The Evo-Stik NPL teams take a rest from league action this weekend as the clubs focus their attention on the FA Cup, with club chairmen rubbing their hands in the hope of a good run to boost coffers.
However, for that to happen there are some difficult looking ties to negotiate.
At Bracken Moor, Stocksbridge Park Steels could do with a decent cup run to kick start their season following a poor opening to the campaign. But Chris Willcocks’ men will need to overcome an in-form Marine team leads the Evo-Stik Premier Division, being undefeated in six outings this term.
Stocksbridge were narrowly beaten 3-2 at home by Blyth Spartans on Tuesday to leave them without a win in six games. But Willcock has seen his firepower bolstered by the return of striker Scott Hogan from suspension and the signing of forward Danny South from Frickley Athletic.
Worksop Town and Frickley kick-off the proceedings this evening at Sandy Lane (7.45). Both teams have had indifferent starts to the season.
The Tigers slipped to a third successive away defeat in midweek, beaten 2-0 at North Ferriby United, but are undefeated in three at home, while Frickley have yet to win this term and slumped to a 3-1 defeat at Matlock in their last outing, their fifth reversal in six games.
The minnows from the Baris NCEL Premier Division, Maltby Main have already enjoyed Cup success having successfully negotiated the extra-preliminary and preliminary round. Their 1-0 victories over Cheadle Town and Chadderton to earned them a welcome £2,750 in prize money. However, a trip to Evo-Stik League one side Curzon Ashton could prove a bridge too far for the Miners.
Another of the NCEL teams, Retford United face Evo-Stik league opposition with Division One North New Mills the visitors to Cannon Park as the Badgers seek to emulate their 1-0 victory over higher league opponents Hucknall Town in the last round.
Matlock Town host Derbyshire rivals Belper Town, whose only win in six games came in a 6-1 victory at Holbrook Town in the previous round. The Gladiators will be aiming for a second successive home win after being bolstered by a Tuesday’s 3-1 victory over Frickley Athletic.
Buxton, without a win in two, face a potential banana skin with a trip to United Counties league side Quorn, who were relegated from the Evo-Stik Division South at the end of last season.