Non League: Tricky ties ahead for Stocksbridge Park Steels and Sheffield FC

Stocksbridge PS midfielder Todd Jordan. Pic by Ian Revitt
Stocksbridge PS midfielder Todd Jordan. Pic by Ian Revitt

Sheffield FC and Stocksbridge Park Steels face difficult ties in The Emirates FA Cup Preliminary Round, with both facing Evo-Stik League Premier Division opponents.

Sheffield travel to Hyde United, while Stocksbridge will hope to make home advantage count as they host Bamber Bridge but Frickley Athletic will start favourites against Toolstation NCEL side Liversedge at Westfield Lane.

It’s not been the start new Sheffield boss Gavin Smith had been hoping for after following up a 4-0 opening day defeat at Marske United with a 4-3 home reversal against Tadcaster Albion on Tuesday evening.

Club, however, can make the trip over the Pennines to Hyde with the pressure off with the hosts firm favourites to progress.

Sheffield, on their day, are capable of pulling off a cup surprise but Smith knows his team will need to tighten up at the back after leaking eight goals in two games  

Stocksbridge boss Chris Hilton admits it will be a tough weekend with the FA Cup tie against Bamber Bridge followed by the local derby against Sheffield FC at Bracken Moor on Bank Holiday Monday (3pm).

“They (Bamber Bridge ) have made a good start having taken four-points from the first two games so we know we’re in for a tough game.

It would be nice to get an easier draw in the FA cup but its just not happened for us over the past few seasons we always seem to get a tough tie. But at least we are at home so hopefully, we can make that count.

“We then face our neighbours on Monday. Form goes out of the window in derby games it doesn’t matter they have started with back-to-back defeats, that counts for nothing. These games can go either way and it will be about who makes the least mistakes  

“We’ve worked on a few things in training this week. We know if we can keep the ball like we have been doing and cut out the mistakes then we’ll be okay. We’ve got a young team this season  and we know they will have to go through mistakes to get experience.”

Steels put their first point on the board with a 3-3 draw at Gresley in midweek coming from 2-0 down to lead 3-2 before being pegged back.

Hilton felt it was a game they perhaps should have come away with all- three points.

“We played some really good football on what is always a difficult pitch,” said Hilton. “I was disappointed it wasn’t all three points but I suppose you’ll take a point away from home. To be fair they only had one shot on goal in the first 20 minutes after we had been camped in their half .The second goal was unfortunate its a cross that’s bobbled up and come off our lad's knee.

“We’ve not panicked, we’ve kept our shape fought back to go 3-2 up playing some good stuff and even when they got it back to 3-3 I felt we could have won it. “

Hilton will be without winger Tyler Williams who starts a three-match suspension and Rory Coleman but Jack Poulter and Todd Jordan both set to return from injury    

Having won both their opening league games, Frickley will aim to maintain their perfect start to the season by delivering a knock-out blow to Liversedge. However, Spencer Fearn’s side will not take the visitors s likely who have won four of five games in all competitions.          

FA Cup Preliminary Round: Frickley Athletic v Liversedge, Hyde United v Sheffield FC, Stocksbridge PS v Bamber Bridge. 

Premier Division: Workington v Buxton