HAVING climbed out of the bottom four of the Evo-Stik Premier Division for the first time in four months, Stocksbridge Park Steels will now aim to push on and climb up the table.
Steels take on neighbours Worksop Town at Bracken Moor where they have every reason to feel confident of coming away with maximum points.
Last week’s 7-0 drubbing of North Ferriby United took their unbeaten league run to eight games on their own patch, while the Tigers have yet to taste victory in 2012.
Worksop’s outside hopes of reaching the play-offs look to have disappeared following the 2-0 home defeat against Bradford Park Avenue last Saturday, which left the Tigers 12th in the division, 16 points adrift of the top five.
Stocksbridge are a work in progress under new boss Chris Willcock who has already begun to reshape the squad with a number of astute signings. Pacy striker Scott Hogan from FC Halifax and full-back Daryl Weston look excellent acquisitions along with the returning Alex Callery from Frickley Athletic for a second spell.
Steels will need to keep a watchful eye on Worksop’s former Chesterfield striker Jamie Jackson, who has been in sparkling form this season and is the Tigers leading scorer with 11 goals, while Ashley Burbeary is always a threat particularly from free-kicks.
Frickley Athletic can not only boost their own Premier Division survival hopes but also those of their neighbours Stocksbridge when the Blues take on relegation rivals Mickleover Sports at Westfield Lane in what is the proverbial six-pointer. Peter Rinkcavage’s side head into the game four points ahead of Mickleover, who occupy the last of the four relegation places with the visitors having a game in hand.
Frickley are a team in form though having picked up five points from the last three games all against sides in the upper echelons of the divison.
Matlock Town go to North Ferriby United seven points clear of the drop zone which has the Gladiators anxiously looking over their shoulders after winning just one of the last 10 matches.
North Ferriby will still be smarting from their 7-0 hiding at Stocksbridge which saw them fail to find the net for a fifth league game in a row.
Relegation-haunted Buxton entertain Ashton United where Scott Maxfield’s run as caretaker boss appears to be nearing an end.
Sheffield FC travel to Lincoln United looking to consolidate their place in the Division One South play-off places. Mark Shaw’s side sit fourth in the table with a five point cushion over Hucknall Town.