Tuesday is Twitterless Matthew day, or Matthew Cooper to give him his actual name. It’s the end of his first season in charge of Altrincham but can they seal promotion after an excellent run of form has them in the running for an early exit from Division 3.
Hello again, welcome back. We’ve reached the final few games of the season and we’re in the driving seat to secure promotion to Division 2, whilst Doncaster are on the brink of dropping out of the division and giving a second team a chance to survive in the football league. Let’s see how things pan out.
Deadline day passes with no incomings or outgoings, it’s down to our existing squad to finish the job so we need to avoid major injuries from here on out.
First up, we travel to Swansea who are currently third. It’s a test that we pass with flying colours, controlling the game throughout and we should have scored more than two in the end. 2-0 is good enough for me though and we’re that much closer to going up
The next day is the final of the league cup, which goes to Villa
I suppose they deserve it after knocking out favourites Man Utd in the Semis, and I’m sure they’ll enjoy the European place this win grants them…oh wait, it gives them precisely bugger all. Still, congrats I guess. I make it 4 from 4 on MotM awards, though Bruce pips Ferguson in the Premiership contest owing to his victory yesterday
We’re at home to Peterborough next. They were top of the table when we met them last, but they’ve dropped to a disappointing 9th place since and it looks like a fairly easy three points on paper. It’s not as simple in practice, as Peterborough are actually the better side in the first half and we’re fortunate to be drawing 1-1. Williamson proves to be the difference in the second half though, grabbing a 26 minute hat trick to put us out of sight. They pull one back but the damage is done.
Donny pull off a remarkable 5-2 away win at Lincoln, they may be going down but they’re determined to go down fighting
After the match we get confirmation that we’ve secured a playoff place, but our sights have been set higher than that for some time and we’re focused on the top three spots. In the FA cup, Man Utd are through to their second final of the season but the crazy gang also prevail to prevent it being a Manchester derby
We’re at Scunthorpe a few days later, and with them being in 4th place this is a chance to pretty much rubber-stamp our automatic promotion. Allardyce goes straight back into the side after his suspension, he scores at about the same rate as Tokely but for some reason he’s the assists king
The game goes brilliantly for us, going 2-0 up by half time and maintaining the pressure after the break. Williamson misses a penalty and Allardyce has a goal chalked off so they’re lucky to escape with a two goal deficit. They have precisely 1 attempt on goal all afternoon, I can’t believe just how dominant my team have become.
The win is virtually confirmation that we’re going up as we’re now 15 points clear with 15 left to play for. Doncaster draw their match to claw a point back, but with the gap being 9 points its surely only a matter of time before they are mathematically down. Allardyce’s booking ensures he misses yet another match, if I didn’t have such a good third striker I’d be annoyed with him
Rather unfairly, our next game is 2 days later, leaving my squad decidedly knackered
I swap things around as much as I dare but there are going to be some players dead on their feet at the end of 90 minutes tonight. Four and a half thousand fans turn up to see if we can confirm our promotion with at least a point, but it’s a disappointing night. As to be expected, it’s an extremely laboured performance and it’s to some surprise that we take the lead through Tokely. They equalise soon after and then deservedly get the winner 4 minutes from time, so the promotion party will have to wait.
Wait, scratch that. Scunthorpe can only manage a draw, so promotion is confirmed anyway, hurray!
This has truly been one of the most remarkable seasons in champ man that I’ve ever been a part of. After a dozen games the team looked average at best and though I was never really worried about going down, midtable was about the best I could realistically hope for. But then something just clicked, and we seemingly couldn’t stop winning. I’m excited to see what next season brings, and if we can replicate our success in the league above.
In other news, Arsenal still fly the flag for England in the UEFA cup but they’ll have to get past Parma to lift the trophy this year
There’s no such home interest in the Champions League as it’s a Barca v PSG finale, to take place at the Olympiastadion in Berlin
In case you care about the Cup Winners Cup, Lazio will take on Lyon in a pleasingly alliterative final
It’s a sad day in Doncaster soon after as their relegation becomes unavoidable. Interestingly the next team to come up are Colwyn Bay, who I very rarely see until the “big four” (Altrincham, Kettering, Kidderminster and Runcorn) have already come up and are therefore taken out of the selection. I wish whoever takes the hotseat there luck, but I’ve got a good thing going here at Altrincham and I’m not tempted to jump ship.
Zerrouki overcomes his injury sooner than expected, and with a suspension looming for N’Diaye it’s decent timing. His longer term future is less certain however, as my new additions have made him rather obsolete, unfortunately for him.
Colwyn Bay pull off a bit of a coup and poach Lennie Lawrence from second division Luton
They haven’t had a great season but he’s kept them up – the same quality his new team will no doubt be hoping he will bring with him to establish them as a league side.
Our final four fixtures are of no consequence as promotion is secured, so I won’t bother narrating them. Here are the results though for the curious
It’s a pretty indifferent finish but as we’d already done what we needed to do I can’t really blame the lads for switching off. N’Diaye’s suspension won’t take place until next year annoyingly, I was hoping to get it out of the way in one of these meaningless games.
Arsenal go down 3-1 in the UEFA Cup final and Parma lift the trophy
Lazio win the battle of the Ls to win the Cup Winners Cup
Man Utd surprise no-one to make it a double-winning season as they win the FA Cup to go along with their comfortable title defence
And finally, Barca thump PSG to take home the biggest prize in club football
Oh, and Torquay will be joining us in Division 2 next season after triumphing in the playoff final
So that about wraps it up for this season. Here’s the final placings for our league, in case you were wondering
Join me next week to see the preseason preparations and maybe first few games in Division 2. If you’ve stuck with this story from the beginning, thank you! I’ve really enjoyed bringing you these updates.