Tom Shaw aims for mid-table finish with Gainsborough as good as safe

Tom Shaw was a happy man as his Gainsborough Trinity side all but secured their NPL Premier Division safety with a 2-0 win at home to Mickleover on Saturday.

Tom Shaw was delighted with the win over Mickleover.
Tom Shaw was delighted with the win over Mickleover.

With three games to play, Trinity are nine points ahead of second-from-bottom Witton Albion and have a vastly superior goal difference, while the third-from-bottom position is no longer under threat of relegation on a points-per-game basis due to clubs in other step three divisions not being able to catch the total already reached by current incumbents Basford United.

It means one more point will officially mean safety for Trinity, but Saturday’s win played a big part in meaning any worries can soon be put to bed.

Shaw said: “It was a very unselfish performance. We went really narrow and compact and I asked two centre forwards to play wider midfield roles, which isn’t what they really want to do but Cameron Johnson and Tom Curzons epitomised the performance.

"They got through loads of unselfish running, loads of tracking back, defensive work – all stuff that strikers don’t want to do but they did that for the team and everybody had that mentality about them.

"The first-half was a bit frustrating as if we’d held the ball better from counter-attacks we’d have had loads more opportunities as we won the ball loads of times.

"In the second-half we looked a much more efficient team and didn’t give Mickleover much at all.

"They’ve got some talented players in the squad and have been on a very good run but we deserved the clean sheet and deserved to win.

"We were a long way off Mickleover when we played them in August but this shows how far we’ve come since then.”

Three games remain for Trinity to close out the season. Two are trips to the east coast with Scarborough Athletic this weekend and Whitby Town a week later, while they entertain Lincolnshire rivals Grantham Town at the Gainsborough Martin & Co Arena on Monday.

Shaw added: “We can still finish 12th or 13th this season if we do some good work and apply ourselves properly in the last three games. That would be a big over-achievement for this football club with what we’ve had to do this year.”