By: Paul Webster
Stocksbridge Park Steels will look to slow down the Shaw Lane AFC juggernaut when they two teams meet in Barnsley this weekend.
The Ducks are six-points clear at the top of Division One South and with games in hand on the chasing pack and look to be clear title favourites.
Witton Albion down in seventh were the only team that could overall Craig Elliott’s side by a couple of points with their games in hand. However, a surprise defeat at Market Drayton Town on Tuesday strengthened Shaw Lane’s position further
Steels are the only team to have beaten Shaw Lane in the league this season in 22 games when Joe Lumsden’s seventh minute effort back in September earned a 1-0 victory at Bracken Moor.
Shaw Lane had since won 18 in an unbeaten run of 19 matches until a losing 2-1 in the league cup at Tadcaster Albion earlier in the week.
Nevertheless Stocksbridge know it will take a big effort to come away with a result.
“It’s a tall order against what I believe is the best side in the division,” admitted Steels boss boss Chris Hilton.
“They’ve got experience and strength throughout the team even down to the bench.
Their only defeat this season in the league was at our place so they will want to put that right.
“We respect what they have done this season but we certainly don’t fear them. We’ve got a good record against the top sides apart from having already beaten them we have done the double over Newcastle, won at Spalding and drawn at Witton. Hopefully we’ll go there and perform to our ability.
“We may tweak the way we play slightly but we wont be going to shut up shop we’ll be going there to try win the game.”
Hilton will have a fully fit squad to select from with the exception of Brodie Litchfield who is ruled out through suspension.