Toolstation NCEL Division One
The return of their key players has been the catalyst for rampant Hallam’s surge up the table.
That’s the view of Hallam manager Craig Denton.
Hallam failed to win any of their opening three league fixtures but they have responded with five wins and an incredible 29 goals in the process.
Hallam put seven past Hall Road Rangers, nine past FC Humber United, four past Retford FC, two past Harrogate Railway.
The latest win was the 7-1 demolition of Shirebrook Town in front of a sensational 605 in midweek.
“Talisman” Kieran Watson is one player who has been missing until this week and Denton admits absences affected his side early doors.
“We have got good attacking players in the squad and one-or-two have been missing due to injury or being on holiday,” Denton told Non League Yorkshire.
“But they are back and in the last five games they have linked up really well.
“We have come up against sides who have been reduced to ten men and some people will say it benefits teams but sometimes it goes the other way and it is a lot more difficult.
“We have created loads of chances and with a bit of luck as well the ball has gone in the back of the net and given us loads of momentum.
“With the unbelievable crowds as well in our home games – we had 605 for a midweek game this week – having that kind of oomph and backing cheering the lads on, it gives you that little extra push.
“The lads have done really well and they have deserved it because they have taken their chances and been ruthless.
“It would be lovely to keep scoring so many goals each game but if we are realistic; there are some really tough teams in the league so we don’t want to get carried away.
“We want to keep our feet grounded to the floor but it is exciting that we can create chances and put the ball in net.
“Hopefully we can continue to do that.”
Hallam drew at Nostell on the opening weekend before losing to Rossington Main and Brigg Town but Denton has been delighted with the response.
“The players took responsibility,” he said.
“It was a slow start but bear in mind we came up against some good sides in terms of Nostell and Rossington Main.
“They took their chances and we were a little bit off it.
“We had a good pre-season and we were raring to go but having a few injuries and set-backs with our key players it does wobble the team.
“But they pulled themselves together and we have kicked on and we’re wanting to go on that run and get points on the board.
“I think it is important whether it is two games, six games or ten games because the points do start to add up and you start climbing the table.”
Although the players have been scoring for fun, you could argue the actual success story is the crowds.
People have been flocking to Hallam despite the club yet to host a Saturday home fixture.
Just over 350 attended the first midweek home fixture against Hall Road.
412 then watched the defeat of Retford before the incredible turnout for Shirebrook and Denton is thrilled.
“The club have worked really hard behind the scenes but predominately it comes down to the players and winning games because people want to be excited,” he said.
“Hallam can attract Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday supporters and we have a great bar and great facilities up there.
“It was lovely weather (this week) as well and people just want to get out with it all coming back to normality.
“The attendances have been absolutely fantastic.
“We have always had a solid foundation in terms of attendances but there is a real buzz and feel-good factor around the ground and it was amazing to have 605 for a Northern Counties East League Division One midweek game.”
Hallam travel to Burscough tomorrow for their FA Vase first qualifying round tie.
Their following two fixtures are against Swallownest – both at home with the first one being in the Sheffield Senior Cup.
Both games could record impressive attendance figures.
If you have enjoyed reading Non League Yorkshire over the past few months, please consider making a donation to the not-for-profit organisation NLY Community Sport which provides sport for children and adults with disabilities and learning difficulties. CLICK HERE to visit the JustGiving page. There is a video at the bottom of the page showing our work.
NLY Community Sport, run by James Grayson and Connor Rollinson, has always had combatting social isolation at the top of our objectives when running our Disability Football teams.
Our work is playing an important role in reintroducing our players, who have disabilities and learning difficulties, back into society.
We have six teams, a mixture of Junior and Adult teams – Nostell MW DFC, Pontefract Pirates, Selby Disability Football Club and the South Yorkshire Superheroes (Barnsley) – across Yorkshire.
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Watch the video below to see highlights from our three years as an organisation. The video was produced for our players at the end of March to remind them of good memories from the last three years.