We can beat anyone, says Steels’ boss

Stocksbridge PS full back George Grayson ruled out of home clash with Belper Town with injury. Pic by Peter Revitt
Stocksbridge PS full back George Grayson ruled out of home clash with Belper Town with injury. Pic by Peter Revitt
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Stocksbridge Park Steels have the opportunity to complete a first double of the season when they host Belper Town.

Steels won 3-0 at Christchurch Meadow with goals from Scott Ruthven and a Joe Lumsden brace but manager Chris Hilton says: “Just because we beat them at their place doesn’t mean anything.

“We have to make sure we show we have the desire to win and make sure we concentrate on our game for 90 minutes. Because if you switch off you’ll get punished. There are no easy games in this league anymore, whereas in the past there was possibly four or five games you could go out and win without being at your best.

“It’s become a far tougher league, you’ve only got to look at the league table and see how close it is. We got a good away point last week, yet we dropped from third to seventh.

“We’ll go with a game plan as we do with any game on how to combat our opponents. If we play as we know we can they we can beat anyone.

“We’ve had a lot of injuries to contend with so that could changes things. You can’t always go out and win with flair there are times when you have to go out and grind out a result and win ugly.”

Hilton was delighted to have picked up a point at second-placed Cleethorpes, particularly after being hit with last minute illness and injury.

“We had a lot of people missing then lost George Grayson with injury and Todd Jordan through illness on the morning of the game” said Hilton.

“But we didn’t sulk we got on with it and got a result we deserved.

“They put us under pressure for the first 20 minutes but we grew into the game and were far the better side in the second half and were unlucky in the end not to come away with all-three-points.

“We now need to put a decent run together and make sure we’re up there at the end of the year which will put us in great shape for the second half of the season.”

Full-back Grayson looks set to miss the next couple of weeks, while Alex Wiles is struggling with a groin injury. Luke Mangham needs surgery and could now miss the rest of the season.

Belper arrive without a win in the last five outings but have been beaten just once in six league games on the road.

In a week that Sheffield FC celebrated their 160th birthday and an anniversary dinner Mark Shaw’s side will have a little more time to recover with Club without a fixture this weekend following the early exit from the FA Trophy.

“In fairness I don’t mind too much - its come at the right time for us,” said Shaw. “It gives me a little time to work my magic, get everyone fit, more organised and stronger for the fight.

Reflecting on the 3-2 home defeat against Corby Town, Shaw said, “It was extremely disappointing to let a go 2-1 lead at interval. The players worked really hard to get a result and I thought we deserved a draw to be honest.

“It’s still a transition period for us but I’ve been very encouraged by the progression over the past four weeks since I’ve been here.”

Frickley Athletic face a tough trip to Evo-Stik Premier side Ashton United in the FA Trophy First Qualifying round, while Shaw Lane will start clear favourites when they host Division One North Ramsbottom United.

FA Trophy First Qualifying Round: Ashton United v Frickley Athletic, Buxton v Cleethorpes Town, Glossop North End v Matlock Town, Shaw Lane v Ramsbottom United.

Division One South: Stocksbridge Park Steels v Belper Town.