Ossett Town: Boss Elliott plotting an FA Trophy giantkilling

MISSION: Ossett Town manager Craig Elliott is hoping his side can set up a money-spinning FA Trophy first-round tie if they can beat Workington.
MISSION: Ossett Town manager Craig Elliott is hoping his side can set up a money-spinning FA Trophy first-round tie if they can beat Workington.
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Craig Elliott is hoping the underdog card proves a trump one for Ossett Town in their clash against visiting Workington in the FA Trophy.

Amid an inconsistent campaign thus far, the Ingfielders have reserved their best performances for their most difficult opponents on paper and will need to display that characteristic again if they are to prosper against the Cumbrians, currently in tenth spot in Blue Square North and on a good run of form.

Just across town, near-neighbours Ossett Albion upset the formbook to beat the likes of Hinckley in an uplifting FA Cup run earlier this autumn and Lines wants his Evo-Stik North outfit to take a leaf out of their book, while hopefully continuing to enjoy the riches that the trophy brings for a round or two yet.

Lines said: “Obviously, Workington is a difficult tie as they are two divisions higher. But sometimes, it is a good thing to be the underdog and we seem to have done better this year when we haven’t been fancied rather than when we are favourites.

“From that perspective, we have nothing to lose.

“In the previous round, we beat Ashton, who are in the division above us, while in the league this season we’ve had some good results against teams above us such as Warrington.

“On Saturday, we lost 2-1 to Skelmersdale, who have not lost in the league this season and are flying. But we played really well on the day and it’s often been the teams who are struggling and not as strong on paper as us who we have found it difficult to dominate.

“Mentally, the team seems to do better against stronger opposition and hopefully that will stand us in good stead on Saturday. The pressure is off and we can give it a right good go and we’ll see what happens.

“The cup draws haven’t been too favourable for us really, having got the likes of Whitby in the FA Cup. But I think we can take heart from what Albion did in the FA Cup when they pulled out a few surprise results and hopefully we can do that.”

While the arrival of Darren Edmondson’s side is not quite the plum tie Town wanted, there is the not inconsequential matter of £4,000 being up for grabs, if they prevail in tomorrow’s third qualifying round encounter – having already pocketed £3,250 after winning in the previous round.

Victory would also put them into the first-round proper, which could then yield a money-spinning draw against a Conference side, something the Town board would certainly relish.

Lines, without suspended defender Wes Milnes tomorrow, added: “There is a lot of money at stake and we haven’t got a big budget and there’s not much money here, so it’s a big chance to get some cash into the club.

“It’s probably a bigger game for the club than the players as there’s the financial side of it. The club needs it, basically.

“From the club’s point of view, we would have maybe liked a bigger team away. But it’s a chance to go one step further and maybe draw a Conference team.

“The likes of Grimsby will be involved in the next round. Without thinking too far ahead, Saturday is massive for the club.”

On opponents Workington, he added: “Workington are doing okay and pushing towards the play-offs. I think they have only one in their past eight or nine games and it will be a tough one, but we’re looking forward to it.

“They will be confident they can come and beat us, but we’ve got to use that to our advantage if they become a bit complacent.

“We will have to ride our luck, no doubt about that. But we have lads who are capable on the day and know what it takes to play at that level.

“So far, it’s been one step forward, one back since the start of the season. You feel like we are getting somewhere, but we seem to never kick on; it’s one game good, one game average.

“But we are a new side and I am still bringing players in and tweaking things. Hopefully, we will find a bit of consistency and if we finish mid-table, that will be great for us.

“Performances probably dictate we are a mid-table team and hopefully we can consolidate that position whenever we finish in the trophy.”

Three out of the four local Blue Square North sides are away, with only Guiseley afforded home comforts against Whitby Town.

FA Cup heroes Harrogate Town go to Vauxhall Motors, with Bradford Park Avenue visiting Stafford. FC Halifax head to Cammell Laird.

Guiseley manager Paul Cox.

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