a great save with his feet to deny Hopton doubling their lead. Ryan Cox was working hard up front for Steeton and he and Abass combined to see him fire wide from an acute angle.
Steeton made a double substitution with Jack Richmond and Jamie Longley both coming on in order to freshen things up. Longley was unlucky with an effort on the spin and Richmond fired wide from the edge of the area.
Tom Baker cam on for the last fifteen minutes and showed some nice touches as Steeton continued with their policy of blooding younger players.
Next week they face a trip to Kirkburton.
Steeton: Moore, J Mason, Consoli,, Meegan, Pearson, Hird (Richmond), Holden , Thompson, Cox (Baker), Abass (Longley), King. Sub not used Morgan
Report by Roy Mason