Stocksbridge Park Steels notes: Future is bright for us, says boss Chris Hilton

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Stocksbridge continued their improving home form with a fifth game unbeaten, as Steels beat already relegated Brigg Town 4-0.

Brigg, who have lost 19 of their last 20 away trips, showed spirit in the first half and restricted Chris Hilton’s side to just the one goal lead, thanks to Richard Stirrup’s chip.

Once Will Forrest had deflected Harrison Biggins’ cross past his own ‘keeper to double Stocksbridge’s advantage on 64 minutes, there was no way back for a side that had managed only one goal in the last nine away games.

Biggins added the third, tapping in from close range from Kler Heh’s pass after a swift counter attack, with Brad Grayson rounding off the scoring a minute from time.

Stocksbridge have now lost just two of their last 10 at home and Hilton believes they are now heading in the right direction. Hilton was given the task of rebuilding the squad after replacing Darren Schofield last summer, following the club’s relegation from the Evo-Stik Premier Division.

“We’ve been planning for next season and, at the same time, making sure we get safe,” said Hilton.

“We’ve achieved safety with five games to go but I thought we should have been out of sight four or five games ago. We’ve managed to get a group of players together who have got better as the season has gone on.

“We’ve got the nucleus of the squad I want for next season with the addition of three or four players in during the summer.”

Stocksbridge bring the curtain down on their season next Saturday when they take on play-off contenders Newcastle Town at Bracken Moor.

Worksop Town, meanwhile, have demonstrated that’s it’s possible to win fairly.

The Tigers are currently second in the Premier Division and are in a four way tussle with Tadcaster Albion, Cleethorpes Town and leaders Shaw Lane Aquaforce for the championship.

Yet despite that extra competitive edge associated with teams chasing honours, Worksop top the Fair Play table having just won the month of March Fair Play Award.

Mark Shaw’s side have accumulated just 42 points from 41 games played in league and cup. Handsworth are the next best placed of the region’s teams, in seventh with 60 points from 42 games played.

At the other end, Athersley Recreation have the worst record in the Premier Division having amassed 109 disciplinary points from 40 games, with Staveley MW just above them with 89 points from 38 games

The Miners’ recent improvement saw them finish as last month’s Fair Play runners-up.

In Division One, Rossington Main are the best placed of the local teams in fourth with 52 points against them from 39 games with Penistone Church just one place behind with 65 from 40 matches.

Dronfield Town found themselves at the wrong end of the table down in 20th with 114 points, with Hallam one place higher - having built up a total of 121 disciplinary points, from three more games.