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 Post subject: Season Review 2017-18
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 8:54 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2004 2:01 pm
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A very up-and-down season that promised a lot in the early stages but it is without doubt that the season was ruined by the weather and then the most craziest of fixture schedules.

Despite losing our first two games (one to the future champions) we then went on a 10 game unbeaten run and scored some very convincing wins such as home games against Wallington, AFC Newbiggin and Northbank Carlisle. We also progressed in the Durham Trophy by knocking out the then favourites Hebburn Town Reserves 4-1 on their own patch. This season also saw our very first venture into the Durham Challenge Cup where a strong Whickham team, one that finished in a promotion place, beat us 2-1 in an entertaining game.

But the winter weather destroyed our hope of any success and exited the Durham Trophy to eventual winners Sunderland West End after being forced to play a scratch side only 2 days before Christmas. The turn of the year saw us struggle for form as games were few and far between before being asked to play half of our league games in the final 8 weeks of the season. However, credit where credit due as, despite fatigue setting in, we picked up 16 points to finish the season on 38 points and in 10th place.

Full credit goes to Mick Watson and his coaching team of Mark Pae, Paul Bennett, Kev Bell and Tommy Bell for creating a professional environment and keeping the lads motivated throughout the season. A manager's job is a thankless task and umpteen phone calls often end up fruitless. I know Mick felt it hard this season as he was let down by a number of different players on a number of different occasions, but there was still a core who stayed loyal to him and the club and they must be commended. Credit also goes to our under 17 players who made their debuts for the senior side.

So to sum up the season feels tinged in disappointment as it promised so much more. On our day the team that Mick assembled was easily the best I've seen in the red & black, but getting them out every week proved too much, beyond even what Mick could do. Now if there's anything that can motivate us for next season it's that on our day we were a match for anyone, and if those days were more regular then success would come I'm sure.

A break is fully deserved and well-earned, but our club is getting stronger by each day and next season we'll be ready to go again.

One final note, congratulations to Newcastle Uni for winning the league as they were easily the most outstanding team this year, and also to every other club who completed their season. Commiserations to Northbank Carlisle who will be a huge miss and I hope they return one day.


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