Sheffield FC, Stocksbridge Park Steels and Shaw Lane Aquaforce are all in FA Trophy action this weekend as the Non-League’s biggest cup competition gets under way.
Club host Division One North opponents Trafford.
Trafford are 14th in their division with 14 points from 14 games and have struggled on the road wining just once in six outings having failed to score in four of the trips. But experienced former Bolton Wanderers striker Chris McDonagh has enjoyed a purple patch having already bagged eight. The visitors are capable of pulling out a result should Club drop the standards set on Tuesday that brought a fine 2-1 win at fancied Basford United.
Sheffield boss Andy Kiwomya could hand Tom Dunn a home debut following the Australian keeper’s impressive first outing at Basford.
Stocksbridge face a tricky tie at Division One North Clitheroe, a game that Steels’ boss Chris Hilton hopes to be able to unveil a new striker. “I’m looking to bring in two forwards, certainly one by the weekend then hopefully a second next week” said Hilton. “We haven’t been scoring enough goals so it’s been a priority to bring at least one striker in. On the positive side we’ haven’t been conceding many. In the last four games we’ve let in just three, all from the penalty spot, so it’s not panic stations. We’re sixth in the table with 17 points from 10 games, I’d have taken that at the start of the season.”
Hilton admits it will be a tough game as Steels look to bounce back from Tuesday’s 1-0 home loss to Lincoln. He said: “We were awful in the first half and could had been four down. We were much better in the second half but didn’t do enough to get anything from the game. It would be nice to have a decent cup run. It won’t be easy they have just come off a good win against Scarborough.”
Lee Garside will miss the tie as he sits out the second of a three match suspension.
Shaw Lane Aquaforce’s home tie against Division North strugglers New Mills has been switched to Sunday (3pm).
The Ducks will start strong favourites to progress against a New Mills side that has had an awful start to the season where they are rooted to the foot of the table having lost all 12 outings in league and cup.
FA Trophy Preliminary Round: Clitheroe v Stocksbridge Park Steels, Shaw Lane Aquaforce v New Mill (Sunday), Sheffield FC v Trafford.
Premier Division: Frickley Athletic v Salford City, Matlock Town v Ashton United, Sutton Coldfield Town v Buxton.