What a final week of the season it turned out to be ... smiles, tears, joy and complete misery all rolled into one.
For Handsworth everything that could happen, did happen on a day packed with controversy.
The top-of-the-table side visited Sandy Lane to face second-placed Worksop Parramore knowing they had to beat them to take the Division One title while a draw would see them promoted as runners up. However Parramore simply had to win to be champions and promoted while defeat could see them miss out on promotion.
It was Handsworth who came out on top as a goal in each half by Scot Bates gave them a deserved 2-0 victory in front of a bumper crowd. But it all went pear shaped after the game when they were told officially that they had been withdrawn from the league because their ground was far short of the grading it requires.
It was a devastating blow for the club who are to appeal to the Football Association and will know the outcome within 14 days, so watch this space.
Rus Eagle and his players travelled to Winterton Rangers ground last night to face Barton Town in the Presidents Cup Final.
Meanwhile, Parramore’s manager Darren Bland was left ruing their dreadful home form because they only had to win one of their final four home games to be certain of promotion in their first season in the league, but they lost three and drew one. Poor defensive play cost them promotion by one point after Glasshoughton Welfare beat AFC Emley 3-2 to take the runners-up spot.
Dinnington Town closed their season with a 3-2 home success over Grimsby Borough with goals by Roper, Cartledge and an own goal to end a great run-in for Steve Toyne’s players. They suffered just one defeat in their final seven games and lost only four in 18 since Christmas, to finish eighth after being bottom at the turn of the year.
Hallam ended their campaign on Monday with a 1-1 home draw against neighbours Worsbrough Bridge. Dwayne Wiley scoredtheir goal while Ruthven replied for the visitors who’ve had their best ever season finishing ninth.
The Evo-Stik League may have finished 10 days ago but the controversy rolls on. Northwich Victoria won their appeal against being thrown out of the league but were still dropped a division which was good news for Frickley, who as a result stay in the Premier Division next season. However, the big talking point was the sacking of Sheffield FC manager Mark Shaw after their humiliating 7-0 defeat at Ilkeston Town in the division’s play off game. The club are to advertise for a new manager. In the Premier Division, all eyes were focussed on Muglet Lane, where Maltby Main simply had to beat already relegated Selby Town to make sure of staying up. The Miners duly obliged when a goal in each half by Bob Branagan and Paul Lavender gave them a 2-0 win and three precious points.
Then the news filtered through that Lincoln Moorlands had lost 5-4 at home to Brighouse Town and were relegated. It can’t be stressed enough how hard manager Stevie Adams and his players have worked for their success, winning four and drawing three of their final eight games.
Parkgate’s dreams of winning promotion after their Green Lane ground was passed with an E grade were left in tatters after a poor end of season run that saw them lose four of their last six games, including their last three home matches.
They went down 2-0 at home to Thackley after a very good game but if they’re to progress next season, they must tighten up their poor defence.
Staveley were once again left without a game for the third time in a week due to the weather. It leaves them with four matches still to play while the league still have 11 league games to fit in somewhere.
Despite a much depleted line up, Staveley visited relegated Lincoln Moorlands on Monday and came home with maximum points after a Chris Coy double gave them a 2-1 victory and their 100 goal in all competitions this season.
Unfortunately the performance was was marred by the sending off of Ryan Damms and Kyle Forrest-Chambers for the second game in a row. They now face another three games in six days against Scarborough, at home, last night, Tadcaster away tomorrow and at Nostell next Monday.