Sheffield non-league pair seek away boost

Danny South

Danny South

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Both Stocksbridge Park Steels and Sheffield FC face away trips this weekend where the two clubs aim of bouncing back from FA Cup exits.

Stocksbridge boss Darren Schofield knows his side could do with a good result at Barwell after dropping into the bottom four following Frickley Athletic’s 2-1 home win over Trafford on Tuesday.

“The last couple of games have been disappointing which has seen us drop little” admitted Schofield.

“We are below where we expected to be so we need to go to Barwell and grind out a result even if it’s not pretty.”

The Steels boss hinted he is contemplating changes to the starting 11 following the 3-0 defeat at Ramsbottom on Tuesday: “We let ourselves down again in the replay, it was probably the worse we’ve played this season, they were better than us in every department.

“A few people need to make a point if they want to stay in the team. But after a couple of defeats you have to think about changing things around as we now have a decent squad to choose from with players keen to get a chance.” Barwell have recovered from a shaky start at Kirkby Road where they lost the opening two games 3-1 and have since won the last two beating Marine and Stamford 2-0 and 1-0 respectively.

Steels’ goalie Ben Scott has completed a three match suspension but is still fit enough to return after injury in his last outing, while striker Danny South is doubtful with a badly bruised foot.

Sheffield are at managerless Rainworth Miners Welfare who recently parted company with Kevin Gee just six games into the new season.

Gee had been in charge at Rainworth since November 2011 but took the decision to despite the Wrens being in mid-table with two wins and a draw from the opening six fixtures.

Club manager Ian Whitehorne was has surprised as anyone by Gee’s exit said; “It will be a strange place to go with Rainworth having just parted company with their manager six games into the season. And you never know they could have a new man in charge, which would obviously give the players a lift, But we have won the last two in the league and will be hoping to make that three in a row.”

Being in charge of the World’s First Football Club Whitehorne is aware of the pressure that managers are under to get results: “It’s a bit of an unforgiving league” he said. “You have got to be on your toes or otherwise you get beat, there are some very good teams in this division with high expectations.

“You’ve got to be consistent or you get left behind. That’s something we are striving for at Sheffield, consistency then you can push on. But you have to realise we are still a young side that is learning.”

Whitehorne will wait on fitness tests before naming his squad to travel. Ben Turner has a knee niggle and Tom Burgin has a shin injury, while Callum Harrison could return after missing the last two games with a hamstring problem.

Elsewhere, Worksop Town go to Nantwich Town boosted by a 4-0 FA Cup replay win at Bootle in midweek. Frickley Athletic will go in search of a first away win in the league when they make the short trip to Matlock Town where the host will be in buoyant mood following a resounding 4-0 victory at King Lynn Town, while Buxton face a tough looking visit to league leaders Skelmersdale United.

Fixtures

Saturday: Premier Division: Barwell v Stocksbridge Park Steels, Buxton v Skelmersdale United, Matlock Town v Frickley Athletic, Nantwich Town v Worksop Town.

Division One South: Rainworth MW v Sheffield FC.

Tuesday, Sept 24: Premier Division: Matlock Town v Stamford.

Division One: Sheffield FC v Goole AFC.

Wednesday, Sept 2: Premier Division: Buxton v Worksop Town, Whitby Town v Stocksbridge Park Steels.