Kimberley Miners Welfare boss Andy Alls is determined not to let a break-in at the club this week affect his team’s positive momentum going into Christmas.
The Miners’ Stag Ground home was burgled on Monday night with numerous items of value taken including a television and drinks from the fridges in the clubhouse as well as the team’s kit and some brand new footballs and tracksuits.
But whilst the news comes as a blow to the club overall ahead of Christmas, Alls hopes those responsible won’t also derail the team’s promotion hopes.
He said: “It’s a real sickener and I’m not sure how anyone can do it.
“The police are dealing with it and we just hope those responsible will be caught.
“People are rallying round us though and we’ve had a very generous donation of £2,000 from local business Churchill Specialist Contracting which we’re very grateful for.
“What I don’t think will happen though is it tainting our season too much. Things are going really well and whilst it’s annoying for everyone given the extra time a lot of us put in to helping at the club, we just have to get on with the job in hand on the pitch.”
Kimberley currently lie fourth in the East Midlands Counties League standings, seven points behind leaders Teversal but with four games in hand.
They overcame Belper United 5-1 last weekend largely thanks to a hat-trick from Ryan Bowen, and Alls believes the momentum with the squad is as good as it could ever be.
He said: “We’re buoyant at the moment and I’m really pleased. The bubble may burst at some point but I firmly believe we have the quality to maintain a title challenge right to the end of the season.
“We’ve got a very strong squad both in terms of quality and depth and go into every game believing we can win, which has been the case since the third or fourth game to be honest.
“We’ve had Ellis Evans come in from Alfreton who at 18 is young but given us real quality in midfield, while Conor Green has come from Ilkeston and been a big player too and we may well be able to keep him for the rest of the season.
“Our ambition was always to be around where we are at Christmas and we’ve stayed there and are getting better and better.”
Whilst winning all of their games in hand would see them top the table, Alls is realistic enough to know it’s not as easy as it sounds.
“Obviously we’re in a strong position but until you’ve got the points on the board, games in hand mean very little, although knowing that winning them could send us top will be a big driving force,” he said.
“To be honest we’re quite happy to sit where we are and not be top of the league given teams always raise their game when facing the league leaders, so we’ll be patient and bide our time and hopefully have enough to launch an assault when it matters.”