HALL Green United manager John Moore is happy playing Grinch by refusing to let his players dream of life in the West Yorkshire Premier Division until Christmas.
The Wakefield side, who remain unbeaten in the Division One after ten matches and beat Old Centralians 3-0 on Saturday, are four points clear of the chasing pack of Hartshead and Wyke Wanderers with three games in hand. Despite this, Moore is adamant that they won’t be happy with their work until they are top with turkeys in the oven.
“We’re not allowing ourselves to think about promotion just yet, and we can’t afford to take our foot of the pedal,” he said, “this season is going better than planned and we’re playing some really good football, but the aim for us now is to be top at Christmas.”
His side were promoted from Division Two as runners up last season, losing out to Huddersfield Amateur by just two points, and despite the step up in standard, Hall Green were always confident of being able to put together a strong showing this time out.
“We expected to be challenging, definitely. We’ve got four or five really quality players and we recruited well in the off-season, which is always important.”
“Like I said, we didn’t really expect to be doing quite as well as we have done, but I just think that shows what a good side we are.”
Moore says that despite his side’s dominance this season, they’ve had to work hard for their position at the top. This was certainly the case on Saturday against an Old Centralians team struggling for points at the other end of the table, and who Moore admits surprised his side with their quality.
“They surprised us, that’s for sure,” he said, “they came and had a really good go and were absolutely fearless. We went into half time at 1-0 and it had been a really tight game.”
“In the end, they tired. We’re a really fit team, we work hard in our fitness in training, and we overran them a bit in the end. We’ve won a lot of games being the fitter team, and that’s something we’re really proud of.”
There were goals for Michael Amos, Allan Laud and Bradley Whitworth, who Moore singled out as a key addition since his signing from Eastmoor in the off-season.
“Recruitment is very important to us. We try to add two or three players each season to keep us pushing on, and we’ve got a guy who goes round to check out players for us when we’ve got someone in mind. It’s a well run club.”
Despite Moore’s assertions that his side will remain firmly focussed on the job in hand without getting ahead of themselves, he believes that his side will be able to compete in the top division should the wheels not fall off their title charge.
“We played Carlton in pre-season and beat them 3-1,” Moores said, “fitness was the main factor there and they’d probably beat us at this stage of the season, but I know their manager [Mark Pitts] was surprised at how good we were.”
“We’ve obviously coped very well with the step up this year and if we do the business, we’ll recruit well again. I don’t see any reason why we wouldn’t be able to compete in the top division.”
Elsewhere in the First Division, Hartshead maintained their position as the best of the rest with an impressive performance away at seventh placed East End Park.
Goal hungry Andrew Wood was the main protagonist, bagging a brace, and there were strikes for Liam Fox and Chris Jackson as the Wheatley Cup holders ran out 4-2 winners.
In the division’s only other fixture, Kippax edged past struggling Swillington Saints 2-1 thanks to goals from Tom Charles and the in form Robbie Clayton. Danny Waite claimed a consolation for the Saints’, who remain twelfth.
There were goals aplenty in Division Two, where both league games finished in 5-3 away wins. Rothwell continued their charge up the table by beating Ossett Albion, whilst Altofts beat Nostell Miners Welfare.
In the league’s Alliance set up, there were no matches in the first division, but in Division Two, third placed Kippax kept the heat on Old Centralians, in second, with a hard fought 3-2 win over Hall Green United.
Aberford Albion beat Howden Clough 2-1, whilst Shelley, who recorded their eleventh win in as many games in the league this season, made light work of Hartshead in a 5-1 win.