Henderson happy to have points on the board Lambs looking to stay top at home to Cadbury Heath
POINTS in the bag, or games in hand? It is one of football’s great hypothetical questions and one where they really isn’t a right or wrong answer.
It is, however, a question that is probably doing the rounds in the clubhouses of both Tavistock and Mousehole right now with the two clubs in that very predicament. The Lambs are top of the Western League Premier Division with 52 points form 23 games played. They hold a 13-point lead from second-placed Bridgwater and it would be easy to suggest they are the runaway leaders of the division.
Not so. A quick glance at fifth-placed Mousehole and you have a team that sits 14 points behind Tavi, but with five games in hand. It doesn’t take Rachel Riley or Carol Vordermann to work out that, if the Cornish team win all five, they’d go a point clear of the Lambs at the summit.
“It’s a tough one,” Lambs boss Stuart Henderson said. “Some people will say that it’s always nice to have the points on the bag, but I remember when we were chasing Exmouth and we literally won every game and we won the league.
“Mousehole are a very good side, let’s make no bones about it. We’ve turned up at a service station before in a little old minibus and they are there in an executive coach, they have the connection with Leeds and players in full-time training and I think their infrastructure gives them an advantage over a number of clubs.
“I can’t imagine there will be many points between us and Mousehole at the end of the season and they are more than capable of winning their games in hand. It may end up that we are grateful to get second place, but we are in a good position now and the onus is on Mousehole to win all their games in hand.
“We still have 13 games left and we are not going to win all of them. I am sure we will drop points, but hopefully they will as well.
“It isn’t just Mousehole, though. Teams like Bridgwater and Exmouth have games in hand as well and if Exmouth beat us, they can go above us as well and I think Exmouth always go under the radar.
“I certainly think being called ‘runaway leaders’ is a false tag. We are where we are because we have played more games. It’s great to be where we are, would I swap positions with where Mousehole are? Probably not. But it’s going to be a dogfight and we just have to accumulate as many points as we can and see where it takes us.”
The Lambs play host to Cadbury Heath at Langsford Park on Saturday, while Mousehole also face a winnable home game against Brislington.
Henderson oversaw a productive training match this week with two strong teams going head-to-head in an in-house training game. It goes to show how strong the squad is now that the boss would have been happy for either XI to start Saturday’s game, but giving everyone game time and keeping them happy is perhaps his toughest job right now.
“It is and it is a far cry from where we were at the start of the season, that’s for sure,” Henderson said. “But you do need a squad and I think everyone is aware of that.
“In a normal season, you’d be playing Saturday-Tuesday, Saturday-Tuesday, especially coming into the tail end of the season, but obviously, with Covid and whatever else, we played so many games at the start of the season.
“Now, it’s a case of trying to be the best we can, trying to keep everyone fit and managing them and trying to do our best to finish in a position where we achieve what we want to achieve.”