Weather could not prevent fine debut season in top tier for Albion Sports (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Weather could not prevent fine debut season in top tier for Albion Sports
Review of Season
The campaign began with little or no preparation for Kulwinder Sandhu and his squad of players as Albion raced against time to find a ground so that they could accept their promotion.
Albion were given short notice by Bradford Park Avenue that they did not want to have another season sharing Horsfall Stadium with another club because of the wear and tear on an already notoriously poor pitch.
Farsley's offer that Albion would be welcome as tenants at Throstle Nest came just in the nick of time.
That allowed Sandhu’s men, who had finished as Northern Counties East League Division One champions, the chance to step up into the top tier.
The close-season drama did not affect the newly-promoted club as they opened the campaign with a nine-match unbeaten run in all competitions.
Eight of those games were victories, with the only draw coming in their inaugural FA Cup tie.
Following that 3-3 draw at their new home against South Shields, Albion won the replay in the north east but their FA Cup debut season ended in the next round following a 3-0 reverse at Marske United.
There was also an early exit from the FA Vase but they enjoyed some success in the West Riding County Cup.
In the first round, they put Thackley to the sword with a 5-0 win at Dennyfield, which partly avenged Albion’s first defeat of the season - 5-1 to Thackley at Throstle Nest.
Albion reached the quarter-finals of that competition but were knocked out of the League Cup by another local rival.
Albion were beaten 3-1 in the second round by Eccleshill United, who they had left behind in Division One. Eccleshill went on to reach the final at Valley Parade.
However, it was the bread and butter of the league that Sandhu wanted to get right as he tried to establish his club in the higher division.
There were some poor results, and Albion, like all the other clubs, faced frustration in the wettest winter on record.
Postponements did not help consistency. From the end of November to the beginning of March, 25 match days were prepared for, five were aborted due to postponements and one ended by an abandonment. A dozen of those games ended in defeat, with Albion winning just five.
Despite that, Albion never dropped below eighth place during that spell, and a strong finish, in which they banked six maximums in their last seven games, saw them claim sixth spot.
The only points they dropped in the run-in were to top-eight rivals Bridlington Town, who finished as runners-up the previous season.
That underlines just how well Albion did in their first season in the top tier of the NCEL set-up.
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