Steelman ring changes to lift performance

Stocksbridge Park’s manager Gary Marrow moved into the transfer market after a run of six games without a win and it paid dividends.

In a much-changed line-up that included Chris Hall, on loan from Alfreton, and new signings Glyn Cotton, from Frickley and Anthony Lloyd, from Guiseley, Stocksbridge visited promotion seeking Northwich Victoria and after an inspired showing they won 1-0 with Muldoon hitting the game’s only goal in the first half.

It lifted them up to 15th in the Evo-Stik Premier Division table, three points clear of the bottom four relegation places. On Saturday I will be at the Look Local Stadium to watch them play the first of nine remaining games against fellow strugglers Mickleover Sports (1pm kick off) while next Tuesday they entertain Kendal Town.

I watched Sheffield Club win a thriller against Leek Town last Saturday as the lead changed hands four times before Club finally won 4-3. A goal down they hit back with two in four minutes through Lynam and Gregory but two goals midway through the second half saw Leek regain the lead. Then in a dramatic last two minutes, man of the match Andy Gascoigne scored twice to earn Club three points and take them to 15th in Division One South.

On Tuesday they travelled to Rushall Olympic without four key players and were crushed 5-0, making their need for a manager all too obvious.

Tomorrow night I will be with them for their game at Stamford, while next Tuesday they entertain Goole AFC, and both games could see them gain winning doubles.

Hallam, bottom of the Kool Sports North Counties East League’s Premier Division, visited second-placed Bridlington Town and though, as predicted, they lost 2-0, their young squad that included three of their Under-19s squad, did them proud with a workmanlike performance.

They now face two crucial home games when neighbours Maltby Main visit Sandygate on Saturday and next Tuesday, Bradford-based Thackley drop in.

Next to bottom Dinnington Town, without a game for two weeks, return to do battle on Saturday when they entertain a very much in-form Pickering Town at Phoenix Park in one of their two remaining home games. Next Tuesday they visit Eagle Park for a huge clash against Arnold Town who are eight points above them with two games in hand. Manager Steve Toyne received another kickback this week with the news that Gavin Allott has signed for Parkgate.

Maltby bounced back after five games without a win, with a great 1-0 success at fourth-placed Tadcaster Albion. Rob Branagan was the man on target. This Saturday sees manager Stevie Adams come up against his former assistant Julian Watts who is now in charge at Hallam, so it will be interesting to see the outcome.

Parkgate’s hopes of taking the Premier Division title for the first time in their history suffered a massive setback when, after top striker Chris Woods had hit his eighth goal in four goals, the Steelmen crashed to a 2-1 defeat at Long Eaton United.

It was their third defeat in six games and with Bridlington and Farsley both winning it leaves them in third place a point behind Bridlington who have a game in hand and seven behind Farsley though Parkgate have played two games less than the Leeds side.

I was at Green Lane on Tuesday to watch them share a 4-4 draw with a struggling Liversedge side, a result which almost certainly takes them out of the title race. Hannity and Swindells gave them a dream start with two goals inside 20 minutes, but the spirited Liversedge side hit back and by half-time they were 3-2 in front. After the break two goals by Worsfold looked to have clinched Parkgate the points but a superb effort that floated over the keeper’s head in the last minute earned Liversedge a deserved point.

Parkgate face a tricky test at Brighouse Town on Saturday.

Staveley just keep on winning and though it was a hard encounter last Saturday, goals by Damms and Fox gave them a 2-1 success over a battling Hemsworth Town. It leaves them eight points clear at the top of the table, needing just two wins to secure the title, though they are already assured of Premier Division football at a superb looking Inkersall Green next season. Billy Fox’s team visit Askern Villa on Saturday followed by a bruising quarter-final League Cup tie at Barton Town next Tuesday.

Seventh placed Handsworth return to action with two crucial games, in-form Louth United on Saturday while I will be at Olivers Mount next Wednesday for their clash with neighbours Worsbrough Bridge who have slumped down the table after going seven home games without a win.