Reasons to be cheerful for local football

East Anglia may not be widely known as a footballing hotbed, but this season has been a stunning one for those involved in football in the East of England.

Starting at the very top, Norfolk's most obvious success has been that of their biggest side Norwich City. Canaries' boss Paul Lambert has worked a minor miracle in sealing back-to-back promotions for the yellow and green army.

However, this is not where the success ends for Norfolk-based football teams. The Norfolk Under 18s ensured they go down in history as being the first ever Norfolk based side to win the County FA Youth Cup. A brace from Nathan Howard and a goal from Joe Marsden combined with an own-goal gave Ian Thornton's team a stunning 4-2 win over Staffordshire Under 18s at Stoke City's Britannia Stadium.

The next two big sides in East Anglia both had superb seasons but failed at the final hurdle, Lowestoft coming within 90 minutes of their third promotion in three years, before succumbing to a heartbreaking 4-3 play-off final loss at the hands of Tonbridge. Possibly the most unfortunate team in the country are King's Lynn Town, any side who get 103 points would expect to be promoted, but due to St Neots amazing season, Lynn will in all probability have to spend another season in the United Counties League.

The only disappointment for Norfolk sides is that both Dereham and Wroxham fell just short of the Ridgeons Premier Division title, with Leiston running away with it, but three of the top four do hail from Norfolk, with Wisbech finishing in fourth position.

In the Ridgeons First Division, Norfolk-based side Gorleston dominated proceedings with a League and Cup double. They will be joined in the Premier Division next season by Diss Town who finished in third position.

All in all it has been an extremely successful season for Norfolk-based sides.

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