Steeton AFC 1 v 3 Maine Road (Pre-Season Friendly)
Steeton AFC yesterday welcomed North West Counties League Division One (South) side Maine Road Football Club to Marley Stadium for the final pre-season home friendly of the 2021-22 campaign. As the teams and the officials entered the pitch the big talking point for the both the players and supports was the sight of Premier League referee Jon Moss who took charge of his first Steeton AFC match.
The visitors, kept possession well in the first-half after making a slow and steady start to the game in the opening five minutes with some good passing football as they controlled the game looking to catch Steeton on the break. The home side should have taken the lead on five minutes, when Andy Briggs broke free and fired a shot at the Maine Road goal only to see Monteith in the visitors goal make an outstanding save to deny him.
Maine Road had a good chance on ten minutes, when they whipped a teasing cross across the face of goal but nobody could get the touch in the area to open the scoring. Jon Moss had to make his first decision of the afternoon on twelve minutes, when Trialist B brought down the Maine Road winger. However, the visitors wasted the resulting free-kick sending it straight into the hands of the home goalkeeper Trialist A.
On seventeen minutes, some excellent footwork from the from the Maine Road left back put him into the Steeton penalty area, but his shot was cleared off the line by Scott and away to safety to prevent the visitors taking the lead. Three minutes later, Steeton had a rare attack on the visitors goal which was cleared to safety without troubling Monteith in the Maine Road goal.
Maine Road, took the lead on twenty-seven minutes, when Pogson takes advantage of players not tracking back, he then ran down the right-wing before cutting inside Trialist B and curling the ball past Trialist A into the bottom corner of the goal to make it 0-1. It’s fair to say manager Roy Mason was not pleased with his team defending for the opening goal.
Steeton AFC looked to hit straight back and two minutes later Alan Briggs put an effort just wide following an excellent cross from Toby. The boys almost hit back instantly but Briggsy puts his effort just wide after an excellent cross from Townsend.
The visitors extended their lead on thirty-three minutes, when Pogson once again collected the ball on the right-wing and cut inside the Steeton area. Pogson then tried to pick out a team mate inside the area, but his cross unfortunately hit Elliot Scott who deflected the ball passed Trialist A into his own goal to give Maine Road a 0-2 lead.
The home looked to pull a goal back before half-time and on thirty-six minutes had a chance with a shot that was deflected wide for a corner. The resulting corner was headed just wide by Trialist B who had made a late run into the six yard box. The final minute of the half, the home side created another chance as Townsend sent over another excellent cross into the visitors area but once again Steeton failed to hit the target leaving the half time score 0-2.
Roy Mason and his management team will not have been happy with his sides first-half performance, Steeton allowed the visitors to have to much possession and to control the pace of the match. The visitors two goals came about due to poor defending, not chase back into position and therefore leaving the team low on defensive numbers.
Steeton AFC started the second-half well and were extremely unlucky to not be back in the contest as Alan Briggs found himself free inside the area, however his shot beat Monteith and hit the post. The ball fall to the feet of Rawcliffe, but his shot was well blocked by the last defender before going to safety.
On fifty minutes, with the home side on top it was Townsend who sent over another cross which was cut out by the Maine Road defence. A minute later the ball then found its way back to Townsend who crossed for Trialist C headed the ball over the crossbar.
Steeton continued to press and had two quick chances in two minutes, the first on fifty eight minutes fell to Trialist C who once again found himself free in the area, only to see his header go wide of the post. The second chance was a double effort, the Maine Road defence held strong to firstly to deny Alan Briggs and secondly to deny Toby Rawcliffe as the keeper blocked his shot from just inside the area.
Kayle Price really started to come into the game after the hour mark and made a number of excellent runs whilst having a few decent shots on the visitors goal. On sixty-seven minutes Price found himself free inside the Maine Road area, but his shot was parred away by visitors goalkeeper Monteith.
Steeton AFC pulled a goal back on seventy-four minutes as Kayle Price pressed the visitors in midfield and won the ball back before sending a pinpoint pass to Alan Briggs inside the Maine Road penalty area. Briggs brough the ball down and turned the defender, before firing the ball passed Monteith in the Maine Road goal to make the score 1-2. Alan Briggs looked to cramp after scoring the goal and following treatment he was substituted.
The visitors almost responded straight away as El-Hassan broke through the Steeton off-side trap and raced clean through on goal, however the Maine Road striker beat the keeper only to see his shot go just wide of the right-hand post. On eight-one minutes, Steeton nearly drew level, when McKenzie scuffed a cross from in front of the dugouts which nearly ended up accidentally in the goal, that would have been an all time bizzare goal.
The home side should have drawn level on eighty fours minutes as the Maine Road keeper makes a fantastic double save, the to first to deny Kayle Price from distance, whilst the second was an outstanding save to deny Immanuel Knuthia one-on-one from five yards.
The miss proved to be costly as the visitors went straight up the other end and extended their lead when Jake Pogson cut inside to the edge of the area and fired the ball passed Trialist D into the top corner to make the final score 1-3.
Steeton AFC – Trialist A, Trialist B, Scott, Trialist C, White, Farhan-Subhani, Jeffrey, McKiernon, Briggs, Price, Townsend (Subs) Trialist D, Rawcliffe, Kinuthia, Preston, Borek
Maine Road – Monteith, Melia, Lane, Keyworth, Edwards, Pepe, Pogson, Mooney, Islam, El-Hassan, Skelton, Eisel
Goals – (Steeton) Briggs (Maine Road) Pogson (2), Scott (33 Owen Goal)
Attendance – 53