Well, it felt a little anti-climactic in the end. Wonderfully so.
Before the game I had come to terms with the fact that if the worst case scenario was dropping to Step 4 but still having a club to support next season then I'd be able to live with that. It wouldn't have been my ideal scenario, but it was better than having nowhere to go next season.
All I hoped for from the players was that they gave it absolutely everything and if we came up short, so be it. I think they did that. After getting the early goal, Swindon carried little - if any threat - and although we were made to work extremely hard (no question of them rolling over and letting us win at all), I always felt reasonably comfortable.
I thought Chappell was outstanding in the holding midfield role, just mopped everything up - launched the ball when it needed launching - and then in front of him Hope was measured and Harriott enormously energetic and teancious. Charlie Smith looks more comfortable at left-back than left-wing, Luke was excellent (that tackle in stoppage time inside the box, bravo, sir) and Shaq deserves a tonne of credit for passing 20 goals, mostly from out wide.
There's definitely a nucleus there for Jimmy to build on depending on budget / players wanting to stay / which league we find ourselves in and I think he deserves so much credit for keeping us up this season given everything that he's had to deal with. Hopefully a full pre-season will give him the proper chance to build and plan for next term.
Enjoy the summer everyone, see you all next time out where I'd kill for mid-table mediocrity for a change!
Agree with John’s analysis of the match. Also happy it wasn’t as tense as it could have been, and that Swindon had nothing to play for. Non league football is extremely challenging, especially when a club with our resources has to survive first in order to succeed. Jimmy has done a magnificent job this season in tough circumstances and here’s to a good pre-season and an opportunity to get him the time to plan who he wants and play ‘his’ team.
Nice to see the gaffer smiling. I've consigned the campaign to the archives. It's how we progress. Personally, I've not wanted a season to end as much as that. The home form was a constant drain. Mentally, in that regard, I do maintain the players deserve a huge amount of credit. They did stick at it. There's a lot to be done on the playing front.
Never thought I would type this, but in the grand scheme of things, I miss going to Aveley! I do think we are the proverbial fish out of water in this division. We are placed with a unique characteristic in this division. This past season, to our detriment. I think it could also work in our favour. Style wise, I think we have more akin to the Southern Coastal sides in terms of prospective domination. I think the reverse is more the case should we revert back to the Bostick. The formation, and in particular, should we hold onto Connor, the un-resolved issue.
A lot to ponder. As for the manager. I think he is a smashing lad. When he joined, I noted the St Albans forum, despite the fact he had stepped down, were full of praise. That's a rare event in this world. I think he's highly respected. Regardless of what manifests, I want to see what this young man can orchestrate over the next couple of years. Best wishes to David B on your recovery. Only 80 or so days, before the friendlies kick-in! Enjoy what-ever summer we've got left!
Personally I'm glad you boys made it okay.
There's nothing worse than that stomach churning feeling wondering if your going to be safe.
Wonder if we'll be in the same league next season?
Edited by Earlsmead part-timer at 14:33:36 on 28th April 2019
Job done. Target for me this season was to stay at this level - we've done it. Certainly would like to see James Gray in charge next season with a proper pre-season to be able to plan for.