A 'Brief' Review of the Season  

Well what a season it has been and I've tried to sum up it up below.

The season started with a win over 1st division Penrith in the FA Cup, followed by a couple of draws in the league. FA Cup action again against Holker Old Boys, another draw and a midweek replay over Cumbria, however this was the end of the FA Cup for this season as Holker won 3 - 1. Next up FA Vase, but again a quick exit as Guisborough win 2 - 1. Back to league action and a fantastic win over the surprise package Ryhope CW and things were looking up. However the performances over the next 7 games were a bit scrappy with 4 wins, 2 losses and 1 draw.

The low point of the season came next, a 6 - 2 defeat against Esh Winning and Craig Price was sent off for a second yellow card. What came next was nothing short of remarkable, the players stepped up their performance and started to play like the team the fans and the managers knew they could. An 18 league game unbeaten run began, 14 straight league wins, 1 draw and then 3 further wins. The first 2 wins against fellow promotion hopefuls North Shields and Seaham Red Star, Craig Price coming off the bench at Seaham and scoring a spectacular volley from outside the 18 yard box to start his redemption for his sending off.

November saw Crook Town knocked out of the Ernest Armstrong cup at the hands of Chester Le Street, losing 4 - 2 in a penalty shoot-out. January saw Crook Town exit the last cup competition, the Durham Challenge Cup, losing 2 - 0 to Norton and Stockton Ancients.

The weather did its best to halt the progress during this period but the committee and fans rallied round and managed to get the pitch into a playable state on a number of occasions. Hard work and dedication that paid off as Crook Town AFC hardly had a fixture backlog, whilst others teams were playing twice a week into April. Snow did however halt the club for a while as 8 inches of snow fell onto the pitch.

The end of the league unbeaten run came with a defeat against North Shields, shortly followed by a defeat against Morpeth. Time to regroup, new players came in and the recovery started with a win against local rivals Brandon United. Not a spectacular performance and it was a last minute own goal which secured the win but it was 3 more points on the board. This was the start of a ten game unbeaten run (9 wins and 1 draw), including high scoring wins against Seaham Red Star, Chester-Le-Street and Washington.

Promotion was guaranteed after a 2 - 1 win away at Whitehaven, Robbie Bird scoring both goals in spectacular fashion. This lead to a quite memorable coach ride home with players, management, committee members and fans in party mood!!!

A victory against Thornaby in our last game of the season sealed the Champions spot for Crook Town, Alex Marshall scoring the only goal of the match. The sun was shining and once again everyone was in a party mood.

We've lost a few players along the way, Graham Liddle through injury, Craig Hughes transferred to Shildon, Corey Barnes moving to Sweden, Sean Davies transferring to Esh Winning, Kevin Devine briefly moving to Team Northumbria (he couldn't resist the pull of CTAFC though as he soon came back!). New players have come in, Daryll Evans, David Gordon, Paul Gibson, Steven Turnbull, Steven Walklate and Matthew Weirs.

We've also acquired a new name during the season via Twitter the #bigambermachine, I'm not sure who started it and when but it sounds good and it has stuck.

We also have to remember the fans and players who have died this season; Fans - Bob Pendlebury, Cyril Winter, Harry Brook and Pam Thompson, Players - Arnold Coates and Seamus O'Connell; all will be sadly missed.

 The new season is going to bring new challenges to the committee, managers and players of Crook Town AFC as we head into Division 1, the one thing that we have wanted here for far too long. We are going to face some good teams, and there will be many ups and downs, but we are all in it together. All of us connected with Crook Town AFC are very excited about the future and we hope that you, the fans get behind us and support us as best you can. And don't forget if you like coming, maybe some of your friends will, so get them to come along too!!

 Ian Todd