STOCKSBRIDGE Parks Steels relegation battle was dealt a double blow after striker Nathan Forbes-Swindells and defender Ben Turner hobbled out of the 4-0 defeat at FC United over Easter.
Forbes-Swindells, recently signed from Sheffield FC, was forced off with a thigh injury, while Turner pulled a hamstring raising fears both could be out of the crucial run-in.
Boss Darren Schofield believes both are likely to miss tomorrow’s home game against Frickley Athletic.
“Nathan’s has responded well to treatment and rest but remains a big doubt for Saturday” said Schofield. “Ben’s injury will take a little longer to heal but the positive news is that he could be back for when we play Kendal in two weeks time.”
Despite the 4-0 loss at promotion hopefuls FC United, Steels climbed out of the drop zone on goal-difference after relegation rivals Kendal lost both their Easter games, 5-1 at home against FC United then 5-0 at Chorley on Monday.
And Schofield is confident his side can avoid the drop said. “On paper we have slightly the easier run-in. We have two games coming up over the next few days starting with Frickley then Stafford Rangers on Tuesday that are winnable. We must look to get maximum points then hopefully go into the game against Kendal in a couple of weeks time with a points advantage, which would take the pressure off us a little.”
Although not mathematically safe from the drop themselves, with a 17-point cushion over the bottom two, Frickley look home and dry. The Blues were beaten 2-0 at home in the last outing but arrive unbeaten in the last five away trips, while Stocksbridge have won just once in 14 league games on home soil.
Sheffield FC travel to Division One South play-off hopefuls Nantwich Victoria for what will be their fourth game in eight days. Club won 2-1 at Rainworth MW last weekend then beat Rushall Olympic 3-0 at Dronfield on Monday and were at home again last night against Lincoln United.
Manager Ian Whitehorne admits it’s tough on the players. “It’s a big ask to play so many games in such a short space of time.
“We don’t have a big squad and a few of the lads are already feeling the pace. But the spirit amongst the lads is great and nobody is moaning. After three wins in a row everyone wants to be involved.”
Elsewhere, Worksop Town travel to Blyth Spartans looking to get back on the winning trail after successive defeats have all but ended their play-off hopes with the Tigers now nine-points adrift of the top five.
Buxton must beat Grantham Town if they are to maintain their play-off bid, while Matlock host fifth placed Fylde.