Steels look for vital victory

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STOCKSBRIDGE face a six-pointer on Boxing Day against relegation rivals at Mickleover Sports at Bracken Moor.

Chris Willcock’s side go into the game third from bottom, just two places and two points behind the visitors and know at the very least they must avoid defeat.

Steels are unbeaten in four at the Look Local Stadium with victories over Rushall Olympic 2-0 and championship contenders Hednesford United, who were thumped 4-0. And it might well have been a maximum return with Frickley and Matlock fortunate to leave with 1-1 draws.

Mickleover go into the game without a league win in eight since defeating another of the relegation battlers, Whitby Town, 5-0 at home at the beginning of November.

A win would give Steels a psychological advantage particularly if it lifts them out of the bottom four, though that would also need Matlock doing them a favour by beating relegation rivals Buxton at Reynolds Stadium.

In Division O ne South, Sheffield FC will aim to put their promotion push back on track with a win at Belper Town in what will be very much an old pals’ reunion.

Striker Ashley Longstaff recently made the switch from the BT Local Business Stadium to Christchurch Meadow where he linked up with Ben Leonard, Jordan Turner, Charlie Weir, Greg Wright and Nailers latest signing Chris Adam, who have all played for Sheffield.

Club were held to a goalless draw at Dronfield by bottom of the table Quorn last week, leaving Mark Shaw’s men without a win in the last three, which saw them slip to fifth and seven points adrift of leaders Grantham Town.

Despite that Sheffield have an excellent away record, having lost just one of the last 10 on the road, which came in a 2-1 reverse at Newcastle Town at the beginning of November. Meanwhile, Belper ended a run of six successive home defeats with a 3-1 victory over next to bottom Shepshed Dynamo 3-1 last weekend.

Frickley boss Peter Rinkcavage returns to Worksop Town, where he enjoyed two spells as assistant manager and manager, hoping his current side can pick up a first win in six. The Blues have collected just one point from the last five outings which has seen them slip to 17th in the Premier Division, six points above the drop zone.

It will be a tall order for Frickley to come away with a positive result with the Tigers in such good form at Sandy Lane. Simon Clark’s men have won the last four on the bounce, including impressive victories over promotion chasing Hednesford Town and Conference Premier side Tamworth in the FA Trophy.