Christmas crackers

Andy Gascoigne of Sheffield FC  in action against Quorn.
Andy Gascoigne of Sheffield FC in action against Quorn.

Well here we are, half way through the season and the traditional Christmas games coming up so let’s hope it’s a festive feast for our clubs.

Stocksbridge Park took a penalty lead at fellow strugglers Kendal Town but then sadly, it all went pear-shaped as they crashed to a 4-2 defeat. It resulted in them dropping a place in the Evo-Stik Premier Division table and they’re still two points adrift of safety.

Lovell and Muldoon scored their goals but without the suspended Cusworth they lacked guile up front and paid the price.

Manager Chris Willcock is now looking for a step forward because after the club’s first initial win under his guideance, they have played four matches and taken just two points from them.

Blythen and Christopher have left the club for Belper Town and it all makes Monday’s home game against fellow strugglers Mickleover Sports a real Christmas cracker six-pointer affair.

Sheffield FC failed to score last Saturday for the first time this season with their forwards all looking like ‘Scrooge’ in front of goal and as a result they could only draw 0-0 with the Division One South bottom club Quorn FC.

They have taken only two points from their last three leagues games and though they are still in the play off places, their form simply is not good enough. Mark Shaw has brought in Brandon Cardwell from Buxton and is looking to make another signing before Monday’s tough away game at Belper Town, who have already beaten them in the League Cup this season.

It was another good day for our clubs in the Baris North Counties East League’s Premier Division. Staveley beat Thackley for the third time this season in what was certainly their best display of the season as goals by Richard Patterson, his first in nearly three seasons, Barraclough and in-form Thornton earned them a 3-1 victory and moved them to fifth in the table. They now have six successive games against lower-placed clubs and manager Billy Fox will hope for a winning start when they travel to Armthorpe Welfare on Monday.

Parkgate’s great form was in evidence at Hull when they duly completed a winning double over managerless Hall Road Rangers courtesy of Man of the Match Ashley Worsfold, who created goals for Shepherd and Senior in the 2-1 win.

It made it five games unbeaten and moved them up to seventh but they lost on-loan Frickley keeper Adam Billard who signed for Buxton during the week. I will be at Green Lane on Monday for what should be a cracker of a derby when Maltby Main come calling.

Next to the bottom Maltby had cruel luck when after going ahead through another Ben Langford goal, they surrended two points to Pickering Town who scored a penalty just three minutes from time. Two more points would have taken them out of the bottom two but at least the signs were good and it puts their players in the right frame of mind for their Boxing Day showdown.

I was at Phoenix Park last Saturday where Father Christmas came early for Dinnington Town and their hard core supporters. They went behind to Bottesford Town but fought back to win 3-1 for only their second home victory of the season in 12 attempts. Liam Cartledge scored twice, one from the penalty spot, and Matt Smith scored the best goal of the game but it was Man of the Match keeper Luke Hands who won them the points with a crucial penalty save.

Steve Toyne takes his players to Shirebrook Town on Monday where they have already lost two cup ties this season.

Hallam, without a game last Saturday, host Yorkshire Amateurs on Monday and after losing only once in their last four games they’ll be hoping the ‘Good Fairy’ waves her magic wand and delivers them three more points.

Not to be outdone Worsbrough Bridge had their biggest away win for many a long day when they hit six without reply at bottom club Appleby Frodingham. They were gifted two own goals as Ringrose, Jordan, Podmore and Turner completed the rout. Sadly they are without a game on Monday.

Handsworth dropped another precious point at Teversal in a 2-2 draw. Smith and Hill scored their goals which moved them to fifth.

I feel it’s a disgrace that three of our clubs have no Boxing Day games when the crowds usually turn out in force.