Tigers almost back to full strength and raring to go, as rivals and favourites Shaw Lane steadily close the gap

Staveley Miners Welfare v Worksop Town'Inkersall Road, Staveley'14th January 2015''Worksop Assistant Manager Peter Shuttleworth with Manager Mark Shaw (R)''Pic by Dan Westwell
Staveley Miners Welfare v Worksop Town'Inkersall Road, Staveley'14th January 2015''Worksop Assistant Manager Peter Shuttleworth with Manager Mark Shaw (R)''Pic by Dan Westwell

A two week break is an oddity at any stage of a football season, but one coming at the business end of a campaign is especially rare.

Worksop Town boss Mark Shaw has had mixed feelings about his side’s fortnight without competitive action.

On one hand, it’s been a time for recovery, allowing the club to almost completely eradicate what was close to becoming an injury crisis.

On the other, everyone at the club has been itching to play football, while rivals Shaw Lane have been steadily closing the gap on the league leading Tigers.

Shaw said: “The two weeks have been a bit of a plod, to be fair.”

“It’s been great to have a rest, but we want to be playing football matches more than anything.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised if we were near enough full strength on Saturday, because we’ve been able to rest some weary muscles.”

“But they’ve trained very hard and now they’re raring to go.”

The likes of forwards Andy Ofosu and Chris Adam should have recovered from niggles before Saturday’s visit to Thackley, and Mitch Husbands could make his long awaited return to action.

Goalkeeper Jon Stewart and central defender Ross Henshaw are also available having missed the trip to Nostell Miners Welfare.

And in one of the results of the season, captain Jake Scott should be fine to play, having been hospitalised at Nostell with what turned out to be a severe case of whiplash.

Shaw said: “He trained for part of the session on Monday and I think he will be fine for Saturday.”

“He was stiff and sore, he’s had very bad whiplash but he’s come through it and it was good to see him training.”

The returnees will leave Shaw with another problem, however.

“I will have to speak to some people and tell them they’re not involved,” he said.

“But’s it’s about the team, and getting wins, and me picking the best team for each game.”

“It’s all about winning matches, we’re facing the final hurdle now with six games left in the season.”

The destination of the NCEL Premier League title doesn’t rest in Worksop’s hands, with second placed Shaw Lane Aquaforce five points behind with three games in hand.

“Shaw Lane are going to be the favourites,” said Shaw.

“They’ve got a lot of financial backing, they’ve brought in players which is their perogative.”

“It will be down to them to throw it away.”

“We’ve done our bit and we’ll continue to do our bit.”

While Shaw Lane were adding veteran goalkeeper Ian Deakin and re-signing striker Danny Frost from Bradford Park Avenue, Worksop were silent, but not altogether inactive, on registration deadline day.

Shaw revealed: “We had a former Worksop Town player call us out of the blue, and we tried to see if a deal could be done but the other club said it was a no go.”