2016/17 End of Season Review
Season three in charge of the Towners for this young and inexperienced manager, and this is where it gets really serious. We turned professional, and we got lumbered with debt to finance a new stadium. If it wasn’t for an invasion of the Irish, I have no idea how we’d have fared during this past season…
Get results for every game as it happens by following @EnfieldTown_FC on Twitter!
Sky Bet League Two (
This was a very surprising season, as for the best part of it we sat around the top end of mid-table (as this graph shows), going on extended runs where we couldn’t buy a win. Where we got lucky is in the fact we didn’t lose many at all, managing to grab a point in games where we probably deserved nothing. In most games we were outplayed, but still managed to come away with something. We don’t have a great squad, but they do show great resilience, which, with two games to go got us into…
First up were Yeovil, who finished fourth in the league. We drew with them away and lost at home in the league, but at the time of the playoffs we were coming in off the back of a fourteen game unbeaten run, coincidentally beginning after the defeat to Yeovil, which included our best run of wins this season of five in six games. We stole the win in the first leg courtesy of a late winner from Jack Cameron, which I was delighted with, especially as we were second best on the day. The second leg we knew we had the upper hand with Yeovil needing a comprehensive result to win the tie, and we put in a professional shift, doing enough to keep us in control to see us through to face York in the final, who beat Plymouth in their semi.
Both our league games against York ended in score draws, though we did beat them well in the FA Cup (see next section). In what was statistically an even game, we were 2-0 up by the hour, and York scored with eight minutes to play, but it was merely a consolation. We were, against all odds, going up!
FA Cup (
With our financial situation, a cup run would have been most welcome. A good win against York I hoped would set us up well, but upon drawing Crewe, I knew all we could do is put out the best side available and try to manage reactively during the game. I set up more defensively, with the hope of nabbing something on the counter. We managed to hold them off for an hour, but their persistence showed through and as we tired, they struck twice in twelve minutes, and even scored our consolation goal for us too.
Capital One Cup (
It was our first time in the League Cup, and the board were happy enough with that, so nothing was expected of us. Just as well really, as League One side Oxford were just too much for us.
Johnstones Paint Trophy (
Again this was our first time in this competition, and again the expectations were low from both myself and the board. Dagenham & Redbridge were a league rival and put up a good fight but on the day we prevailed. Against Southend, we were 3-0 down, but towards the end we scented blood, and I threw caution to the wind, going all-out attack. We scored two, and should have earned a draw but for a controversial reffing decision going against us, when the ball was in the net. Play was pulled back for a foul, and the ball from the resulting free kick is probably floating somewhere in the Thames Estuary.
IN: An Irish invasion, with all four signings from the Republic of Ireland: McTeigue is our star ‘keeper and has ‘leading Championship’ potential, as does central defender Joe Wolfe. Central midfielder Aaron Lacey has the potential to be a ‘good Premier League’ midfielder. Murphy was a disappointment, though that is probably more to do with the way the Match Engine uses fullbacks at the moment…
OUT: Most of the ‘outs’ are players I inherited or signed in my first season, and it wasn’t worth renewing their contracts.
The best of a poor bunch, and even got some game time for the last couple of months in the season, scoring five in seven games. Only has ‘good League Two’ potential.
We will move into our new stadium in time for the start of the season, and I hope we’ll still be a League One team come the end of the season, at least.