One-point side to escape drop
KEITH PEEL A football team which gained just one point last season looks set to escape relegation. Clacton Town finished bottom of the Ridgeons League Premier Division after drawing one and losing the other 41 of their fixtures.
A football team which gained just one point last season looks set to escape relegation.
Clacton Town finished bottom of the Ridgeons League Premier Division after drawing one and losing the other 41 of their fixtures.
They would normally have been one of three teams relegated, with the Division One top three stepping up.
But Harwich and Norwich United, who finished second and third from bottom, have already been reprieved, because AFC Sudbury and Bury Town are stepping up to the new Ryman Division One North League.
Now Clacton are also set to survive, because Fulbourn Institute don't have the facilities to allow a move up from Ridgeons Division One after finishing third.
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They have been saved by league rules that state that only teams which finish in the top three can gain promotion.
A management committee decision that Clacton should stay put, with only Stanway Rovers and Felixstowe being promoted from Division One, will be put forward for ratification at the June 17 annual meeting.
No new clubs have entered the league, and the first division will have two fewer clubs than in 2005/06.
Subject to annual meeting confirmation, the Premier Division next season will comprise AFC Cambridge (formerly Cambridge City Reserves), Clacton Town, Dereham Town, Diss Town, Felixstowe & Walton United, Halstead Town, Harwich & Parkeston, Histon Reserves, Ipswich Wanderers, King's Lynn Reserves, Kirkley, Leiston, Lowestoft Town, Mildenhall Town, Needham Market, Newmarket Town, Norwich United, Soham, Stanway Rovers, Wisbech Town, Woodbridge Town, Wroxham.
Division One will be made up of Cornard United, Debenham LC, Downham Town, Ely City, Fakenham Town, Fulbourn Institute, Godmanchester Rovers, Gorleston, Yarmouth Town, Hadleigh United, Haverhill Rovers, Long Melford, March Town United, Saffron Walden Town, Stowmarket Town, Swaffham Town, Thetford Town, Tiptree United, Walsham-le-Willows, Whitton United and Yarmouth Town.
Yarmouth Town were pleasantly surprised to receive the Integrity in Football award at the Ridgeons League's annual dinner.
“It was a real bolt out of the blue, but a very great honour for the club,” said chairman Julian Banham.
The award is made to the club receiving the most points throughout the season for hospitality, friendliness and the welcome given to visiting clubs and match officials, plus elements of sportsmanship and club management.
The Bloaters, who will hold the trophy for a year, also receive a cheque for £1200.
Particularly mentioned as a good example of Yarmouth's sportsmanship was their “guard of honour” welcome for champions Stanway at the last game of the season, after which they presented the visitors with a celebration cake in the clubhouse.
Bloaters secretary Brian Smith said: “This is what football should be all about at this level.”