Steeton Reserves 1

Ryburn United 3

IN what was their last home game of the season, Steeton Reserves were defeated by a strong Ryburn side who won the corresponding fixture a fortnight earlier by a resounding score of 9-1.

Home goalkeeper Joe Mash was in fine form and kept a lively attack at bay, but at the other end the goal was rarely threatened. But after 15 minutes a rasping shot by Andy Howland struck an upright before rebounding to safety.

Just as it looked as if the first period would be goalless, the deadlock was broken as the visitors beat the offside trap and their number four was able to slot the ball past Mash with only seconds remaining.

The hosts almost snatched an equaliser soon after the second-half began when right-back Joe Flaherty found himself the furthest forward of all Steeton’s players and one-on-one with the visiting goalkeeper who was forced into a smart save.

Ryburn doubled their lead shortly before the hour mark when a low centre was turned in at the far post.

In the following minutes Mash made three fine saves to thwart the visitors. But he was unable to prevent a third goal which came after a speculative back header from a long throw looped high over the goalkeeper and into the net.

Two minutes later Steeton did manage to pull a goal back when Howland latched on to a corner kick. His first effort appeared to be handled on the line but before the referee could blow his whistle to award a penalty the striker rammed the ball home for what turned out to be a consolation goal.

Further goalmouth action was scarce though the final moments of the game did see some controversy when Flaherty was the victim of a hefty challenge which left him being helped from the field leaving the hosts to finish the game with 10 men.

Steeton Reserves: Mash, Flaherty, Steel, Houldsworth, Hudson, Smith (Knight), Dowthwaite, Cox, Morrall (Newall), Howland, Debenham (Walker).