Terrace Talk by Steve Adamson
Read the final Terrace Talk of the season from Steve Adamson as he looks back on a season to remember for Scarborough Athletic FC...
Isn’t it amazing how quickly time flies. It hardly seems possible that we have now reached the end of our historic first season back home in Scarborough, after those ten long and very challenging years in exile down the Coast at Bridlington. Was it really nine months ago that we all gathered here for that eagerly awaited first home pre-season friendly against Sheffield United!
So much has happened since then, and I’m sure the memories of this epic campaign will stay with those of us who follow Scarborough Athletic for the rest of our lives. Not only have we finally got our club back home after a decade long struggle, with many low points along the way, but we have returned home in such great style, that we now end the campaign with promotion to the higher division assured, and a cup final at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium still to look forward to.
After finally clinching promotion to the premier division with a 3-1 win at Colne last Saturday, we then extended our unbeaten run to nine matches (8 wins and a draw) with a battling 2-1 win against Glossop North End here at the Flamingo Land Stadium on Tuesday night. Despite playing for more the half the game with ten men following the first half dismissal of Nathan Valentine, we made it six successive wins to take a step closer to securing runners-up position in the league behind worthy champions South Shields. We go into today’s final league match of the season, on 92 points, three clear of third placed Hyde United, so a point this afternoon would ensure we finish as runners-up, and another target to aim for will be to reach 100 league goals as we currently have 99 goals from 41 matches.
Actually today’s game is an historic occasion for both competing teams, as our visitors Ossett Albion are playing their last ever game before the upcoming merger with their local rivals Ossett Town, to create a new club, Ossett United, that will replace the two present clubs in the Evo-Stik North next season. Ossett Albion were members of the Yorkshire League from 1957-1982, playing against Scarborough FC Reserves on many occasions. They then played in the newly formed Northern Counties East League from 1882 until 2004 when they won promotion to the NPL (Evo Stik League).
This is Ossett Albion’s 14th season as members of the Evo-Stik League, their highest placing being 6th in Division One (North) in both 2007-08 and 2008-09. Last season they finished 18th and they are currently 14th, with local rivals Ossett Town in 18th position. Albion enjoyed a great run of results in March, winning five successive league games including a 2-0 home win against high-flying Hyde United. Since then they have played a further eight games, but won just two of them, 3-2 away at Glossop and 4-0 at home to Bamber Bridge last Saturday, while another good result was a 2-2 home draw against champions South Shields. On Tuesday night Albion were beaten 1-0 at Colne - the scene of Boro’s promotion party last Saturday!
When Boro visited Dimple Wells earlier this season, on 12 September, Michael Coulson scored a hat-trick, with Emile Sinclair and Luke Dean also on target as we won 5-2, with Nathan Curtis (who later joined Boro) and Kieran Scargill replying for Ossett Albion. Apart from Nathan Curtis, another player who has played for both clubs this season is centre-back Matt Dempsey who had a brief spell with Boro, and appeared in that first ever match at the Flamingo Land Stadium against Sheffield United, before leaving to join Albion in October.
Just briefly looking back over this history making season, there are a number of words that come to mind - enjoyable, exciting, successful, memorable, unforgettable. It really has been such a fabulous homecoming and there have been so many highlights - the terrific FA Cup run, a wonderful season-long tussle for promotion, a North Riding Senior Cup final appearance. So many players have stood out, the fantastic front three (Coulson, Walshaw and Wright), the ever consistent skipper Dave Merris, the versatile Nathan Valentine, excellent keeper Tommy Taylor, exciting young players like Johnson, Cadman and Slew. Manager Steve Kittrick and his assistant Mark Hulme deserve enormous credit for providing such a fantastic season, full of great football and exciting matches.
What an amazing season it has been, and of course, we’ve still got a cup final to come, and hopefully the much needed ground improvements in the pipeline. Football in Scarborough has endured many dark times in recent years, but at last the future is looking bright once again....
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