Stocksbridge Park Steels 'not firing on all cylinders' but boss is not too concerned

Stocksbridge Park Steels boss Chris Hilton admits his side are ‘not firing on all cylinders’ as they head to second placed Ilkeston Town this weekend.

Wednesday, 13th November 2019, 10:07 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th November 2019, 11:54 pm
Adam Chapman (left) scores first of his two goals as Sheffield come from behind to beat Swallownest 3-1 in Sheffield Senior Cup. Picture: Joseph Smart

Steels are without a win in the last three in league and cup but Hilton is not unduly concerned and says they are just experiencing the blip in form all sides go through.

“We’re not firing on all cylinders at the moment, we know that,” he said.

“We are seventh in the table, five points off the top with a young squad so I’ll happily take that. Looking at the bigger picture we’re going along quite well.

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“We’ve picked up more points away than at home, but that said we’ve played some top teams at our place. Leek Town, Stamford and Sheffield FC spring to mind and we’ve lost just once in six.

“There are areas we need to improve we know that. Sometimes we give the ball away cheaply, but as I’ve said its a young squad and they will learn from that and get better.

“What was really pleasing for me is that after we scored in the last minute to grab a draw against Worksop Town last weekend.

“The players came into the dressing and were disappointed rather than elated because they knew not performed well. That speaks volumes about their character.

“We know it will be tough at Ilkeston – their position in the table tells you that.

“But we won’t go there with any fear we’ll hopefully give a good account of ourselves and there is one thing for sure the players have already shown is that they’ll keep going to the end.”

Midfielder Ross Goodwin remains sidelined with injury while fullback Jordan Lemon serves the third of a four match suspension.

Ilkeston go into the game unbeaten in the last four league outings since a 2-1 home reversal against Wisbech Town at the beginning of October.

Sheffield FC are also on the road where they make the trip into Lincolnshire to take on ninth-placed Spalding United.

Despite several recent high-profile departures, Gavin Smith’s side have nevertheless lost just one of the last six in league and cup and will go into the clash on a winning note after coming from a behind to beat Swallownest 3-1 in the Sheffield Senior Cup on Tuesday.

Smith could hand a debut to young striker Rieves Boocock after the 19-year-old joined on a month’s loan from Doncaster Rovers.

Spalding have struggled on their own patch of late and will be looking for a first home in five since beating high-flying Cleethorpes Town back in September

In the Toolstation NCE League, Its been a little bit stop start for Hallam recently with two of the last three league games postponed.

It certainly hasn’t helped the promotion push with the Countrymen showing signs of rustiness last weekend in the 5-2 loss at Campion. A result that left Hallam five-points adrift of the top four as they welcome promotion rivals Winterton Rangers to Sandygate Road this weekend, the side currently fourth

“It’s an important game for us as we don’t want to lose any further ground on the top four,” said boss Steve Whitehead.

“I don’t like losing one game never mind three so hopefully we can bounce back and turn out fortunes around, but there is still a long way to go and if we’re not in the top four at the end of the season I’ll be very disappointed.”

Handsworth boss Russ Eagle will need to lift his side ahead Saturdays trip to lowly Bottesford Town.

The Ambers suffered a first league defeat in four following a second half collapse at home against Liversedge as the visitors came back from 3-0 down at the interval to win 4-3.

Bottesford, who have lost the last four in league and cup, go into the game three places and two points behind Handsworth in 16th.