Toolstation NCEL Premier Division
Handsworth joint manager Jason Dodsworth is looking forward to his reunion with old comrade and new Goole AFC manager Simon Houghton this evening.
Dodsworth, Louis Axcell and Aiden Spowage lead Handsworth into battle against lowly Goole at Olivers Mount for what is Houghton’s first game in charge.
Dodsworth worked with Houghton at Athersley Rec 2012 before linking up as joint managers at Nostell Miners Welfare in 2017.
“Simon has gone in and he has a job to do and they need to scrap for every point to stay up,” Dodsworth told Non League Yorkshire.
“It will be strange (managing against each other) because we worked together for a long time.
“We have stayed good friends and we talk all the time.
“Even when he hasn’t been in the game we speak every week.
“Neither of us will want the other to have the upper hand and I’m sure they’ll be a bit of banter flying about.
“Hopefully we can get three points, and I think the lads will know about it if they don’t!”
Victory tonight will lift Handsworth to sixth place.
Axcell, Dodsworth and Spowage have worked hard to assemble a decent squad and Dodsworth says Handsworth have had a relatively positive opening few months of the campaign.
“We had an up and down start and then we had a good spell of form where we won five and drew one,” he said.
“We have then lost two and drawn one.
“It is going to be one of those seasons where anyone can beat anyone and that’s what we have seen across the board.
“Ferriby are up there and they have the points on the board but they’ve had bad results like Silsden and Maltby Main.
“If teams aren’t switched on it can happen.
“You can’t just turn up and think it will be an easy game.
“We want to be up there, the club does and so do the players.
“They’re good enough and they’ve proved that season.
“I still think we’re suffering the knock-on effect of the pandemic because of weddings and stag-do.
“We’ve had some bad injuries as well, like Sam Finlaw who has hardly figured for us this season.
“We’re hoping he’s not far away now.
“Anthony Mackie has been out with ruptured ankle ligaments and Leon Howarth has a dislocated toe.
“When the lads went on the run they were fantastic and they fully deserved to be where they got to.
“But if you lose one-or-two you can find yourselves dropping six places.
“We’re not in a bad position by no means and the lads deserve all the credit.”