SIMON SMITH: Exciting times at Silver Royd

Simon Smith
Simon Smith

I was thrilled with our performance at Keighley to clinch second place and a promotion play-off as a result.

I said in this column with three games to go that we wanted 15 points from 15 and that it would be difficult for Heath to beat York twice and Middlesbrough, and that proved to be the case.

To be competing on all fronts at this stage of the season is something new to this club and it’s really been fantastic to see the levels of energy and interest on and off the pitch.

Numbers at training have been fantastic and that creates a real buzz within the group.

I have to say, I have been really impressed with the attitude and commitment of the lads, particularly the Vikings, who have still been turning up despite their season being finished.

Looking back at Saturday’s performance, I think the artificial pitch was conducive to our game-plan and attacking approach.

It was hard to change direction and that wasn’t great when trying to defend.

We’ve shown on numerous occasions this season that when conditions are in our favour, we’re a very dangerous team.

I could go through the entire squad and speak positively about their performance on Saturday.

Ben Martin has been named as man of the match by the paper, and I have to say, he’s been up there in every single game he’s played in and continues to impress us all.

Of course, there was a nervous wait with the delay in the Heath game due to an injury, but their defeat against Middlesbrough secured our play-off.

I think we’ll be playing against Durham City, with their nearest rivals Consett due to play already-relegated Gateshead at the weekend, who also have a midweek game to contend with.

We will do our digging to see if we can find anything out about our opponents, but ultimately we’ll go up there to focus on our gameplan and try to play to our strengths and also enjoy the occasion.

At the time of going to press, we were heading into our Yorkshire Shield semi-final against Beverley.

It would be fantastic if we have managed to come through that test, but you wouldn’t get good odds on beating a side as competitive as Beverley three times in one season, so we know we went into that one facing a tough ask.