Match Preview: Stocksbridge Park Steels (A)
Hednesford Town, on a season best run of six straight victories, travel to Yorkshire and the windswept Look Local Stadium to face a Stocksbridge Park Steels side struggling near the foot of The Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division.
The Pitmen have showed real title winning credentials in recent weeks and, despite not performing at their best, reached the FA Trophy First Round Proper following a 2-1 victory against Romulus on Remembrance Sunday; but boss Rob Smith has bad memories of the corresponding fixture last season.
As a deluge of wind and rain swept across the hills, Dan Crane and Marvin Robinson saw red and The Pitmen lost 4-0 in a freak result which saw left back Darren Campion taking Crane’s place between the sticks for over an hour.
Smith’s side were in a very similar position last November to the one they find themselves in today before travelling to Stocksbridge, four points off the lead with games in hand on the teams above them having won their last seven league matches.
“It was an awful day, everything that could have gone wrong did and once Craney got sent off it all went downhill. It is still very fresh in my mind and will serve as a good reminder of what can happen in football.”
Despite the historical bad omen Smith is very pleased with his squad’s current position and general performance this season which has set up some mouth-watering fixtures in the coming weeks including the FA Trophy First Round tie against Solihull Moors next Saturday and the top-of-the-table clash versus North Ferriby on December 1st.
“We are focused on keeping a high level of performance and are hungry for success, it shows in training and we want to carry that on into Saturday. The most pleasing thing for me is that while the team was “bedding in” earlier in the season and getting to know one another we still picked up points.”
“The challenge is to keep improving ready for the fixtures ahead. We all want big games from the Chairman down to the supporters and the big occasions coming up are great for everyone connected with the Club.”
Team news wise, Elliott Durrell will return from his one match suspension possibly to replace Jamey Osborne who is himself serving a ban. Neil Harvey is nursing an ankle injury and may struggle to recover in time.
Stocksbridge meanwhile are in a battle of a different kind as they look to avoid relegation and won for the first time in four league games with a comprehensive 5-0 victory against Kendal last Saturday.
It is safe to say that Hednesford supporters and their in-form team will no doubt be hoping that this time round things go somewhat smoother.
Pitmen Form – WWWWWW
Previous Result – Romulus 1 Hednesford Town 2 – Sunday 11th November – FA Trophy Third Qualifying Round
Next Fixture – Matlock Town (A) – Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division – Tuesday 21st November
League Position – 3rd
Stocksbridge Form – LLLLWW
Previous Result – Kendal Town 0 Stocksbridge Park Steels 5 – Saturday 11th November – Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division
Next Fixture – Marine (H) – Saturday 24th November – Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division
League Position – 20th
Travel Club Coach Prices
Coach Leaves Keys Park – 10.45am
Adults – 16.50
Concessions – 12.50
KO – 3pm
Address of Ground – The Look Local Stadium, Bracken Moor, Bracken Moor Lane, Sheffield, S36 2AN