Stocksbridge Park Steels have nine games to pull themselves clear of the relegation zone starting with the Saturday’s visit of eighth-placed Cleethorpes Town to Bracken Moor.
“Its a big game, but they are all big games now until the end of the season,” said Steels boss Chris Hilton.
Steels dropped into the bottom two on goal-difference following a contentious 4-1 defeat at Belper Town last weekend but there are just three-points covering the next five teams and Hilton is confident his side will be ok come the end of April. “I honestly believe we’ll be safe we’re aiming to finish 14th and top of that mini table of seven teams at the bottom” he said.
“If we keep working hard I’m convinced we’ll be alright. The players worked hard at Belper and fought for every ball, you can’t ask for anything more than that. I certainly don’t think we’re getting the rub of the green at the moment”
Hilton continued: “I don’t usually blame referees but he was shocking throughout the game, he showed no consistency and just seemed intent to book out players, I was absolutely fuming.
“We went 1-0 up, they had a few corners but never caused us any problems and they should had been down to nine-men. Fadz (Liam McFadyen) took an elbow in the face then one of their players goes straight through Ben (Rhodes), yet the referee takes no action.
“Rory’s (Coleman) second yellow came out of frustration. Then after the final whistle there was a coming together of heads with Brodie (Litchfield) and one of their players. He gives Brodie a red card yet takes no action whatsoever against their player. If you send one off then the other has to go also. As a club we’ll report him, but nothing will happen that’s why the standards are so poor.
“Everybody is accountable I’m accountable, the players are accountable as are clubs, but not referees it seems you can’t say anything to them”.
Cleethorpes have lost just twice in ten league outings since the turn of the year but Steels will be looking to put a dent in that record as they seek to avenge a 6-2 defeat in November.
Hilton will be without the suspended duo Litchfield and Coleman. But Stocksbridge welcome back midfielder Kler Heh from injury and striker James Morrison.
Sheffield FC go to mid-table Stamford looking for the win that would ensure they hang on to the last play-off place.
Club’s home clash with Carlton last weekend was postponed which allowed the chasing pack to close in. And so tight is it at the top that just six-points separate second-placed Pontefract from Ossett United who are just outside the play-off places.
Stamford have won just one of the last six games since losing 2-0 at Sheffield in January.
And Frickley Athletic can certainly do Gavin Smith’s side a favour if they beat play-off hopefuls Ossett United at Westfield Lane.
Premier Division: Grantham Town v Buxton, Marine v Matlock Town.
East Division: Frickley Athletic v Ossett Utd, Stamford v Sheffield FC, Stocksbridge PS v Cleethorpes Town.