Friday, 26 July 2013

Season 2012/13 – Teams Witnessed

Although pre-season friendlies are now kicking off for 2013/14, I always take a quick look back at the previous season in a “where are they now?” look to see how they all got on. For the 73 different teams I saw last season, we saw the great, all the way down to the shambles. Let’s rock on.

AFC Wimbledon Youth (Final position: Youth Alliance South East: 13th) –> Struggling towards the bottom of the league (much like the first team) and also didn’t play their final game vs MK Dons for some reason. Any history between the sides?

Ascot United (Hellenic Premier: 7th) –> A club on the up it would appear as they achieved their best ever league finish and FA Vase performance. Will need to kick on now. (Like the pun?)

Badshot Lea (Combined Counties League: 7th) –> Good effort from the Baggies in the league as they finished well above other “bigger” teams. Also had a fantastic FA Cup run where they reached the 3rd Qualifying Round before a 3-1 defeat to Chippenham Town.

Barnet (League 2: 23rd) –> Thought they were safe when they beat Wycombe on the 2nd last day of the season. However last day defeat to Northampton saw them relegated on goal difference.


Barrow AFC (Blue Square Premier: 22nd) –> Horrid season for the Barrow boys as their fans were accused of racism during a FA Cup tie against Macclesfield. Then finished 8 points off safety as they were relegated to Blue Square North. Also crashed out of FA Trophy quarter-finals to Gainsborough Town.

Bedfont Sports (Combined Counties League Premier: 13th) –> Good first season at Level 9 as they attained their highest ever league finish. A comfortable 14 points clear of relegation.

Bishops Stortford (Blue Square North: 17th) –> Finished 5 points clear of relegation but will be delighted to be back in Conference South for 2013/14.

Blackburn Rovers (Championship: 17th) –> Shambles at the chicken factory as they had 4 managers this season and only stayed up by 4 points. Lost in the FA quarters to Millwall in yet another disappointment.

Boreham Wood (Blue Square South: 9th) –> Ambitious Wood had a disappointing season finishing 10 points off the play-offs. Have countered this by releasing plans to build a new main stand “at Conference Premier and FL level”. Erm…

Bradford City (League 2: 7th) –> Quite brilliant season for Bradford as they reached the League Cup Final, got over a mid-season loss of form to reach the play-off. Then destroyed Northampton Town to achieve promotion to League 1.

Brentford (League 1: 3rd) –> Were just a penalty away from promotion in that famous game against Doncaster. Then lost in play-off final to Yeovil Town to be stuck in League 1 for another season.


Camberley Town (Combined Counties League Premier: 16th) –> Managed a late surge to pull themselves clear and finish 7 points off relegation.

Cambridge City (Southern Premier: 8th) –> Got over shocking start to nearly complete the miracle but finished agonisingly 4 points off the playoffs. They start their nomadic seasons now at Histon FC.

Cheltenham Town Youth (Youth Alliance South West: 13th) –> Finished nowhere near the top 2 of Bristol Rovers and Oxford United. Bravely went out of the FA Youth Cup in the 3rd Round with a 1-0 defeat to Tottenham.

Chesham United (Southern Premier: 3rd) –> Stormed into playoffs only to tamely lose to Hemel Hempstead in the playoff semi-finals.

Chippenham Town (Southern Premier: 15th) –> Suffered a huge loss of form midseason to tumble down the league, but recovered to finish 9 points clear of relegation. Went out of the FA Trophy in the 2nd Qualifying Round with a surprise loss to Sholing.

Colliers Wood United (Combined Counties League Premier: 18th) –> Managed to deal with problems at the Wibbandune Sports Ground pitch to finish 4 points clear of relegation.

Corby Town (Blue Square North: 20th) –> Thought they were safe as they seemed to give up at the end of the season. Only to be then relegated on the final day of the season after a 0-0 draw at home to Gainsborough Trinity. Also lost in the FA Trophy early on at the 2nd Round stage with a defeat to Tamworth.


Coventry City (League 1: 15th) –> Can’t seem to shake off this season. After play-off challenge ended after points deduction their “new start” now sees them playing at Northampton. With fans threatening to desert them, another season of struggle could be coming up.

Cowdenbeath (Scottish Division 1: 8th) –> Managed to avoid the relegation playoff by virtue of Dunfermline’s points deduction and the late boost of form.

Croatia (UEFA Group A: 2nd) –> That costly defeat to Scotland sees their World Cup qualification hopes hanging by a thread. Will need to beat Belgium (and well) in Zagreb on 11th October to have a chance.

Crystal Palace (Championship: 5th) –> Kept their head after Freeman left to join Bolton and Holloway came in. Finishing in the play-offs, they saw off Brighton after shitgate and then beat Watford in extra-time to grab an unlikely Premiership spot.

Dartford (Blue Square Premier: 8th) –> Won the best part time side in England award last season as they pipped fellow part-timers Woking into 8th. Can they now push on from here? You suspect a full time decision will have to be made at Princes Park soon.

Derby County (Championship: 10th) –> Signs of some improvement under Clough as finished only 7 points off playoffs with a young team who will surely get better over time.

Dulwich Hamlet (Isthmian League Division 1 South: 1st) –> Were up at the top of the table all season and achieved promotion back to the Isthmian Premier on the last day with a 1-1 draw against Burgess Hill Town.


Dunfermline Athletic (Scottish Division 1: 9th) –> Suffered financial hardship as the Pars entered administration during the season. After the points deduction and loss of key players, they tumbled into the relegation playoff and after seeing off Forfar, they lost 3-1 to Alloa Athletic to end up in Division 2 for next season.

Edinburgh University (East of Scotland League Premier: 11th) –> Poor season for the students as they finished in the bottom 2. Only stayed in the top flight due to restructuring and the creation of the Lowland League.

Exeter City (League 2: 10th) –> The promotion push delivered little as they lost form at the vital time and finished 5 points off playoffs. Paul Tisdale needs to deliver this season.

Fauldhouse United (East Juniors South Division: 1st) –> While an almighty battle was happening below them to secure the other 3 promotion slots, the Hoose beat all before them to easily win the title by 12 points.

Grimsby Town (Blue Square Premier: 4th) –> Form disappeared and thus their promotion hopes with it towards the end of the season as Newport County dispatched them in the play-offs. Also lost in the FA Trophy Final to Wrexham.


Guernsey FC (Combined Counties League Premier: 2nd) –> The massive backlog of games caught up with them as they were pipped to the title by Egham Town. They did achieve promotion however up to the Isthmian as a result of the league expansion.

Hanwell Town (Spartan South Midlands Premier: 6th) –> While finishing 41 points behind runaway winner Dunstable isn’t great, finishing 6th was a good effort from the Geordies.

Hastings United (Isthmian League Premier: 21st) –> Were probably distracted by reaching the 3rd Round of the FA Cup and losing to Middlesbrough 4-1 to concentrate on the league. League form suffered and they were relegated by 1 point.

Hearts (Scottish Premier League: 10th) –> Financial problems hit hard as HMRC came in. A young team struggled with the pressure but did manage to avoid a relegation struggle (purely due to Dundee being useless) and reach the League Cup Final.


Hertford Town (Spartan South Midlands Premier: 17th) –> Good 2nd half of season saw Hertford finish clear of relegation by 5 points. Didn’t look likely at the start of the year!

Ireland (UEFA Group C: 4th) –> Stuck in a tough 3-way tie for 2nd place in the group as Germany runaway with it. Key away games in Vienna and Koln to come which will define Ireland’s hopes.

Kilmarnock (Scottish Premier League: 9th) –> Disappointing season as they exited the League Cup early on before dropping into the bottom 6 of the league. Kenny Shiels was promptly punted after more disciplinary troubles for him.

Leyton Orient (League 1: 7th) –> Slow start cost them as they lost out in the final play-off spot by 3 points to Swindon Town. If they can get the hang of a quick start, a play-off tilt would be likely.

Livingston (Scottish Division 1: 4th) –> Decent season for Livi considering John Hughes left to get relegated with Hartlepool and then Gareth Evans also left after being taken off 1st team duties.

Luton Town (Blue Square Premier: 7th) –> Massively disappointing as Paul Buckle left once FA Cup run was over and finished well outside the playoffs. Lost in FA Trophy QFs to Grimsby Town.


Mexico (CONCACAF 4th Round Qualifying: 3rd) –> Brilliantly won gold at the London Olympics, becoming my heroes as they beat Brazil. For the World Cup, they are 1 point ahead of Honduras for the last qualifying spot. With 4 games to go, they are in control but key game vs Honduras at home coming up. Early exit at Confederations Cup shows they are not in the higher reaches of world football yet.

Morecambe (League 2: 16th) –> Always tipped to go down by the bookies, finishing off only 7 points clear of relegation is a good season. Budget cuts for 2013/14 will make things harder again, but lets keep the faith.

Newport (IOW) (Wessex League Premier: 6th) –> Did apply for promotion out of the Wessex but finished well behind the top 3 to seriously challenge.

Oman (AFC 4th Round Group B: 4th) –> Agonisingly missed out on the 5th Round game by 1 point as Jordan beat them 1-0 in the final game to pip them to the play off against Uzbekistan.

Oxford City (Blue Square North: 10th) –> 20 points off the playoffs this time out. Now entering a new era of “leadership” under Thomas Anthony Guerrero with some big signings being made. Ones to watch next season?

Oxford United (League 2: 9th) –> Finished 4 points off the playoffs as Chris Wilder amazingly kept his job still. This season promotion must be achieved you feel however.

Partick Thistle (Scottish Division 1: 1st) –> Took on all challengers and survived the loss of Jackie McNamara to Dundee Utd to win their SPL place. Young and exciting team can push on from here.


Pumpherston Juniors (East Juniors South Division: 2nd) –> Managed to keep up with the backlog of games in May and secure a Premier League place by 4 points.

QPR (Premiership: 20th) –> Quite probably relegated were after a shambles of a season. Will be interesting to see how their band of mercenaries perform in the Championship with an owner who will surely want instant promotion.

Raith Rovers (Scottish Division 1: 6th) –> Slap bang in midtable for The Rovers as they were quite some distance off promotion and 8 points clear of relegation.

RFC Temploux-Suarlée (Namur 3e Provincial A: 13th) –> Out of only 15 teams in their league, they just managed to finish clear of the bottom two, by 2 points. 99 goals conceded in the season shows where their problems lie.

Royal Engineers (Massey League: 3rd) –> Managed to throw away the league title at the Quadrangle Trophy games to finish behind rivals Royal Signals.

Scotland (UEFA Group A: 5th) –> Hopefully we can now push on after the Croatia result and do a proper rebuild of the team. With some tough games coming up and two home clashes to go, the new goal is to finish above Macedonia and avoid bottom spot in the group.


Senegal (CAF 2nd Qualifying Round: 1st) –> Looking good to qualify for the 3rd and final round of World Cup Qualifying. The crunch game vs 2nd place Uganda will decide if they do.

Shildon (Northern League: 8th) –> Finished an almighty 53 points behind Darlington to show how far they need to improve to challenge anywhere near the top of the league.

Skelmesdale United (Northern Premier League Division 1 North: 1st) –> Smashed all before them in an outstanding season as they racked up 102 points to win league and promotion.

Spennymoor Town (Northern League: 2nd) –> They did win their first FA Vase title, but face another Northern League season after finishing a mighty 13 points behind winners Darlington.


St Johnstone (Scottish Premier League: 3rd) –> Pipped Inverness on last day to win last Euro spot for Europa League campaign. Loss of manager Steve Lomas to Millwall is a blow however for this upcoming season.

St Mirren (Scottish Premier League: 11th) –> Did win their very first League Cup trophy, but were also extremely lucky in Dundee being so poor to survive this season. Improvement vastly needed in the league.

St Neots Town (Southern Premier: 12th) –> Once mercenary Stefan Moore was offered more money to join Leamington, the goals dried up and St Neots tumbled down the league. Managed to end up in 12th, but will need a lot more fire power this season.

Stevenage (League 1: 18th) –> Were sliding down the table until they punted Gary Smith mid-season and local hero Graham Westley returned. In the end, finished 3 places and 6 points off relegation.

Stoke City (Premiership: 13th) –> Stoke seemed to be going backward and ‘only’ finished 6 points off relegation this season. Pulis has now been punted and relegation manager Mark Hughes has come in. The next Charlton? Also lost to Man City in the FA Cup 4th Round.

Swindon Supermarine (Southern League D1 South & West: 4th) –> Snuck into playoffs late on but lost outrageous semi-final to Merthyr Town. Managed to get the game to penalties despite being down to 9 men for most of the game.


The Spartans (East of Scotland League: 3rd) –> Finished 9 points behind Whitehill in the League and lost in East of Scotland League Cup Final to Edinburgh City. Did pick up the King Cup though with a win over Berwick Rangers Reserves.

Tunbridge Wells (Kent League: 7th) –> Wembley day aside, it was a decent season still for the Wells as the won the Kent League Trophy with a win over Northwood. Did finish 22 points off top spot though.

Uxbridge (Southern League D1 Central: 11th) –> Troubled neither promotion or relegation places but did win the Middlesex FA Charity Cup after a 5-2 win over Brentford.

Wanderers (Surrey South Eastern Combination Junior Division 4: 2nd) –> Still raising money for charity and the quest to move up the pyramid. Missed out on the Level 17 title by goal difference this time out.

Watford (Championship: 3rd) –> Loan FC finished 2 points off automatic promotion after Hull pipped them on the final day. Then after scraping past Leicester in the play-offs, they lost in the final to Crystal Palace after extra time.

Wealdstone (Isthmian League Premier: 3rd) –> Promotion still eludes them as they finished behind runaway Whitehawk to end up in the playoffs. Playoff semi-final saw them lose 2-1 at Concord Rangers to ensure a longer stay in the Isthmian.


Wigan Athletic (Premiership: 18th) –> Won the FA Cup brilliantly before being relegated in their very next game away at Arsenal. Will have the Europa League to look forward to under Owen Coyle as they try and get their top flight status back.

Wingate & Finchley (Isthmian League Premier: 18th) –> Good end to the season kept them up by 3 points. Will need more fight about them to stay up next season too.

Worcester City (Blue Square North: 15th) –> Feeling the pinch of moving to Kidderminster as season tickets sales were poor too. Only 6 points off relegation this time out and with budget cuts will be a lot closer this time too.

Wycombe Wanderers (League 2: 15th) –> Never really troubled by relegation after Waddock left. Never troubled the playoffs after Ainsworth came in either.

While I still play catch-up after a massively busy summer (I’m nearly there!) here are some great match snaps of games I was at this season. 2012/13 was a good one.



Ches v Barrow

DC vs BR



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