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Spennymoor - With hope, no one shall fail

Started on 29 July 2018 by OHP
Latest Reply on 12 September 2018 by OHP
  • POSTS21
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OHP's avatar Group OHP
5 yearsEdited
2019/20 season - part 3

The draw for 3rd Round in FA Trophy seemed lucky for us as we should play away against King’s Lynn - an opponent we already had met in FA Cup this season with a goal galore win (7-2) as result.

Perhaps the previous win made us complacent as we struggled a lot but came from King’s Lynn with a 1-1 draw as result after an important equalizer by Bradley Fewster.

The replay at home at Brewery Field turned out more as expected with a forceful 6-0 win after 90 minutes. Spennymoor had qualified for the Quarterfinals in FA Trophy for the first time ever :)

In National League we followed up with a fine 1-0 win at home against leading team Morecambe after a rare goal from captain Joe Tait who now primarily was a backup player in our defence.

Our program was quite heavy in this period with many league and FA Cup matches. I tried to rotate our starting lineup as much as possible but the heavy match load could be seen in our results. We lost the two next league matches (away to Gateshead and Dover) and lost our previous position in the league standings.

Our quarterfinal in FA Trophy was to be played at home at Brewery Field against Dagenham & Redbridge, one of the other leading teams in National League. In front of only 750 fans (a bit disappointing) we were under pressure most of the match and were lucky to get a 0-0 result and a new match and hoped that we could play better in the replay.

We were playing better in the rematch which was a very close match. Bradley Fewster gave us the lead after 20 minutes but Dag & Red scored an equalizer before half time. There were no goals in second half and neither in the extra time so the match had to be decided in a penalty shootout. Unfortunately our players missed three out of four penalties so we lost the shootout 3-1 :(

The FA Trophy replay match was our 9th cup match in the season and our 11th match in six weeks. Our players were very tried at the moment and we played bad in the coming league matches.

Especially a 1-0 defeat against Woking (fighting to avoid relegation) only three days after the penalty defeat in FA Trophy was our worst match in the season so far and another defeat a week later away against our local rivals from Hartlepool (2-3) was not well received by our fans and by the Board :(

We were suddenly out of the playoff zone despite being in top-7 all season. Our results were not stabil with a 5-0 win away over Bath as our best match (four goals by Kyle Wootton) and a 1-4 defeat away against Boreham Wood as our worst match. In our final league match we however secured a place in the playoffs with a 5-1 win over Whitehawk (already relegated)

The final league result was a 7th place for Spennymoor Town FC - a fine result in our first season in Vanarama National League. We ended just above both Dagenham & Redbridge and Hartlepool who failed to qualify for the playoffs - a small revenge for our side ;)

Bradley Fewster finished third in the goal scorer list topped the list of assists and was the player with best average rating all season!

We should play away against Boreham Wood (4th) in the playoff quarterfinal. Boreham Wood had beaten us 4-1 at home just a few weeks prior to this match so we were definitely the underdogs prior to the match. We did well in the first 45 minutes (in my opinion we played best) but Boreham Wood took the lead in the injury time in first half and we did not manage to get the hang of it in second half so with a 3-1 win to Boreham Wood our season had ended. 56 important matches played - we really needed some vacation :)

OHP's avatar Group OHP
5 yearsEdited
2019/20 season review

A very good season for the Moors had come to an end and the Board was very satisfied. Finishing 7th in our debut season in Vanarama National League and thereby qualifying for the playoffs was a lot better than anyone had expected in pre-season. Our results in the cup tournaments had been fine as well (quarterfinalists in FA Trophy and 2nd Round in FA Cup). All three results were club records :)

However, we were still struggling with our fan base. Only 1,054 people had attended our home matches in average (28-29% of full capacity) and the lack af attendance could be seen in our finances. Another big deficit - this year £200K - and a total net debt of £450K had made our financial situation a bit insecure and it would probably create some problems for us in future :(

Like in previous seasons I had used many (too many) players in my first team (48) and perhaps we could have played better with fewer players but a lot of fine players had come to our club during the season and without the strong new players we probably could not have made the fine results that we did.

The depth in the squad had become one of our strengths and our reserve team proved that by finishing 2nd in Reserve league which was our far best result so far.

The most preferred players for our lineup were as follows (only listed players with minimum five appearances in first team):

Lloyd Allinson (26) 33 matches
Andrew Greig (27) 19 matches
DR Kevin Roberts (30) 33 matches
DR James Baillie (24) 16 matches, 1 assist
DR Clive Smith (22) 10 matches (WAL)
DR Stephen Akbas (21) 6 matches (IRL)
DC Chris Doyle (25) 51 matches, 2 assists
DC Andrew Hollins (21) 35 matches, 2 goals, 1 assist
DL/DC Jim McNulty (35) 26 matches (SCO)
DC William Hartshorne (20) 22 matches, 1 goal, 2 assists
DC Scott Wilson (20) 21 matches, 1 goal, 1 assist
DC Joe Tait (30) 6 matches, 1 goal
DL Ben Williams (21) 25 matches, 2 assists (WAL)
DL Aziz Deen-Conteh (27) 24 matches (SLE)
DL Scott Barrow (31) 10 matches (WAL)
MC Rahis Nabi (21) 34 matches, 4 goals, 2 assists
MC Stuart Sinclair (32) 29 matches, 2 goals, 5 assists
MC Curtis Thompson (26) 28 matches, 2 goals, 4 assists
MC Connor Smith (27) 19 matches, 2 goals, 1 assist (IRL)
MC Samir Nabi (23) 11 matches, 3 assists
MC Alex Pattison (22) 11 matches, 2 assists
MC James Wallace (28) 7 matches, 1 goal, 2 assists
AMR Reece Mitchell (24) 35 matches, 7 goals, 8 assists
AMRL Lewis O’Brien (21) 26 matches, 5 goals, 10 assists
AMR/MC Rob Ramshaw (26) 22 matches, 7 goals, 3 assists
AML Junior Mondal (23) 21 matches, 6 goals, 5 assists
AMR Josh Doughty (23) 5 matches, 1 goal (CAN) - sold to Grimsby in January
ST Bradley Fewster (24) 45 matches, 29 goals, 21 assists
ST George Danaher (19) 21 matches, 13 goals, 6 assists
ST Kyle Wootton (23) 21 matches, 11 goals, 5 assists
ST Boris Mathis (22) 20 matches, 8 goals, 7 assists
ST/AML Lee Angol (25) 15 matches, 3 goals, 5 assists
ST/AML Aaron Amadi-Holloway (27) 15 matches, 1 assist (WAL)
ST Ronan Coughlan (23) 13 matches, 10 goals, 1 assist (IRL)
ST/AMRL Lewis Mansell (22) 13 matches, 4 goals, 1 assist (WAL)
ST Ollie Palmer (28) 7 matches, 3 goals, 1 assist

Once again, Bradley Fewster was awarded Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year by our fans after another stunning performance from his side. Lewis O’Brien became best New Player of the Year.

We did not achieve any league awards this season.

Our former Assistant manager, Tommy Miller could not save Blyth from relegation from Vanarama North and was sacked when the relegation was definitive. Sad for Tommy :(
OHP's avatar Group OHP
5 yearsEdited
2020/21 pre-season

I was about to begin my 4th season with Spennymoor Town FC. So far the results had been a 3rd place in Vanarama North (lost playoff final), winning Vanarama North and latest a 7th place and participation in the playoffs in Vanarama National League.

What was to be expected in my 4th season? The Board expected to continue the success from last season and reach Playoff again. The Board increased my wage budget with 10% to £14,750 per week. A small increase in my opinion but due to our insecure financial situation I had to accept the limitation of funds.

The bookmakers expected us to finish 5th so it was similar to what our Board expected from us.

I was not able to hold on to 26 year old striker/left winger Lee Angol who had large demands regarding wages (signed on non-contract terms) and decided to leave us and play for Morecambe instead after 15 appearances for Spennymoor last season. Furthermore we said goodbye to fringe players such as:

DR Stephen Akbas (21) free transfer to Bradford Park Avenue
DC Isaac Ward (20) contract expired (was unhappy)
DL Ibou Touray (25) free transfer to Hartlepool
MC Jamie Chandler (31) free transfer to Crawley
MC Matty Dixon (25) free transfer to Hartlepool
ST/AMRL Lewis Knight (21) free transfer to Bromley

One of our best strikers, Kyle Wootton (23) had caused interest from other clubs and we received a £30K bid for him but I turned it down as I believe his value is higher for us. A few days later his was injured for 7-8 weeks.....

We were active (as always) on the transfer market but only regarding transfer free players. We signed seven players for our first team squad in pre-season:

GK Paul Williamson (18) ex-Stoke youth academy player
DR Neal Eardley (31), free transfer from Lincoln (16 caps for Wales)
DR/DC Kofi Lyon-Foster (23) free transfer from Barrow
DC Ryan Leak (WAL) (22), free transfer from Morecambe
DL Graham Kelly (IRL) (22), free transfer from Port Vale
MC/ML Daniel Flynn (18), ex-Liverpool youth academy player
ST Jamie Proctor (28), free transfer from Rotherham

Paul Williamson and Daniel Flynn could be some of our future stars and both were signed for two seasons at low costs. It would be interesting to see if they could make it to regular playing time already this season.

Neal Eardley had come to Spennymoor to get regular playing time. He was a shining star in his younger days at Oldham and Blackpool, was capped for Wales at 18 years and played in Premier League for Blackpool. He suffered a knee injury in 2013 and his career had whithered since then only playing 44 league matches since 2013. He and Lyons-Foster were appreciated players at our right back position which had been one of our weakest positions last year. I was hoping his experience could be good for us.

Jamie Proctor, Graham Kelly and Ryan Leak were also good players and would probably get some match time during season.

The Board decided to make another partnership with local Durham which was a club at the same level as West Auckland. As regarding West Auckland it was hard for me to see what use we could get here but I sent some of our youth intake on loan there aswell.

We played 8 friendlies in pre-season, 7 against local sides (7 wins and a total goal score of 29-4 and a respectable 1-0 defeat to Dunfermline from Scottish Championship.

This was our first team squad prior to the first season

The season ticket sales soared from 266 to 297 season tickets - almost twice as many as we had three years ago so we were on the right track!
OHP's avatar Group OHP
5 yearsEdited
2020/21 season - part 1

We performed very well in the beginning of the season. After nine rounds we were still undefeated after eight wins and a draw. In some of the matches we were quite lucky, e.g. the match shown below before losing 0-1 to relegated Notts County.

Bradley Fewster was still a main factor in our success with one goal per match in average. Bradley Fewster was elected to Player of the Month in both August and September and I was Manager of the Month in August :)

On 1st October the Board reacted on our financial situation when cutting 17% of our wage budget from £14,750 to £12,250 per week. The news about our financial situation created unrest in our squad and as if anyone knew of our situation we received an offer from FC Sochaux the day after regarding or French striker Boris Mathis. Boris Mathis is a rotation player in our squad and the offer (£43,500 with £23,000 in potential bonuses) seemed as a good deal for us. A record transfer for the club and everything seemed fine.

Except for one thing - after accepting the un-negotiable offer from Sochaux I saw that we should pay £1,200 per week in wage contribution so even a free transfer could have been just as fine..... (bloody amateur I thought about myself :( )

The unrest in the squad had immediate effect on our performances. Only one point in the following three league matches and a disappointing draw away against Macclesfield (24th in bottom of National League) in FA Cup after a missed penalty by Jamie Proctor and a last-minute equalizer by Curtis Thompson.

In the replay match we were awarded a penalty again and after some considerations I gave the opportunity to Jamie Proctor once again and this time he scored which would be good for his self-confidence. We won 2-0 and were ready for 1st Round in FA Cup

After 15 rounds Spennymoor Town was leading National League with 32 points just as Dag & Red in second place. It was still early in season but it seemed very possible to reach the playoffs as expected. And perhaps even better.... I believe it could become necessary to get promoted to save the club’s financial issues.

And Bradley Fewster was leading the goal scorer list - again ;)

Just like in the previous seasons we could sign some transfer free, experienced players with good quality in September and October. Players who had hoped for something better but had to accept that a minion as Spennymoor could be their last chance for getting a contract

We signed some very fine players all on non-contracts so they would not destabilize our financials further if not playing. I was especially pleased with the signing of Liam Wakefield a very competent player for our defence.

GK Shaun Rowley (23) from AFC Fylde (new backup keeper)
DR/DC Liam Wakefield (26) from Carlisle
DR/DC Tom Miller (30) from Rotherham
DR/DL Eddie Nolan (32) from Harrogate (IRL)
DL Rhys Nolan (22) from Barnsley
MC Daniel Pybus (22) from Bradford
MC Dennis Politic (20) from Bolton U/23 (ROU)
ML/AML Cristian Montaño (28) from Port Vale (COL)
ML/AML Tom Pett (28) from Lincoln
ST/AMRL Tom Hoskins (27) from Bradford
ST/AML Gerry McDonagh (22) from Nottingham F. (IRL)
ST Emil Jakobsen (22) from Derby (DEN) - a fellow countryman ;)

The new players meant that we should say goodbye to fringe players such as:
DC/DL Jovanni Sterling (21) released on a free transfer
DL Scott Barrow (31) free transfer to Southport
MC James Wallace (28) released on a free transfer
MC Shakeel Jones-Griffiths (20) free transfer to Hartlepool

Further players would be skipped off in the coming months if not needed to save us some money. It was necessary to have a competent but cheap first team squad....:)

Some information of our new players:

Looks great man. Keep it up!
2018-09-12 03:33#250871 FoolishFooty : Looks great man. Keep it up!

Thanks. I’ll do my best and see how far it can go ;)

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