Non League: Stocksbridge Park Steels and Sheffield FC preview

Liam McFadyen:  Pic by Ian Revitt
Liam McFadyen: Pic by Ian Revitt

Stocksbridge Park Steels have the play-offs in their own hands after a magnificent run of six straight wins.

Steels won 2-0 at promotion rivals AFC Rushden & Diamonds on Tuesday to leapfrog the hosts in to fifth and the last play-off spot. They now have three games left starting with Saturday’s clash against Market Drayton Town knowing maximum points from the remaining fixtures would see them finish as high as fourth.

Brodie Litchfield. Pic by Ian Revitt

Brodie Litchfield. Pic by Ian Revitt

Manager Chris Hilton said: “These are exciting times but we’ve got to finish the job off now. I’m over the moon with the lads, I couldn’t have asked for anymore. We’ve won seven out of the last eight and we’ve done that against some of the top teams. The players have shown how much they want this.

“We’ve now got three big games left. Its been our Achilles heel playing teams that are lower down the division so we’re taking nothing for granted.

“We’ve got to go out against Market Drayton and play with a high tempo and get our noses in front. We’ve then got a tough game at Chasetown on Monday which is never an easy place to go. Two of our last three games are at home so we couldn’t ask for more.”

Brodie Litchfield should have shaken off a knock to the knee. But Richard Stirrup will miss the next two games while Adam Hinchliffe could be back for Monday.

Sheffield FC have a Good Friday clash at Romulus, where they’re looking to avoid a third defeat on the spin and fifth in the last six ahead of the final home game on Monday against Belper Town.

“Its always difficult at Romulus as they play a difficult artificial surface” said boss James Colliver. “But it’s a pitch that we got a positive performances and result on earlier in the season so we’ll see if we can emulate that. Hopefully that will set us up nicely for Monday when we’ve got a bit of a derby against Belper.

“It’s our last home game of the season so it would be nice to see the season out with a good performance.”

Colliver added: “The home support has been great throughout the season. I’ve had a lot of positive comments and messages regarding this season which is very nice.

“But people who know me well know I’m very thorough and this season has been frustrating to say the least and I shall be looking for us to be more competitive next season.

“I was disappointed with the result and performance last weekend (2-1 defeat against Northwich).

“I’m not taking anything away from them but we wasn’t at the races. The lads were extremely disappointed and knew collectively we wasn’t good enough in and out of possession. That something we’ll look to put right in our last three games.”

Shaw Lane AFC host lowly Chasetown knowing that seven-points from the last three games will clinch the Division One South championship

Friday fixtures

Division One South: Romulus v Sheffield FC (7.45)

Premier Division: Buxton v Grantham Town, Stourbridge v Frickley Athletic, Sutton Coldfield Town v Matlock Town.

Division One South: Shaw Lane AFC v Chasetown, Stocksbridge Park Steels v Market Drayton Town.