How was it for you? Part 3 – Ewch ar y Cymru

Rhys Wyne from the excellent website Your Supposed To Be At Home brings us his Non League story.

Colwyn Bay’s pre-season brief was simple – consolidation.

Getting promoted with an 88th minute penalty, a loss manager Neil Young to the new Chester FC and large scale restructuring of the squad due the gutting that followed, and it was no surprise that the Seagulls were 33/1 to get promoted, one of the outsiders. As a Bay fan myself, I’d have taken 11th place with open arms, and doom-mongers had predicted that the best we could hope for was 17th. An average pre-season lead to the first competitive game of Dave Challinor’s managerial career with North Ferriby United, one of the pre-season favourites and a tough game. A game that the Bay won 3-1 and saw Colwyn Bay on top of the table on day 1 of the season. This saw many a Bay record the moment on Sky Sports. Continue reading

Trophy life

Just when the excitement of the FA Cup peters out with the start of the competition proper, up pops the FA Trophy, the competition open for teams who play in steps 1 to 4 of the Non League pyramid. With the carrot of a game at Wembley at the end, it is not like the FA Cup where it is almost guaranteed that your Chelsea, Manchester United or Portsmouth will be enjoying a day out in London in May. In the past ten seasons seventeen different teams have competed for the Trophy including clubs from below the Conference National such as Canvey Island (twice), Hucknall Town, Burscough and Hednesford Town. In fact the last two winners of the Trophy, Barrow and Ebbsfleet United did so against teams who were themselves promoted to the Football League in the same season (Stevenage and Torquay United) proving that dogs do have their day in the sun.

Graham Yapp from the excellent Modus Hopper Random blog takes up the story from the edge of the Lancashire Moors as Northern League Division One club Mossley host Cheshire’s Nantwich Town from the league above.

Mossley have some history in this competition. reaching the final in 1980 when they beat Altrincham, Blyth Spartans and Boston United (all much bigger sides) before they lost 2-1 to Dagenham (before they found Redbridge down the back of the sofa). They had already enjoyed a good run in the FA Cup this season, bowing out eventually last Saturday to Blue Square Bet Premier League Darlington. Continue reading