EV2 Sheffield & Hallamshire County Senior League Premier Division
Terry Simon has hailed his table-topping Wombwell Main players.
Simon’s long-term youth revolution masterplan is bearing fruits as Wombwell are the league leaders after a nine-game unbeaten run.
“They absolutely deserve a lot of credit,” Simon told Non League Yorkshire.
“They are a great set of lads.
“You get up on a Saturday morning after a week at work and you’re buzzing.
“The banter everyone has is terrific.
“They are all at a good age and I’d say we are ahead of schedule (by being currently top).
“I was talking to (assistants) Paul (Kay) and Don (Cotton) the other week and I would say we are 12 to 18 months ahead of where we thought we would be.
“I suppose the difficulty will be what we had at the start of this season (losing players to paying clubs).
“Clubs from higher leagues are going to come and look at players and think ’20-21 year-old, can we persuade him to come away from Wombwell’.
“If that happens, that happens and we’ll look to find some others.”
Wombwell’s position as league leaders is deceptive as some of their rivals have games-in-hand.
Simon is not getting drawn into title talk either.
“I said to you at the start of the season that on our day that we will give anyone a game,” he said.
“Top five is what we’re aiming for and that’s still our aim.
“On our day we can beat anyone but there’ll be indifferent days.
“I don’t want to tempt fate because the last few interviews I’ve seen on Non League Yorkshire, teams have said they hope to go on a run and kick forward but instead they have gone on a downward spiral.
“There’s nine games to go and we’ll keep going and chipping away.
“There’s still a few teams who can go above us if they win their games-in-hand.
“That’s Dodworth, Gawber and Swinton.
“We have points-in-the-bag but we still have Penistone to play twice, Dodworth to play, Gawber to play.
“It is going to be interesting.”
Wombwell’s latest victory could definitely be described as dramatic.
Main won 3-2 against Sheffield Town after Joe Campbell headed home with ten seconds to play.
Sheffield had been leading 2-0 until Ryan Wingrove pulled one back on the stroke of half-time.
Youngster Aaron Tate equalised, leaving Campbell to be the hero.
“(The referee) shouted 90 seconds to go and we had a corner and it went out to the other corner and their lad got injured,” Simon said.
“It must have been late-on.
“Sheffield Town always give us a game.
“It is never easy and it is usually like that – 4-3, 5-3, 5-2 and I thought they deserved more out of the game.
“They certainly didn’t deserve to lose.
“(In the first half) we had changed it up a little bit with a few lads who have been in and around the squad and they did alright. It just didn’t click.
“We like to think we are a footballing side and we were off the pace. We had too many touches in vital areas and our decision making in the final third was poor.
“The goal that Winnie scored just before half-time gave us a lift and I thought we’d get back into it in the first ten minutes of the second half.
“We didn’t. They weathered the storm and were very dangerous on the counter attack.
“There were two or three occasions where we had a corner and ten seconds after the ball was delivered, it was three versus one in their favour attacking our goal.
“I think if they had got that third goal it would have been very difficult for us.”