Non-league football: Stocksbridge boss targets home improvement

Scott Ruthven should return for Stocksbridge Park Steels this weekend
Scott Ruthven should return for Stocksbridge Park Steels this weekend
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Chris Hilton is keen for Stocksbridge Park Steels to improve their home form with four of their next five games at Bracken Moor.

The Steels boss wants his side to show a mean streak on home soil, starting against Daventry Town on Saturday.

“Our home record is not great and nowhere near as good as I would like,” Hilton said.

“We’ve got four of the next five games at home so it gives us the chance to put that right and put some points on the board.

“I do expect us to be hard to beat at Bracken Moor in the very least. We’ve lost four of 11 league games at home and three of those defeats have come in midweek, when you would expect us to have an advantage when teams have to travel midweek matches.

“We should have got a result from three of those games with the exception of Lincoln United who, in fairness, you have to say deserved the 1-0 win on the night.

“We’ve got a young side and I think we have missed the experience of Richard Patterson and Scott Ruthven over the past few weeks and what they bring to the team.

Ruthven will be available this weekend after recovering from, a hamstring problem while Patterson will remain on the sidelines for at least another fortnight.

Stocksbridge sit 16th ahead of the weekend’s match but Hilton feels it is a false position.

He said: ““We’ve got a lot of catching up to do in terms of games and I think when they level themselves out we should be in the top half of the table.

“When we get our best 11 out on the pitch we are a very strong side but we’re by no means near the finished article.

“We still need that extra quality when players are missing through suspension or injury. I feel we are perhaps three quality players short of being a top five team.”

Daventry’s form has been a little up and down of late. The visitors arrive for what will be their first ever league visit to Bracken Moor on the back of three straight defeats, which followed back-to-back victories last month.

Sheffield FC got to Spalding United where manager Andy Kiwomya says his players are raring to go following the postponement of the last two games.

“The training has been really upbeat and the players are itching to start again,” said Kiwomya.

“The break has allowed more to time to work with the players on a few things. We don’t need to change things drastically, it’s just a matter of ironing out a few creases.

“We’ve lost our last couple of games so it’s important we bounce back and get into a run of good form as soon as we start again, which will hopefully be at Spalding on Saturday.

“We’ve got more strength depth in the squad now with the new players coming in, so if something is not working on the pitch we have the quality on the bench to bring people on and change things.

“I feel we have the players here now that should be challenging higher up the table. It’s been frustrating at times that we haven’t taken as many chances as we should be doing but that something we have been working to put right.

“Hopefully the new boys Ash (Worsfield) and Cushy (Brian Cusworth) can help put that right.”

Spalding are just about hanging in on in the last of the play-off places following a poor run of results which has seen the Tulips lose six of the last seven.

Shaw Lane Aquaforce travel to fellow play-off rivals Leek Town looking to bounce back from Tuesday evenings 2-0 home defeat against Lincoln United.

The Ducks have a good away record having lost just two from 11 on the road, while Leek have won the last three on the spin at home.

Fixtures

Saturday

Premier Division: Frickley Athletic v Ramsbottom United, Matlock Town v Hyde United, Salford City.

Division One South: Leek Town v Shaw Lane Aquaforce,Spalding United v Sheffield FC,Stocksbridge Park Steels v Daventry Town.