Evo-Stik Football: Mixed opening-day fortunes for Steels and Sheffield

Brandon Cardwell of Sheffield FC beats Mike O'Reilly of Market Drayton Town and heads the ball clear
Brandon Cardwell of Sheffield FC beats Mike O'Reilly of Market Drayton Town and heads the ball clear

For the City’s two Evo-Stik League One South teams, it was mixed fortunes for the respective new managers on the opening day of the season.

Mick Wadsworth watched as his Sheffield FC side carve out a 1-0 win against Market Drayton Town at Dronfield, while his opposite number Chris Hilton, at Stocksbridge Park Steels, saw his side beaten by a last minute goal at promoted Norton United.

Sheffield might well have had the points wrapped up before the interval with Ashley Longstaff squandering two good chances after being put through on goal, while Joel Purkiss saw his 11th minute penalty comfortably saved after Richard Stirrup had been clumsily brought down just inside the box.

However, Purkiss made amends with what turned out to be the winner on 33 minutes, lashing home an unstoppable effort from the edge of the box after Stirrup had taken down a free-kick.

The visitors rarely threatened after the break with Club’s defence looking in control. Stocksbridge were left bitterly disappointed by their 2-1 defeat at Norton United where Nathan Joynes had given them the lead only for a controversial red card to change the game early in the second half.

Steels finally broke the deadlock on the half hour mark when White set-up Joynes to steer a left foot shot under the keeper.

The hosts equalised through a Tom Winkle penalty, and Michael Lennon pounced to poke home the winner with seconds to spare.