Stocksbridge Park Steels and Sheffield FC go in search of crucial away points this weekend with Steels at Nantwich Town as they continue their scrap to climb out of the Premier Division’s bottom four, while Club face the Division One South’s second-placed team Coalville Town where Ian Whitehorne’s men face a real test of their promotion credentials.
The Sheffield boss was full praise for his team’s opponents saying: “We’ve been and watched them and they are by some distance the best team in the division and I fully expect them to go on and win the league.
“They have good players all across the pitch and make no mistake about it this will be our hardest game of the season without any doubt and we will need to be at our very best to come away with anything from the game.”
Coalville go into the game five-points behind leaders Leek Town with a game in hand following a run of nine wins from the last 10 league games.
Despite the hosts excellent form Whitehorne believes his team can go there and get a good result. “We’ve certainly got it in us to get something, we have got players that can undo teams,” he said.
“Our strength is attacking the opposition, we haven’t got the sort of players that can sit back and defend for 90 minutes so we won’t be going there to close up the shop.
“And let’s not forget we have lost just once in the last nine so we go there on the back of some decent form ourselves.”
The Sheffield boss though suffered a blow on Wednesday when the FA Trophy tie against Buxton was postponement for a second time, ruling out the return of the influential Andy Gascoigne at Coalville with the attacking midfielder still waiting to serve the last of a three match suspension.
Darren Schofield is delighted with the fighting spirit that has seen Stocksbridge win their last two league games to put them to within touching distance of the teams just outside the bottom four.
“It just shows what a couple of wins can do” said Schofield. “We were coming a little bit detached but we have got ourselves back in the picture. I’ve been really pleased with the last couple of performances, we defended well at Buxton and it was also pleasing to keep a clean sheet. Then against Grantham we got ourselves into a good position, only to give away sloppy goals. But the second half we came out strong and got the job finished and we need to carry that forward into the Nantwich game
“Overall when we have gone away we have equipped ourselves reasonably well, we just need to get a bit of consistency and if we can do that then we should start to climb the table. It will be difficult at Nantwich as go into the game on the back of a good result at AFC Fylde but if we concentrate on our game and do our jobs right we can go there and get a result.”
Nathan Joynes and Matt Hamshaw are expected to return after resting knocks in the mid-week 3-1 Senior Cup defeat against Worksop Parramore.
Worksop Town look to bounce back from their shock 5-3 Senior Cup exit at Adversely as the Tigers look to make it three home wins on the spin at the expense of Stamford. Frickley Athletic host leaders Skelmersdale United, while Buxton and Matlock face home games against promotion rivals Marine and AFC Fylde respectively.