Wakefield FC boss Paul Lines is hoping that derby opponents and cup kings Ossett Albion are otherwise engaged at Dimple Wells tonight. (Oct 16)
The Bears, fresh from Saturday’s morale-boosting Evo-Stik First Division North victory at Lancaster City, are seeking to back it up against Merrie City rivals Albion, who face one of the biggest games in their history at the weekend against Bradford Park Avenue in the FA Cup.
In the fourth-qualifying round of the cup for just the second time, Albion can reach the first-round proper if they progress at the Horsfall Stadium, with that fixture the talk of everyone at the club.
In contrast, the only thing concerning Lines is tonight’s derby and if Albion have one eye on their juicy weekend engagement, then all the better.
Lines said: “I am hoping they (Ossett) are focused on the cup, to be honest!
“They have had some really good cup results and will be mindful of that and there’s lot of money riding on the game for the club.
“You just never know about our game with them. It could set them up for a good game on Saturday or maybe their focus might be elsewhere. Let’s hope so. Ossett have similar players to us, young, honest, hard-working lads, with a bit of experience in there who are willing to die for the cause. It will be an interesting game.”
Wakefield’s Roses victory at Lancaster was all the more remarkable given that six players were missing.
Micah Bleau, Dave Boardman and Dominic Dickinson could all be available again this evening, but they are set to be handed bench duties with Lines confirming he won’t be making any changes to the starting XI.
He added: “I’m just going to go with the same, it’s a no-brainer really. Fair play to those who played well on Saturday and for me, it’s a case of going with the same.
“Those lads who will come back will be on the bench; at least it will make the bench stronger. It’s about getting a level of consistency. The lads on Saturday did well and it’s a case of just carry on.”
On Saturday’s win, he added: “Everybody just gave 110 per cent on Saturday and we also got Caldon Henson and he made a difference and just shored us up a bit. We played really well.
“It was a great winner from Shequille Clarke as well. He cut inside his man and bent into the goal and it was a fantastic goal. He has done really well since he has come in and he’s getting up to speed now.
“He is a young lad with potential and he’s fulfilling that a bit now and coming out of his shell.
“We’ve got a young squad and haven’t got the finishing product and people who are on 50, 60, 70 or 100 pounds a week. That’s where we are.”
Elsewhere, rock-bottom Garforth visit Ramsbottom, while Neil Parsley’s Farsley will be seeking their sixth consecutive league win against hosts Goole, with Wayne Benn and assistant Andy Hayward – following their departure from Hemsworth MW – taking charge of their first game for the Vikings.
In the Blue Square Bet Conference North, Neil Aspin’s FC Halifax could put pressure on the top four if they beat visiting Vauxhall Motors.
Fresh from their incredible 6-1 slaying of leaders Brackley, Simon Weaver’s Harrogate Town are seeking to double up with another home victory in their rearranged clash with Bishop’s Stortford.
NCEL action sees Thackley host second-from-bottom Nostell MW, while Tadcaster can move up to sixth in the Premier Division if they beat visiting Hall Road Rangers.
In Division One, Hemsworth start off life without Benn and Hayward at home to Bottesford, with coach Daryl Bowman taking temporary charge.
Knaresborough Town and Pontefract Collieries welcome Teversal and Rossington respectively, with Eccleshill visiting Dinnington. Third-from-bottom Selby Town host basement boys Hallam in a crucial scrap at the bottom.