Sheffield FC in need of a boost after poor start to the new season

Sheffield FC entertain newly promoted Pontefract Collieries looking for their first point of the season after losing the opening three league games.

Thursday, 30th August 2018, 11:52 am
Updated Thursday, 30th August 2018, 11:56 am
Sheffield FCs Jamie Gregory (red shirt) in action against Stocksbridge is a doubt for the visit of Pontefract due to a hamstring niggle Pic by Gillian Handisides

Manager Gavin Smith says his players must start to defend better as a team after leaking 11 league goals on top of the five conceded in the cup defeat at Hyde United a week ago.

'We're just not defending as we should be . That's not having a go at the defenders, we have to defend better as a team and that means defending from the front too.

Teams are punishing us for every little mistake we make, but they are basic mistakes we shouldn't be making We're switching off at every moment, we need to get back to basics.

Its been a poor start and as a group we have to put that right together. At the moment were causing our own problems at both ends of the pitch because we're creating chances but not putting them away. '

Smith says they know what to expect from Pontefract. 'They'll play it long into the box, we're going to have to stand up to that and try and make sure we win the first ball, defend like men and put our head in were it hurts.'

The Club boss has injury concerns ahead of the game with winger Jamie Gregory having a hamstring problem while Jamie Yates and Ben Turner are both struggling to shake off knocks.

Pontefract made a good start to life in the Evo-Stik League winning the opening two games but arrive at the home of football having lost the last two in league and cup .         

Stocksbridge Park Steels travel to Lincoln United looking to build on the 3-2 victory over their neighbours Sheffield on Bank Holiday Monday, which brought up a first league win of the new season.

Manager Chris Hilton was delighted to had got the ball rolling said: 'Its good to get the first win and get the monkey off our back. I thought we got what we deserved against Sheffield and probably should have scored a couple more goals.  

'We've now got four points from nine, its not the best of starts, but its not a bad start either we could quite easily have had seven points from the three games.

The Steels boss expects his side to come in for a tough test at Lincoln. 'They will be on a high after coming off the back of two wins over the Bank Holiday weekend so we know its going to be a tough game, but then again there are no easy games in this league.

'We're a young side ,what you might call work in progress but we're unbeaten in the last two league games so we've got a stating base to work from.'

Hilton as the luxury of a full squad to select from with the exception of Tyler Williams who serves the last of a three-match suspension.   

Frickley Athletic will look to maintain their perfect start against newly promoted AFC Mansfield at Westfield Lane. Spence Fearn's side have made a tremendous start to the season winning all four outings and are one of only two teams to have maximum points.

 *Premier Division: Mickleover Sports v Buxton, Workington v Matlock Town.

Division One East: Frickley Athletic v AFC Mansfield, Lincoln United v Stocksbridge Park Steels, Sheffield FC v Pontefract Collieries.