Ossett Town out to shake off ‘draw specialists’ tag over festive period

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OSSETT Town boss Craig Elliott is eager for his men to shake off their “frustrating” tag as draw specialists over the club’s hectic festive fixture schedule.

Town have drawn six of their nine home matches in the league so far, more than any other side in the division, winning one and losing two.

Elliott says his side’s failure to turn those draws into wins has cost Town a place in the top ten of Evo-Stik Division 1 North.

The Stade France club have the chance to rectify that somewhat with four matches in eleven days over Christmas and the New Year, with three of those games against sides below them in the table.

“We’ve only lost twice at home but the frustrating thing is we’ve won once and the rest have been draws,” said Elliott.

“On one hand it shows we’re hard to beat but on the other hand it shows that we have a problem winning games.

“We need to start turning those draws into wins to get us up the table because I think a fair reflection on how we’ve done so far would be a place in the top ten.”

Town’s latest point came from a 2-2 draw against promotion-chasing Warrington Town in Ossett on Saturday.

The hosts twice had to come from behind, with Shane Kelsey and substitute Jimmy Eyles grabbing the goals.

“It was a good point against Warrington because they’re a good team,” Elliott said.

“It was also the first game we had played for three weeks, and it showed in the first half, whereas they had been playing all through the bad weather conditions.”

Town now turn their attentions to a packed festive fixture list that starts with a trip to leaders Mossley on Saturday (kick-off 3pm), but it is a game Elliott has few fears over.

“We seem to have played better against teams higher up the table this season, it’s the teams lower down that have been a problem for us,” he said.

“We know they are a strong team but it’s a game we know we can get something from.”

Back-to-back home matches against local rivals Wakefield FC (Boxing Day, kick-off 3pm) and Harrogate Railway Athletic (Saturday, December 29, kick-off 3pm) follow before Elliott takes charge of his first Ossett derby at Albion on New Year’s Day (kick-off 3pm).

“It will be a tough period for us but it’s one I’m looking forward to,” Elliott admitted.

“It gives us the chance to get some points to move us up the table but I’m sure our opponents will be thinking the same thing.

“They’re big games for us anyway because they are games against teams down below us in the table but they are also all matches against Yorkshire sides and that adds something extra to it, especially the matches against Wakefield and Albion.

“I’m especially looking forward to the derby against Albion because it will be my first one.”

The matches will bring 2012 to a close for Town and what has so-far been a good first five months as manager for Elliott.

While the former Glass Houghton boss says a spot in the top ten would be a fair reflection of his team’s performances, he is happy with the progress made since taking charge.

“We’ve had a good run in the FA Trophy, we’re in the semi-finals of the County Cup and we’re going quite well in the league so it’s gone quiet well so far,” he commented.

“Hopefully we can finish the year well and kick-on next year.”

Town could give debuts to new signings Fernando Moke and Luke Sherry, who have both signed from Garforth Town, on Saturday, but Jamie Price has left Stade France for a return to Premier Division side Bradford Park Avenue.

See this week’s Wakefield Express for all the football news from around the district.