View From The Dugout

View From The Dugout: Three points today and the Evo-Stik Premier Division title is ours

By Phil Parkinson at

As told to Finley White

A late Josh Hancock goal on Thursday night at Shaw Lane has put us within touching distance of the title and we can win it with three points today in Lincolnshire against Grantham Town, who look likely to make the play-offs and who won 5-1 at Whitby as we were winning in Barnsley.

Josh’s goal, which was a great strike after some terrific play from Jordan Hulme, sparked some fantastic celebrations which showed how much this means to everyone… players, fans and management.

We’ve had two really tough games away from home (Buxton and Shaw Lane), and on top of that we’ve played two games where I’ve had to put in a mixture of players to deal with the tight schedule and the fact that we are coping shows how strong the squad is.

Phil Parkinson celebrates the victory over Barwell

I was really pleased with Connor Hampson, who played his first game for a month on Thursday night, having recovered from his medial ligament injury… his fitness levels were phenomenal and he slotted in superbly alongside Tom Hannigan at the heart of the defence in a position that he has only played in once this season.

I must use this opportunity to apologise to the Shaw Lane management staff for my celebrations at the end, managers should always shake hands with the opposition management straight after the final whistle.

Theo Bailey-Jones fights for the ball against Barwell

Emotions after the late winner were extremely high, which shows our passion for what the club is striving for, I was thrilled to get all three points.

I’m proud of the lads for their defensive work, we’ve not conceded from open play for a couple of weeks and I think in such a tough league that is top work.

We weren’t helped by the pitch at Sheerien Park and it was honestly atrocious, it was rock hard and I was really surprised as you wouldn’t associate a pitch like that with this level of football.

Soem of the travelling support at Buxton on Tuesday night

We knew it would be difficult playing there but we controlled the game in which I was very disappointed with the standard of officiating and the lads were really buzzing afterwards.

We have a very tough game at Grantham today, but I know that we will have great travelling support, all hoping, like us, that we can reach our goal and become Evo-Stik Premier Division Champions ahead of our final two games next week.

Pictures: Michael Ripley Photography