Stocksbridge Park Steels boss Chris Hilton has laid down the importance of Saturday’s home game against the Division One South’s bottom Tividale.
“Its a game we must pick up the three points from” he said. “We’ve lost the last three on the bounce in the league so it’s important we stop that run. We’re 11th in the table now but just four points off second place so it’s not as if its all doom and gloom. We want to be winning games and be amongst the teams competing in the top half of the table.”
Hilton was disappointed at the manner of the defeat at Carlton Town last weekend but was pleased with how his team responded in midweek to come through a tricky Senior Cup tie 3-2 at Hemsworth MW. “Collectively we were poor against Carlton,” said Hilton.
“We didn’t deserve anything from the game. I thought we were much better against a good Hemsworth team particularly considering we didn’t have a recognised striker. Both teams had good spells but we deserved it. We’ve had a few injuries lately which has left us stretched a little. Scott Ruthven has a tight hamstring so we kept him on the bench as a precaution. Lee Garside has picked up and injury and Danny Critchlow was unavailable. Hopefully all three will back in contention for Saturday, although we will lose Richard Patterson through suspension.”
Tividale arrive a point adrift at the foot of the table and are without a point on the road in five games.
Sheffield FC, third in the table, travel to Gresley FC in sixth with just three points separating the two teams.
For manager Andy Kiwomya it’s a game that holds no fear for his side. “I always feel we can go away from home and win games” said the Club boss. “We play with the confidence that a lot of other teams don’t when they’re away from home.
“Sometimes at home teams come to stifle you. I think at times we’ve found that difficult to play against but we’re a young team that’s still learning. I’m pleased with how we are progressing, I think we’re doing ok, but there is still a lot more to come from the players.”
Gresley have had their best results on the road winning five out of of seven but have found the going difficult at home on what is not one of the best pitches having already suffered four defeats in five games. “Hopefully we can capitalise on that,” said Kiwomya.
“We’ll get our heads down and try to make sure we’re out of the blocks quickly.”
Shaw Lane Aquaforce will go to Market Drayton Town in buoyant mood after last weekend victory over previously unbeaten leaders Stafford Rangers. It leaves the Ducks just eight points behind Rangers with a game in hand ahead of what will be a testing game against a Market Drayton side with just one defeat in the last eight.
Premier Division: Frickley Athletic v Marine, Ilkeston FC v Buxton, Matlock Town v Stamford.
Division One South: Gresley FC v Sheffield FC, Market Drayton Town v Shaw Lane Aquaforce, Stocksbridge Park Steels v Tividale.