by Paul Webster
Stocksbridge Park Steels visit Loughborough Dynamo looking to extend their unbeaten run to seven games after what has been an extraordinary week for the Bracken Moor club.
Steels needed a stoppage time equaliser to salvage a point from a 4-4 home draw against Romulus last weekend. Then on Tuesday the boot was on the opposite foot as Stocksbridge won 2-0 at Spalding United in spite of being down to nine-men themselves, a result that sees Steels seventh in the table after picking up 14-points from the last 18 available.
“Its been a crazy week really,” said Steels boss Chris Hilton. “Last Saturday was very frustrating and is the reason we’re not in the play-off s, and Tuesday is why we are in the top 10.
“I was over the moon with the result at Spalding. Other than a five minute spell before half-time I thought we were comfortable against a team that were unbeaten at home in 2016.”
Hilton had no complaints over over Matt Reay’s dismissal early in the second half for a second yellow card. But was fuming at a red card given to Corey Gregory (pictured) 15 minutes from time for alleged violent conduct. “I’ve never seen anything like it “ said Hilton, “He’s thrown some mud down on the ground and been sent off for violent conduct. To miss three matches for that next season is ridiculous. We’ll be looking at appealing”
Concentrating on the game at Loughborough Hilton said: “We want to keep the run going and finish the season unbeaten. We know how they set up at home so we’ll plan accordingly and go with a game plan. If we perform to our capabilities, work hard then we’ll come away with a result.”
Lee Thompson, Adam Hinchliffe and Jack Poulter return to the squad after missing the midweek games. But Ben Rhodes, who headed the opening goal at Spalding, is ruled out after turning his ankle.
Stocksbridge will be out to complete a league double following a 5-0 win in the reverse fixture back in November. However, Loughborough are in decent form of late at home where they have won three of the last four.