Holker Old Boys 1

Steeton 3

STEETON extended their unbeaten run to four games against eighth-placed Holker Old Boys in the North West Counties League Division One North.

Despite the bad weather over the previous few days the Barrow-based side had done a great job in ensuring that the pitch was in excellent condition and the game was never in doubt.

Steeton were forced into making four changes from the previous week's side after injuries and a couple of late withdrawals.

Michael Armitage, Luke Baldwin, Tom Goodall and Alistair Morgan all returned to the starting line-up and all had a impact on the game.

The swirling wind made conditions difficult and the home side elected to play with the advantage of the slope and the strong wind in the first half.

However, time after time they were playing long balls that just ended up going out for a goal kick or throw-in.

Steeton were forced into trying to play through the home side and runs from deep were a feature of Steeton’s attacking play with Kayle Price going close on a couple of occasions, but Sam Stephens in the Holker goal was equal to it, diving at the Steeton strikers’ feet to thwart him.

The first goal arrived just before the half-hour mark when Robbie Wallace found space on the edge of the box and fired across into the bottom corner to put Holker 1-0 up.

Steeton had further chances and Toby Jeffrey and Goodall combined well on the right but Ben Clarkson just couldn’t apply the finishing touch.

The second half saw Steeton start brightly and they were using the advantage of the conditions to pin the home side in their half.

Baldwin had a header cleared off the line before Armitage rose to head home a leveller within the first five minutes.

Clarkson then came close, only a last-ditch challenge saw him fail to convert Elliot Scott’s left-wing cross.

Steeton took the lead in slightly fortuitous circumstances and Jeffrey’s in-swinging corner was caught in the wind and it gathered pace and left Stephens grasping at thin air as the ball flew into the top corner.

The home side thought they had levelled shortly afterwards, however the linesman’s flag came to Steeton’s rescue on this occasion.

Price went close again as Steeton looked to make the game safe. At the other end, skipper Jerry White and Morgan were repelling all the home side could offer.

Alex Preston and Armitage were also winning the midfield battle and there simple passing was an effective part of Steeton’s game.

The game was effectively sealed in the 78th minute when Baldwin turned on the edge of the box and fired home with a smart left-foot drive to ensure that the journey back to West Yorkshire was a happy one for Steeton.

The vital victory sees the Chevrons remain bottom in the league but on level points, 16, with second-from-bottom Garstang. It was only Steeton's fourth victory of the season from their opening 19 games.

Steeton manager Roy Mason was delighted with the performance. He said: "We were really down in terms of numbers today with 11 players missing through one reason or another, but we dug deep and I thought we played the conditions well and felt that with a bit more composure and a bit of luck in that final third we could have won by a bigger margin. That said we are pleased with the points and another game unbeaten."

Steeton face Prestwich Heys this Saturday at Cougar Park (3pm kick-off).

Steeton: Thorpe, Goodall, Scott, Morgan, White, Armitage, Jeffrey, Preston, Price, Clarkson, Baldwin