The incredible stat showing why Ossett United merger was the right move

A large crowd watches the action from Ossett United's win over Brighouse Town on New Year's Day.
A large crowd watches the action from Ossett United's win over Brighouse Town on New Year's Day.

The merger between Ossett Town and Ossett Albion raised a few eyebrows when it was announced last April.

The newly-formed Ingfield club have gone from strength to strength since their formation last year and sit just outside the play-off places in the Evo-Stik East.

But where Ossett's true progress can be measured is on terraces.

United have the highest average attendance of any club - ahead of 39 teams - in the East and West divisions of the Evo-Stik league with an average crowd of 467.

When factoring in Premier Division sides, Ossett still boast the fifth-highest average crowd.

Only South Shields (1,376), Scarborough Athletic (1,168), Gainsborough Trinity (557) and Stafford Rangers (535) have a better average attendance.

United manager Andy Welsh.

United manager Andy Welsh.

United's largest attendance in the league this season was 618, with their lowest crowd sitting at 282.

Andy Welsh's side host Carlton Town this weekend, hoping to break the 700 barrier for the first time this season.

"I think it is fantastic," said manager Andy Welsh on the support his side has received in their first-ever campaign.

"We really want to push for our biggest crowd, we are targeting 700 for Saturday.

"We are trying to invite the local amateur clubs down and get the kids hooked on Ossett United, the environment we have created and the atmosphere."

"It is massive for the players, it should be a big pull for other players to come here, and I'm sure my players thrive off it."

Welsh is no stranger to playing in front of big crowds, having made several appearances for Sunderland during his professional career.

He also made 20 appearances for MLS side Toronto FC, who averaged a crowd of over 20,000 during Welsh's time at the club.

He said: "I used to love playing in front of massive crowds.

"As an attacking player there is nothing better than when you pick the ball in space and, I know there are only about 300-odd seats at Ingfield, but you hear the seats clatter as you start running at someone.

"You can hear a bit of a buzz around the ground and for us, hopefully that will only get bigger.

"There is no reason, if we start pushing, that we can't target 700 people at every game.

"And I am not a guy who rests on my laurels, why then not target 800, 900 and then 1,000.

"It must be hard for teams coming to Ingfield with the size of the crowd, and hopefully on Saturday we can break our attendance record."