Eight victories and only one defeat, including two great FA Vase wins, made last Saturday the best day for many years for our clubs.
How can we follow that? Well on Saturday we have two cracking FA Trophy home ties and a top-of-the-table clash to whet our fans appetites.
Sheffield FC made it five league and cup wins in a row with a 4-2 win over Leek Town with new signing Knowles making it three goals in two games with a brace, as Roney and Barnett completed a great demolition job.
It took them back to third place in the Evo Stik Division One South table, two points adrift of the leaders.
Manager Mark Shaw’s astute signings are certainly paying dividends as they line up for a great game on Saturday when they entertain Nuneaton Town in the FA Trophy third qualifying round.
The visitors are sixth in the Blue Square North Section Division of the Conference League and in-form Sheffield could easily cause a big upset.
If there’s no replay, they return to league action at Brigg Town next Tuesday.
Stocksbridge Park’s players are responding well to acting-manager Darren Schofield’s plea for a big push against relegation and it showed last Saturday when they beat Rushall Olympic 2-0 thanks to goals from Muldoon and Stirrup.
It moved them up to five points from safety in the Premier Division and whatever Darren lacks in experience, he certainly makes up for in effort and determination.
However, the players will need all of that in the next few days, with two massive home games as third-placed Hednesford Town drop in on Saturday while neighbours Frickley Athletic are the visitors next Tuesday.
However it was two clubs in The Baris North Counties East League’s Premier Division who stole all the headlines with great wins in The FA Vase second round, as Parkgate and Staveley both moved into the last 64.
I was at Green Lane for a tie that had everything, beginning with Parkgate losing their captain Will Senior, who was injured in the pre-match warm- up and his replacement Chris Woods scored two goals. They faced Bedlington Terriers from the Northern League’s First Division and they were far the better side in the first half, taking the lead a minute before the interval and scoring again three minutes into the second half.
Parkgate looked dead and buried but they fought back with four goals inside 20 minutes to rock their opponents who had their centre half sent off at 2-2 for striking Darker off the ball.
Man of the Match Ashley Worsfold scored Parkgate’s other two goals and the whole team were outstanding in the second half, though Bedlington made it 4-3 with a minute remaining. It is now back to league football on Saturday when the seventh-placed club host Selby Town looking to close the seven point gap at the top.
Staveley travelled to Cheshire to take on Ashville, who are top of the Cheshire League’s First Division, having lost only twice all season and two goals inside a minute in the first half, by Damms (penalty) and Coy gave them a two goal cushion. The home side pulled a goal back but Staveley hung on to win a thrilling cup tie 2-1.
They now face two very tough away games in the league, at top of the table Bridlington Town on Saturday and at Winterton Rangers next Wednesday.
Both clubs have been drawn away in the third round on Saturday, December 3 - Parkgate at Dunston FB and Staveley at Squires Gate.
Maltby Main remain firmly rooted at the foot of the table after yet another 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Hall Road Rangers. The Miners are now in very deep trouble and it could get worse after Saturday’s visit to fourth-placed Tadcaster Albion.
In the First Division, four clubs share top place on goal difference while only four points separates the top five clubs. Worksop Parramore secured the outstanding result with a 3-0 win over third placed Pontefract Colliery two goals from the outstanding Tom Nolan and one from Adam Fretwell.
Hallam are certainly making inroads to their campaign. They beat Grimsby Borough 4-2 to make it three unbeaten home encounters thanks to strikes by Morris two, Kistell and Aran Moxam on his debut after his return from Shirebrook Town. Then on Tuesday I was at Sandygate for another top drawer encounter against fourth-placed Pontefract Colliery.
It was Hallam who looked the better side early on and it was no surprise when Ben Kistell gave them the lead but Pontefract came back strongly to equalise before half-time.
After the break Hallam had to defend strongly and just when it seemed they had secured a point, Pontefract hit two goals in two minutes with four minutes remaining, to see Hallam suffer a cruel 3-1 defeat.
They’re without a game on Saturday but entertain Rossington Main next Tuesday.
Handsworth made it two big wins in three days to get their promotion hopes back on track when goals by Cockerill two, Smith and Ingram gave them a 4-I success at AFC Emley which followed their 5-0 victory at bottom club Appleby Frodingham where goals by Cockerill two, Johnson, Patterson and Smith did the damage. They’ve no game on Saturday but host Pontefract Colliery next Wednesday.
Worsbrough Bridge gained a richly deserved point in a 1-1 draw at Louth United, where Adam Podmore scored their all important goal to keep them in seventh place. On Saturday they entertain AFC Emley hoping to make it seven games without defeat.