By Paul Webster
Stocksbridge Park Steels have the opportunity to complete a first double of the season when they take on Belper Town at Bracken Moor.
Steels won 3-0 at Christchurch Meadow with second half goals from Scott Ruthven and a Joe Lumsden brace but manager Chris Hilton says that result counts for nothing on Saturday.
“Just because we beat them at their place doesn’t mean anything,” he said
“We have to make sure we go into the game and show we have the desire to win and make sure we concentrate on our game for 90 minutes. Because if you switch off you’ll get punished.
“There are no easy games in this league anymore, whereas in the past there was possibly four or five games you could go out and win without being at your best.
“Its become a far tougher league, you’ve only got to look at the league table and see how close it is. We got a good away point last week, yet we dropped from third to seventh.
We’ll go with a game plan as we do with any game on how to combat our opponents. But at the end of the day its down to what we do on the pitch. If we play as we know we can they we can beat anyone.
“We’ve had a lot of injuries to contend with over the past few weeks so that could changes things .You can’t always go out and win with flair there are times when you have to go out and grind out a result and win ugly.”
Hilton was delighted to have picked up a point at second-placed Cleethorpes in the last outing, particularly after being hit with last minute illness and injury. But still felt his side could have come away with all three points.
“We had a lot of people missing then lost George Grayson with injury and Todd Jordan through illness on the morning of the game,” said Hilton. “But we didn’t sulk we got on with it and got a result I thought we deserved.
“They put us under pressure for the first 20 minutes but we grew into the game and were far the better side in the second half and were unlucky in the end not to come away with all-three-points.
“We now need to put a decent run together and make sure where up there at the end of the year which will put us in great shape for the second half of the season.”
Full-back Grayson looks set to miss the next couple of weeks, while Alex Wiles is struggling with a groin injury. Luke Mangham has suffered a setback with the news that the midfielder needs surgery and could now miss the rest of the season.
Belper arrive without a win in the last five outings but have been beaten just once in six league games on the road.