A desperately disappointing start to Parkgate’s Toolstation NCEL Division One campaign yesterday as the Steelmen crashed to a 3-0 home defeat to title contenders Nostell Miners Welfare at Green Lane in front of a crowd of 102 - and home Manager Billy Fox had few complaints about the outcome, writes Colin Muncie for the Parkgate FC Website and the Bootiful Game.
After an encouraging start from the home side, which saw Simon Mirfin’s header cleared off the line, the lively Adam Hayton played a lovely ball inside the home defence for Jack Owen to finish well to give Nostell a fifteenth -minute lead.
A superb penalty, saved down low to his left, from home keeper Danny Butt kept the margin to one after the referee had awarded a spot kick to Nostell for a handball offence no-one else in the ground appeared to see.
Nostell-marshalled superbly by Parkgate old boy Owen Fieldsend – defended well and another returning Steelman – Danny Critchlow - doubled Nostell’s advantage from close range two minutes into the second half after good work on the break down Nostell’s left.
A couple of shots from range from Zak Khalifa, and a header from Brandon Cardwell briefly threatened to get the home side back in the game, but yet another former Parkgate striker, Brad Kerr, put the game out of sight with a finish from inside the six-yard box to clinch a deserved three points for Nostell.
The Parkgate gaffer, Billy Fox, was in subdued mood as he reflected on the ninety minutes. “A very disappointing game against difficult opponents” Foxy told us. “We started really well and should have had a goal in the first 15 minutes but their player has done really well to clear it off the line. After that Nostell defended well in all honesty - and deserved to win after we gave a sloppy goal away”.
“The penalty decision looked bizarre but a great save from Butty kept us in the game. To concede a goal straight after half time ended the game, as we could still be playing now and would not have scored a goal,” Foxy admitted.
Foxy knows that he needs urgent reinforcements in that final third. “We desperately need a striker with Nathan Joynes missing (knee ligament injury) but they are expensive. We are not panicking because we have lost one game to one of the favourites to win the league - and we are already looking forward to the FA Cup next week.
Updated 09:03 - 5 Aug 2018 by Margaret Gregory
Next up for the Steelmen is that FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round clash with Sandbach United at the Roundwood Complex, Saturday 11th August, 3pm.