Steve Hossack’s sporting spotlight: Askern FC

Askern manager Paul Curtis.  Picture: Malcolm Billingham
Askern manager Paul Curtis. Picture: Malcolm Billingham
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Askern have spent most of the season in the lower reaches of the North Division table following their return to the Central Midlands League.

But the picture could have looked a lot brighter for the relegated Northern Counties East League side had they been able to turn some of their draws into wins.

Welfare have drawn more than double the number of games than any of their North Division rivals.

It is a cause of frustration for boss Paul Curtis, although he admits his young and inexperienced side have had their work cut out at times this season - and at other times have impressed in their new surroundings.

“If we had managed to turn just five of those draws into wins we’d be up near mid-table,” said Curtis.

“However, considering some of the teams we’ve put out this season, it could be argued we did well to pick up a point in some of those matches.

“If we’d had someone who could score 15 or 20 goals then we wouldn’t have drawn all those games because we have created chances.

“We’ve also given silly goals away at times, but I think that is down to the level of players to be honest.

“It is also probably down to inexperience.

“We’ve got quite a young side, including three or four under-19s players, and it’s a big step up for those lads.

“Having said that, I don’t think there is anything to frighten us in this league, especially considering what we had to face last season.

“There is a big gap between the two leagues yet we still want to get back up there.”

Curtis returned to take charge midway through last season at a time when the club faced a real possibility of going out of business.

Following a tough 12 months, he has started to see his efforts pay dividends since the turn of the year.

Askern had lost only three times going into their midweek clash at Westella Hanson, and have enjoyed several decent results - not least a 4-0 home win over third-placed Harworth.

“That is probably our best result of the season,” said Curtis.

“The 5-1 defeat at home to Clay Cross ten days ago ranked as one of the worst.”

Curtis is confident that the third-bottom club won’t finish any lower but he is already looking ahead to next season.

“We’ve got plans for next season,” he said.

“I’m talking to a head coach at another club about him coming to help out.

“The plan is to try and bring in three or four more experienced players.

“We want to add to what is quite a young side, and to have more reliability within the squad.

“We’ve often had players pull out of games at short notice.”