Season without reason

Spsfc v Frickley - Brett Lovell
Spsfc v Frickley - Brett Lovell

Ours is not to reason why but to simply ask the question, why?

At a time when managerless Sheffield FC suffered a third successive defeat they lost another seasoned veteran, with Brian Cusworth moving to Frickley.

Stocksbridge Park, with a good manager and committee plus a useful squad of players, haven’t won any of their last five league games and are now locked in a relegation dog-fight, which, I would suggest, is of their own making.

Bottom of the table Hallam looked to have turned the corner last Tuesday but slipped to another 4-1 defeat four days later and now face almost certain relegation.

They look likely to joined by a Dinnington Town side who have had 10 seasons of great success, yet they too are only five games away from the drop.

Only two clubs are enjoying great success this season and look assured of honours but in an area such as ours, it’s simply not good enough. In 30 years of reporting I can’t remember our district being so much in the doldrums, with the weather ruining our season, and players never finding any sort of consistency as they flit from club to club for the sake of the glint of a pound coin.

With our clubs losing over half their games since the turn of the year, it’s time our managers started coming down hard on some players and for the players themselves to give something back. Some are simply not putting enough into their game to warrant their clubs hard-earned brass.

Stocksbridge Park had to settle for a point in the 1-1 home draw with fellow Evo-Stik Premier Division strugglers Frickley Athletic who went ahead only for Jack Muldoon to find a second half equaliser. They then had Steve Ludlam sent off to add to their woes.

Their relegation fears increased when they suffered a 5-1 defeat at AFC Halifax Town on Tuesday. They went two down early on but Muldoon pulled a goal back before half-time and in the first minute of the second half Ward missed a penalty.

It now means their destination is in their own hands, with five games at home, including three against teams below them in the table and six away including one below them. On Saturday they travel to Northwich Victoria and follow that at Mickleover Sports next Wednesday.

In Division One Sheffield Club were rocked last week with the departure of leading scorer Cusworth as the exodus of seasoned players continued. Last Thursday they lost at home 2-1 to Grantham Town with Joel Purkiss finding the net and they followed up their third game in a week when they again lost by the odd goal, going down 3-2 to Rushall Olympic. Adams and an own goal made their tally.

They got to back to winning ways with a 3-2 success over Stamford on Tuesday thanks to goals from Gascoigne, Lynam and Tom Roebuck, his first for the club.

Sheffield entertain Leek Town on Saturday before travelling to a double-seeking Rushall Olympic next Tuesday.

It’s gloomy reading in the Kool Sports North Counties East Leagues Premier Division, where bottom club Hallam flattered only to deceive with their mid-week victory, when they crashed to a 4-1 home defeat against Nostell Miners Welfare. Gavin Hunter scored their lone goal.

Seven of their final 13 games are at home and on Tuesday I watched them entertain Selby Town in what proved to be a night of high drama as goals by Sykes and Moxon gave them a two goal lead inside 20 minutes but five minutes later the match was abandoned because of fog.

Hallam are now one and six points below the clubs above them and with relegation now looking almost certain they travel to third-placed Bridlington Town on Saturday and follow that up at home to Hall Road Rangers next Thursday.

Dinnington are next to the bottom with only five games to play, and for the second week in a row, they do not have a game.

Maltby Main went down 2-1 at Tadcaster Albion with Craig Fletcher hitting their goal. It is all very frustrating for manager Stevie Adams who now sees his side face up to an in-form Lincoln Moorlands at Muglet Lane on Saturday.

Parkgate are our shining light as they moved up to second place again after a very comprehensive 4-2 success over Thackley with Chris Woods bagging his second hat-trick in three games while Worsfold also found the net. They now have four of their 10 remaining fixtures at home and are seven points adrift of the leaders with a game in hand. Parkgate visit Long Eaton United on Saturday before returning to Green Lane to entertain Liversedge.

There’s no stopping Staveley in Division One as they completed a great 8-0 victory at Bottesford Town with Ryan Damms taking his tally to 30 with four strikes, while Joe McGuire two, Tahar and Fox completed the demolition.

Hopes of a place in the Wilkinson Sword final were dashed by visitors Pontefract Colliery on Tuesday. They went down 3-2 in a tense penalty shoot out after the match had finished 1-1 at full time and 2-2 after extra time with Damms and Thornton scoring.

Staveley face Hemsworth Miners Welfare on Saturday and visit Appleby Frodingham next Wednesday.

Handsworth took a two goal lead at Olivers Mount over second-placed Yorkshire Amateurs as Cockerill and Outram found the net but then crashed to a 3-2 defeat, They bounced back to beat Hemsworth Miners Welfare 2-0 with goals from Fretwell and Cockerill.

Handsworth visited Leeds Carnegie on Monday and goals by Bates and Cockerill earned them a 2-0 win to leave them in sixth place in the table. They welcome Eccleshill United next Wednesday.

Worsbrough Bridge went down 2-1 at home to AFC Emley with Rob Ward finding the net and they now face Barton Town at Park Road on Saturday followed by Hemsworth Miners Welfare next Tuesday.