EV2 Sheffield & Hallamshire County Senior League Premier Division
Darren Young says Dodworth Miners Welfare are entering an important run of home fixtures.
Free-scoring Dodworth are at home for the rest of October – with the visit of Oughtilbridge tomorrow being followed by clashes with Sheffield Town, leaders Swinton Athletic and local rivals Wombwell Main.
“It is a big month because we’re going to have played six games at home in a row (by the end of October) so we have to take points,” Young told Non League Yorkshire.
“That’s because we pride ourselves on home form and we want to make our home a fortress.
“We have in the past few years.
“We want to accumulate as many points at home as possible because when you have six home games in a row, you’re going to have three or four away from home in a row.
“The away form is going to be critical but it will make it a lot easier if we have banked a lot of points from these home games.
“Games with Oughtilbridge are always close.
“Sheffield Town on their day can score lots of goals.
“Swinton speaks for itself and it is going to be a big game, regardless of whether we have won the next two or we haven’t.
“But we can’t look too further than Oughtilbridge.
“From an outsider looking in they would say a Dodworth win but it goes to show that Swinton drew with them last week.”
Dodworth are second after winning all four of their opening fixtures.
Dodworth saw off Hepworth United in their first match before winning at Houghton Main.
Welfare put five past North Gawber two weeks ago and then six against Stocksbridge Park Steels reserves last week.
Young feels the Stocksbridge result was impressive for other reasons.
“A good point to make is on Saturday we didn’t have Sam Severn, Simon Rogers, Aaron Brotherton and Billy Rhodes,” he said.
“Historically if we’re missing four players of that quality we’d struggle.
“The big thing from Saturday was that the squad is so strong, we didn’t miss a beat even though those players were missing.
“The squad is winning games for us.”
One player grabbing the headlines is Calan Rollinson who must have been walking around with broad shoulders this week due to being the league’s top goal-scorer.
The young man has hit the net six times in four games and although pleased with the forward, Young believes there’s more to come from him.
“He’s been class,” he said.
“He’s a bit more mature and he’s listening to what we want and he’s doing what we need from him.
“It is really simple what he does but it is really effective.
“Being the league’s top goal-scorer this week is a confidence builder for him but he’s earned it with six in four.
“But we want it to be ten in eight.
“If he gets ten in eight we will have won more games than we have lost.
“He should be setting a target of 20 goals for the season because of the start he has had.
“He needs to kick on.”
Due to the distorted start, a clear picture of how the title race will unfold is yet to emerge and Young expects some of the teams in the lower half of the table to come strong.
“In the first five games you don’t know what you’re going to get,” he said.
“People are on holiday, people have work commitments so I think the squads are closer than the scores are suggesting.
“We will know just after Christmas as to whether that is true.
“You look at some of the squad lists and they haven’t really changed from last year.
“I think there is a few in a false position.
“You look at Houghton Main – we had our toughest test of the season so far against them and they are bottom half.
“I think a lot of teams will go to Houghton Main this year and get rolled over so I think they’ll come good.
“Gawber are going through a tough time but it is still Gawber and no-one wants to go away to Gawber so they will pick up more points when they get themselves sorted.”
Dodworth themselves haven’t been at full power.
“In the first half-an-hour against Hepworth we were second best and a yard off them,” Young said.
“It took a wonder goal from Ross Weatherall to get us on track.
“Since then we haven’t looked back.
“The results in the last four games have flattered us a little bit.
“We won 3-1 at Houghton Main but struggled for 70 minutes.
“We played quite well against Gawber and again on Saturday we did but the first two results flattered us and the last two have been deserved.
“It is all about winning in the first ten games and it is about how many you get and we have started with four.
“We have to be happy and we are two points better off than we were at this stage last season so we have progressed in terms of points which is good.”