Stocksbridge host play-off chasing Matlock Town tomorrow looking to build on the three points gained at Droylsden last weekend that saw Park Steels narrow the gap to nine-points between themselves and the relegation safety line.
Manager Darren Schofield has been encouraged by recent performances despite the loss of three of his more influential players and feels that if they string a run of results together then they can pull clear of trouble. He said: “We have won three of the last six and lost by the odd goal in the others yet we have been without the likes of first choice goalkeeper Ben Scott, Matt Telling and Alex Callery.
“That’s like taking the spine of the team away. But the young players that have come in have done well, although number-wise we are just lacking some experience in certain areas. We need to string three or four results together.”
Although Matlock are ninth and just one point outside the play-off places, they have not won away in the league in two months. And after manager Mark Atkins launched a scathing attack on his players following their shock Derbyshire Senior Cup defeat at Glossop on Tuesday, the Gladiators are keen to pick themselves up off the floor.
Schofield expects a tough game: “They have a very good squad with experienced players such as Danny Holland and Liam Needham but we have already shown that we can give teams at the top of the table a good game.”
Steels in-form defender Nick Swirad will have a new central defensive partner for the game with captain and assistant manager Brett- Bowden-Lovell suspended, while Matlock also have defensive problems with Adam Yates ruled out with a fracture cheekbone
Sheffield FC go to Lincoln United looking to get their Division One South play-off hopes back on track after defeats to Sutton Coldfield Town and leaders Leek Town. Club boss Ian Whitehorne said: “It’s a game we can’t afford to lose if we have serious play off ambitions. We come off last weekend’s defeat (2-1 against Leek) with a lot of positives, we outplayed the runaway leaders for 85 minutes and although it was a defeat that hurt, we have got to dust ourselves down. There’s no time to feel sorry for ourselves.”
Lincoln -15th in the table out of 22 teams - go into the game having won three of the last four at home but were beaten 4-0 when the teams last met at Dronfield.
Worksop Town aim to stretch their unbeaten league run to nine games with a win over Grantham Town that could see the Tigers go level on points with second-placed Chorley.
Frickley Athletic face a tough task to end their run of 10 away league games without a win at Buxton.