Owls old boy’s 17-game safety mission

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Julian Watts takes charge of his first game after his surprise appointment as Hallam’s new manager following the exit of Kenny Geelan after 18 months in charge at Sandygate Road.

The former Owls and Leicester City defender faces a huge task turning around the Blues fortunes as they prepare to take on seventh-placed Selby Town at Sandygate Road.

Hallam are anchored to the foot of the table, three points adrift of safety and without a league win in 14 games. Watts has 17 games in which to preserve the Blues’ Premier Division status.

Dinnington Town face a tough game against Scarborough Athletic at Phoenix Park as they too bid to climb out of trouble. Steve Toyne’s side dropped into the bottom two following Liversedge’s 2-2 home draw against Brighouse Town earlier in the week, while Dinnington have taken just one point from the last six games after a 2-1 defeat at Lincoln Moorlands Railway on Wednesday increased Town’s relegation fears.

Maltby Main go into their derby against neighbours Armthorpe Welfare in fine form after stretching their unbeaten league run to 10games following a 1-1 draw at Parkgate in midweek. However, the Miners dropped one place to fifth after being overtaken by Bridlington Town who beat Armthorpe 2-0, a result that saw Des Bennett’s side slip to only a second defeat in the last seven.

Parkgate can do their neighbours Hallam and Dinnington a favour with a win at Arnold Town. The Nottinghamshire outfit are embroiled in a relegation scrap where they are 17th out of 20 and just two points above the drop zone. The Steelmen won the reverse fixture 3-0.

In Division One, there is a local derby at Park Road where Worsbrough Bridge Athletic will be hoping to complete a league double over neighbours Rossington Main following a 3-0 win at Oxford Street last August. Bridge have not lost at home in the league since a 3-1 defeat against Handsworth at the beginning of September.

Handsworth entertain Eccleshill United where they will be looking to continue their fine home form. Russ Eagle’s side thumped Appleby Frodingham 6-2 on Wednesday to make it five wins on the spin in all competitions at Olivers Mount.

Staveley Miners Welfare make the short trip to Askern Villa with the luxury of a four point cushion at the top of the table after easing to a 4-0 victory over Glasshoughton on Tuesday.

Bottom club Brodsworth Welfare take on seventh-placed Barton Town Old Boys where they will be seeking revenge for their 7-0 rout earlier in the season.