In the true tradition of the old football cliché, Sheffield FC can now concentrate on the league after bowing out of their last knock-out competition following the 3-2 League Cup defeat against Ossett Town this week.
With Club facing a tough few weeks ahead starting with the visit of Division One promotion rivals Sutton Coldfield Town on Saturday, boss Ian Whitehorne is not too disappointed to be without the distraction of cup football.
“We go out and try to win every game but you have to put your hand on your heart and say we have other priorities,” said Whitehorne.
“The FA Cup and FA Trophy are OK because of the money you can earn from a good run. But there is no money in the League Cup, and the Senior Cup is OK if you get to the final.
“We’ve got some very good teams to play over the next few weeks and we need everyone to stay focussed and mentally strong and that’s why we left six or seven players out against Ossett. Four of the next five games are away from home and although it’s going to be tough we’ve played really well away from home this season as we showed last week against Mickloever.
“On our day when we play to the top of our game, we fear nobody in this league but if you drop off and play beneath your standard anybody in this league can beat you.”
Richard Stirrup, Jamie Hadfield, Tom Burgin and Steve Woolley are likely to be recalled to the starting line-up but James Gregory is out (hamstring.)
Stocksbridge Park Steels will hope to bounce back from a run of three league defeats but face a stiff test against third-placed Fylde at Bracken Moor. Manager Darren Schofield believes his team are capable of pulling off a surprise result saying: “Fylde are one of the best sides in the league. They have some good attacking players that can hurt you. But we have done reasonably well against the top teams this season. We have shown we can create and score goals whoever the opposition are so if we can keep it solid at the back we’ve got a chance. Overall I’ve been pleased with the performances, we just need to start turning them into points.”
Leading scorer Nathan Joynes is set to return after suspension to renew his partnership with Danny South in attack.
Promotion chasing Worksop Town go in search of a sixth league win on the trot at Rushall Olympic where manager Mark Shaw is expecting a tough physical battle. “They are a strong side with big players all over the pitch, so it’s not going to be a game for the purists,” said Shaw.
Frickley Athletic entertain Grantham Town knowing that a defeat could see the Blues slip into the drop zone. Matlock Town go to lowly Witton Albion, while Buxton host Barwell.