Sunday, June 3, 2012

End of season review

Well, I've finally found some time to write about this and have realised that there is no chance of getting one more game in. On the local non-league front it was a season that exceeded expectations. Ely City, who over the few years that I have followed them have always been in the lower half of the table finished a very credible second, especially as at Christmas we were still thinking that it was great that they had got enough points to stay up. Added to getting the Eastern Counties League runner's up shield they also picked up the Cambridgeshire Invitation Cup. In fact some of the best performances came in cup games for the Robins. In the Cambs Invitation Cup a last minute winner by Austin Diaper in the semis against Royston was only beaten by Adam Murray who scored the winner in the last minute of the Final against Soham. Earlier in the season there were another couple of great games in cups, most notably a very respectable 1-1 draw in the FA Cup against Needham Market, which despite the fact that they lost the Replay 4-3 at the Unwin was probably the catalyst for the fine league run that they then went on. Another cup performance to remember was a fine 4-2 win in extra time away to March Town United in the League Cup where Taz Chisongo started to earn his super sub reputation. In the league itself there wasn't a game that really stood out, but the overall performances and never say die attitude was always impressive. The wheels did come off in the end though. The biggest blow being the ridiculous sendings off of Lee Pacey and Richard Chadwick in the away victory at Great Yarmouth in mid March, which was made even harder to swallow, as it came after a rare home defeat to Champions elect Wroxham. Ely were still in with a chance of winning the title though and we went to CRC a few days later to support them against Wroxham, and CRC obliged by beating them 1-0 on a beautiful day at the Abbey. Ely didn't win the title though, but second on the budget the club has was really impressive. Thetford also had a great season and won promotion to the Premier Division, and were only beaten to first place on the last day of the season when Godmanchester managed to put more goals in than Thetford who we saw beat Long Melford 3-1. Earlier in the season we had seen them beat Long Melford 2-0 in the Vase. The next trip we had there was a fantastic 5-0 victory over Halstead and then a 10-0 victory over Cornard, the highest win I have ever seen and possibly will ever seen. We didn't really go and see Cambridge United, apart from a 1-0 win early in the season against Telford, as it costs the same to go there as Championship Peterborough, who had mixed results in the games we saw, but they stayed up comfortably, which was what they were aiming for. The least said about Villa the better, but at least McLeish has gone and Lambert might make it more worth the effort. The only time we made it up was to see a 2-1 defeat at the hands of West Bromwich Albion. I only managed to get to 10 stadiums this year, which is a lower than average amount. New stadiums were the Emirates where I saw Paris Saint-Germain, Arsenal, New York Red Bulls and Boca Juniors in action; Broadhall Lane, home of Stevenage where we went on the last day of the season to see Stevenage claim a play off place after beating Bury; and also trips to Needham Market and March to see Ely in action away.

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