REPORT: Trojans take second place after thrilling return to Inkersall Road

Staveley continued their unbeaten run into the new year when they welcomed Bottesford Town to Inkersall Road for their first home game of 2020.

History was very much in the home sides favour, as in the seven previous meetings here, the Trojans had won five, losing the other two.

Bottesford started the game the more positive of the two sides and could have considered themselves unfortunate to not have taken the lead. Myles Wright was forced into making a save from Jack Bowskin early on.

With just fifteen minutes on the clock, Kieran McCaffrey attempted an unnecessary pass back to the visitors keeper that allowed Robson Doolan through on goal, as the goal drew nearer, Michal Antkowiak's poor challenge left Doolan in a heap and the referee no choice but to brandish a red card.

With their substitute goalkeeper in the dressing room, Bowskin took the responsibility of going in goal.

With a right-back in goal and the one man advantage Staveley took control of the ball and if it wasn't for the heroics of Bowskin in the Bottesford goal, it could have been three to the good after chances from Joe Pugh, Sam Finlaw and Rob Worrall couldn't be converted.

Eventually Leigh Herrick, Bottesford's goalkeeping coach, joined the game and it didn't take long from there for the Trojans to take the lead.

Jon Froggatt and Doolan combined before Pugh chipped the oncoming Herrick to put the ball into the empty net.

With a one-man advantage and now a one-goal advantage, the Trojans will consider themselves grateful not to be level as Bottesford appeared to find second gear.

However, as the second half got underway, Staveley found a second gear of their own. A quick corner played between Pugh and Worrall was pulled back onto the left-foot of Froggatt, who remained composed to find the back of the net.

From there, there was only one side that was ever going to win the game as the Trojans grasped a hold of the game.

Mitchell Langton replaced Patrick Lindley and the substitute executed a well placed shot past Herrick to stretch the Trojans further ahead.

With Staveley still in the ascendancy, Pugh wrapped up a fine team performance when he made a real statement for a first team place with a well taken finish to add to the Trojans goal difference.

Staveley now sit in second place, two points off league leaders, Penistone Church, with four games in hand and with tough fixtures around the corner, Staveley will be looking to capitalise on every opportunity to close the gap.

Staveley Miners Welfare: Wright, Parkin, Dudley (Claxton), Finlaw, Mundy, Lund, Worrall, Doolan (Burke), Froggatt, Pugh, Lindley (Langton).

Unused Substitutes: Jones, Kay.

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