Mike Bacon’s classic non-league games of last season. Part One:- Is your team there?
PUBLISHED: 10:39 11 June 2019 | UPDATED: 13:46 11 June 2019
© Stephen Waller
Following on from his popular top 10 Non-League teams of the season, MIKE BACON takes a look at 14 of last season’s outstanding non-league matches... In PART ONE, he counts down from 14 to eight. PART TWO, the top seven, comes up tomorrow.
OK, so it appears you liked my top 10 non-league teams of the season feature. I could tell by the feedback! Thanks for that.
So, now I'm going to look back at 14 of the most exciting, dramatic and memorable games of the 2018/19 season.
From the SIL to the National League. No, I wasn't at all of them, and I'm sure you will remember plenty better. But I've made a few enquiries with people who were there, including my non-league podcast co-host CARL MARSTON - although he claims he remembers nothing! Which doesn't surprise me! Hopefully it brings back a few memories. THIS IS PART ONE: 14 down to eight.
Saturday, December 8, 2018
IPSWICH WANDERERS 3 HARLESTON 1
Thurlow One North
It was an up and down season for Ipswich Wanderers - and this was typical of it.
Leaders, Harleston rolled into town but were sent packing by a competent Wanderers performance that belied their then eighth-placed position.
Goals from Alexandru Bobonete, James Watling and Joe Berry put the home side in control midway through the first half.
Harleston had scored in every game up to this point, so it was no surprise when they pulled a goal back on 70 minutes through Nathan Russell. But it was too late.
Wanderers deserved the win while, despite this defeat, Harleston still enjoyed a nine-point cushion at the top of the Thurlow One North table. However, that didn't last - and Swaffham came through to take the title.
Saturday, February 9, 2019
BRAINTREE TOWN 1 SALFORD CITY 0
Now, we all love a last-minute winner.
And, in a season that sadly ended with relegation, this was a huge highlight for Braintree Town.
Bottom of the table at the time and with Salford gunning for a play-off place, Callum Morton delighted the near 800 crowd with his 90+4 minute goal.
The only goal of the game at just the right time. It appeared something to build on for Iron, but it wasn't to be. Indeed, they lost their next five league games! Still, those who were there that Saturday afternoon will remember the scenes after Morton's strike.
Saturday, April 20, 2019
LOWESTOFT 3 STRATFORD 2
Southern League Central Premier
It was proving a tough season for the Trawlerboys.
Teetering near the drop zone for much of the time in Southern League Central Premier, Jamie Godbold's side needed a lift. And they got one, when they re-signed hot-shot striker Jake Reed from Leiston.
His goals, Lowestoft's persistence and Godbold's man-management all helped galvanise the east coast club to Step 3 safety.
This particular day belonged to Reed as he completed his third hat-trick since his return. Wow! Talk about making a mark! Lowestoft, who only needed a point before the game to guarantee safety, got all three. A few celes and beers in the clubhouse that day, me thinks!
Tuesday, January 8, 2019
TAMWORTH 1 NEEDHAM MARKET 2
Southern League Central Premier
Seriously, what could be better than a 300-mile round trip on a damp January day to play a non-league match, knowing you will get home about 2am in the morning and be up again at 6am to head off to work? Well, a 2-1 victory, three points, a sing-song on the coach home, maybe a sneaky beer, before everyone descends into sleep, makes it worthwhile.
Yep, the higher you go in non-league the more travel and sacrifices you have to make. On this night, Richard Wilkins' side pulled off a super win at Tamworth, to move up to third in the table, with goals from Gareth Heath (47) and Reece Dobson (85).
And how about this line from the match report: "The Needham No.10 (Dobson) rounded the keeper to net into the empty net, to the delight of the 17 visiting fans."
The 'Needham 17'. I tip may hat to you fine souls.
Saturday, February 2, 2019
FELIXSTOWE & WALTON 3 HEYBRIDGE SWIFTS 0
In their debut season at Step 4, Felixstowe & Walton enjoyed some notable results - and this was right up there.
Heybridge were play-off material and indeed went on to win the Bostik North play-off final against Maldon & Tiptree. Managed by ex-Liverpool and West Ham hard man Julian Dicks, the Swifts were a strong and combative side.
But Felixstowe were too good this day.
Inspired by goals from Jordy Matthews and Josh Kerridge in the first half-hour and Rhys Henry 20 minutes from time, this was a result for Seasiders fans to savour.
After the game Dicks admitted: "My side weren't good enough by a long shot." Indeed Julian!
Wednesday, February 6, 2019
LONG MELFORD 3 STOWMARKET TOWN 1
Thurlow Nunn League Cup
For a team who spent much of last season trying to avoid relegation, Long Melford certainly knew how to hit it off in the League Cup.
An outstanding run and final win saw them lift the Cup at Diss, in May. This after ending their Thurlow Nunn Premier campaign with three straight wins as the Villagers avoided relegation. What timing!
And, after defeating Woodbridge and Hadleigh in earlier rounds, this win over Stowmarket was as impressive as it was surprising to much in the Suffolk non-league world.
Emmanuel Machaya put Melford ahead before Nathan Rowe made it two from the spot and Pablo Chaves made it three.
Josh Mayhew pulled one back for Stow, but this was a highlight night for Melford. There were more highlights to come.
Saturday, March 16, 2019
MALDON & TIPTREE 1 COGGESHALL TOWN 4
Essex sides bossed Bostik North last season.
Bowers & Pitsea, Maldon & Tiptree, Heybridge Swifts, Aveley and Coggeshall.
The top five for much of the campaign, whenever they met... a battle commenced. And this was one of the Seed Growers' finest hours.
Maldon were second with a tip-top home record, Coggeshall were in the chasing pack but were two-up at the break - a Conor Hubble double!
Jack Cawley pulled on back for Maldon, but Ross Wall and Nnamdi Nwachuku sewed it up for the visitors.
What a Coggeshall performance
Even Olly Murs' heart must have skipped a beat... See what I've done there? Apologies!
PART TWO COMING UP TOMORROW, NOS. SEVEN to ONE
LISTEN: 26 NON-LEAGUE PODCASTS TO CHOOSE FROM HERE