NEW Ossett TOWN boss John Reed is refusing to throw in the play-off towel this season – and has challenged the Ingfielders to follow in the footsteps of former club Buxton.
The former Harrogate Town and Stalybridge Celtic chief took charge of eighth-placed Town for the first time in Tuesday’s 2-2 Evo-Stik Premier draw at Ramsbottom, when the visitors ended with nine men; new signing Chris Ovington and Jack Wakefield were dismissed.
Reed was thrilled by his side’s performance in adversity, with Town back in action tomorrow at home to the side occupying the final play-off spot in fifth-placed Bamber Bridge.
The gap between the pair is eight points with Town having played two games more, but Reed insists the play-offs aren’t beyond the realms of possibility yet.
Reed, who reached the UniBond play-off final with Buxton in 2007-08, said: “Before a ball was kicked this season, top 12 was the club’s aim. At this moment in time, the club are probably punching above their weight, but it’s easy to see why – they put a proper shift in at Ramsbottom.
“But I think if we can finish in the top eight, it will be absolutely brilliant.
“But while there’s points to be won – and out of our next 11 games, we’ve got seven at home – you never know. I did it at Buxton and got in those play-offs on the last game of the season and ended up going to the play-off final.
“You want to be sensible, but also have the right goals and the lads are on the same wavelength and they would like a crack at them too.
“Craig (Elliott) played for me many years ago at Harrogate and we know each other really well and keep in touch on the phone. He’s left me a decent team.”
Offering his thoughts on his first game in charge at Ramsbottom, which saw Shaun Connor and skipper Steven Jeff find the net, he added:“It was an absolutely fantastic performance from the team, to say I only got introduced to them an hour and a half before the game.
“The team is full of fight and the bond and desire is there and they showed a great work-rate and their quality was there as well.
“To finish the game with nine men and still take something showed their character.
“It was a great start for me and I was very, very pleased. I have to take my hat off to them and hopefully we can keep that sort of performance level up.”
Elsewhere, third-placed Farsley welcome Kendal, while rock-bottom Ossett Albion – with time running out to save their season – visit New Mills.
Third-from-bottom Wakefield go to Burscough and Harrogate Railway welcome Radcliffe.
In the Premier, Frickley host Barwell and Whitby visit Grantham.
In the First Division South, Goole and Scarborough head to Carlton and Rainworth.