Sheffield FC will go into their home game against promotion-chasing Stafford Rangers in a positive frame of mind.
It follows Tuesday’s emphatic 6-1 win at Market Drayton Town when Club produced one of their finest performances of the season. “From back-to front we were excellent,” said boss Jordan Broadbent. “We went back to basics and played a more familiar 4-4-2 pattern. I take no credit for the win; it was all down to the lads, they did the business.
“What made it all the more pleasing is that it was achieved when we had players missing. Zepth Thomas was away on international duty. Jamie Hadfield and Jake Eastwood were unavailable but the players that came in did brilliantly and showed just what a good squad we’ve got. We need to take that into the game against Stafford. We’ve pushed a lot of the top sides already so we’ve shown what we are capable of doing.”
Jamie Hadfield comes back into the squad, while Ben Algar is likely to start on the bench once more with Broadbent not wanting to rush the midfielder back after recovering from long term injury.
Goalkeeper Jake Eastwood is available again after playing for Sheffield United U21’s earlier in the weekend, which leaves Broadbent with a selection dilemma after Joe Green impressed in midweek and will be hoping to keep hold of the number one jersey.
“Joe had a very good game at Market Drayton so it gives me a headache for Saturday. We’re very lucky to have two very good keepers.”
Stafford have slipped to seventh and four points outside the play-off places. The visitors have picked up just three points from the last four outings in which time they have also failed to find the back of the net. Stocksbridge Park Steels will target a first league double of the season when they host Market Drayton Town. Steels won 3-2 at the Greenfields Sports Ground in October when Lee Garside hit a late winner.
Manager Chris Hilton is looking for his team to repeat the form that saw them go agonisingly close to beating promotion chasing Gresley FC. He said; “It’s just about getting the consistency right. If we play like we did in the 1-1 draw with Gresley we won’t lose many games. Hopefully we will get the three points that will give us some breathing space but we need to make sure we don’t lose. Market Drayton are likely to be low on confidence. They’ve lost the last four games and have conceded 11 goals in the last two of them so we need to make a good start and put them on the back foot.”
Injuries means Hilton could be forced into bringing in a new striker, “Lee Garside’s knee has swollen up again and Kler Heh who played in a more forward role alongside Brad Grayson has picked up an injury in training and Danny Critchlow is still struggling; revealed the Steels boss. “It leaves us with limited attacking options so there might be the need to see if we can try and bring someone in.”
Steels are in 18th, one place ahead of their opposition.
In the Premier Division, face another of their relegation rivals as Karl Rose’s side travel to take on third from bottom Marine. The Blues go into the game without a win in seven, which sees them in the bottom four but just one point from safety. Buxton go to second in the table Ilkeston FC looking to get their play-off push back on track following two successive draws which leaves them six points outside the top five, while Matlock Town visit third-placed Ashton United who are unbeaten in six.
Premier Division: Ashton United v Matlock Town, Ilkeston FC v Buxton, Marine v Frickley Athletic.
Division One South: Sheffield FC v Stafford Rangers, Stocksbridge Park Steels v Market Drayton Town.