Following in Jamie Vardy’s footsteps: a visit to Stocksbridge Park Steels

It’s a welcome to to groundhopping blogger and Peterborough United fan Josh Green. Josh will be joining us for the 17/18 season to share his experiences of doing the 92 league grounds, with a few non-league grounds thrown into the mix as well.

After a two-month absence, I made my return to footballing ways in the form of Jamie Vardy’s first club; Stocksbridge Park Steels, as they took on local rivals Sheffield United at the Look Local Stadium.

The friendly between the two sides has become a regular occurrence in recent years, with the step eight side benefiting from what is usually their highest gate of the season.

Stocksbridge Park Steels v Sheffield United 2017 at the Look Local Stadium The Jamie Vardy Stand at the Look Local Stadium Stocksbridge Park Steels


The Blades packed 1824 supporters through the turnstiles, although with every blade of grass and seat covered, it certainly seems a lot more.

The main terrace beside the bar and boardroom can generate an earful of atmosphere, especially when a large contingent of Sheffield United fans are just getting their voices going ahead of the new season.

As a whole, the atmosphere remained friendly and there was little chanting throughout the 90 minutes. Goalkeeper David Reay received a rapturous applause following a sensational double save to deny Blades starlet John Brooks.
But as Sheffield continued to rattle in the goals, Reay’s confidence crumbled and the Stocksbridge faithful had little to get behind.

A stone’s throw from Sheffield, the ground is just five miles from the M1 exit near Tankersley. Winding the narrow roads of Stocksbridge, the ground is nestled away on Bracken Moor Lane, overlooking Bolsterstone.

Corner flag at the Look Local Stadium home of Stocksbridge Park Steels

The Match

In the rolling hills of Yorkshire, United made easy work of the Evo-stik North side. Four goals in the final ten minutes meant Chris Wilder’s 22-man squad ran away 9-0 victors.

It took 22 minutes for hometown hero Billy Sharp to break the deadlock, before veteran striker Leon Clarke added a brace to extend the lead to three at half time.

David Brooks was a shining light in the second half. The teenage midfielder, supposedly being chased by Everton, teased the Steels rear-guard throughout the second half, and even added two goals to his name.

Caolan Lavery was another star performer in the 9-0 thrashing, bagging himself a hat-trick and surely inserting himself into Chris Wilder’s plans for the Championship in the meantime.

Stocksbridge Park Steels v Sheffield United 2017 at the Look Local Stadium

Final Verdict

At just £8 for an adult ticket, and £2 for a tasty beef burger, Stocksbridge Park Steels makes an excellent day out for any non-league fan. The friendliness of the club makes the atmosphere most enjoyable, and I cannot complain with how security dealt with the large amount of Sheffield United fans. A superb day out in the country, that I would recommend anybody pays a visit to this season.

You can keep up with Josh and his groundhopping exploits by following him on Twitter @JoshGreenMedia, through his blog and his profile.

If like Josh you fancy blogging about your experiences doing the 92 league grounds drop us a tweet to @the92dotnet.

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