Northern Counties East football: Sheffield club Hallam FC eye title prospect
Hallam entertain title rivals Campion this weekend in what is not only the proverbial six-pointer but could prove to be a pivotal game in the destination of the Division One Championship.
The Countrymen stretched their league run to just one defeat in nine since the turn of the year with a hard earned 3-0 win against Swallownest at Sandygate Road last weekend. And were hoping to follow that up with victory over Worsbrough Bridge Athletic on Tuesday evening, which would had seen them go second in the table, only for the game to fall victim to a waterlogged pitch.
A win against Campion, in second and whom are just one-point ahead but having played a game more, would see Hallam leapfrog the visitors and go second if Nostell MW fail to beat another of the promotion hopefuls Winterton Rangers at home.
“We’re having a good run at the moment and playing well,” said Hallam’s joint boss Steve Whitehead.
“You always try to make sure you win games that are important or at least don’t lose them. Our record against the top six is very good, if we beat Campion then nobody has bettered our results in head-to-head games, so if your doing that then your going to be in a good position come the end of the season.
“Obviously with our games in hand we could go five points clear if we win this one which would give us a cushion.
They’ve (Campion) not been bad at home but away from home has been a little different. They recently went to bottom of the table Bolsover and got beat 3-0. We know there are always some twists and turns at this stage of the season so we’ve got to make sure we go into every game with the right attitude.”
Whitehead feels they have the right blend in the squad to get the job done and return to the Premier Division they left some eight seasons ago.
“We’ve got players in the team that have won the league and won promotions. Often it comes down to knowing how to get over the line and for players that have never been in that position sometimes the pressure gets to them.
“There is always bit of pressure when you go into the game knowing the importance of three points. Even experienced players get butterflies in the stomach but the difference is they use those butterflies in the right way on the pitch. What’s important is that we’re in a healthy and the ball is firmly in our hands, we’re not relying on favours from other people.
“We have Tom Roebuck is suspended for Saturday which is a big miss for us as he and Alex Varley have formed a formidable pairing at the centre half, as have all the back four with Jack McCarthy and Niall Smith having been in great form too.
As the saying goes a defence wins you championships while the forwards win you games”
Meanwhile, the game against Worsbrough BA has been re-arranged for Tuesday, March 26.
Dronfield Town slipped to a third defeat on the spin losing out 1-0 at Championship chasing Grimsby Town. Daniel Trott with the only goal on nine minutes that was enough to see the host stretch their lead to six points at the top of the table, seven ahead of Hallam but having playing for games more.
*County Senior League outfit North Gawber Colliery pulled off a cup upset knocking NCEL Premier Division side Maltby Main out of the Sheffield Senior Cup Semi-Finals 1-0 at Muglet Lane.
Rob Cartwright’s far post header four minutes from time earning a trip to Bramall Lane in the Final against Evo Stik side Frickley Athletic.
Saturday, March 16
Premier Division: Athersley Rec v Staveley MW, Eccleshill Utd v Handsworth Parramore, Knaresborough Town v Maltby Main, Worksop Town v Hall Road Rangers.
Division One: AFC Emley v Armthorpe Wel, Dronfield Town v East Yorks Carnegie, Hallam v Campion, Harworth Colliery v Glasshoughton Wel, Parkgate v Selby Town, Swallownest v FC Bolsover.