Parkgate stretched their unbeaten run to five matches courtesy of a narrow victory over Swallownest.
Ultimately, an unfortunate own goal proved to be the only difference between the two sides, with an otherwise drab affair throwing up few incidents worthy of note.
The Steelmen started the game brightly, and despite failing to create any clear-cut chances, there were positive signs going forward, with Parkgate enjoying the greater share of possession in the opening stages.
The hosts soon started to edge their way into the match though, and in the 24th minute a free-kick was awarded in a dangerous position on the edge of the Parkgate box. Despite the set piece promising plenty of potential, a Swallownest man stepped up to the ball only to see his effort fly harmlessly over the crossbar.
Arguably finishing the half the stronger of the two teams, Swallownest soon fired a flurry of efforts on the Parkgate goal. Chris Butt proved to be more than a match for such attempts, however, and a relatively uneventful 45 minutes saw the sides go into the break all square.
Half-time: Swallownest 0-0 Parkgate
The second-half appeared to be following the same pattern as the first until, in the 54th minute, a free-kick was awarded to the Steelmen in a threatening position. Set piece specialist Elliott Simpson subsequently stepped up and curled a dangerous ball into the box, only for Brandon Bagley to see his headed effort tipped over the bar by the Swallownest ‘keeper.
From the resulting corner, confusion in the box ultimately led to Jay Short firing past his own ‘keeper to hand Parkgate a rather fortuitous lead – one that wouldn’t be relinquished.
Swallownest almost instantly provided a response to the goal, and just after the hour mark, they created their best chance of the second period, and maybe the game. After a Swallownest forward was played through on goal, it looked for all certainty that he would test Chris Butt between the sticks, however, the effort was fired wide and right of the Parkgate goal.
In bizarre circumstances, the Steelmen tested the resolve of the woodwork in the closing moments, as Haydn Ward’s long throw evaded everyone in the box, before bouncing back off of the upright and eventually being cleared to safety.
One last opportunity presented itself to the hosts in the final few minutes, when a free-kick was awarded on the edge of the Parkgate box. Chris Butt, rounding off a dominant display in goal, came out bravely to claim the ball though, and the Steelmen battled through to secure a valuable three points on a tricky pitch and extend their unbeaten run to five matches.
Full-time: Swallownest 0-1 Parkgate
Swallownest XI: Josh Lill, Aaron Statham, Ashley Cooper, Mitch Ward(c), Tom Cropper, Josh Statham, Luke Beedham, Ollie Grady, Alex Lill, Jay Short, Alex Nightingale.
Subs: Adam Daughtrey, Jun Blake, Richard Williams, Mitch Kent, Lloyd Gelsthorpe.
Parkgate XI: Chris Butt, Ben Starosta, Lewis Whitaker, Matt Crookes, Haydn Ward, Alex Pugh, Elliott Simpson(c), Simon Harrison, Bruno Holden, Brandon Bagley, Silas Valladolid-Collins.
Subs: Bradley Davies, Jayden Blackwood, Lewis Whitham, George Morris.
Up next for Parkgate is a home league encounter against Selby Town on Wednesday evening (7:45pm kick-off).
Updated 08:06 - 1 Apr 2019 by Parkgate FC Media