Stott scores on his debut for Millers

Luke Horrocks in action for New Mills AFC against Sheffield FC on Saturday. Photo: Allan Toft.
Luke Horrocks in action for New Mills AFC against Sheffield FC on Saturday. Photo: Allan Toft.

Evo-Stik Division One South: New Mills AFC 2, Sheffield FC 1

NEW MILLS’ excellent start to the season continued with victory over Sheffield FC at Church Lane on Saturday afternoon.

Moments after Sheffield’s defender Matt Varley headed off the line, Carlos Meakin scored the opening goal of the game in the 14th minute.

A good move fashioned between Daniel Douglas-Pringle and Luke Horrocks saw the latter’s left-wing cross superbly dummied by debutant striker Ashley Stott and Meakin arrived in trademark style to volley the ball into the roof of the net from 12 yards.

Sheffield didn’t pose much of an attacking threat in the opening 20 minutes or so but from their first meaningful opportunity of the afternoon, Ben Proctor had to be alert to stop Jack Barnett’s free kick low down at his near post.

Stott, who joined the Millers after a spell playing in Australia, had the chance to double the advantage five minutes before the interval but his effort was well blocked by Dan Whatsize.

This miss came back to hurt the home side as they conceded the equaliser right on the stroke of half time when Otis Gorman was adjudged to have felled Conor Higginson in the box.

Andy Gascoigne kept his cool to dispatch the spot kick and level the scores.

After the break, Proctor again did well low down to prevent Callum Harrison’s powerful shot which appeared at first sight to be sneaking just inside the upright.

The Millers got their second wind and started to regain their attacking threat. Meakin stung the palms of Whatsize who turned away his ferocious free-kick and then Horrocks narrowly curled an effort the wrong side of the post.

With 17 minutes of the game remaining, New Mills grabbed what proved to be the winner. Horrocks, who was probably the home side’s stand out player, again caused problems down the left-hand side and his dangerous cross found Stott who celebrated his debut by timing his run to perfection to beat the offside trap and cleverly side-foot the ball home.

Stott’s last involvement of the game being before substituted with cramp was to hit the base of the post and as the Millers looked to secure the game, Whatsize made a superb save to fingertip Douglas-Pringle’s effort over the crossbar.

In the second of five minutes of stoppage time, a mass scramble in New Mills’ area, caused by Proctor spilling the ball under pressure, eventually saw Sheffield’s last effort on goal blazed over the crossbar.