Steels ready for League’s big kick off

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Stocksbridge Steels kick off the weekend’s friendly action with a trip to Baris Northern Counties East League Division One AFC Emley tonight (7.45).

Gary Marrow’s side have had a mixed pre-season, enjoying victories over Sheffield Wednesday 2-0, then 3-0 against Rotherham United, whilst there have been defeats against FC Halifax Town 4-1 in the opening warm-up game then 3-0 at NCEL Hall Road Rangers.

With the opening Evo-Stik Premier fixture at Marine just a fortnight away the Steels boss is putting the final pieces together. Marrow has landed highly rated central defender Dominic Riordan, who scored in the victory over the Millers, along with promising striker Zeph Thomas from Rossington Main.

Tomorrow, Julian Watts takes his Hallam side to face Central Midlands South League outfit Kimberley Town for their final warm-up before next weekend’s opening Baris NCEL fixture at Handsworth. Watts has reshaped the squad following relegation from the Premier Division last season as the Blues look to bounce back. The pre-season build up has seen Hallam win 2-1 at Staveley then draw 1-1 at Phoenix before losing 1-0 at Cleethorpes Town last weekend, while on Wednesday evening Watts men beat a Sheffield Wednesday X1 3-2.

Handsworth go to West Riding Amateur League outfit Littletown FC for their final warm-up game, while Maltby Main host Baris NCEL newcomers Worksop Parramore.

Steve Adams’ side stepped up their preparation with a 5-1 win at Worsbrough Bridge Athletic earlier in the week. Parramore are being strongly tipped to do well.