Lepton Highlanders 0 Steeton 4
Steeton overcame tough opponents – as well as the wind, rain and fog – to take the West Riding County Amateur League Premier Division points in emphatic style.
The hosts, three points behind the Summerhill Lane leaders but having played a game more, were among the pre-season favourites but one of Steeton’s best team displays of the season kept them on top.
After heavy overnight rain and an early morning frost, the pitch was passed play-able at 11am as the Chevrons made three changes from the side that beat Cowling in the Keighley Cup the previous week.
With Matty Kershaw and Patrick King unavailable, Damien Whiteoak and Sam Rooke returned to the starting line-up and Andy Holden got the nod over Joe Park, who dropped to the bench.
Andy King tormented the Lepton right back early on as Chris Simpson got on the end of a cross, the keeper doing well to deflect his effort on to a post.
Holden then had a shot blocked while, at the other end, Whiteoak headed off the line following a Lepton corner.
The visitors then took the lead on the 15-minute mark. Jamie Longley played a superb ball through-ball for Lee Reilly and he outpaced the home defence before rounding the keeper and slotting home.
Reilly was then left alone in the box and maybe had more time than he realised when his shot rolled just wide of the far post.
However, it was only a temporary let-off for Lep-ton as Reilly set up King to drill hard and low into the net for Steeton’s second goal.
Rooke broke through and was just over with a great effort from the edge of the box. The keeper then did well to block Reilly’s goal-bound effort just before half-time.
With the fog getting thicker, referee Mick Stoddart sensibly rushed the teams back out to ensure he got the second 45 minutes played.
As visibility got worse, so did the game as both sides struggled to play flowing football.
The home side went a bit more direct in the second period and Steeton keeper Phil Rishton had to be alert to tip over from close range.
At the other end, Arley Barnes struck the Lepton bar from distance after good work from the industrious King.
Holden then went close as he arrived late at the far post through a ruck of players.
Steeton grabbed their vital third goal when Simpson found space in the box and crashed his effort home to effectively seal the game for the Chevrons.
Reilly then added the icing to the cake with a sublime finish with 15 minutes to play.
Steeton had a couple more half-chances but, with play getting near-impossible as driving rain added to the bleak day, both sides were pleased to hear the final whistle.
Boss Roy Mason was thrilled by the performance, which was full of one-touch football that was easy on the eye.
He said: “It was a great battling effort – one of our best team displays this season. We showed a lot of character throughout and were on top in all departments.
“It was also nice to finally keep a clean sheet this season.”
On this showing, a few of the groundhoppers that had travelled to Lepton could well be returning to Summerhill Lane this Saturday as Steeton entertain Overthorpe.
Steeton: Rishton, Rhodes. A King, Christian, Rooke, Whiteoak, Holden (Hanson), Barnes, Reilly, Simpson, Longley.