Badgers face crucial clash as Steels head to Coro Park

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Eastwood Town will face what could be one of their biggest matches of the season on Saturday as fellow strugglers Stocksbridge Park Steels come to Coronation Park.

The Badgers remain bottom of the league after two more heavy defeats over the new year period, four points behind both Stocksbridge above then and Kendal Town, who occupy the ‘safe’ 20th spot.

Kendal have five games in hand on Eastwood but have had financial difficulties in recent weeks.

Player/manager Chris Shaw was unavailable for interview this week, but has in the past spoken of his desire to top the ‘mini-league’ at the bottom of the table.

“From day one it’s been a case of trying to get to safety and there is a separate battle down at the bottom that we have to finish on top of,” he said.

“Frickley have pulled away a little in recent games but third from bottom will be enough to stay up this year and it’s what we have to aim for.

“When you’re in a battle like this it’s so important to take points off those around you, and as well as playing Stocksbridge we have still got to go to Kendal as well, so there’s lots to play for.”

Shaw will be hoping to rally his troops following a disappointing festive period which saw three heavy defeats.

The 4-1 loss to Ilkeston on Boxing Day was followed by a 5-0 reverse against league leaders North Ferriby United last Saturday and then a 4-0 defeat at Grantham Town on New Year’s Day, all the more disappointing given the Badgers had looked in reasonable shape before Christmas.

ButEastwood are still without a win in all competitions since the 1-0 victory at Matlock Town on October 13.

Following Saturday’s clash with Stocksbridge, the Badgers will visit local rivals Ilkeston in the third round of the Doodson Sport League Cup on Monday night, kick-off 7.45pm.

Admission will cost £5 for adults, £3 for concessions and £1 for children.

Extra-time and penalties will be utilised if required.

Meanwhile, Eastwood have made midfielder Scott Rogers’ move to Coronation Park permanent following his release from Mansfield Town.

Rogers had spent the last month on loan with Eastwood.