Graham Nicholas’s first game in charge of Ossett Town was an away win at Goole in the Doodson Cup on 10th November. Exactly three months later his last game in charge was a humbling 5-0 defeat at Northwich Victoria, an eighth league defeat in a row for Town. The Board had seen enough and the ex Garforth boss was to be allowed no more time to turn Ossett Town’s miserable form around.
It is fair to say that the loss of some key players through injury and transfer has not helped matters and Nicholas who had said upon appointment that he wanted to put his own stamp on the way things are done at Ossett was hampered almost right from the start. The only visible progress was in the Doodson Cup. Im sure the Board, players and supporters would willingly have traded that progress for some league points. As it stands, Town stand on the precipice. In their last 4 games, they have shipped 18 goals and scored just once. Form appears to be getting worse and Saturday’s game at home against fellow strugglers Radcliffe Borough is Town’s most important game of the season so far.
John Francis, Town’s interim manager, has a real job on his hands but if he can motivate the players and harness the moment and if the Dunkirk spirit should prevail then Saturday may be the day Ossett Town start to turn things round and pull themselves away from the drop zone. It is to be hoped so, because a further defeat together with some tricky fixtures coming up spells trouble and a likely drop into the bottom two.
Radcliffe Borough have played three league games in January, losing two and picking up a point at home to Harrogate Railway last time out. Surprisingly, in a Manchester Premier Cup Q-F in mid-January they thrashed in-form EvoStik Premier Division side Ashton United 5-1 and last night in the semi-final of the same competition they took the lead at Conference North side Stalybridge Celtic before going down 3-1.
Whilst i would dearly like to see Ossett defy the odds and pick up all three points, the signs do not look good. The club is on a terrible run of form. Their manager has just been removed and things are in a state of flux. Confidence must be through the floor but there remains hope. So in good old Henry V manner, the supporters of Ossett Town can play a role. It’s Judgement Day and gentlemen of Ossett abed shall think themselves accursed they were not there and hold their manhoods cheap while any speaks that fought with us upon Judgement Day. In other words, let’s get behind the team and give them the best support possible on Saturday…. Apologies to the Bard!