They say you shouldn’t take pre-season records into account, but, when you’re racking up the run of which has been put together at Sandy Lane, the home of Worksop Town, who were unbeaten in eight, scoring over thirty goals, and conceding just five, you can’t help but take notice.
Possessing a strike-force of Steven McDonnell, Zayn Hakeem, and Ben Tomlinson, plus further attacking prowess in James Baxendale, Aleksandrs Starcenko, Ify Ofoegbu, and Aaron Sennett-Nielson, then it’s little wonder the goals have been flowing.
Now, come Saturday afternoon (14 August), and the opening match of the Pitching In Northern Premier League East Division, when the Tigers welcome that of Yorkshire Amateur to Sandy Lane, striker Steven McDonnell, who notched eight in pre-season, can’t wait to get started.
“I’m really enjoying being back here, at Sandy Lane,” states McDonnell, who returned for his third spell with the Tigers at the start of the summer.
“We’re playing some really good, attacking football, in a way that I love.
“We could actually have scored more (in pre-season) but we’ve done well; there’s some good football, and we’ve all clicked straight away.”
Excited to be playing again, that pre-season would begin, for McDonnell, with a hat-trick, in the demolition of Hemsworth, before going on to notch a goal in each of the remaining pre-season games he was involved (Gainsborough was goalless, and he didn’t play in the Huddersfield match).
With he having notched eight himself, a further twenty-plus goals were spread about manager, Craig Parry’s, impressive side, one which has been put together with one aim in mind – promotion.
“There’s a great atmosphere here and, the visit of Yorkshire (Amateur) should make for a really good game on Saturday,” added McDonnell.
“The FA Cup will also see a home game as well (Worksop will host Bottesford Town on Saturday 21 August), and that is great for the club, the town, and for the fans – but it doesn’t matter who it is we’re playing, we’ll give it our all every time.
“But yes, the priority here, for myself, the lads, and for the club as a whole, is promotion, it’s definitely something which we should be aiming for.”
It’ll be a long, hard season though, that much is a given.
The first month of the season alone, including that FA Cup match, will see the Tigers play some six matches, the additional outings being against Sheffield FC (A, 17 August), Ossett United (H, 24 August), Stockton Town (A, 28 August), and Frickley Athletic (H, 30 August).
The former Belper Town, Stocksbridge Park Steels, Maltby Main and Retford United front-man will also be looking to lead the line in the FA Trophy, at the end of September, when the Nottinghamshire side head to the north-east to face Dunston UTS (25 September), whilst the festivities will see a home game with Cleethorpes Town (27 December) and a trip to Frickley (1 January).
That long season will come to its conclusion with a home game against Liversedge (23 April), but that is, at present, a long way away, for anyone.
The hope first is to get things back up-and-running again, especially after the stop-start of the past two seasons.
“I thought I’d be unfit coming into pre-season,” laughed McDonnell, “and, with the new players we have, I’m pleased we clicked straight away.
“Hopefully, we’ll be able to carry that on into the new season, keep that winning mentality, and the momentum, going as long as possible.
“I’ll say now though, I will be scoring on Saturday, maybe a hat-trick as well – and I’m going to be taking the next free-kick as well,” he states, with added confidence, “seriously though, we’ll see how it goes.
“Hopefully, I’ll be notching 25-30 goals this season, and with everyone around me also able to score, it’s going to be fun.”
Worksop Town host Yorkshire Amateur in the Pitching In Northern Premier League East Division, on Saturday 14 August, kick-off, that usual 3pm.
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @worksoptownfc Steven McDonnell has been in hot form during the summer.