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Steeton go top but Holmes injury mars victory
9:47am Thursday 27th September 2012 in Sport
Littletown 2 Steeton 6 Steeton went top of the West Riding County Amateur League table with a fine win over Littletown but it was at a cost as striker Graham Holmes suffered a serious knee injury midway through the first half.
The Chevrons went into the game with a couple of enforced changes. With Michael Rhodes unavailable, Jonny Lonsdale stepped in for his first start of the season and, after suffering an injury in the previous week’s 1-1 draw against Golcar, Jamie Longley wasn’t risked from the start and Chris Simpson partnered Holmes in attack.
Simpson had an early shot blocked and Andy King forced a flying save from the home keeper from a well-struck free-kick.
Within ten minutes Steeton had the lead when Andy Holden’s inswinging corner wasn’t dealt with and King curled home a sweet strike from the edge of the box. Within five minutes they had doubled their lead as Holden and Simpson combined and Simpson made no mistake in grabbing his first strike for the club.
The two-goal advantage didn’t last long though as a cross wasn’t dealt with and Lee McKeown headed against the bar before being quickest to react and stab home.
McKeown almost levelled with a well-struck free- kick that left Phil Rishton rooted to the spot but luckily bounced the right side of the post.
Arley Barnes produced an acrobatic overhead kick that Sam Rooke just failed to get on the end of as Steeton looked to double their lead.
The visitors suffered a major blow when Holmes tangled with the Littletown defence and his standing foot was rooted into the ground as he tried to turn.
Instantly the players around him knew it was a serious injury and play was held up for over 30 minutes as they waited for an ambulance to arrive. Holmes, who has suspected ligament damage, was in such pain that he needed gas and air on the pitch.
From the restart Steeton almost grabbed a third as King struck the bar from the resultant free-kick. There was only brief respite for Littletown as Simpson latched on to Longley’s long throw and Damien Whiteoak bundled home from close range.
The second half started brightly for the Summerhill Laners as King and Whiteoak combined well but the keeper made a great save from the latter.
Simpson lobbed just wide before Longley made the game safe after 60 minutes as he capitalised on a defensive error to slam home.
Whiteoak claimed the fifth after steaming through with another surging run.
Steeton then switched off for a moment and allowed Joe Jagger in to pull one back. They still had plenty to spare and Mark McGee, on for Matty Kershaw, almost hit a sixth but a great save denied him a goal.
The half-dozen came after a swift passing movement started by skipper Jimmy Christian. He found Holden, who rolled the ball into Barnes’ path and he unleashed a piledriver to put the icing on the cake.
Boss Roy Mason said: “It was a great performance that was marred with Graham’s injury.
“Hopefully it will not be too serious and he will be back playing soon.
“Credit to the players who really worked hard for the win and, while it’s a nice feeling to be top at this early stage, we all know the hard work really starts in trying to stay there.”
Steeton are at Kirkburton on Saturday.