Benn hopes recent break will benefit Ossett

NPL Division One East 

Ossett United manager Wayne Benn

Wayne Benn hopes Ossett United will benefit from the recent enforced break.

Ossett lost 5-0 at Ingfield in mid-October but because of the FA Trophy and the odd number of teams in the league, they didn’t play for another three weeks.

Ossett – who host Bridlington Town this afternoon – returned to the field two weeks ago with the 2-0 win at Pickering Town before last week’s 0-0 draw at Sheffield FC.

The break enabled the likes of Dec McGivern, Nash Connolly, Marcel Chipamaunga and George Green to return from injury.

Jack Cowgill (hamstring), goalkeeper Max Dearnley (wrist) and Ross Killock remain side-lined.

“After the Liversedge game we didn’t have a game for three weeks which was a bit strange and I don’t know whether it was a good thing or a bad thing,” Benn told Non League Yorkshire.

“After a defeat you want to try and put it right quickly.

“We had to stew on (the Liversedge defeat) for three weeks.

“What it did do was allow us to get a few of the walking wounded back so maybe it was a blessing in disguise.

“We have had a tough period with injuries and most of those guys are back.

“We’re getting the squad healthier.

“Overall we’ll view the break as a good time for it to happen and hopefully we’ll get the benefit of that rest in the next few weeks.

“We’ll still in fifth and we’re still ticking along and we want to try and cement that position so we’re looking for a positive result against Bridlington.

“Then we have a couple of tough games against Shildon and Marske.

“If we’re still in the top six picture come Christmas-time then we’ll view that as a really positive start and it gives you a chance to push on and platform to build from.

“This might come back to bite me but let’s hope we’re over the worst of our injury problems and we can have a period where we have a settled squad and we can really knuckle down and accumulate some points.”

Jack Cowgill, the Ossett United captain, remains injured

Benn has pleased with the points collected since returning to action.

“The Pickering game was important because it helped us get over a couple of poor results that we’d had prior to the break,” he said.

“We were rusty in the first half.

“It took us 45 minutes to get going and Pickering certainly had the better of the first half.

“We were much better in the second half and we started to get ourselves going and in the end we won relatively comfortably.

“Then the Saturday just gone, the Sheffield FC game…the pitch was in a bad way and it stopped any quality and real flow.

“The officials didn’t help either.

“It was a stop-start game due to a poor pitch and a very whistle happy referee.

“It was difficult for both teams to gain any momentum and chances were at a premium.

“We had a man (Nathan Valentine) sent off so we played the last 35 minutes with ten men so in the end a draw was the right result and it was a good point considering we played with ten men for so long.”

Aaron Haswell and Green are available after serving one match bans but Nathan Valentine is suspended for the visit of Bridlington due to his red card at Sheffield.

Benn expects a tough test from Bridlington.

“I’m looking forward to seeing (Bridlington manager) Brett (Agnew),” he said.

“I have a lot of time for Brett and one of my old players Dec Parker plays for them so it will be good to see him as well.

“From our perspective, it is the first home game for over four weeks so it will be nice to get back at home in front of our own fans.

“Hopefully they’ll be a decent crowd in because we haven’t been at home in a while and we’re looking forward to it.

“I don’t care where teams are in the league, we’ll approach it as a difficult game and you don’t get any easy games at this level.”

Visitors to Ingfield tomorrow will notice a few subtle changes to the ground as well and Benn paid tribute to the volunteer workforce who have implemented them.

“We have a new dugouts and a new perimeter fence and the volunteers have done that themselves,” he said.

“They’ve obviously had some professionals in to supply the fence and dig the footings but our guys have done all the heavy lifting, the fetching and carrying.

“We’re so fortunate as a group of players and management to have the off-field support we have at Ossett United.

“It is phenomenal.

“Last week they had the community bonfire which over 1500 attended.

“Then on the Saturday we had a bus journey to Pickering and they all went over.

“Then on the Sunday morning they were at it with demolishing the old pitch perimeter which would have been graft as it was all old wall and fencing.

“Literally that group of people would have been non-stop for five or six days.

“It has been a phenomenal effort by everybody.”

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