Hird strikes to steer Steeton into the last 16 of West Riding County Cup

Craven Herald: Tim Hird scored the winning goal Tim Hird scored the winning goal

Beeston St Anthony’s 1 Steeton 2

Steeton produced one of their best performances of the season to set up a mouth-watering home tie with their near-neighbours Oxenhope Recreation in the last 16 of the West Roiding County Cup.

They got the better of West Yorkshire League Premier Division high-fliers Beeston despite missing leading scorer Lee Reilly through illness and skipper Damien Whiteoak.

Tim Hird and Jamie Longley were restored to the starting line-up following injuries and Matty Kershaw and Sam Rooke returned following suspension.

Steeton got off to the worst possible start when, in the opening minute, they switched off from a free-kick and the home side bundled the ball home.

Despite the setback, the Chevrons had the better of the early stages, moving the ball around quickly in contrast to the home side’s more direct approach.

Andy King fired a shot wide from the edge of the box before Steeton levelled after 20 minutes and deservedly so.

Michael Rhodes swung a great cross in from the left and Adam Spencer rose to head back across goal for Pete Hanson to stab the ball home.

The goal unsettled the hosts, who were unbeaten in all competitions since August, and their frustrations started to boil over.

One such incident saw Hird head-butted in an off-the-ball incident and the referee showed no hesitation in pulling out a straight red card for the instigator.

Steeton took advantage and within a minute were in front, Hird striking a shot from the edge of the box into the bottom corner for his first goal for the club.

With full backs Danny McNulty and Rhodes overlapping, Steeton created more chances.

A great opportunity fell to Spencer as Rhodes put in yet another great ball but the keeper blocked superbly.

At the other end the visitors were saved by the post and a goalmouth scramble.

The second period saw the home side up their game but the Steeton back line stood firm, with both Kershaw and Rooke standing strong.

Spencer tested the keeper with a rasping drive following good work from Andy Holden before Rishton did well to block an opposing striker in a one-on-one.

Longley and King then combined well on the left-for Longley to cross hard and low, only for the ball to get stuck under Spencer’s foot with the goal gaping.

Steeton boss Roy Mason said: “It was a superb battling performance against a team on a very good run of form.

“We played some very good football at times and were full value for our win.

“It sets us up nicely with a game that should draw a lot of interest and a large crowd.”

This week Steeton travel to Storthes Hall in a re-arranged league fixture.

Steeton: Rishton, Rhodes, McNulty, Kershaw, Rooke, Hanson (Ogalbe), Holden, Hird, Longley, Spencer, A King.

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