By Paul Webster
Stocksbridge Park Steels boss Chris Hilton believes his side are capable of matching last seasons history making FA Trophy run ahead of their first qualifying round clash against Division One North Lancaster City at the Bracken Moor.
Steels reached the first round proper last term for the first time in the clubs history beating holders North Ferriby United 2-1 at home along the way before eventually going out 4-1 at Vanarama National League side Gateshead.
“People keep telling me we’ll not do it again (cup run) two seasons in a row, well why not,” said Hilton.
“Myself, the rest of the management team and all the players believe it is possible. And that’s what we arr aiming for, to try and be in that first round draw again. If we manage that then it would be nice to draw one of big clubs play in front of a large crowd. There is also the bonus of the financial reward a cup run brings with it, which would please the chairman.
We certainly don’t fear anyone. We know if we play like we can then we’re a match for anybody.
But its about taking one game at a time. Our immediate priority is concentrating on Saturday and getting into the next round. We’ve had a good month so we want to make sure we end it on a high.
We know Lancaster are a decent side but they will have their work cut out if we play to our capabilities. We’ve got a decent record at home so its down to us to make sure we keep that going.”
Steels will go into the game in good form after stretching their unbeaten run to seven games in league cup when coming from behind to beat Kidsgrove Athletic 2-1 in the last outing.
“I don’t think there was any argument we deserved the three-points,” said Hilton. “We conceded early but their goal took a massive deflection off Fadz (Liam McFadyen). We then got stronger towards the end of the half.
“It was all us the second half. The first goal to be fair was a cross that dropped in but we had good chances before that. I was confident once we’d got the equaliser we would go on and win the game, which we did.
“We’re starting to looking a bit more like we did last term, passing an moving the ball quickly. But we’re also doing the hard work off the ball which is pleasing.”
Scott Ruthven is doubtful with a hamstring injury but fullback Josh Meade, who has been in good form this season is back in the squad after missing the Kidsgrove game.
Lancaster arrive seventh in their respective division and having won three of the last four outings.