Non-League: Steels ‘won’t part bus’ in historic FA Trophy clash

Stocksbridge Park Steels' Scott Ruthven has scored in every round of the FA Trophy so far
Stocksbridge Park Steels' Scott Ruthven has scored in every round of the FA Trophy so far
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Boss Chris Hilton insists Stocksbridge Park Steels will not be parking the bus when they head to Gateshead in the first round proper of the FA Trophy this weekend.

Saturday’s clash with the National League outfit is the first time in Steels’ history that they have reached this stage of the FA Trophy.

Stocksbridge Park Steels boss Chris Hilton

Stocksbridge Park Steels boss Chris Hilton

And while well aware his side go into the tie at the International Stadium as massive underdogs, Hilton is refusing to go on the defensive.

“We’re under no illusions just how difficult it’s going to be but it’s cup football and anything is possible,” Hilton said.

“We’re certainly not going there to park the bus.

“We’ll go with a game plan to try and win the game or at least bring them back to our place.

“Hopefully we’ll get that bit of luck you need in these games.

Hilton will have Jack Poulton available after injury but Lee Garside (unavailable) and Brandon Cardwell (injury) are out.

Scott Ruthven will be hoping to continue his run of having scored in every round of the FA Trophy so far.

Gateshead sit tenth in the National League but have won just one of their last seven home games.

Former FC Halifax Town boss Neil Aspin took the reins at Gateshead a fortnight ago and Hilton admitted that makes them somewhat of an unknown quantity.

He said: “We’ve done some homework on them but they have a new manager who’s only been there a couple of weeks so you’re never sure exactly how they will set up.

“We know they will have a lot more possession so we will have to make sure we put a shift in.

“They’re expected to win so there’s no pressure on us.

“We have nothing to lose or fear. It’s a win-win situation.”

Sheffield FC are hunting for a first league in nine when they head to Newcastle Town tomorrow.

Club have slipped to 13th in Evo-Stik Division One South but boss Andy Kiwomya is confident the picture can quickly change.

“The table is very tight at the moment and you just need to put a couple of wins together and you’re back in contention,” Kiwomya said.

“Everybody here wants the play-offs and we’re working hard to make that happen. I won’t rest until we have the squad that will get us there.”

Kiwomya has added much-needed experience to his ranks in the form of Glyn Cotton, Lee Cooksey and, most recently, Dan White who is expected to make his debut at Newcastle.

The Club boss is also understood to be on the verge of adding an experienced forward.

He said: “I think we’ve got a good blend now.

“We had a lot of young enthusiastic players in the team wanting to express themselves.

“But you have to do that without being naive.

“I can’t fault them for effort. They’ve given me everything but experience comes in time and we need that now.

“They will learn from having the older heads around them.

“We travel to Newcastle with a healthy squad and with a bit of excitement with the new players coming in.

“Hopefully we can get the result we want and start to kick on.”

Newcastle – who lost 2-1 in the reverse fixture at the Coach and Horses in September – ended a run of five straight defeats with a win at Carlton Town last time out.

Third placed Shaw Lane Aquaforce head to promotion rivals Daventry Town looking to open up an eight point gap over their hosts.

The Ducks saw two points slip in the reverse fixture in early September when Daventry came back from 2-0 down to earn a 3-3 draw.

FIXTURES

FA Trophy First Round: Gateshead v Stocksbridge Park Steels; Nantwich Town v Matlock Town.

Premier Division: Hyde United v Buxton; Workington v Frickley Athletic

Division One South: Daventry Town v Shaw Lane Aquaforce; Newcastle Town v Sheffield FC.