By Paul Webster
Stocksbridge Park Steels boss Chris Hilton says the next four games are likely to play a major role in the clubs bid to seal a place in the play-offs.
Steels face four games over the next 10 days starting with Kidsgrove Athletic on Saturday. Then host title chasing Witton Albion on Tuesday ahead of trips to ply-off rivals AFC Rushden & Diamonds and Leek Town.
“They are four big tough games for us and ones we need to pick up as many points as we can,” said Hilton.
“We need to start by taking three-points on Saturday against Kidsgrove. If we can do that then it would put us in good shape for the next three which are all against teams with an eye on promotion.
“There is no added pressure on us because we put pressure on ourselves. Out intent from the start of the season was to be up around or in the play-offs. We’re certainly good enough and the players are good enough to take the club there. We’ve just got to push on and keep picking up points.
“Kidsgrove will not come here and make it easy. We’ll not take them lightly, we’ll approach the game with the right attitude and treat them with respect. But if we’re on our games and play as we know we can then we should come away with all three-points.”
Hilton was delighted to have seen his side keep a third clean sheet in a row and fourth in the last five games following the 1-0 victory at Rugby Town in the last outing.
“Its really pleasing to have kept another clean sheet, if you do that then you’ve always got a chance of winning football games,” said Hilton. “If we go into the last 15 minutes of a game still 0-0. Then I always fancy us winning. In the last two games we’ve scored in the 71st and 83rd minute to win the the match.
“I thought we had most of the game against Rugby other than a little 20 minute spell they had.
Its always difficult against teams that are fighting to stay in the league but it was no more than we deserved.”
Hilton will be forced into at least one change with central defender Matt Reay starting a two-match suspension. While the Steels boss is hopeful that Richard Stirrup’s (pictured) international clearance will have come from into time for the midfielder to be included in the matchday squad.
Stocksbridge have already beaten Kidsgrove twice this season winning the reverse fixture 2-1 in October then returning the following month in the FA Trophy to come away 5-3 winners.
The visitors arrive at Bracken Moor looking to avoid a fourth defeat on the spin.