“Since joining Ossett Town the fans have been unbelievable”
Ossett Town go into the final round of Evo-Stik First Division North fixtures sitting in third place, guaranteed to finish in their highest league position since returning to the division at the end of the 2010/2011 season.
A point on Saturday at home to Trafford will secure a play-off place but it will not be easy as a victory for the visitors will see them climb above Town on goal difference and leaving our play-off hopes in the hands of others as there are seven sides who could finish in a play-off place.
Ossett Town put themselves in pole position thanks to six points from six over Easter, a 3-1 victory over Prescot Cables was followed up on Easter Monday was a hugely impressive 2-0 away win at League Leaders Farsley Celtic thanks to two goals from midfielder Martin Pembleton, his first for the club.
Pembleton signed from Bottesford in December and has been a regular in Grant Black’s side ever since, joined as a goal scoring midfielder, admits he has been taking a bit of stick from the lads having not hit the net until the weekend. But he really made up for it, the opening goal was a stunning volley from outside the box.
Pembleton says “Getting my first goal for Ossett Town was fantastic and definitely worth the wait. In my eyes I was on a bit of a dry spell concerning goals; the banter had started among the players in recent weeks, especially after the gaffer told them he brought in a goal scoring midfielder. But deep down I knew it was only a matter of time".
"I've been performing well and finding myself in good positions, luckily his time the ball ended up in net. And to score in that fashion in such a big game was brilliant. And then to add a second and seal the 3 points, I'm generally over the moon”.
Ossett Town beat Farsley Celtic on Boxing Day 3-2, it was the Reds fist victory over their West Yorkshire rivals since 2002, given the ability of the Farsley side this season it is a huge achievement by the side to complete the league double over them.
Grant Black was delighted with the performance and the result, saying “It was a fantastic team performance, the lads worked so hard which is the only way you stop a quality side like Farsley. We were so proud of the boys. Their desire to win football matches and the togetherness they have to want to be a successful team together is great to see as a manager and I hope we can push ourselves to the limit Saturday to get the result we need to take us isn't the play offs
“Going into the match on Monday we had every confidence in taking maximum points from the game” says Pembleton. “We could of played safe and maybe gone to Farsley not to lose but Grant isn't that kind of manager. We spoke before the game and said we would play our game, we would press high, Defend as a unit and the chances will come. And that's exactly how it panned out”.
“We now have to take that into the final game on Saturday at home to Trafford. There will be no sitting back and playing for the draw. We will go out there and do what we are good at. I have no doubt that if we play how we have played in the previous 4-5 games, we will again take maximum points from the game. It's massively important if we make the play offs, that we go into the games in a good run of form. At the minute confidence is high so I have no issues with us making history and going all the way”.
Pembleton has played a key role since signing for the club, and is in a good position to highlight who has impressed him at the club “for me the player who's stood out is Andy Hawksworth. He is a solid defender who puts his head in where it hurts. Not only that but you know what to expect with him. I've not seen him play badly yet, he's consistently a 7/10 every game. Any manager will tell you they would take consistency over talent. And that's why Andy is in the team every week”.
More than any one player though, Pembleton says the fans have really stood out “Since joining Ossett Town the fans have been unbelievable. They come out every week to support the lads win, lose or draw. I hope they can all be there Saturday to watch the final game of the season to cheers the lads on ... if they cheers loud enough they might get another 2 games to watch".
A victory for Ossett Town will guarantee a third place finish, and with it a home semi-final in the play-offs against whoever finishes fourth on Tuesday 25 April.
Farsley Celtic or Lancster City will finish second and with it a home tie against the side who finishes fifth on the same day.
The final will be played the following Saturday at the home ground of whoever finished highest in the table.
Updated 14:53 - 24 Apr 2017 by Neil Spofforth