Shel­ley have to find a cure for home sick­ness

Huddersfield Daily Examiner - - FRONT PAGE -

SHEL­LEY boss Ash Berry has urged his play­ers to shake off a lengthy bout of home sick­ness as they head into the sec­ond half of the Hall­mark Se­cu­rity League North West Coun­ties League cam­paign.

The sev­enth-placed Hud­der­s­field side face AFC Black­pool at the Stafflex Arena on Satur­day at 3pm hav­ing won only three of 10 First Divi­sion North games to take place on their own turf.

It’s worth point­ing out Shel­ley have al­ready hosted five of the six teams above them in the ta­ble, but the ex­pe­ri­enced Berry isn’t one to ac­cept ex­cuses.

And he is ea­ger to com­plete a sec­ond dou­ble (his side won 2-1 at AFC Black­pool a month ago) ahead of test­ing trips to Liver­pool’s Lower Breck and Cum­brian club Cleator Moor Celtic.

“It’s frus­trat­ing that we have won six times away but don’t have any­thing like as good a record at home, and we need to put that right,” he said.

“It’s not even a re­cent thing, be­cause we had a sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion when we were in the West York­shire League last sea­son.

“We cer­tainly can’t blame our pitch or our fa­cil­i­ties – maybe other teams come here, see what our set-up is like, and raise their game.

“I’m pleased with how we have done over­all in the first half of the sea­son, be­cause to be sev­enth at this stage is en­cour­ag­ing and if we’re be­ing hon­est, bet­ter than we ex­pected.

“But we are all aware we can’t take our foot off the pedal, be­cause we are get­ting to that stage where the con­di­tions are that bit tougher.

“We’ve al­ways said this is a tight divi­sion and that noth­ing can be taken for granted, and a look at re­cent re­sults con­firms that.

“We need to dig in and work hard to get an­other win, be­cause that would be a big boost ahead of a tricky run of games.”

Along with NWCL Premier Divi­sion side Squires Gate, and West Lan­cashire League front run­ners, Black­pool Wren Rovers, AFC Black­pool are one of three clubs in close prox­im­ity in the town.

Dave Wor­thing­ton’s 13th-placed Tan­ger­ines started the cam­paign strongly, win­ning five and draw­ing two of their open­ing nine league games.

But there has been only one vic­tory in nine since, and in­clud­ing the NWCFL First Divi­sion Cup, AFC have suf­fered three de­feats run­ning – the most re­cent 3-2 at Atherton Labur­num Rovers on Tues­day.

“They’re a bet­ter side than the ta­ble sug­gests, and we had to work hard for our win at their place, so we know they will pose us some dan­ger,” added Berry.

Shel­ley could hand a home de­but to striker Gary Driscoll, re­cently signed from First Divi­sion North ri­vals Stee­ton.

The Leeds-based player caught the eye in last Satur­day’s 2-2 draw at St He­lens Town, where mid­field­ers Marc Townsend and Jack Davies net­ted.

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