Ollerton Town head into 2019 in 16th place in the Northern Counties East League Division One after claiming seven points from their last three games saw the side put a bit of daylight between them and the relegation zone.
After surviving their second season at step six in May, Dave Winter’s side are still battling every week to try to pick up as many points as possible — with FA Cup football the current target for the Walesby Lane outfit.
In a similar position this time last year, Ollerton started well in January, obtaining four points from their three league fixtures whilst also edging out local rivals Clipstone in a thrilling 4-3 League Cup win.
February began with a win against FC Bolsover but only one point from the next 12 kept Ollerton down there.
March proved to be much more rewarding as the Town got two wins from their three games.
April was a very busy month as the season neared its close and Ollerton’s squad soon became fully stretched. A 1-0 win over Armthorpe Welfare started the month but it was unfortunately followed by four defeats.
Ollerton’s 2017-2018 league campaign ended with an impressive 3-2 victory over Selby Town and, four days later, Ollerton made the quarter final of the League Cup with 4-2 extra-time win over Grimsby Borough.
Ollerton’s last game of the season was that quarter-final against Premier Division outfit Handsworth Parramore.
Town did themselves proud with a battling performance, though they were ultimately beaten 2-1 and knocked out.
Jordan Wildey, who spent last season as first-team coach at the club, left in the summer to join EvoStik side Pontefract Colleries, whilst the club was also busy on the transfer front, several players joining, and also leaving, over the close season.
The club also announced an exciting sponsorship deal with local company Fast Frame, which saw their Walesby Lane home renamed ‘The Fast Frame’.
This season started with seven fixtures crammed into August and it was a month of mixed results.
The club got their first win, a 1-0 success, over Harworth Colliery, whilst also recording two 1-1 draws.
There were three league defeats before the month ended with a League Cup win over East Yorkshire Carnegie.
September began with a 1-0 win over New Mills in the FA Vase before a run of five defeats in all competitions that stretched into October. Ollerton then picked themselves up and went without defeat for their next five fixtures, a stand-out result being a 3-2 victory at rivals Shirebrook Town thanks to a last-minute goal.
November saw three points won from a possible 12, which saw Ollerton hovering above the drop zone.
A defeat to Parkgate on 1st December kept them there before fantastic victories away to Grimsby Borough and Emley, plus a draw at Glasshoughton, saw Town pull away from the bottom going into the New Year.
Football is very much a team game, but a stand-out performer for Ollerton this year has been striker Gavin King.
Eleven goals from the last 11 games of the previous campaign saw the forward end with 29 goals to his name.
This season King has gone on to surpass those achievements, however, and has found the back of the net 24 times so far, meaning he has scored 40 times for Ollerton in this calendar year.
A recurring problem for Town has been their inability to get a consistent team out on a regular basis.
With everyone available, Ollerton have at their disposal a mix of talented, experienced players as well as group of exciting youngsters, who can give anyone in the league a game.
Ollerton’s league fixtures for the second half of the season look somewhat favourable compared to the last few months and they will be hoping this mix of experience and youth can guide them further up the table.