Non League: ‘Honest’ Steels will keep on fighting, insists boss

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Any thoughts FC United might have of coming to Bracken Moor this weekend for easy pickings will be wide of the mark.

Stocksbridge boss Darren Schofield is adamant his team will not be taking their foot off the pedal despite facing almost certain relegation.

Steels are second from bottom and 20 points adrift of safety following the 2-1 defeat against Barwell but Schofield said: “They are an honest bunch of players and the one thing that cannot be brought into question is their commitment.

“We will be trying to pick up as many points as we can between now and the end of the season.

“The lads’ attitude as never wavered, they gave it everything at Worksop last week and were unlucky not to get a result. The first half against Barwell in midweek was the best we have played but we couldn’t put our chances away, then they score with a worldie out of the blue.

Central defender Richard Haigh and midfielder Janni Lipka are both expected to shake off knocks.

FC United arrive on the back of four straight league wins, which sees them in fifth in the table and with a three point cushion over Ashton United just outside the play-off places.

Sheffield boss Ian Whitehorne is hoping to be boosted by the return of three senior players ahead of their trip to Gresley as Club go in search of a first win in six. Gresley are unbeaten in 12 league games at home.

Whitehorne said: “Andy Gascoigne is available again after suspension. Callum Harrison should be back after a hamstring niggle and were are hopeful goalkeeper Liam Mitchell will have recovered from illness.”

Mitchell’s absence in midweek meant utility player Matt Roney was forced to play as an emergency goalkeeper. “The transfer embargo meant we couldn’t bring anyone else in. Its disappointing but that’s the way things are at the moment,” said Whitehorne.

Promotion-chasing Worksop Town face what could be a season-defining game at leaders Chorley. The Tigers – third in the table - go into the game having won the last three in an unbeaten run of five games and are five points behind Chorley, who have seen their title hopes falter after a 1-0 defeat against FC United.

Mark Shaw’s side will also want to avenge a disappointing 4-1 defeat when the teams met Sandy Lane back in October.

Frickley Athletic, meanwhile, have the perfect opportunity to put further daylight between themselves and the bottom four when they go to already relegated Droylsden. The home side have yet to win this season after picking up just three points from 36 games. Karl Rose’s side have won their last three on the spin.