Brian Bradley’s Non-League Notes: No Easter treats for fans as they flock to local games

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What a great Easter weekend... certainly one to remember.

Just under 3,000 fans watched eight enthralling ‘Ground Hopper’ matches over three days; 2,886 watched 15 NCEL games on Saturday and over 200 watched the big derby between Stocksbridge Park Steels and Sheffield FC in the sun on Monday.

Almost 1,000 fans watched a classic Montagu Cup final on Monday, too, which put a smile on the faces of our hard-pressed clubs’ treasurers - although the results did little for our managers and fans.

In the Evo-Stik Division One South, Sheffield FC started their Easter with a great 3-2 success over Loughborough, to end a run of six home games without a win.

Then on Monday they took the lead at neighbours Stocksbridge Park, with Ian Ross hitting his first goal for the club.

However it took a Matt Roney penalty on the hour to get them back on level terms as the game ended 2-2.

Stocksbridge Park visited league leaders Mickleover Sports on Saturday and were crushed to their biggest defeat of the season 6-0. On Monday they battled hard and managed a point as, roared on by a big 207 crowd, they drew 2-2 with Club as Richard Stirrup and Brad Grayson both found the net.

In the Toolstations NCEL, a crowd of 303 watched the Green Lane derby as Parkgate, after taking the lead through Stapleford-Jones, lost 2-1 to Staveley with Smith and Watters scoring.

Next Saturday Parkgate face a tough test at home to Thackley, whilst Staveley face two tough away days; on Saturday they visit Armthorpe Welfare and on Tuesday travel to Nostell Miners Welfare.

Maltby Main’s inconsistent form was in evidence again last Saturday when, after hitting to post and bar three times, they lost 1-0 at home to a struggling Liversedge.

On Saturday they visit second placed Shaw Lane Aqua Force whilst next Tuesday they travel to bottom club Glasshoughton Welfare.

Handsworth Parramore made it just one defeat in seven games last Saturday as they crushed Albion Sports 4-0.

They now face two massive tests of character when, on Saturday, they go to third-placed Cleethorpes Town and follow that up at Barton Town next Wednesday.

In Division One it was another bleak day for Hallam.

Their run of defeats extended to seven when they lost 3-2 at Louth United.

Then on TuesdayI watched them entertained a very strong Hemsworth Miners Welfare and win 3-1.

On Saturday the Countrymen have a date at Sandygate against a very poor Teversal outfit.

Worsbrough Bridge hit rock bottom again, when last Saturday the lost 4-0 at home to Knaresborough Town after a very poor showing.

Then on Tuesday they visited bottom club Grimsby Borough in game they should have won - but instead, they slipped to a 5-2 defeat.

The Briggers now face two struggling clubs. On Saturday Dronfield Town are the visitors, followed on Tuesday when they welcome Grimsby Borough in the return clash.

The biggest crowd for many years saw Memories lift the Mexborough Montagu Cup on Monday morning, after beating Swinton Athletic in a thrilling final 4-3 after extra time.