Penistone Church can complete a full year without losing a home league game if they avoid defeat to Liversedge in the Northern Counties East Premier Division tomorrow.
Since being beaten by Handsworth Parramore on September 23 last year, Church are undefeated in 19 league matches at the Memorial Ground with 12 wins and seven draws.
Manager Ian Richards said: “It would be a brilliant achievement to go a full year without losing a home game. A couple of years ago we nearly did it in away games but fell one game short.
“We pride ourselves on home form and to show that level of consistency is outstanding. The crowds have increased as well, we’re averaging about 200 now, and the matchday experience for everyone is getting better and better. Liversedge can be as good as anyone in our league on their day but we’ll go out to beat them.”
Church won 3-0 in the league on Saturday at Harrogate Railway Athletic who they had beaten 6-0 at home in the League Cup three days earlier. They had won just one of their first four league games, while going out of both the FA Cup and FA Vase. Penistone now have eight points from five matches.
It is a better start than last season when they picked up just 14 points from their first 15 games before surging up the table and finishing seventh. Richards said: “Our only real negative last season was our start because, in the rest of the season, we were as good as anyone.
“This time our start has been a lot better and we have only lost to Handsworth who are one of the promotion favourites. I am disappointed to be out of the FA Cup and Vase but I would rather that than lose two league games. Everyone is beating everyone at the moment and the teams that go up will be the ones who show the most consistency. There’s no reason why that can’t be us.”
On Saturday, Andy Ring opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time then Kieran Ryan doubled the lead midway through the second half and Sam Scrivens completed the rout in injury-time.
Richards said: “It was a potential banana skin and Harrogate Railway had nothing to lose after us beating them 6-0. They had a new manager in position which always raises players’ games. I thought our lads acquitted themselves brilliantly and it was another professional, disciplined performance.
“To win 6-0 and 3-0 is a great response after a rare negative blip for the club. The feelgood factor is back in the changing room and there’s a real energy about the squad.”