Derby grit required in Steels’ survival bid

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Stocksbridge Park Steels go into a Yorkshire derby at Bradford Park Avenue looking to bounce back from two home defeats.

Steels were beaten 2-1 by in-form FC United last weekend after playing for 50 minutes with 10 men before going down 4-2 against Burscough on Tuesday.

It left Gary Marrow’s side just three points above the drop zone with their Premier Division status in the balance. Stocksbridge have had mixed fortunes on the road of late with a win at Kendal Town and a draw at promotion-chasing Buxton mixed in with a 2-0 defeat at Whitby Town.

Bradford, who won 1-0 at Bracken Moor in October, are in mid-table with little other than pride to play for. Although they have won just one of the last six at the Horsfall Stadium, a 4-1 thumping of play-off hopefuls Buxton suggest they have not taken their foot off the pedal.

Frickley Athletic take on promotion hopefuls Buxton with the pressure increasing on boss Peter Rinkcavage after Tuesday 2-1 home defeat against rock-bottom Retford United. It left the Blues in the drop zone.

Worksop Town will aim to build on their excellent point in a goalless draw at runaway leaders Halifax when they take on Burscough at Cannon Park where Martin McIntosh promotion hopefuls have lost just twice in 11 outings.

Matlock Town will look to continue their fine run of form with a fifth win on the bounce against eight-placed Northwich Victoria at the Reynolds Stadium. The Gladiators are level on points with second placed North Ferriby United and although the championship is probably out of reach, Ian Atkins men will be keen to finish runners up to have home advantage in the play-off semi final.

Retford travel to fifth in the table Marine boosted by a 2-1 victory at Frickley in mid-week that ended a run of 19 league games without a win stretching back to September. However, it did little to alter the Badgers’ predicament; they are relegation certainties.

Managerless Sheffield FC make the trip to the Coles Lane for the second time in five days as they look to continue their mini-revival.

Club followed up their 3-2 success over Shepshed Dynamo by beating in-form West Midlands outfit Romulus 2-0 on Tuesday evening and now take on their landlords Sutton Town Coldfield seeking a third win in eight-days.

Caretaker boss Ian Whitehorne will hope to have Darryl Winter, Ben Starosta, Matt Roney and Ryan Davis back in the squad after missing the win at Romulus through injury.

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