By: Paul Webster
Its FA Trophy this weekend that sees Stocksbridge Park Steels make the trip to Evo-Stik Division One North side Clitheroe in what is a repeat of last seasons preliminary round tie when ten-men Steels came 2-1 winners with goals from Scott Ruthven and Rory Coleman with a late free-kick 10 minutes from time.
It was the start of a run that saw Stocksbridge reach the first round proper for the first time in the clubs history knocking out the holders North Ferriby United 2-1 in their own backyard along the way before eventually bowing out 4-1 at Vanarama National League side Gateshead.
Boss Chris Hilton feels it will be difficult to repeat last seasons success in the competition.
“If I’m being honest for us to get to the first round proper in successive seasons is asking a lot.
It may be an old cliché but we’ll take every game as it comes and see where it takes us.
“We know Clitheroe are a good side and they’ll want revenge for us knocking them out last season. But we’re more than capable of beating them, particularly if we perform as we did in the last couple league games where we’ve had two wins and clean sheets against two top sides in Romulus and Shaw Lane.”
Hilton was pleased to have come through the Senior Cup tie against North Gawber on Tuesday but was rather disappointed with his sides showing.
“I think they’ve (players) turned up with the attitude it was going to be easy and you just can’t afford to do that care who your playing,” he said. “To be fair they made it very difficult, but we’ve got through so now lets see if we can make it two cup wins in a week on Saturday.”
Skipper Liam McFadyen and Scott Ruthven suffered tight hamstrings in midweek while George Grayson took a knock and will all have fitness tests ahead of the trip.
Clitheroe are ninth in their respective table and go into the tie with just one defeat in the five outings.