Steels face ex-boss in relegation showdown

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Stocksbridge host neighbours and relegation rivals Frickley Athletic in a game that is paramount to both sides’ Premier Division survival hopes.

Steels had looked to be pulling themselves clear of trouble following a run which saw them pick up 10 points from 15.

But they have since lost three on the trot, dragging them back into the relegation mire with Gary Marrow’s side two points outside the bottom four.

With 13 games remaining, Stocksbridge will need to win five or six of those to reach the 50-point mark considered the benchmark for safety.

The visitors, who are managed by former Steels boss Peter Rinkcavage, occupy one of the relegation slots.

Despite them being five places behind Steels in 20th ,there is only a three-point gap between the two teams.

Worksop Town go to play-off rivals FC United of Manchester where the hosts appear to have timed their surge up the table to perfection.

A run of eight games without defeat has seen United rise from the lower reaches of the table to sixth.

The Tigers have slipped to ninth and, although they do have games in hand on all the teams above them, there is now a nine-point gap to the top five.

Boss Martin McIntosh will know at the very least his side must avoid defeat. However, McIntosh looks likely to be without livewire winger Jamie Jackson for the trip because of a hamstring injury.

Bottom-of-the-table Retford United go to relegation- threatened Mickleover Sports boosted by a 3-2 win over Nantwich Town this week, their second victory in the last three games.

While the Badgers’ improved form looks to have come too late to save them, with the gap 17 points to safety, both Stocksbridge and Frickley will be hoping United can continue their improvement against fourth-bottom Mickleover.

Buxton take on champions elect FC Halifax Town at the Silverlands where they will be hoping to slow down the visitors’ title charge.

The Bucks have seen their own promotion hopes dented following four draws and a defeat in the last five, which has seen them slip to seventh and six points outside the top five.

Fourth-placed Matlock Town face an awkward trip to Kendal Town where the hosts must take all three points to keep alive play-off hopes.

In Division One South, Sheffield FC entertain promotion-chasing Rushall Olympic.

The Dronfield outfit have just announced they have drawn up a shortlist for the vacant managerial position and intend to make an appointment soon. Caretaker Ian Whitehorne has staked his claim for the job on a permanent basis with three wins in the last four.