West Riding County Amateur League Premier Division: Route One Rovers 1 Steeton 2

Steeton closed the gap on second-placed Rovers to five points with a vital victory at Esholt.

They had to shuffle the pack with five players missing through injury or suspension but, with three games in hand, the win keeps them hot on the heels of their hosts in fourth spot.

They got off to the ideal start when after only five minutes Andy Holden and Jonah Smith combined to put in Ben Richardson and he made no mistake with a cool finish.

However, the lead only lasted two minutes. The home side were awarded a corner and Joe Mash was on hand to make a great save, but Steeton failed to clear the danger and Rovers stabbed home a leveller.

On a pitch that was not conducive to good football, credit went to both teams for trying.

Ben Clarkson went close as he had a shot blocked before Rovers had a chance to go ahead but their striker lifted the ball over the bar as Mash came out to narrow the angle.

Richardson then struck the outside of the post as Steeton looked to get their noses ahead before half-time.

At the back Sam Rooke and Joe Park, playing in an unaccustomed role of centre half, were in commanding form and full backs Elliot Scott and Alistair Morgan tried to get up and support.

The second half saw the home side pile on the pressure and they had two penalty claims turned away.

Rooke made a great last-ditch tackle as the hosts looked more likely to make the breakthrough.

However a series of disruptions to play seemed to unsettle Rovers and Steeton started to take a grip of the game.

Toby Jeffrey played a great ball in from the right and Richardson just failed to apply the finishing touch.

Smith had a free-kick blocked on the edge of the box after the hard-working Andy Briggs was fouled.

Steeton made their first change when Nicky McNally came on to replace Clarkson and he had a shot blocked after he had surged through and cut in from the right.

The Chevrons took the lead with 15 minutes remaining. A free-kick from Park was nodded into the net by Briggs and sparked celebrations in the travelling ranks.

The home side threw everything at Steeton, but the visitors came closest to adding to their lead when McNally was denied by the keeper in injury-time.

With Briggs running on empty after covering every blade of grass, Darragh Davy Burke came on to shore up the midfield in the closing stages.

Manager Roy Mason was delighted with the win. He said: "We showed great character to dig in and battle on a pitch that was difficult for both sides.

"They have been on a good run of late so it was pleasing to take the three points and the lads that came into the side, who have not played as much football as they would have liked in the past few weeks, showed a great attitude.

"Without wanting to single anyone out, I thought Joe Park was superb for us playing in an unfamiliar position in the centre of the defence.”

Steeton: Mash, Morgan, Scott, Park, Rooke, Jeffrey, Holden, J Smith, Clarkson (McNally), Briggs (Davy-Burke), Richardson.