After below par performances in the last couple of outings against Bedworth at home then 3-0 at Spalding last weekend, manager James Colliver is looking for his side to rediscover the sort of form they showed in the reverse fixture at MDT back in November when club ran out 5-0 winners.
“That was arguably our best performance of the season but now seems a distant memory” said Colliver. “The side has changed a lot since then but if we perform like we have in the last two games then Market Drayton will cause us problems. We’ve trained twice this week and I have to say the players have looked sharp but we seem to be struggling to take the quality we have shown on the training ground onto the pitch.
“I need players who are going to work hard, stick to a game plan and grind out a result. We should have a more or less full strength squad to select so I’ll look at freshening things up a little.
“Gazza (Andy Gascoigne) is our only doubt with a hamstring injury. We certainly miss him as he gives us a real threat going forward.”
Colliver was disappointed with a couple of refereeing decisions at Spalding. “For the first goal it was a shocking decision to award Spalding a throw when it was clearly ours” he said. “The second comes from a set piece when there’s been a couple of clear fouls in our box. It might be nit-picking but the referee has to get the basics right. The third we have no complaints about, we were sloppy. We need to address giving away poor goals.”
Stocksbridge Park Steels travel to play-off chasing AFC Rushden & Diamonds; both teams will be eager to return to winning ways after losing their last two outings.
Steels followed up a 2-0 home reversal against Kidsgrove Athletic with a narrow 4-3 defeat against title chasing Witton Albion on Tuesday. Manager Chris Hilton said: “Its a must win game, Stocksbridge’s season depends a win simply as that. If we don’t pick up the three-points then I think the play-offs will be looking a bit too far for us.
“We’ll have Matt Reay and Nat Crofts back and hopefully Richard Stirrup should be available, that make us much stronger.”
David Reay will be hoping to do his bit by keeping a clean sheet with the goalkeeper keen to make amends for his late error that gifted Diamonds victory at Bracken Moor in November. Reay has shown excellent form recently keeping four clean sheets in seven games.
Meanwhile, Corey Gregory has left the club by mutual consent following his on field bust up with team-mate Ashley Burbeary last weekend that resulted in both players being sent-off. “We sat down with Corey and we feel the best thing for him is for us to part ways” said Hilton. “Its a shame because he is a good player but its wasn’t acceptable what happened.”
The feuding pair have been fined and have apologised to the club. Burbeary however could miss the rest of the season after suffering a suspected broken foot against Witton.
After seeing their lead at the top cut to three-points, Shaw Lane AFC will be out to make sure there are no slips ups when they make the trip to next to bottom Rugby Town. As title rivals Witton Albion face a tricky home test against third in the table Spalding United.
Premier Division: Barwell v Buxton, Frickley Athletic v Hednesford Town, Stourbridge v Matlock Town.
Division One South: AFC Rushden & Diamonds v Stocksbridge Park Steels, Rugby Town v Shaw Lane AFC, Sheffield FC v Market Drayton Town.