By Matt Badcock,
JASON AINSLEY believes Spennymoor Town are showing they aren’t the one-hit wonders of the National League North.
The Moors missed out on last season’s play-offs by goal difference in their first ever campaign at the level.
Boss Ainsley admits there’s always a second season syndrome fear but far from being found out, the north-east side are in the mix again.
Spenny are currently sixth in the table with games in hand over all sides around them and are also embarking on a cup run after progressing past Sutton United in the FA Trophy at the weekend.
Striker Glen Taylor has 18 goals for the division’s highest scorers and Ainsley says there’s plenty to feel-good about at the season nears a crucial period.
“We had a mixed season last year,” Ainsley told The NLP. “It was really positive and then we fell at the last hurdle on goal difference. Then it was all about the reaction.
“Were we a one-season wonder? I think the answer to that is no. We’ve got a lot of respect in the league now.
“We’re at a point where we’re in a strong position but so are about 12 clubs. There’s not much difference in points total between a lot of clubs. So we’ve got to look at identifying maybe one or two players that, if they become available, we take a look at.
“We don’t want to bring players in for the sake of it. They’ve got to be better than we’ve got and at the moment we’ve got a small squad, but a good squad.”
Spenny beat Kidderminster Harriers on Tuesday night with Ainsley determined they don’t squander their games in hand.
A good FA Trophy run saw them fall behind last term and they couldn’t quite recover. It’s one of a few areas where Ainsley hopes they have learnt their lesson.
“We’ve got that little bit more experience too,” Ainsley said. “Rob Atkinson has come in to add to James Curtis, who was already there in defence.
“Glen Taylor is scoring goals again. Questions were asked of him – he’d come out of the Evo-Stik and could he do it in the National League? He’s gone on again and scored a few goals.
“I moan when we give away sloppy goals but when you analyse it there’s only Stockport and Chorley who have conceded less and we’ve scored the most goals in the league. So it’s getting that fine balance between good, attacking football and keeping the back door closed.
“Our goalkeeper Matty Gould has come in and done really well so the spine of the side has given us that platform.
“Then we’ve always got players who can excite and score goals. Mark Anderson has chipped in with a few, Andrew Johnson has, Adam Boyes too. We’ve got goals in the team.”
In Ainsley’s time at the helm the club have risen from Step 5 – winning the FA Vase along the way – as chairman Brad Groves’ significant investment has been rewarded.
The club are addressing the pitch issues at their Brewery Field home that have hampered them and there’s lots of other off-field work being put in.
“As a club we’ve employed a full-time managing director, we’ve just employed a head of academy who works for the FA as well, Andy Lowe, so things off the field are happening too,” Ainsley said. “It’s massive.
“I suppose it’s the same everywhere but in the north-east we haven’t got lots of other Football League clubs around us so we need to start bridging that gap from Under-18 football.
“We had a 17-year-old on the bench the other day and this is why we’ve got a lot going off the pitch.”