Kimberley Miners Welfare boss Andy Alls says he’s been delighted by the club’s progress this season - and is determined to see it continue.
The Miners are sixth in the East Midlands Counties League, just two points behind leaders Holbrook and with a game in hand.
Alls, who took over the reins at the Stag Ground in the summer, now wants to see that promising start built on and to be contenders for the title for the duration of the campaign.
He said: “It’s been a good first third of the season for us. Before the season, if you’d have offered me sixth place and being so close to the leaders points-wise by the end of October I’d have snapped your hand off.
“We’re playing well and the squad is gelling all the time. That’s despite having an unbelievable number of injuries which have seen us deprived of lots of key players.
“But an important factor is that we’ve been able to replace those players effectively. We have a link up with Notts County and Ilkeston Town which has seen goalkeeper Curtis Hall join us for eight weeks and also Conor Green sign on dual registration.
“Other than that, we’ve recruited well and the players have responded superbly to what we want them to do.
“At one point we had more players on the injury list than we had fit which tells you just how well we’ve done to still be where we are.”
On Wednesday night, Kimberley hosted local rivals Selston with top spot potentially at stake for the winners, although in the end the points were shared in a 1-1 draw.
Carl Moore put Selston in front on 36 when he scrambled the ball home following a corner, but Kimberley levelled on the stroke of half-time with a superb strike from Grant Tobin.
Alls said: “It’s a game we should really have won. We’ve had four easy headers that haven’t gone in, one has hit the post and one was cleared off the line.
“In the grand scheme of things a point against Selston is good but it would have been nice to have got all three as I felt we deserved them.”
Kimberley now prepare to travel to Arnold Town on Saturday, with Alls confident of keeping the pressure on those above.
He said: “I want where we are now to be the minimum in terms of where we end the campaign.
“I’m confident we can maintain the start we’ve made as we’ve given ourselves a good grounding and we have to push on from here.
“I’m also hopeful we can maintain the quality of the squad even if injuries and suspensions hit us badly as they have already.
“There’s an added pressure of being higher up the league which I’m not all that comfortable with but you have to deal with it. I’m happier where we are now and then making a real push into the top three around January and giving it everything from then on.
“The lads are buzzing, we’ve got an FA Vase tie to look forward to as well, and although we could still do with some more sponsors which can be hard to nail down at this level, the vibe here is good and we’re keen to sustain it.”