Wet weather threatens another pay day for Club

Sheffield FC striker Zeph Thomas: close to a return.'Pic: Ben Webster.
Sheffield FC striker Zeph Thomas: close to a return.'Pic: Ben Webster.

Sheffield FC boss Ian Whitehorne is more hopeful rather than confident that this weekend’s home game against the Division One South leaders Halesowen Town will go ahead.

He said: “When you’re getting professional games being called off you know it’s bad, so it shows the difficulty non-league clubs face. Our groundsman does a great job but we’ve had so much rain there is very little you can do. Hopefully things will improve and we can get the game on as it promises all the makings of a good game.

“It’s not good that we haven’t played at home since before Christmas, particularly, as most people are aware, that finances at the club are very tight, which isn’t helped with no money coming through the turnstiles.”

Whitehorne admits there is little prospect of any new players arriving. “We haven’t got a budget to bring anyone else in,” he said. “I’m’ just hoping nobody else comes in for any of our players, Warren Burrell and Tom Burgin have already been snapped up and we’ve had inquiries regarding others. But you you’ve just got to get on with things.”

The good news is that striker Zeph Thomas is back in light training, while midfielder Ben Algar has moved a step closer to a return from a shoulder operation. “Zeph probably won’t be quite ready for this weekend,” said Whitehorne. “Ben is doing a lot of gym work but needs to get the ok from the physician before he can resume playing. Both players have been missed.”

Sheffield have not played at home since the 2-1 defeat against Leek Town at the beginning of December. In seven away games since Club have won two and lost five including a 3-0 defeat at Halesowen.

Stocksbridge Park Steels go to Ilkeston FC looking for a first win in nine games. Manager Darren Schofield is likely to hand a debut to Brett Lucas after the defender joined the club from Retford United. Full-back Ben Turner is injured, while central defender Brett Bowden-Lovell sits out the last of a three-match suspension.

Ilkeston, who won 3-2 at Bracken Moor in October, have picked up just one point from four games since the turn of the year which threatens to drag them into the relegation dogfight.

Frickley Athletic go to Stafford Rangers knowing defeat could see them slip into the bottom four. The Blues have struggled in the league away from home winning just one of 14 games, but will go boosted by a 5-2 victory in the Doodson Sport Cup at Brigg Town this week. Fernando Moke, Leon Osborne and Ryan Paczkowski are set to return to the squad. Worksop Town travel to relegation threatened Witton Albion. Matlock Town host rock bottom Droylsden, while Buxton entertain Fylde.