After securing a first away win over Ilkeston on Saturday, Whitby Town player-manager Darren Williams wants to be pushing into the play-off places at new year.
The Seasiders have back-to-back matches with the bottom-two clubs in the Northern League Premier Division, starting tomorrow when winless basement club Droylsden arrive at the Turnbull Ground.
“You need to do the job right. You can’t go and win at Ilkeston then not pick up points against teams towards the bottom of the league,” Williams warns.
A victory over Droylsden would see Town complete their first double of the season after despatching The Bloods 2-0 back in August, with Graeme Armstrong and Craig Farrell on target. While Armstrong has gone on to notch his 14th goal of the campaign, Farrell remains sidelined with a troublesome groin injury and Williams is wary of overstretching a thin squad.
“Resting players is as important as training”, he said.
Droylsden lost 3-2 at home to third-bottom Stocksbridge this past weekend and have just two points to show from their 23 league games so far.
“The second half of the season is always better for us”, Williams added. “It’s a nice run into the top five for new year, then we’d need to maintain that.”
Town picked up 39 points after Christmas and just 18 before, last season. When former Sunderland defender Williams became Blues boss in October 2011, the club had just one league victory to their name, before picking up 10 wins and four draws from the last 19 games of the season to save their top flight status.
As well as Farrell, Dave McTiernan will miss out as he completes a three-match suspension, so Williams knows he has some selection issues ahead when the pair are available again but he’s keeping his options open: “It’s a headache. Everybody wants to play but my philosophy has always been, if you do well, you stay in.”
Kick-off at the Turnbull tomorrow is 3pm, with admission £9 adults, £5 concessions and £2 for Under 18s. Under 16s get in free when accompanied by a paying adult.