EV2 Sheffield & Hallamshire County Senior League Premier Division
Scott Chipchase says North Gawber’s home clash with leaders Wombwell Main is their biggest game since the treble-winning season but there’s still no title talk.
Barnsley-based Gawber have risen to second place after a tremendous run of form, setting up a titanic battle against Terry Simon’s Wombwell who have a five point lead at the top.
Asked to rate Gawber’s title chances, Chipchase told Non League Yorkshire: “We’re just taking it each week as it comes for now.
“We play Handsworth twice in two weeks and they are dark horses.
“They win lots of points home and away.
“We have Dodworth to play at home in the next two weeks so we have some massive games.
“If we want to have any hopes (of winning the league) we have to keep winning.
“There’s no doubt about it that (this weekend) is our biggest game since we went to Wombwell (in 2019) and won (the league).
“But we’re not talking (about the title) because there’s a long way to go and there are a teams who can catch up very easily.
“We’re under no illusions about how tough the league is.”
Victory for Gawber tomorrow will see them move to within two points of Wombwell with two games-in-hand.
“You have got to say the pressure is on them because they are the ones who have stay in front,” Chipchase said.
“Me and Dave (Simms) have a lot of time for Terry for what he does.
“It is great to see and we’re happy they are up there because they are a great club.
“It is a credit to Terry because he’s a nice man and a great manager.
“But the pressure has to be on them. We’re not talking about anything.
“If they want to stay where they are they have to win.
“There’s no pressure on us and we don’t go into any game with any pressure on us.
“Nobody expected us to be where we are.
“Wombwell are in the driving seat (the title) and they are the ones who have set off the best for me.
“They keep grinding results out.
“It is brilliant for the league (how competitive the title race is).
“It is the best the league has ever been and it is great to be part of.
“Every week everyone is looking at the league table and results.”
Gawber have won six of their last seven matches, pushing them to their lofty position.
Pre-season was difficult, as was the opening six weeks of the campaign.
Yet here they are, bringing back memories of 2019 and Chipchase is thrilled.
“It is unbelievable (to be where we are) because we would have never thought it back in the summer,” he said.
“At the start of season we just wanted to get the lads back together and see where it took us.
“Everyone has bought in and you look how it is going and how we are playing it has been brilliant.
“The Dodworth win seems to have been a catalyst (for the run) and it seemed to kick us on.
“We started slow but everything is coming is together now.
“The lads are building their fitness up, the new signings are gelling well.
“Kai (Hancock) and Scag (Kieran Scargill) are taking a lot of credit at the moment but then you have our older players who are really kicking on and doing well.
“Both Marsden’s are doing well and Carey Welford is still popping up with goals.
“We’re doing well but there’s still no talk of league titles.
“We have a big month coming up and we just want to tick along but it is nice to be up where we are.”
Regardless of where they finish, Gawber will hopefully look back at the season as one where the club’s foundations for the future were firmly cemented.
Last season was a tough campaign for Gawber due to player availability but Chipchase believes his club now have a strong pathway to the first team.
“We’re starting to push some of our younger lads through,” he said.
“Although some are a couple of years off, they are starting to be involved with the first team.
“It is really good for the club.
“All our lads have got two-or-three-seasons left in them and we do hope by then that the under 18s will be kicking on.
“There’s some good talent in that side.”