Spotlight on non league: Sheffield FC and Stocksbridge Park Steels
Sheffield FC will look to get their play-off push back on track when they host relegation threatened Carlton Town.
Club were surprisingly beaten 3-1 at another of the strugglers, Wisbech Town last weekend, which saw them slip one place down to fourth in East Division One.
Their destiny remains in their own hands though and boss Gavin Smith says its important his side don’t let their standards slip as it gets to the business end of the season.
“We’ve got to make sure we cement a play-off place after all the hard work we’ve done to get where we are,” said Smith.
“As a team we underperformed at Wisbech, the players know that, there’s no point in beating themselves up about it, every team has an off day.
“I’m delighted we’ve another game pencilled in as we were scheduled to have a blank weekend.
No disrespect to our visitors, but Carlton at home is the perfect game for us to to respond.
Our home record is good and we can get the ball down and play on our pitch. Carlton will come here and look at our result last week and think they have a chance if they work hard.
“We have to make sure we play our football and match their work rate, if we do that I’m confident we’ll get the right result.”
Club beat Carlton 1-0 in the reverse fixture back in October courtesy of a Mitchell Dunne wonder strike. The visitors arrive fourth from bottom and just a point outside the drop zone The visitors have been far more productive on the road winning five and drawing three out of 13 games compared to just two wins at home.
Stocksbridge Park Steels boss Chris Hilton says he is frustrated by his side’s inconsistency ahead of their trip to play-off hopefuls Belper Town.
“We’ve tried different formations and tinkered with our style of play but nothing seems to work,” said Hilton.
“We got a good performance against Brighouse where they stood up and were men. Then we got that performance against Tadcaster where they only decided to start playing as we know they can, putting them under pressure, when we’re 2-0 down.
“We’ll have a look at things and change it around against Belper because that just wasn’t acceptable against Tadcaster particularly in the second half. I thought we did okay in the first half and should had at least come in level. The keeper then makes a mistake for the second which killed us. I thought the official were very poor, but I’m not blaming them for the defeat . We’re not creating or scoring enough goals, that’s something my teams have always done. We look like we’ve no confidence in front of goal.
“Belper are a big strong side, we’ll need to compete with that and bring players into the team who won’t be frightened of a battle and putting their bodies on the line.
“The good thing is that we’re just two-points off 14th placer but also four-points off the bottom, that’s how tight it is.”
One change for certain this weekend will be the number one shirt with Hilton confirming they had brought in a new goalkeeper where it was one in and one out. “We’ve let Adam (Kelsey)
go back to Scunthorpe as it just hasn’t worked out. We’ve brought in David Robson who is a scholar at Hull City and has been recommended to us by Chris Morgan. He’s played for Wales from U15 through to U18 level.”
Belper are unbeaten in the last five in league and cup but Steels will be hoping to end that run by avenging a 2-0 defeat at Bracken Moor back October.
Premier Division: Basford United v Buxton,
East Division: Belper Town v Stocksbridge PS, Sheffield FC v Carlton Town.