Sheffield FC will be hoping to pick up their first win of the festive period when they host Market Drayton Town in a proverbial six-pointer.
Club were denied a second away on the spin by a last gasp equaliser in a 1-1 draw at Loughborough Dynamo last weekend before losing out 1-0 at home in the Boxing Day fixture against Belper Town.
“It’s a massive game for us and one we have got to win” said boss Mark Shaw. “It will be a big test for the players; they will have to perform and get us the three-points.
“We had wanted to go through the Christmas programme unbeaten if we could but that’s been scuppered by Belper. I feel we’ve been unlucky not to have picked up all the spoils over Christmas. We were hit by a sucker punch goal at Loughborough in stoppage time. Then against Belper, we controlled the game. We hit the bar had much more of the ball, good tempo and had the better chances. They took their goal well but other than that didn’t really create anything.
“It was disappointing to lose but on the positive side we’ve only conceded two goals in the last three games, we just need to make sure we get it right at the other end.”
Sheffield go into the game 19th in the table ahead of Market Drayton on goal-difference.
Stocksbridge Park Steels’ festive programme has so far yielded just the one point from two games ahead of a trip to play-off rivals Stamford.
Steels earned a creditable goalless draw with the Division One South runaway leaders Basford United before being beaten 2-1 at Frickley on Boxing Day when Athletic grabbed a stoppage time winner.
Manager Chris Hilton said: “I would happily have taken two points from what have been two very tough games. “We deserved a draw against Frickley. They were better than us in the first half but we did well in the second and once we had equalised it always looked like being a draw. But then they get a corner in stoppage time and grab the winner, which I felt was harsh as I think a draw would had been a fair reflection.
“What has been pleasing was our performances in both games. If we continue to perform like we have in the last two games then we’ll win more than we lose.”
Hilton was concerned over injuries ahead of the Stamford trip. “Joe Lumsden and Matt Reay both picked up ankle injuries so we’re down to the bare bones. Hopefully Matt should be okay but Joe is struggling so we’ll have to see how that goes. We need to bring in players but it’s getting the right calibre of player that will also improve the team” he said.
“We’ll go to Stamford in confident of getting a result, they flying at the moment but we’ve got a very good record against them so hopefully that will continue on Saturday.”
Stamford, who lost 1-0 at Bracken Moor earlier in the season, have taken 10-points from the last four games go into the game fourth in the table , three points better off then Steels in ninth.
Frickley Athletic play their second game against play-off rivals five days when they welcome Alvechurch to Westfield Lane.
Spencer Fearn’s side are enjoying their spell of the season which has seen them lose just one of the last 10 outings. lifting them up to third in the table, three places above the visitors although only goal-difference separates the two teams.
Premier Division title chasers Shaw Lane entertain struggling Stalybridge Celtic in what looks on paper at least to be a home banker.
The Ducks have been beaten just one in 10 games at Sheerian Park, while in contrast Celtic have yet to win on the road picking up just one point from 10 outings
Premier Division: Halesowen Town v Buxton, Shaw Lane v Stalybridge Celtic, Matlock Town v Warrington Town.
Division One South: Frickley Athletic v Alvechurch, Sheffield FC v Market Drayton Town, Stamford v Stocksbridge Park Steels.