Second half goals from Matt Roney, Lee Cooksey and Connor Hall earned Club a first league victory in six games whilst lifting them out of the Division One South’s bottom two. “It was almost the perfect night, three goals, a clean sheet and a excellent workmanlike performance from the lads,” said manager James Colliver.
“Unfortunately Corbin Shires got sent off in the last few minutes, on his debut. But I can’t complain, we looked more composed and organised than we have done in recent weeks. I was really pleased that Connor got his first goal. He’s worked hard since joining on loan from Sheffield United; he’s a credit to his club.”
Colliver added: “There could have been a pen to Basford and a red card for us 20 minutes in but we’ve got away with one. Perhaps for the first time this season we’ve had a bit of luck.”
Looking forward to this weekend’s clash with Spalding Colliver said. “They came to watch us the other night. Hopefully we’ve have given them something to think about. Credit to the lads for sticking with it and believing in what we’re trying to do. It’s important we scrap for every point, sometimes it’s about grinding out a point. We should have taken something at Rushden last weekend but individual errors cost us. We need to cut out silly mistakes and be more consistent. If we do that we’re more than a match for anyone in this division.”
Meanwhile, asst manager Jay Roper has left the club. “It just hasn’t worked out” said Colliver, “We’ve been friends for a long time and will remain so.”
Stocksbridge travel to lowly Kidsgrove Athletic having consolidated their place in the play-off positions with a goalless draw at 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 pleases 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 it’s 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 we’re creating chances.
“We could quite easily had scored two or three against Rugby but it just didn’t drop for us in the box. I’d have settled for a point against Witton before the game. They had not dropped a point at home in the league but as the game went on 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. 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. It’s not our nature to be defensive, we’re a team that like to go out on the pitch and express ourselves.”
Hilton added: “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.”
He will check on the walking wounded before the trip with Matt Reay, Liam McFadyen, Joe Lumsden and Scott Ruthven 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
Shaw Lane AFC got to mid-table Gresley in good shape after opening up a four point lead at the top of the table following the midweek 5-2 win against Lincoln United. Fixtures
Premier Division: Buxton v Spennymoor Town, Marine v Matlock Town, Rushall Olympic v Frickley Athletic.
Division One South: Gresley FC v Shaw Lane AFC, Kidsgrove Athletic v Stocksbridge Park Steels, Sheffield FC v Spalding United.