Category Archives: Ossett Town

We’re Gonna Win The Cup – Ossett Town Brush Aside Darlington 1883

We’re Gonna Win The Cup! – Ossett Town’s run continues

Prior to Town’s “round of 16” match at home to Darlington 1883, Ossett tweeted that Darlington were sending a team to Ingfield for the match. That’s very gracious of them, I thought and I rather unhelpfully tweeted my suggestion that Town contact Darlington and ask them if they wouldn’t mind awfully sending their under 7’s. As it transpired, Darlington did field a youthful team with, I am led to believe, not too many, if any, first team regulars on the sheet. In fact none of the starting eleven from their last match were included in the team and I’m sure one of their substitutes had to put away his homework before coming off the bench in the second half.

Does all this mean that a team of Darlington’s stature is not taking the cup seriously? Well, possibly, but it also can be considered good practice to give young and less experienced players a chance to pit themselves against the first team of a side like Town who play in the league below. Also, a quick look at the Evo Stik Premier Division shows that Darlington are hot on the heels of front-runners, Blyth Spartans. They currently lie in third place, 11 points adrift of Blyth but have 4 games in hand. I think therein lies the answer as to why the Quakers played second string players and who can blame them. Not me.

In an entertaining match, Ossett Town played especially well as a team, building on the positive signs shown in their previous match at home to Radcliffe Borough and, this time, getting the win their play deserved. The highlight undoubtedly being Lyn’s 30 yard strike on 74 minutes which made it 3-0 and put the game out of the Quakers reach.

Although not in charge for this game, newly appointed manager, Grant Black, was in attendance and I would imagine he was pretty pleased with what he saw. I certainly was. I’d almost forgotten what it was like to see a home win. It was their first one since those heady glory days of early September 2015 when Town won 2-0 against Scarborough Athletic on a Tuesday night having also won at home the previous Saturday 1-0 against Trafford. Those two wins on the bounce representing the pinnacle of Town’s performance this season.. so far!

With new players on the way in, I would imagine many of the existing ones are looking over their shoulders and, if the last two matches are anything to go by, that’s not a bad thing at all. Many of the players are now stepping up to the plate and there is a noticeable desire which has not been present in recent times.

There was also an added bonus for Town this week when Harrogate Railway Athletic lost 4-0 at home to Spennymoor on the Monday night leaving them still two points adrift of Town but now with just the one match in hand.

Could the tide be turning?… as I said in my last post, time will tell.

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Ossett Town show some spirit

I didnt have a good feeling on the morning prior to the Radcliffe Borough match. Eight league losses in a row doesnt really encourage good feelings and I admit to possessing an unhealthy burden of pessimism before the match. Ossett Town had just downsized their leadership team (ok, sacked the manager!) and were, in more ways than one, rudderless.

As I sat hunched over a pre-match lager in an Ossett pub and enjoying one of my favourite pastimes, watching Manchester United lose to a relegation candidate, I felt a sense of dread. No, it wasnt a dodgy bag of Nobbys Nuts. It was a definite feeling that Town would lose today and I couldnt see anything positive to focus on for the future.

Incidentally, its quite difficult to find a decent pub in Ossett to have a pre match drink. The Sam Smiths pub is cheap and there’s the added benefit of being called “sonny” and “young man” by the locals in spite of being well into my middle age, but its hardly the most comfortable place in town. The George is always shut or at least it appears to be and another central pub the name of which escapes me or more likely ive just tried very hard to forget, smells like its full of smelly socks. The Maypole is my preferred option due to the screening of sky sports matches as an hors d’oeuvres to the main event a few yards down the road at Ingfield.

Seeing Sunderland beat Manchester United set me thinking. If some no hopers languishing at the arse end of the league can defy the odds and win against a struggling Lancashire team, then surely Town can do the same. So with renewed hope and new found optimism I skipped down the road whistling “I will survive” clutching seven pound coins tightly in my hand. I actually set off a bit early thinking that I would allow time for the queue at the turnstile. Afterall, social media had been awash all week with tweets and pokes encouraging the townsfolk of Ossett to light their torches and brandish their pitchforks to support Town in their time of need and see off the evil Lancashire insurgents. I neednt have bothered. I could tell the turnout was poor by the fact the “golden goal” tub had at least 85 tickets left in it and they were announcing the crowd changes to the players over the tannoy.

The match itself was pretty exciting to be honest. Town started on the front foot but Brown squandered an early chance to take the lead. To a man, the players looked like they were trying to impress the new manager even though they didnt know who he was yet. Town were playing well and creating chances and definitely the better side. In recent games Town appeared disjointed and lacking coordination but this was different and I dont think it was just down to the quality of the opposition.

But, just when it was looking so promising, Town conceded a goal from a corner. Foster the scorer for Borough. Backhouse then saved well from another Radcliffe attack. Town had chances to level the scores, including a penalty appeal, but all to no avail.

The second half was more of the same. Both sides had chances before Assenso scored for Town from a corner in the 73rd minute. Shortly after coming on as a sub, Mangham went on a storming run down the flank and put in a great cross to Moore, but his header was saved by the Radcliffe keeper. A 1-1 draw was looking likely but then, towards the end of normal time, Radcliffe’s Lafferty was sent from the field following a head butt incident. Im not quite sure why the referee showed the yellow (Lafferty’s second) prior to the red rather than just a red card but, whatever the ins and outs, Radcliffe were down to ten men.

There was, however, to be a horrible sting in the tail to this game when, with seconds remaining, Radcliffe scored through Foster. I have to admit to not seeing this goal. Yes, I was still in the ground, but I was otherwise engaged when it happened. I was actually checking scores from other games on my phone. So, there you have it. A good performance from Town that deserved more than the null points they got. Something to work on perhaps? A silver lining?
That sense of hopeless dread I felt in the pub before the game had lessened just a little. With a new supremo at the helm perhaps Evo Stik safety in possible. Time will tell.

Judgement Day at Ingfields: A call to arms

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!

Another Match, Another Loss. Ossett Town 1 Clitheroe 5

Now, its not that Clitheroe are a bad side, they have won more games than they have lost this season but they came into this game on a run of bad form having not won in the league since they put 6 past Droylsden on the 14th November 2015.

Therefore, it was with a degree of guarded optimism that I paid my £7 at the turnstile last Saturday (£9 if you include the program – £10 including the golden goal draw too). Could Ossett Town pick up their first league points since they drew at home 1-1 with Brighouse Town on, yes, you guessed it, 14th November 2015?! As Ossett Town took to the pitch the omens certainly looked good when the sun shone brightly on an otherwise miserably wet and windy day.

It only took me until the second minute to realise that I had failed to win the Golden Goal prize yet again and only until the third minute for Ossett Town to have their first real threat on the Clitheroe goal. Although Moke failed to take the chance, surely many more chances would come. This is it, I thought. I sensed the promise of points. At least one and maybe three. I dared to dream. However the remaining 42 minutes or so of a painful first half were played almost entirely in the Ossett half and by the time the half time whistle blew Clitheroe had built an unassailable 3-0 lead through goals from Dent, Lynch and Gonzales Not even a mince pie could lift my spirits, but I thought I would have one anyway. Why break the habit of a lifetime?

The second half was again played largely in the Ossett half and Clitheroe scored twice more through Harris and Gonzales again before a late consolation by way of a Brown penalty for Ossett Town made the final score 1-5. Not a pleasant experience for any of the Ossett fans amongst the 101 in attendance and the dream I had dared to dream was left in tatters in the sleet-ridden turf of Ingfield

So, next stop Derbyshire on Tuesday night for Town’s match at New Mills and surely the best chance yet for Town to amass a point or three. Or maybe not! Its hard to imagine that a team that has only won one point in 23 games could be so much of a concern but New Mills picked up that solitary point in their last game and are therefore in the best form they have been in all season. Its a worry. This is a pivotal match for Town because should the unthinkable happen, it is hard to imagine that their confidence could get any lower. On the other hand, a win could turn things around somewhat and lead to the inevitable claims from the manager, players and fans alike that they can now “push on from here” and secure league safety.

I check the other results as I leave the stadium. Ossett Albion have come from behind to win 2-1 at Droylsden so its a day of mixed fortunes once again for the Ossett clubs. The Albion are away from home again on Tuesday night when they take on Mossley at Seel Park. Weather permitting, that is!

 

 

 

Give Us An “O” – footie in Ossett

When Manchester City lost to Juventus earlier this season, it came after a run of eleven straight Premier league victories. They then lost their following two league games. Brighton and Hove Albion remained unbeaten in the Championship until 19th December, before losing to Middlesbrough 3-0. They then went on to lose four of their next five games. If ever there was proof that football is a mind game and not just a physical battle, then there you have it…. and so it is with Ossett Albion.  The Albion finished 2015 on a run of eight straight league wins, taking them up to third place in the Evo-Stik First Division North. This is the highest league placing in their history and they picked up two consecutive Club of the Month awards in the process. So, all credit to manager Richard Tracey … and the players, of course!. However, the run could not go on for ever and, sure enough, came to an end on 2nd January 2016 with a 1-0 home defeat to Bamber Bridge.

After that defeat and with Manchester City, Brighton and many other examples in mind I should have taken myself straight off to the bookies and put a crisp ten shilling note (50p to you youngsters) on Albion’s upcoming opponents, Lancaster City, who they hosted at Dimple Wells in their next match. Of course, Lancaster won the match 3-1 and suddenly Albion’s successes of late 2015 began to seem a long time ago.

Still, I was sure it was just a minor hiccup and, with a quickening step I took myself to Dimple Wells to see Albion host high-flying Northwich Victoria. In spite of a fairly even start to the game, it quickly became clear that The Unicorns 2016 form was not just a hiccup and I began to wonder if I was watching Ossett Town in disguise when Albion went behind on 20 mins. Summerskill rose like a colossus to loop a header over Souter in the Albion goal. Worse was to come when, on the half hour mark, Bennett doubled The Vics lead. It became clear to all but the most optimistic home fans among the 174 in attendance that there was no way back when, very early after the break, The Vics scored again through Howard. Game, set and match. Final score 3-0 to Northwich Victoria.

As I was leaving the ground I thought again about Manchester City and Brighton. Why is it that after such impressive form, teams that suffer a loss find it so difficult to get back on track straight away? Here’s hoping that Albion find the answers and go on to secure themselves a play-off place. I glance at the league table in my program. It will be difficult for Albion now as the teams just below them are gathering like the black clouds I see over the floodlights as I make my way home.