Miners all set for FA Vase adventure as Prims await

Ian Deakin has overseen a good start to the season at Kimberley alongside joint-manager Martin Lench.
Ian Deakin has overseen a good start to the season at Kimberley alongside joint-manager Martin Lench.

Kimberley Miners Welfare venture into the FA Vase on Saturday as they aim to continue their promising start to the season.

The Miners have won four out of their first seven league games, losing just once, and sit seventh in the EMCL table, just three points behind the leaders Barrow Town.

And as attention instead turns to the cup competitions for the first time and a trip to Derby-based Graham St Prims, Kimberley joint boss Ian Deakin is keen to see the Stag Ground outfit make progress.

He said: “As with any big cup competition you want to progress as far as you can, from a playing perspective because of the good it can do your momentum and morale, and from a behind-the-scenes perspective because of the financial element.

“It’s a one-off game and the players know what’s at stake. You can’t underestimate anybody in cup competitions and you have to give teams the respect they deserve. I feel we’re good enough to beat anyone on our day.”

Kimberley were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Anstey Nomads last weekend, Deakin’s fellow joint-manager Martin Lench putting Welfare in front before Joe Hartopp’s leveller on the hour ensured a share of the points.

That ensured an unbeaten home run stayed intact, although it was the first of the three games at the Stag Ground that had seen Kimberley drop any points following 4-0 and 4-1 wins against Ellistown & Ibstock and Stapenhill respectively.

Deakin said: “We’ve started really well - if we’d been offered 14 points after seven games at the start we’d certainly have taken it.

“The lads have been fantastic and they deserve lots of credit because it’s been tough at times with quite a few players missing but they’ve worked hard and although there’s a long way to go yet, we’ve been really encouraged.

“The home form is a positive too as that’s your bread and butter and if you want to succeed at all then you’ve got to start by winning your home games.”

On the overall picture at Kimberley Miners Welfare, Deakin added that the squad is now beginning to settle following the usual summer absences due to holidays and other commitments, making his and Lench’s job much easier.

He said: “It’s one of those things at this level in that jobs and families come first and obviously during the summer lads are often on holidays or at weddings or things like that.

“But we’re at the point where things should settle down now. We’ve got a good 18 or so players plus some really promising lads available to us through the reserves so we’re happy with the squad.”

Should the match on Saturday against Prims be drawn then a replay will take place next Tuesday night at the Stag Ground, meaning the trip to Ashby Ivanhoe will be postponed.

Otherwise, the next action there will see Kimberley host Greenwood Meadows on Saturday, September 17.