Non-league: Stocksbridge Park Steels looking to repeat history
Stocksbridge Park Steels are out to repeat history when they kick off their FA Trophy campaign this weekend.
Steels reached the first round proper last season for the first time in their history.
And their journey began with a trip to Clitheroe whom they have been drawn against again this weekend.
Boss Chris Hilton admits it will be difficult to repeat last season’s success in the competition
“If I’m being honest for us to get to the first round proper in successive seasons is asking a lot,” Hilton said.
“It may be an old cliche but we’ll take every game as it comes and see where it takes us.
“We know Clitheroe are a good side and they’ll want revenge for us knocking them out last season.
“But we’re more than capable of beating them, particularly if we perform as we did in the last couple of league games where we’ve had two wins and clean sheets against two top side in Romulus and Shaw Lane.”
Skipper Liam McFadyen and Scott Ruthven suffered tight hamstrings in the midweek Sheffield and Hallamshire FA Senior Cup tie win over North Gawber, while George Grayson took a knock and the trio will have fitness tests ahead of the trip.
Sheffield FC head to Ramsbottom United for the second time this season in knockout competition, having triumphed 2-1 in the FA Cup preliminary round in August.
And boss James Colliver is expecting United to be out for revenge.
“Hopefully we can go there again and give a good account of ourselves, be strong and get a result,” Colliver said.
The Club manager believes his side are on the right track following their performance in defeat against Newcastle Town which extended their poor record to one point from four league games.
He said: “It was the best we’ve played all season. We created a lot of chances, got the ball down and passed it well and put in a good shift.
“Anyone that watched the game would admit we didn’t deserve to lose.”
While pleased with performances, Colliver knows it is results that matter the most.
He said: “At the moment I’d take a few scrappy games and come away with points rather than good performances and get nothing.
“We know results haven’t been good enough and that we haven’t got enough points.
“As a manager you’re judged on results but the results are not coming at the moment.
“I think the supporters can see we’re working hard to turn it around.
“We were applauded off at half time and at the end of the game against Newcastle.
“All around the pitch I believe we have got good players but at the moment we seem to be having to make four or five changes every game for one reason or another and we’ve not had consistency.”
Winger James Gregory could make his first appearance of the season for Club after recovering from a back injury.
Shaw Lane AFC will host struggling Scarborough Athletic in their preliminary round match.