Confidence should be high in both Sheffield FC and Stocksbridge Park Steels camps ahead of home games against Stafford Rangers and Chasetown respectively, on the back of away success.
Sheffield will be aiming for a third straight win in all competitions but manager Jordan Broadbent is anticipating a stern test against their fifth-placed visitors. “It will be a tough game; they’re in a play-off place and are up there for a reason, they’ll come here looking for the win to make sure they keep that spot in the top five” said Broadbent.
The Sheffield boss added: “After two back-to-back wins confidence is very high, we’ve also got a good home record. It’s important we put another three-points on the board, we’ve got games in hand and although they mean nothing unless you win them, if we can pick up the points from those games, it will shoot us up the table.”
Having a settled team has, he says: “I’ve been able to name the same starting line-up for the first time in successive games at Whitby and Brigg Town. Things are coming together; we’ve now got good competition for places - that’s what I wanted when I took over. It’s important players know they’ve got to work hard to keep the shirt.”
Goalkeeper Jake Eastwood and defender Ioan Evans on loan from Sheffield United could make their home debuts if Broadbent sticks with same starting line-up.
Stafford have lost just one of the last six league outings, which came in a 4-0 reversal at promotion rivals Spalding United last month.
Stocksbridge boss Chris Hilton stressed the importance of building on last weekend’s 3-2 victory at second placed Newcastle against a Chasetown side one point and once place above Steels in 18th spot. “The players know they have to put in the same work ethic as they did at Newcastle week in week out” said Hilton. “It was an excellent win, if an unexpected one, but we must make the most of it by not slipping up against Chasetown. It’s the first of three big games over the next week against teams around us. We’ve got Kidsgrove at home on Tuesday then go to Rainworth next weekend; if we can get three wins it takes pressure off the lads.”
Hilton could be forced into changes; “Martyn Scully and Chris White have dead legs, hopefully they’ll be ok. But we got players to come in; we have a much stronger squad than we did earlier in the season.” Kler Huh could make his home debut.The attacking midfielder made an impressive start against Newcastle after joining on loan from Sheffield United.
But Scott Tuner looks like missing out again with an ankle injury. But Kieran Scargall is available after missing the trip to Newcastle.
In the Premier Division, Frickley Athletic go to bottom of the table Belper Town looking to complete a league double following a 2-0 win against the Nailers at Westfield Lane in October.
Matlock Town face a trip to cup giant killers Blyth Spartans as the Gladiators chase a first win in five, while Buxton take on promotion rivals Ashton United at the Silverlands as the Bucks aim for a third league win on the spin.
Premier Division: Belper Town v Frickley Athletic, Blyth Spartans v Matlock Town, Buxton v Ashton United.
Division One South: Sheffield FC v Stafford Rangers, Stocksbridge Park Steels v Chasetown.