Steeton u18s 1

Athletico u18s 2

STEETON Under-18s narrowly went down to Athletico.

The young Chevrons were struck with the worst luck in the build-up to the game with four players who started in the previous week’s game unavailable due to illness.

Despite this, Steeton put up and excellent display. Starting the game on the front foot, some excellent work in the early stages down the left-hand side saw Brad Lee release Lewis Gardner with a lovely pass down the wing. He drove hard into the box, beat his man but his shot went out for a dead ball.

Lewis Plumb and Joe Snowden also went close with good strikes from outside the box and Gardner went close again with a left-foot strike.

At the other end, the Chevrons looked solid with captain Joel Oxford back in the heart of defence following illness, alongside the excellent Foysol Ullah.

Brad Picken was also looking comfortable in goal with little to do in the opening stages.

Steeton took a deserved lead on 20 minutes and what a beauty it was. Lee swung in a corner from the left which was cleared to the edge of the box, however the ball was met by Harris Khan on the volley and his shot from 25 yards smashed into the left-hand corner of the net giving the goalkeeper no chance.

Steeton went close to doubling their lead via Joe Snowden but he was denied by the goalkeeper.

With only a couple of minutes before half time the away side equalised.

The ball was played in the air to the Athletico centre forward who flicked it on with his head, the onrushing striker ran through and scored to make it 1-1.

The second half was similar to the start of the first, however Athletico started to get frustrated and lose discipline. Five yellow cards and a red card were issued in the second half to the visitors as a result.

The decisive part of the second half came when the excellent Danny Amber won the ball in midfield and sent Lewis Gardner through on goal. He was met by the away goalkeeper who was way out of his box.

Quick thinking from Gardner, though, who turned and shot from 35 yards, the ball looked destined for the net but instead crashed against the crossbar and bounced straight back into the goalkeeper's arms.

Steeton continued to press with Ambler going close with a rasping 25-yard shot which was well saved.

At the other end Steeton were hit by a sucker punch.

A long Ball by the Athletico keeper was diverted away from their striker for a corner on the right with five minutes to go.

Then, a rare lapse in concentration from the corner left a player with a free header in the six-yard box to make it 2-1.

Steeton tried to hit back with Joel Oxford going close with a header from a Lee corner, and Jacob Ambler also had a couple of efforts well saved.