By Paul Webster
Stocksbridge Park Steels travel to lowly Kidsgrove Athletic having consolidated their place in the play-off positions with a sold goalless draw at fourth-placed Witton Albion earlier in the week.
Steels have not conceded a goal in the last four league games making it five clean sheets in the last six outings, something that has pleased boss Chris Hilton. “I’m delighted to have kept another clean sheet against good opposition.
“We’ve been working on our defending and not giving away soft goals so its always pleasing to see it come to fruition. We’re always going to score goals, although having said that we’ve not found the net in the last two games now. But that’s not something that concerns me too much at the moment as we’re creating plenty of chances.
“We could quite easily had scored two or three against Rugby last weekend but it just didn’t drop for us in the box.
“I would have settled for a point against Witton before the game. They had not dropped a point at home in the league but as they game went one I thought we could have won it. We were the only team trying to play football while they just boomed it. It was just our final pass in the last third that let us down a little.”
Kidsgrove have won just once in the league at the Novus Stadium that saw a convincing 5-0 victory against current fifth-placed side Chasetown last month, which should serve as a warning to Chris Hilton’s troops. “We’ll turn up with as stronger side as possible. People will look at the results and think we’re shutting up shop but that’s far from the case. All we’ve asked them to do is to defend better and keep our shape.
“”Its not our nature to be defensive, we’re a team that like to go out on the pitch and express ourselves. We’ll try and do that at Kidsgrove and hopefully come away with the three points. We’re now unbeaten in four games in the league and want to keep the run going.”
Hilton will check on the walking wounded before the trip with Matt Reay, Liam McFadyen, Joe Lumsden and Scott Ruthven (pictured) all carry knocks but are expected to recover.
Meanwhile the Steels boss has confirmed that winger Nat Crofts has had his loan from Rotherham extended into a second month. Hilton is also hoping to bring in an attacking winger on loan before Saturdays’ game.