Steel City pair seek road wins

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STOCKSBRIDGE Park Steels and Sheffield FC go on the road in search of valuable points, although for very differing reasons.

Steels are at mid-table Stafford Rangers knowing three points will see them climb out of the relegation places and send Mickleover Sports into the bottom four. Stafford however, will prove to be a tough obstacle to overcome. The hosts have lost only one of the last eight at Marston Road, although they have won only two out of 13 league games at home.

Rangers go into the game on the back of two impressive away wins at FC United of Manchester then Marine.

Stocksbridge boss Chris Willcock will ponder whether to give Alex Callery a place in the starting 11 following the midfielders return to the club from neighbours Frickley Athletic. When the teams met in the reverse fixture back in August a first half Colin Marrison header gave Steels a 1-0 win.

Sheffield FC go to play-off rivals Sutton Coldfield Town where Mark Shaw’s men will be looking to put further daylight between themselves and the chasing pack. Club sit fourth in the table, six points ahead of their hosts who are just outside the play-off places with Sutton having played one more game. Sheffield have been in good form on their travels of late losing just one of the last seven away, which came in a 4-1 reversal at Ilkeston in the last outing. Club narrowly beat Sutton 3-2 on the opening days of the season and the return fixtures looks like being another close run affair with the hosts unbeaten in the last three.

Frickley Athletic will aim to build on last weekend’s excellent result when Peter Rinkcavage’s men turned the form book on its head by coming from behind to beat Chorley 2-1. It was a result that not only took them five points clear of the drop zone but also lifted some of the gloom around Westfield Lane following the recent cut in the playing budget and a run of six defeats on the spin.

The Blues will hope for a repeat performance at the Tech5 Stadium where they welcome Northwich Victoria who have their own troubles.

The Cheshire outfit this week saw the departure their manager Andy Preece and assistant Andy Morrison on top of which the club has been issued with a notice to vacate the Victoria Stadium by administrators after an agreement was reached to sell the ground.

Elsewhere, Matlock Town go to Kendal Town where a win would see the Gladiators leapfrog above the hosts into 10th place as Mark Akins side seek a first away win in 12 games in all competitions. Relegation threatened Buxton face a tough trip to Chorley.