STEETON face a trip into uncomfortable territory this weekend, as they travel to AFC Liverpool for a North West Counties League First Division North clash.

Their opponents are subject to Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions, as are Lancashire side Bacup Borough, who Steeton are visiting tonight.

Spectators are being told not to travel in or out of Tier 3 areas, meaning Steeton will not have their loyal fans there to cheer them on.

And although players and staff are allowed to go, some clubs have decided playing in those areas is not worth the risk.

Giving his take on the situation, Steeton boss Roy Mason said: "I've spoken to the players, staff and volunteers about whether they're comfortable going to those games and everyone says they are, although a couple of older committee members have declined to go along.

"All the clubs we've played at so far have been very good and responded to the guidelines in place.

"We feel it's right to continue playing, and while the league and FA let us, we're happy to.

"But everyone is different, and if any individual did not feel comfortable, I'd be happy for them not to travel.

"I've been vocal about how I think it's going to be a difficult season and I think it will get interrupted at some point, but while we still can play, let's hope we can get as many games in as we can."

Talking about the threat of both Bacup and AFC Liverpool on the pitch, Mason said: "Bacup's first few results have been brilliant. They've won all their games, including a great victory over Stockport (Town) in the FA Vase.

"We've done our homework on them and we know they'll be well-organised and well-drilled. They've got no weaknesses.

"A bit like us, they've strengthened, so they're not the same Bacup Borough we played last season that struggled.

"I've been chatting a lot to their manager Brent Peters recently, so it'll be nice to catch up with him in person too.

"AFC Liverpool are always strong. They're one of the best footballing sides in this league and have a great surface to play on down at Marine.

"They've had a couple of weeks off for Covid-related reasons, so that could go either way. They could come out firing or they could be a bit ring-rusty.

"But if we play like we have been, and show the attitude and work ethic that we have so far this season, we can get something from both games."

Steeton did not look like getting anything out of their game at Cleator Moor Celtic at the weekend, but came from 2-0 down with 15 minutes left to grab a fine 2-2 draw, courtesy of goals from Kayle Price and Ben Wignall.

Mason said: "We were really pleased. We'd have probably taken a point before kick-off, so when we were 2-0 down with 15 to go, and in all fairness not playing as well as we had been, it was very good to come away with a draw.

"We had to make a 260-mile round trip for the game and I wanted to pay tribute to our support. There were 20 or so fans that made that trip with us and they were magnificent."

That draw with Cleator Moor Celtic came after an excellent win at Golcar United in their previous game.

Steeton look a much better side now than the one that was lucky not to be relegated last season, and asked why, Mason said: "We've brought a few new lads in and they've settled better than I could have ever imagined.

"It's like they've been here for years. They're all good footballers but they've got the personalities we need too.

"Someone like Ben Wignall has come in and been great on the pitch, but he's also helped create more of a buzz in the dressing room.

"We had to have a shake up after last season. As they say, you can't keep doing the same things or you'll get the same result."

The game at Cleator Moor should have been at home, but Marley is still not ready for action yet.

The club were hoping to play there next Tuesday for the first time, against AFC Darwen, but now it may have to be against St Helens Town next Saturday instead.

A disappointed Mason said: "It's unlikely we'll be playing against Darwen there, as we're facing some further delays, but we're hopeful of playing there on October 31.

"At the moment we're having to play a lot of away games, which is not ideal, as we're getting no income and there's also more expenditure going on buses to travel down to matches.

"It would be nice to get a home game in soon, and play in front of our home fans."