Play-off Preview: Ossett Town confident going into semi-final at Scarborough Athletic

Grant Black and the rest of the Ossett Town squad celebrate securing a place in the play-offs last Saturday. Pic: Mark Gledhill
Grant Black and the rest of the Ossett Town squad celebrate securing a place in the play-offs last Saturday. Pic: Mark Gledhill

Ossett Town travel to Scarborough Athletic for the Evo-Stik First Division North play-off semi-final tonight, Tuesday.

After a magnificent season that has surpassed all expectations, the Reds secured a play-off place thanks to an impressive fourth place finish.

It could have been even better last Saturday, when a 90th minute equaliser earned Trafford a 1-1 draw at Ingfield in the final league game.

A victory would have given Town a home tie in the one-legged play-off semi-final, but an away game, however, will not faze boss Grant Black and his side, who bagged just one point fewer on the road than they achieved at home throughout the campaign.

Black admits that the final few weeks of the regular season were nervy, saying: “With there being so many teams in with a shout of the play-offs, we knew any defeat in recent weeks would have meant we would likely miss out.

“After Easter Monday at Farsley Celtic we thought we had done it but Scarborough scored late on meaning we still needed a point [on Saturday].

“I think it made it sweeter for the lads and their reaction was a release of that. We enjoyed the moment and we are by no means happy with just getting in the play-offs. We now want to finish the job.”

Black hailed Trafford who, had they won at Infield, would have pipped the Reds to a play-off spot. He said: “I’d like to say Trafford deserve a lot of respect for their reaction at full time. Their manager, my good friend Tom Baker, came in and shook all the lads’ hands and wished us well despite their own disappointment, as did their club officials.”

Black added: “We go into Tuesday full of confidence and excitement with a full strength squad for what is going to be a tough test but one we are relishing against a team who deserve huge credit for getting in the play-offs with such a great finish to the season.”

Scarborough Athletic are led by ex-Ossett Town, Guiseley and AFC Telford manager Steve Kittrick while former Town assistant manager Dave Merris is in their playing ranks. Town’s Steve Ridley and Alex Peterson will be facing their former club.

The semi-final, which will be played to a conclusion tonight will see the winners play a one off game for promotion on Saturday against the winners of tonight’s other semi-final between Farsley Celtic or Colne.

Should Celtic win tonight, the final will be played at their Throstle Nest ground, while a Colne victory will give either Town or Scarborough Athletic home advantage for the final.