STEVE Housham feels that his Trinity side have nineteen cup finals left after watching them brush aside league leaders Hyde last Saturday.
A goal in each half from the returning Ryan Kendall and skipper Gavin Cowan handed Housham the best possible start to 2012.
Runaway leaders Hyde had suffered only two defeats all season prior to kick-off, but Gary Lowe’s men failed to show the qualities that have helped them open up an 11-point advantage at the summit of Blue Square Bet North.
Gainsborough, who handed debuts to Levi Reid, Adam Watts and rookie goalkeeper Michael Emery, never looked in any real danger and had several chances to make the scoreline more emphatic.
And Housham believes the victory gives the club a platform for a promotion push and has challenged his players to treat their remaining games as cup finals.
He said: “It was a great win and it shows just what we are capable of.”
“They had a lot of possession but we kept their strikeforce quiet for most of the game. We stuck a young lad in goal today (Emery) and he gets a special mention because he’s done a superb job for us.”
“But the result counts for nothing if we get nothing next week at Solihull. I’ve told them we’ve got cup finals left and we know realistically what we need to get in the play-offs.”
“I know what the fans expect at this club and I know what I expect, and I will do my best to get Gainsborough Trinity up there and into the play-offs.”
Trinity kept their first clean sheet in the Blue Square Bet North since the 1-0 over Guiseley in September and Housham heaped praise on the Blues’ rear-guard who nullified the threat of the league’s second highest scorer – Scott Spencer.
He added: “To keep a clean sheet against the league leaders, the back four and the goalkeeper tonight should go home tonight very proud.”
“We were brave in both boxes and we got our rewards at the end of the game. At half-time I said well done to them, that’s half a job done.”
“But I wasn’t going to tell the players that because I wanted to come off at full time and then say superb.”
Hyde’s Callum Byrne stung the palms of Trinity’s debutant stopper Emery in a bright start from the league leaders.
However, it was Housham’s men who broke the deadlock on the quarter hour mark through leading marksman Kendall, who poked the loose ball past David Carnell from six yards after Hyde failed to clear from a corner.
And the hosts were unfortunate not to have been awarded a penalty midway through the half when the ball seemed to strike Andrew Pearson’s arm.
Cowan also saw a deflected effort gathered by Carnell as Trinity threatened to extend their slender advantage.
Five minutes into the restart, Kendall almost grabbed his and Trinity’s second but for the reflexes of Carnell who tipped his header over the crossbar.
But from the resulting corner, an unmarked Cowan was on hand to lash the ball home at the back post to double his side’s lead.
Kevin Sandwith and Paul Connor both squandered excellent chances to put the game beyond any doubt, the latter sending a header straight into the clutches of Carnell on the hour mark.
Lowe’s title chasers were far from their fluent best, substitute Danny Broadbent had Emery scampering down to his right in a rare attack from the visitors late on, but it came to nothing.
Meanwhile, Trinity’s postponed New Year’s Day fixture at FC Halifax has been rescheduled and will take place on Tuesday 24th January with a 7:45pm kick-off.
Gainsborough Trinity: Emery; Watts, Sandwith, Cowan, Waterfall, Clarke, D’Laryea, Reid (Yates 69), Kendall (Mettam 78), Connor, Ridley. Unused Subs: Boyce; Stamp, R. Williams.
Hyde FC: Carnell; Brizell, Griffin, Hall, Havern, Pearson, Moses (Poole 66), Byrne, Ellison (Broadbent 63), Spencer, Gray. Unused Subs: Williams; Winter, Martin.
Goals: Kendall 15, Cowan 52.
Referee: Simon Bennett
Assistants: Leslie Sinclair, Hristo Karaivanov.