The Evo Stik League regular season comes to a close this weekend, although for Sheffield FC’s hosts Frickley Athletic their campaign will run into an extra week as they bid to reach the Premier Division via the play-offs.
For Sheffield and interim boss Chris Dolby their job is done after securing their Division One South status. Club can go into the final game without any pressure as Dolby signs off on his managerial reign after confirming it will be his final game in the dugout.
“I’ve always said that my long term commitment is to the football club and moving the brand forward rather than on management side” said Dolby
“People have said they would like to see the management team stay on but it was always about myself and Gav (Smith) coming in until the end of the season and making sure we stayed in this division.
”We’ve done that, but in all honesty it’s been down to the players, I can’t praise them highly enough. It’s been down to their hard work and commitment that we’ve pulled away from trouble; the response and attitude has been first class.
“All we did was tweak things around a little. They all put a shift in, every one of them. There is not a single player that we’ve thought hasn’t done that which is very pleasing.
“When you look at the points tally over the 11 games we’ve been in charge with just two defeats, that’s play-off form. If we had just started that way then we might had been up there contesting the play-offs.
“The work will start as soon as the season is over. We need to start the process of getting a new management team in and to put them in the best position to get what they need within our budget.”
Dolby feels the game at Frickley is one that could have that typical end of season feel about it. “I’m sure Spencer (Fearn) will have one eye on the play-offs which is only understandable - he has bigger fish to fry. But they’ve been on a good run and won’t want to lose that momentum going into the play offs.
“It’s one of those games you want to play out but also with it being a bit of a derby both teams will want to get something out of the game.”
Sheffield will be looking to avoid a third defeat against Frickley having lost the reverse fixture 4-3 and also were knocked out of the FA Trophy 3-0 by Fearn’s side, also at the Coach and Horse ground, in October.
Stocksbridge Park Steels, who play their final home game against Frickley tonight, travel to Leek Town where Chris Hilton’s side will look to play the pantomime villains.
The Staffordshire side sit one place outside the play-off places and know they must take all three points and hope that Stamford in sixth fail to pick up a point from their home clash against Cleethorpes Town. While Steels need the win to achieve Hilton’s target of finishing in the top 10.
Premier Division: Shaw Lane v Matlock Town, Whitby Town v Buxton.
Division One South: Frickley Athletic v Sheffield FC, Leek Town v Stocksbridge.