Stocksbridge Park Steels will be hoping for an improvement in the weather as they look to play their first match in a month with the visit of promotion chasing Mickleover Sports.
Steels have seen their last four games postponed, two at home and two away, and although it been a frustrating time for manager Chris Hilton and his players the lay off has had its benefits. “If there is one consolation, we’ve got a clean bill of health fitness-wise with all injuries cleared up” said Hilton. “Scott Turner is back in full training and Brad Grayson is fit following his shoulder injury, which has boosted us.
“As a manager you find it so frustrating when you prepare for a game, plan your tactics and shape only to have the match called off, but it’s been the same for many other teams so you can’t complain.”
Stocksbridge will be looking to extend their run to just one defeat in six against a Mickelover side third in the table but Hilton feels the game may have come just at the right time. “They are a good side and up there for a reason, they’ve been scoring goals for fun. That said they’ve lost the last two on the bounce which might have knocked their confidence a little so it could be a good time to play them. If we play to our capabilities we can match anyone on the day.”
Sheffield FC are up against another of the promotion chasers with a tough trip to fourth-placed Leek Town.
Leek are in fine form having won seven out of the last eight league games and have suffered just one defeat in 10 at Harrison Park, while Club will be hoping to avoid a fourth defeat on the trot.
Following their poor run of results not many fancy Sheffield to come away with a positive result. But manager Jordan Broadbent said: “I prefer to test ourselves against the better teams. There will be no expectations on us to win so we can go there and play with a bit of freedom.“The hardest thing for me is keeping the lads positive, they’re a talented group and I don’t think the results of the last three games have been a true reflection of our performances.”
In the Premier Division, Frickley Athletic go to Ramsbottom United hoping to complete a league double that would see them go level on points with the their hosts.
The Blues came from 2-0 down to run out 4-2 winners at Westfield Lane in September when Danny South hit a second half hat-trick. Ramsbottom go into the game on the back of three straight defeats.
Matlock Town face a crucial game against Witton Albion at Causeway Lane in a match they cannot afford to lose. The Gladiators go into the game fourth from bottom, one place but seven points behind Witton.
Promotion chasing Buxton travel to mid-table Whitby Town looking to make it five without defeat on the road
Premier Division: Matlock Town v Witton Albion, Ramsbottom United v Frickley Athletic, Whitby Town v Buxton.
Division One South: Leek Town v Sheffield FC, Stocksbridge Park Steels v Mickleover Sports.