Non League Football: Stocksbridge Park boss hoping six more points will save Steels from the drop

Kler Heh
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Both Sheffield FC and Stocksbridge Park Steels face home games against play-off chasing teams this weekend.

Club take third-placed Sutton Coldfield Town, while across the city Steels host fifth in the table Gresley FC.

Stocksbridge will be aiming to make it back-to back wins after ending their four match losing streak by beating Loughborough Dynamo 2-0 away in the last weekend.

It saw the Bracken Moor club pull nine points clear of the drop zone and manager Chris Hilton believes that a couple more wins should be enough to secure Division One South safety. “I think six more points should do it” said Hilton. “Ideally we’d like to get them on the board before the end of the month if we can as we’ve got a very tough April.

It will also allow us to have a look at a few of the younger players before the end of the season”

Hilton admits his side will face a tough test against a Gresley team that will be intent on consolidating their place in the play-off places said. “We lost 2-0 at their place when we got done by two set pieces. But if you switch off against the teams at the top end of the table they have the quality to punish you.

“We’ve got a win under our belts now and we’re beginning to look much sharper as our match fitness returns so we’ll be giving it a real go.”

Stocksbridge will be without Rory Coleman and defender Jacob Lever, while goalkeeper Sam Andrew is still not ready to return from a hip injury, so youngster Pete Denton, on –loan from Rotherham United will continue to deputise in goal.

However, midfielder Kler Heh is set to return to the side after missing the win at Loughborough due to illness.

Hilton has suffered a blow though with the news that versatile Lee Thompson could miss the rest of the season. “Lee has had the pot taken off his arm but has been told he needs an operation so might not play again this season,” said the Steels boss.

Gresley arrive at Bracken Moor on the back of four match winning run and eight without defeat.

Having seen five points slip away from winning positions over the past week Sheffield FC boss Jordan Broadbent will be hoping his team can bounce back from the setbacks against third in the table Sutton Coldfield.

Club had to be content with a point from a 2-2 draw at Coalville Town last weekend after they had led 2-0 at the interval. Then on Tuesday saw Norton United leave the coach and Horses ground with all three points in a 2-1 victory after Sheffield had taken an early lead.

“The last couple of results have been very disappointing, I think at times we beat ourselves,” said Broadbent. “We’re a side that does create a lot of chances but get punished for not taking them. Against Norton we took an early lead only concede just before half-time, which was disappointing. We were the better side in the second half, had chances that we didn’t take then gave away another sloppy goal.

“As I’ve said before we seem to do well against the better teams in the league. We’ve shown we’ve got the technical ability, I just think at times it’s down to a little bit of complacency which is something we’ll be looking to put right.

“Sutton are a good side they are up there near the top but with our record against the top teams I’d expect us to come away with at least a point.”

Warren Burrell is a slight doubt with a knee injury, while striker Ashley Longstaff remains sidelined following a car accident.

In the Premier Division, Frickley Athletic host Witton Albion at Westfield Lane in what is the proverbial six-pointer. Just goal-difference separates the Blues in 20th from the visitors who occupy the last of the four relegation spots. Karl Rose side will go into the game boosted by a 2-2 draw championship chasing Ashton United on Tuesday when coming from two goals down.

Rejuvenated Matlock Town entertain promotion chasing Workington Town where Steve Hume’s side will be chasing a seventh win in eight, while Buxton go to play-off rivals Curzon Ashton having put their promotion hopes back on track with a 3-2 win over strugglers Trafford earlier in week.

Fixtures

Premier Division: Curzon Ashton v Buxton, Frickley Athletic v Witton Albion, Matlock Town v Workington.

Division One South: Sheffield FC v Sutton Coldfield Town, Stocksbridge Park Steels v Gresley.