Non-League: Sheffield FC aiming to add a rare defeat to Shaw Lane AFC’s tally for the season

Stocksbridge Park Steels  forward Joe Lumsden has hit 16 goals this season. But Steels boss Chris Hilton is calling for others to chip in with a few more goals to take the pressure off the leading scorer.  Credit Peter Revitt
Stocksbridge Park Steels forward Joe Lumsden has hit 16 goals this season. But Steels boss Chris Hilton is calling for others to chip in with a few more goals to take the pressure off the leading scorer. Credit Peter Revitt

Sheffield FC face a huge game on Saturday with leaders and title favourites Shaw Lane AFC the visitors to the Coach & Horses ground.

Club will be bidding to become only the second team to defeat the Ducks in the league with Shaw Lane six-points clear at the top with four games in hand over Spalding United in second.

Sheffield FC manager James Colliver

Sheffield FC manager James Colliver

It will be the third meeting between the two teams this season with Sheffield having lost 2-0 in the reverse fixture back in August then again 3-0 in the Sheffield Senior Cup just last month.

Club boss James Colliver says his side can expect another tough encounter.

“I know Craig ( Elliott) and his team will prove a very difficult test for us again,” said Colliver. “I think they will take some stopping this season in their quest for promotion. Craig has done a remarkable job.

“They have a winning habit and some exceptional players. To be in February and to have lost one game is a phenomenal achievement, hopefully that will be two after Saturday.”

Colliver felt his side were unlucky to have lost 2-1 against Rushden & Diamonds in the last outing.

“I think Rushden would have gone away wondering how they had managed to gained all-three points,” he said. “I thought we lacked a bit of quality in the final third in the first half. But in the second half barring a sloppy goal we were excellent.

“We had more possession and more efforts on target. We missed a penalty then to sum up our luck we had a goal-bound header cleared off the line in added time.

“Sometimes as manager you can accept defeat as long as its in the manner as we showed. The lads were all a credit including the substitutes who I thought made an impact on the game.”

Meanwhile, Chris Hilton is calling for his side to rediscover their scoring touch as Stocksbridge Park Steels prepare to take on third-placed Witton Albion at Bracken Moor.

Steels have scored just once in three outings since the turn of the year and were held to a goalless draw at Belper Town in the last outing, a game that Hilton missed having spent the weekend in hospital following an illness scare.

“We know we’re not scoring enough goals at the moment which is something we need to work on,” said Hilton. “We’re creating enough chances but just no sticking the ball in the back of the net. Joe (Lumsden) has got 16 and we need to take the pressure of him a little other than that there is only Harrison has reached double figures with 11. We just need other to chip in with a few more goals

“The last three games have been against very good teams and we’ve got another on Saturday against Witton Albion. We’ve set ourselves up to be solid as a unit and we’re becoming hard to beat.

“That’s not being negative we always go out to win games but you have to have to tweak things a little when you’re up against the top teams. Belper have the third best defensive record in the division and Witton have the second best so you don’t want to be chasing games against teams that have good defensive records. Its imperative to get points from these games then attack teams where we think we should be getting three-points from.

“In the last three games we’ve beaten Newcastle who were flying, and lost 1-0 to a a late goal against Shaw Lane but we’re still the only team to have beaten in the league this season when we won at our place. Belper are above us in the table and were on a good run having only lost once in 14 league games.”

Having watched the video of the game at Belper Hilton said, “I thought we were unfortunate not to have won at Belper. We certainly had the better chances and the free-kick appeared to be well over the line. Its frustrating but there nothing you can do about.”

The Steels boss has a full squad to select from other than striker Brodie Litchfield who serves the last of a four match suspension But the club are still awaiting clearance from the FA for new signing Richard Stirrup.

Witton arrive at Bracken Moor unbeaten in the last five and having taken seven points from the last three away.

Frickley Athletic face a tough trip to play-off chasing Buxton. The Blues have lost the last three on the spin and know defeat at the Silverlands ground could see them slip ino the relegation drop zone.

Fixtures

Premier Division: Buxton v Frickley Athletic, Rushall Olympic v Matlock Town.

Division One South: Sheffield FC v Shaw Lane AFC, Stocksbridge Park Steels v Witton Albion.