Stocksbridge out to cash in on opponents’ poor run; Sheffield FC out to avenge big defeat

Thr players are raring to go, says Stocksbridge manager Chris Hilton. Photo: Ian Anderson
Thr players are raring to go, says Stocksbridge manager Chris Hilton. Photo: Ian Anderson

Stocksbridge Park Steels kick off 2016 at home against fourth-in-the-table Spalding United looking for a first win in four outings in league and cup.

Manager Chris Hilton feels it could be the right time to be taking on an out-of-sorts Spalding side. Heb said; “They’ve lost the last four and have seen a couple of their best players leave. So if you’re going to play the fourth in the table then it seems now is the time.

“It’s a massive game for us. We’ve lost the last two league games and are just two points outside the bottom two. We don’t want to be down there we are much better than that. We’re only eight points outside the play-off places and have five or six games in hand all the teams above us.

“We’re more than capable of putting a good run together, but we need to get back to winning ways.”

Hilton feels tactically they need to get back to what they were doing during the excellent run to the first round proper of the FA Trophy.

“I think in the last couple of games we worried too much about how out opponents would play, whereas in the cup we let the other teams worry about us,”said Hilton.

“We’ve worked on a few thingsand the players have been in twice for training this week so are all raring to go.”

Hilton is hoping to bring in an experienced midfielder face Spalding. “We need a steadying influence in the middle of the park. Richard Patterson did that job but he’s out until next month, which is a massive blow.”

Recent signing Richard Toole is out with a knee injury. Scott Ruthven is also out with a tight hamstring but Josh Meade should have recovered from illness.

Sheffield play on Sunday when they travel to eighth in the table Romulus (2pm) bidding to avenge a 4-0 defeat at the home in September.

Boss Andy Kiwomya said; “We want to go there give a good account of ourselves and make sure this time we are more thorough in front of goal.

“We had a good win at Stocksbridge then lost at home to Belper.

“There are no easy games but you have to have a decent level of conscy and that’s what we are all striving for.”

Kiwomya should be boosted by the return of the experienced Dan White from a calf injury, while Shaq McKenzie is fit again after suffering from a virus.

Shaw Lane Aquaforce travel to play off rivals Basford United looking to complete a league double following an emphatic 5-0 win in November. Basford have slipped to eighth after losing both their festive games.

Fixtures - Saturday, Premier Div: Ashton v Buxton, Frickley v Rushall, Matlock v Grantham. Div One South: Basford v Shaw Lane, Stocksbridge v Spalding.

Sunday - Div One South: Romulus v Sheffield FC (2pm).