AFC Blackpool 1

Steeton 2

STEETON started the season in Hallmark Security League Division One North with an away victory as first half goals from Ben Clarkson and Jack Richmond were enough to see off AFC Blackpool.

After a fairly even opening to the game, with both sides having an even amount of possession, Steeton’s Josh Ferguson had the first sight on goal, his header going over the AFC Blackpool bar.

The Chevrons took the lead on 10 minutes. Striker Ben Clarkson opened his account his account for the season, controlling the ball with his chest just inside the area before firing a shot on the volley past the keeper.

The hosts almost levelled straight away. Benedict Fishwick was played through on goal, but his shot smacked against the post and was cleared by a relieved Steeton defence.

Fishwick again caused trouble for the visiting defence and had another chance to score, this time denied by Steeton ‘keeper Fletcher Paley who turned the ball round for a corner.

The failure by the hosts to put away their chances ultimately proved costly. Steeton doubled their lead just after the half hour. Jack Richmond worked his way into the box before firing home.

The response from the home side was immediate. Fishwick found the ball in midfield and carried it into the Steeton box before playing a teasing ball across the ground that was tapped home by Jamie Thomas at the back post.

Steeton should then have gone further in front, Toby Jeffrey floated in a teasing cross which was met by Angus Maney, but the wide man couldn’t keep his header down.

Back came Blackpool and had a chance to equalise, with Ryan McLean’s shot going narrowly wide of Paley’s post.

The hosts came out of the blocks quickly in the second half and immediately had another chance to equalise through Billy McKenna. His shot was blazed over the crossbar.

It’s fair to say that Steeton weathered the storm in the second half as AFC Blackpool searched for the equaliser. Paley came to the rescue on a number of occasions, gathered a palm stinging effort from Connah Bishop as well as producing a fine save from the troublesome Jamie Thomas.

Thomas played a part in most of AFC Blackpool’s best moves. The number 10 found himself bearing down on the Steeton goal twice in the space of 10 minutes only to be denied by Ferguson with a well-timed challenge on one occasion and Tom Goodall clearance off the line on another.

In the closing minutes the hosts had a few more chances to grab a share of the points, with Thomas again going closest but his shot cannoned of the post before being cleared.

The Chevrons held on for the win, leaving the west coast with all three points and a great start to the season for Roy Mason’s men.

Adam Smith, Steeton assistant manager, said: “Overall, I’m very happy.

"We rode our luck at times but took our chances well in the first half and looked dangerous on the break throughout the game.

"We’ve definitely played better, but there were some good performance and it’s about getting points on the board at this stage.

"The win will give the players confidence and I’m sure performances will improve as some of the new signings get used to the system."

Meanwhile, Steeton have re-signed Paley, Angus Maney, Toby Jeffrey and Josh Ferguson.

Steeton: Paley, Goodall, Ferguson, Maddocks, Rooke (c), Morgan, Jeffrey, Rawcliffe, Clarkson (Coates), Richmond, Maney (Price). Subs not used: Scott, Armitage, Beaumont