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Victory snatched from Bloods
Friday 13th December 2013 @ 20:30 by Lisa B

Droylsden 2  Stocksbridge Park Steels 3

Evo-Stik NPL Premier Division

For six glorious ‘champagne minutes’ during the second period of this Evo-Stik Premier League game, long suffering Bloods fans could finally afford themselves the luxury of dreaming of their first win of the season.

Domaine Rouse had just stabbed home his second of the match to give them the lead and with the home team at that stage dominant there looked to be only one outcome. However this is Droylsden…..

The game had started with Dave Pace making three changes from the side that had lost to Chorley in midweek.

Sam Andrew returned for Lewis Fielding in goal, fit again Ben Shawcross regained his place at the expense of Carlos Edmundson, while Matty German’s injury in the aforementioned fixture meant there was a start for Ben McNamara.

The visitors arrived two places and 11 points better off than the Bloods and had the first chance when Nathan Joynes looping header went close.

Joynes also got on the end of a Liam Royles’ cross, but was off target, while another Royles’ cross found Danny South who should have done better with a free header.

Droylsden were employing a patient build up with James Tandy, Ricardo Brandao and Domaine Rouse all looking threatening on occasions, but as has happened throughout the season, the final ball kept letting them down.

Steels were having the better openings and in the 19th minute Matthew Hamshaw went close from the edge of the area.

Three minutes later Brandao finally drew a good save from Jack Ward before Rouse fired the loose ball over. Rouse himself had a great break down the left on 27 minutes and his excellent cross was almost met by McNamara.

Next Brandao broke clear of his marker and again tested Ward who made a good two handed stop.

The Bloods were now getting on top and when Shawcross sent a deep ball in for Matty Knowles to head wide it looked as if the opening goal was close.

However it arrived at the other end two minutes from the interval when Joynes bundled the ball in off the post to once again tear up Dave Pace’s half-time script.

The second half saw Droylsden determined to keep on the front foot and just five minutes after the re-start Brandao’s cross was superbly headed home by Rouse for a goal of real quality.

You could almost see the belief flooding into the veins of the home players as they swarmed forward on the Steels’ goal.

In the 55th minute Shawcross was taken down just inside the visitors’ penalty area and the referee pointed to the spot. However on this occasion Rouse fluffed his lines and sent the spot-kick wide.

Rouse put that miss behind him when he produced the loudest roar the Butchers Arms has heard this season as he fired Pace’s men ahead.

Almost immediately, though, nerves and hesitancy set in.

Steels sensed this fragility and on 65 minutes captain Brett Bowdon-Lovell headed home Hamshaw’s cross for the equaliser.

Eleven minutes later the dream was over as Danny South despatched the winner into the net.

Only a fine save from Andrew denied South a second that would have rubbed salt into the wound.

As ever it is difficult to say where Droylsden go from here. The effort is clearly there, the 110 fans largely stayed behind them but the harsh truth is that this squad of players simply isn’t good enough.

Droylsden: Andrew, Shawcross, Tandy (Edmundson), Mortimer, Ayres, Hampson, McNamara (Fernandez), Knowles, Brandao, Horan (sub. McLoughlin), Rouse.

by Dave Edler