Steeton 2

AFC Darwen 2

STEETON finished off their debut season in Hallmark Security League Division One North with a draw as an Aaron Davis brace saw them share the points with AFC Darwen at a damp Cougar Park.

Steeton started the game on the front foot and had chances to open the scoring with Toby Jeffrey and Ben Clarkson both going narrowly wide.

Both sides began the game playing open and attacking football, with the teams having some good chances to score.

The visitors also had efforts to find the target, only a fine save by George Tidswell denied Leon Creech's effort from distance. Aspen Feathers wasted two good opportunities for the travelling side, but he put the ball over the bar from a couple of yards out with both of his shots.

Jeffrey again had another free-kick in a dangerous position that was fired just off target.

The Darwen defence did eventually break as the hosts had the ball in the net. Angus Maney was felled on the edge of the area and Toby Rawcliffe drilled a free-kick under the wall to Aaron Davis who turned to fire the opener from close range just after the half-hour mark.

The visitors deservedly levelled the game through Matthew Cain. The midfielder got the ball in the attacking half before unleashing an unstoppable shot that beat Tidswell in the Steeton net with 40 minutes played.

Davis had a chance to add to his tally at the end of the first half as Jeffrey, who was causing problems for the visiting defence down the right wing before finding a cross which Davis fired just wide.

Steeton came out of the blocks quickly in the second half as Angus Maney found his way in on goal but his chipped effort floated just over the bar.

The visitors doubled their lead on 54 minutes as captain Kiel Lonsdale headed the ball past Tidswell from a corner.

The hosts were gifted with a lifeline as the referee awarded Steeton a penalty when Clarkson was brought down in the area. He picked himself up to take it, but his effort was saved by Jordan Gidley in the Darwen goal.

Steeton levelled the scores again through Davis. Gidley was caught in no-man's land as he sprinted out of his goal to try clear a through ball, but Davis got to the ball and cheekily lobbed the stranded keeper after 75 minutes.

Substitutes Luke Baldwin and Graham Holmes had chances to give Steeton the lead again but both players shots went wide.

The visitors ended the game with 10 men as captain Lonsdale received a second yellow for a lunge on Sam Rooke with two minutes left of normal time.

Steeton: Tidswell, Morgan, Armitage (Baldwin), Rooke (c), Platt, Richmond, Jeffrey, Rawcliffe, Davis, Clarkson, Maney (Holmes). Subs not used: Holden, Mason, Hollindrake