In-form Tigers set for league opener

Worksop Town manager Mark Shaw -Pic by: Richard Parkes
Worksop Town manager Mark Shaw -Pic by: Richard Parkes

Mark Shaw expects his Worksop Town players to hit the ground running when they begin their NCEL Premier Division campaign at Pickering Town on Friday night (12th)

Tigers have opened their season with two wins out of two in the FA Cup and then the League Cup, dispatching Hallam and Dronfield Town respectively and scoring eight goals in the process.

And Shaw hopes that will put them in good stead for what is a tough opening fixture.

He said: “I think Pickering are one of the favourites to go up this season so it’s a tough start for us, added to by a home game with another very strong side in Cleethorpes Town next Wednesday.

“But we’ve started well and the two cup ties have given us some great momentum. It’s so important to get a good start in the league and a few teams have already played and got themselves three points so in a sense we’re already playing catch-up.”

Saturday saw Worksop run out 4-2 winners over Hallam to set up a home tie with North West Counties Premier Division club Ashton Athletic - based near Wigan - in the preliminary round. The match is likely to be played on Sunday, August 21 due to Handsworth Parramore also having been drawn at home in the FA Cup on the Saturday.

Shaw said: “Hallam are one of the best sides in their division and made it very tough for us.

“It was a tasty game with two of the country’s oldest clubs playing each other in front of a big crowd and with the FA Cup on show, and we really had to produce to goods to beat them which we did, particularly in the second-half.”

That game was followed by a more routine 4-0 away win at Dronfield on Tuesday night in the League Cup, with Shaw able to rotate his squad beforehand.

He added: “We gave a few young players a chance and rested some of those who had put a shift in on Saturday.

“I felt we controlled the game from start to finish and whilst we weren’t completely at our best, we created a lot of goalscoring opportunities and could really have doubled our tally.”

The positive and goal-filled start has left Shaw and his players in confident mood as they head to Pickering, their hosts having finished in sixth place last season, six points behind Worksop.

Shaw added: “We want to follow up our good start with another win and really start getting a good run together. The players have earned the two wins so far and deserved them.

“We’ve been handed one of the toughest league starts possible with these two games but what it means is we’ll have to be at our best to beat them.

“I’m happy with the squad at this stage although we’ll keep monitoring what’s happening at clubs in higher leagues to see who might become available.”