Stocksbridge and Sheffield begin FA Cup campaigns
Stocksbridge Park Steels and Sheffield FC are looking to make home advantage count as they begin their FA Cup campaigns this weekend.
Stocksbridge host unbeaten North West Counties Premier Division side Irlam FC and boss Chris Hilton is looking to break a personal duck in the competition.
“In my five years at the club I’ve not yet won an FA Cup tie, so Saturday would be the perfect time to put the right," said Hilton.
"We’ve nearly always been drawn away and had some very tough ties. That doesn’t mean Saturday will be any easier just because they play in a league lower.
"They will come here full of confidence and with nothing to lose.
"We know the importance of what a good cup run can mean to the club in terms of helping the finances.”
Stocksbridge warmed up for the tie with a 3-2 derby win against Sheffield FC after twice coming from behind to make it maximum points from two outings.
“I think we just edged it,” said Hilton.
“I thought Sheffield started very strongly. They have good forwards that cause you problems.
"But we grew into the game and came on stronger in the second half particularly after equalising for the second time.
"This is a new bunch of players, who are much more hardworking than last year.
"We’ve won the first two games which is very pleasing. I thought scoring goals might be a problem but we’ve hit seven in two games, so long may that continue.”
Hilton will be forced into changes with Ross Goodwin, Josh Nodder and Kurtis Turner all missing.
Sheffield FC will hope to bounce back when they welcome another side from the NWC League in Litherland REMYCA.
The Liverpool-based side's only win so far came in the extra-preliminary round of the FA Cup when they squeezed past Avro 4-3 away.
Smith could hand last season's top scorer Marc Newsham his first start of the campaign.
Handsworth continue their FA Cup campaign and travel to 1874 Northwich in good form with Russ Eagle’s side unbeaten in the last three.
However, it promise to be a tough test for the Ambers with the hosts second in the NWC League with three wins from four
In the Toolstation NCEL, Hallam visit Skegness Town.
The home side have started the season strongly but the Countrymen will be aiming to make it two wins in the space of five days following the midweek victory over Glasshoughton Welfare.