Stocksbridge Park Steels are set to tie up a deal in time for striker Brodie Litchfield to make his debut against Basford United at home tomorrow.
Litchfield arrives from Premier Division Mickleover Sports whom he joined in the summer after being released from Sheffield United. He had a productive loan spell with Steels while he was a professional at United and Steels manager Chris Hilton was delighted to have brought him back to his home town club.
“He’s a good signing for us and someone we feel we can help develop over the next couple of years” he said. “We’ve been looking to bring a forward in for a while now as we’re a bit light up front with just Joe (Lumsden) and Scott (Ruthven) as our only recognised strikers. It will give us the chance to rotate things around and give us extra competition for places while covering injuries and suspension.”
It couldn’t have come at a better time with Lumsden starting the first of a three match suspension for his sending off in the FA Trophy last weekend.
Steels will be looking to make it three games without defeat as they look to make up for a 3-2 defeat at Basford in September when the hosts scored twice in the last three minutes to snatch victory.
Hilton said: “We did enough to have won at their place but then got hit by two sucker punches in the last few minutes but that was our fault for not taking our chances. We’ll look at it as three-points we need to get us back to where we want to be.”
Adam Hinchliffe and Liam McFadyen are expected to have shaken off knock while Steels will be boosted by the return of midfielder Ashley Burbeary.
Sheffield FC go to bottom of the table Rugby Town looking to take their unbeaten run into double figures with manager James Colliver issuing a warning not to take anything for granted.
“When you go to play the bottom of the table it puts a little bit of added pressure on as you’re expected to win” said Colliver.
“But anybody is capable of beating anyone on the day. They’ve not so long ago had a change of manager and picked up a few decent results lately so we are not underestimating them.
“We’re on a good run; we’ve lost once in the last 11 now and are unbeaten in the last nine so we want to keep that going if we can. Saturday will be Connor Hall’s last game of his loan spell so I’m sure he’ll want to sign off with a goal “.
Colliver was disappointed that Club had let two points slip away against Kidsgrove in the last outing when the visitors equalised in stoppage time to earn a 1-1 draw but felt it was fair result at the end of the day.”
He added: “It’s disappointing to conceded a goal so late like that. We wasn’t at our best we were not breaking with any real quality like we have been doing in recent games.
“I thought we were a little negative in the second half and didn’t really get at them enough. In fairness they’ve hit the post and crossbar and you have to hold your hand up and say they deserved a point.
“Earlier in the season we would have lost that game so to come away with a point when you’ve not been at your best is a positive.”
Rugby have won the last two at home in an unbeaten three match run without conceding a goal.
Sheffield though will be hoping to complete a league double after coming from 2-0 to win 4-2 at the Coach & Horses ground back September with goals from Alec Denton, Andy Ofosu and a Ben Partridge brace.
Leaders Shaw Lane AFC host seventh-placed Leek Town where the in-form Ducks will be looking to make it 14 wins on the spin in all competitions.
Premier Division: Blyth Spartans v Buxton, Frickley Athletic v Warrington Town, Stafford Rangers v Matlock Town.
Division One South: Rugby Town v Sheffield FC, Shaw Lane AFC v Leek Town, Stocksbridge Park Steels v Basford United.