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Simpson nets double as leaders Steeton are forced to grind out victory
9:15am Thursday 14th February 2013 in Sport
Steeton 2 Hall Green United 1
Steeton maintained their eight-point lead at the top of the Premier Division against a Wakefield side still reeling from the shock of losing manager Carl Short during the week.
Steeton were without skipper Jimmy Christian, who was working, so Michael Rhodes returned to the starting line-up following the previous week’s win at Marsden. Damien Whiteoak took the captain’s armband.
Hall Green made their intentions clear as they put men behind the ball and showed little sign of venturing into the Steeton half.
The hosts almost got off to a great start when Pete Hanson struck the post after a good run and the same player thought he had scored when he cut into the box and chipped towards goal, only to see a last-ditch clearance prevent him from opening his Steeton account.
Matty Kershaw struck a long-range effort just over and Chris Simpson had an effort well blocked. Andy Holden and Hanson combined for Arley Barnes to get a shot on goal but again it was just wide of the target.
Holden then tested the keeper with a free-kick from the edge of the box, which he did well to keep hold of. Whiteoak fired over as the half ended goalless.
The second period saw the visitors become more adventurous and they were awarded a penalty when Ker-shaw was judged to have fouled Clifton Firth and up stepped Jack Koleszar to fire home from the spot. It was their first direct shot on goal.
Simpson and Rhodes went close before the leveller came from another one of Holden’s excellent deliveries. Simpson rose at the far post to head back across goal and into the bottom corner.
Jamie Longley nearly put the home side in front with a free-kick from the edge of the box which was only inches wide.
Andy King tested the keeper with a drive that he could only parry and then did well to keep out Lee Reilly’s follow-up.
King again went close as Hall Green were defending deeper and deeper. Longley then flicked the ball into the path of Simpson, who poked the ball into the bottom corner for Steeton’s winner ten minutes from time.
Chevrons boss Roy Mason said: “It was another workman like performance and a test for us as Hall Green were hard to break down.
“We needed to be patient and we said to the players at half-time to just keep doing what we were and the chances would come.
“They did and Simmy took them both very well.”
Steeton are at home to Littletown on Saturday.
Steeton: Rishton, Rhodes, Kershaw, Hanson, Rooke, Whiteoak, Holden, Barnes (A King), Reilly, Simpson (PJ King), Longley.
l Goals from Ross Bailey and Adam Spencer saw Steeton reserves win 2-1 at Hall Green United reserves.