Steeton 2

Pilkington 0

A BUMPER crowd filled Cougar Park for the visit of relegation rivals Pilkington in North West Counties League Division One North, with manager Roy Mason keen for his side to push on after an encouraging performance against Daisy Hill last time out.

Bolstered by the midweek signings of Jake Boyd and James Ngoe, the hosts started the better of the two sides, with early efforts from Kayle Price and Tawonga Gumboh producing saves from Patrick McLoughlin in the Pilkington net.

In an open first half, Chevrons goalkeeper Danny Thorpe remained largely untroubled, with his defence ably dealing with the threat of strikers Luke Sephton and Matty Taylor.

As the half progressed, McLoughlin began to ride his luck, and it was no surprise that Steeton took the lead in the 32nd minute when Price’s curling effort from the edge of the box sailed into the top corner.

The only disappointment in an otherwise excellent first half was the enforced substitution of captain Elliott Scott just before the break, as he limped off the field to be replaced by Angus Maney.

Steeton continued to dominate after the interval, with striker Andy Briggs having a wealth of chances that, on another day, might have seen him score a double hat-trick.

The Pilkington defence struggled to deal with both him and Price, and only had an inspired second half from McLoughlin to thank for keeping them in contention.

Jez Milambo’s well-worked free-kick came close to doubling the host’s lead, as Steeton piled on the pressure.

Just minutes later, Price sealed a crucial victory, turning his man before firing a sublime strike into the bottom corner.

The three points see Steeton climb off the bottom of the table and above their opponents.

While Mason was impressed with the performance, he believed his side could have made the win more comfortable.

He said: “I thought from start to finish we were at it today, and it’s hard to be disappointed after a 2-0 win because we’ve not won for a while, but I felt over the balance of play it could have been four or five.

“The chances we created, the chances we missed, we almost made it hard work for ourselves.

"It wasn’t really until Kayle got the second goal for us that I think we felt comfortable.

The Chevrons also impressed defensively, making it back-to-back clean sheets.

Mason added: “We’ve now kept more clean sheets than we did the whole of last season which is encouraging for us.

“Hopefully the confidence can start coming through into the players and we can really move forward now."

Steeton: Thorpe, Morgan, Scott (Maney), Canning, Boyd, Ngoe, Gumboh, Price (Jeffrey), Briggs (Clarkson), Milambo. Subs not used: Stein, Goodall