Non League: Bowden-Lovell calls on Steels to close gap

Ben Turner is available for selection again after shrugging off an injury.
Ben Turner is available for selection again after shrugging off an injury.
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Stocksbridge Park Steels take on fellow strugglers Stafford Rangers in the Premier Division at Bracken Moor tomorrow.

teels are 22nd in the table, only above Rangers on goal difference. It’s a game that neither side dare lose and one that both will see as a must win game if they are to have any hope of avoiding relegation.

Brett Bowden-Lovell, the Steels assistant manager, said: “If we are to have any chance at all of staying up, we have to beat Stafford. If we can do that and get something from Ilkeston on Monday it would see us close the gap slightly.

“We know it’s a tall order (to stay up), but we’ll keep going and trying to pick up the points, we have some big games coming up at home that are all winnable. We’ve also got some games in hand and if we can make that count it could make all the difference.”

Central defender Brett Lucas is set to make a belated debut after joining the club from Retford United at the beginning of the month, while Bowden-Lovell confirmed that Ben Turner and goalkeeper Jack Ward are set to return from injury.

Sheffield FC entertain Carlton Town at Dronfield in what will be Club’s first game since a 2-1 defeat at Brigg Town on January 18. And manager Ian Whitehorne warned it will take time for his side to get back in the swing of things following the enforced break.

“Its going to be really difficult having not played and it will probably take two or three games to get match fitness back,” said Whitehorne.

“You can’t expect players to be fit after going a month without a playing. We have been training indoors but it doesn’t get anywhere near playing 90 minutes of football.”

Carlton have drawn four and won one of the last six outings with their only defeat coming in a 3-0 reversal at Scarborough last weekend .

Whitehorne will have a full squad to choose from with the exception of Andy Gascoigne who starts the first of a four match suspension. “It’s a big loss for us; he’s our leading scorer but we’ve just got to get on with it,” said Whitehorne.

Worksop Town host Ashton United in a game that sees fourth against fifth respectively. The Tigers ensured there was a four point cushion between the teams following a 3-1 win over Buxton on Wednesday night.

Frickley Athletic go to mid-table Nantwich Town while Matlock Town head to fellow play-off hopefuls Rushall Olympic.

Buxton travel to Blyth Spartans looking to avoid an eighth defeat on the spin.