Steeton 1 Bay Athletic 3
STEETON’S disappointing start continued but a depleted side will consider themselves unlucky not to have taken a share of the points.
With the squad hit by suspensions and injuries, manager Roy Mason handed debuts to goalkeeper Christian Paulat-Brigg and Ben Sutcliffe.
Joe Meegan replaced the injured Kyle Fox at centre back, Ryan Ives was preferred on the right of midfield over Josh Metcalfe,and Tim Hird replaced Danny Driver in a switch that saw Arley Barnes move to the right back position.
Paulat-Brigg, a former Leeds United trainee who has also played for Silsden, had to be alert to save low after 15 minutes.
But soon afterwards he was unable to hold on to a shot, spilling the ball into the path of Bay’s Nicholas Jagger, who smashed the ball into the back of the net.
Bay kept the pressure on before Steeton – who lost their opening match 2-0 at home to Campion –regained their composure, with Ives producing two fantastic displays of ball control.
The Chevrons levelled when Mark McGee’s superb lob left the Bay keeper with no chance.
Minutes later, Graham Holmes nearly gave Steeton the lead but he was unable to get enough power on his shot after a great turn.
A minute before half-time Paulat-Brigg did well to push the ball away from a Bay attacker but received a leg injury that would eventually force him to leave the field.
The second half started with a good run by Holmes, who evaded two tackles before his rasping shot was blocked by a chasing defender.
Paulat-Brigg, still limping due to the injury that had forced Rooke and Arley Barnes to take over goal kicking duties, did well to save a powerful shot five minutes into the second half.
After some good play in midfield, Bay striker Kitson Gayle broke away from Rooke and released a shot which left Steeton’s goalkeeper with no chance and handed Bay the lead once again.
The hosts were forced to make their first substitution shortly before the hour mark, with goalkeeper Paulat-Brigg unable to continue. He was replaced by Metcalfe, with Rooke taking over the goalkeeper’s jersey.
Steeton almost drew level in the 61st minute when a Damien Whiteoak free-kick almost found Mark McGee at the back post.
Rooke made a fine save after a Bay cross was deflected goalwards off the boot of Josh Ferguson.
A neat cross by Ives was punched by Reilly just as McGee – stood unmarked behind him – was readying himself to meet the ball. Reilly was lucky not to be booked for deliberate handball.
As Bay looked to put the game beyond Steeton’s reach, Rooke made two more fantastic saves but could do nothing to stop Bay substitute Syniell Quashie making it three in the 85th minute.
Boss Mason, whose side were due to visit Salts tonight before heading to Bay for the return fixture on Saturday, said: “It’s been a tough start but the young players that have come in have done very well, especially Joe Meegan and Ryan Ives.
“The fixtures maybe have not been too kind to us, given the numbers we’ve had unavailable, but we have given a very good account of ourselves and I could not have asked for more in terms of commitment from the lads.”
Steeton: Paulat-Brigg (Metcalfe), Barnes, Ferguson (Sutcliffe), Meegan, Rooke, Whiteoak (c), Ives, Hird, Reilly, Holmes, McGee. Sub (not used): Douthwaite.