Expunged! The season that never was…

May 9, 2020

As we all look out of the window at the glorious weather, wondering when, (and if), life will return to something like normal, we speculate as to when the love of our life, proper non- league football, will start once again. Time to remember last season.  

As we all now know, the 2019/2020 NCEL season is to become the season that never was. There are some that say all records should be expunged. Before that possibility comes to pass we take some time to review the season that never was.

Our season started on the first Tuesday in July with a friendly against our close friends and rivals, Tadcaster Albion, a narrow defeat, in front of a healthy Fairfax Plant Hire Stadium crowd.

Further friendlies followed. Selby Town was still celebrating its Centenary Year, and held a joint celebration with fellow centenarians, Riccall United. The Eric Lawton Cup was retained by beating Goole AFC, at The Victoria Pleasure Ground, by 1-3.  

A final friendly saw Town handed a thrashing at the home of Ossett United, but, despite this, all at Selby Town were confident that the Robins were in good shape for the season to come.

The first Saturday in August, and the league program began with a tough home fixture against the fancied Skegness Town. After conceding early The Robins had to work very hard for a point. Four superb league wins followed, before August was wrapped up with an FA Vase win at Avro of The Northwest Counties League Premier Division.  

Among the division pace setters already, Town suffered their first league defeat at Nostell Miners Welfare on the first Saturday in September. 0-2 up at half time, but the Robins contrived to lose 3-2.  However, September saw two further league victories, and progress in The Vase, and the League Cup.

No-one will ever forget 21st September 2019, as 285 people packed into The Fairfax Plant Hire Stadium to celebrate it being 100 years and a day since the Robin’s first ever match. A very emotional game saw Selby triumph 4-2.

October was a mixed bag. More progress in The Vase, but exit from the West Riding Senior Cup, at the hands of Armthorpe Welfare, and the League Cup, courtesy of Dronfield Town. League aspirations were dented by a home defeat by close rivals, Campion.

If October was a mixed bag, then November was a disaster. The weather played a huge part. The only match that was played was The FA Vase match, which was actually a home tie switched to Bridlington Town because of the weather. Two straight red cards saw The Robins down to ten men. It wasn’t a surprise that a 2-4 defeat saw surrender of their place in The Vase, but Town certainly made their opponents sweat, despite the numerical advantage.

The then leading scorer, Chris Jackson, left the club for Australia, and the lack of playing league games saw Town lose their position near the top of the league.

Perhaps the only highlight was Prime Minister, Boris Johnson giving Selby Town a shout out for their Centenary Year. Many thanks to local MP and sponsor, Nigel Adams, for arranging that.

Cup exploits over, and so to concentrate on the league.

Raring to go for December, and Selby were given a dose of reality as they were thrashed 0-5 at home by fellow promotion contenders, North Ferriby. In a month were fixtures were again ravaged by the vagaries of the weather Town bounced back with a victory at Armthorpe, and a creditable goal-less draw at Skegness Town.

The end of the Centenary season, and Town were one of the fancied sides. Robin’s supporters were daring to dream of a long overdue promotion.

Those dreams were beginning to turn into reality, as a perfect January saw five straight victories with twenty three goals scored. The people of Selby were really coming on board with two home crowds of over 300 fans. Town were racing towards the top of the table.

February arrived, and the sweet smell of success was blown away, almost literally, by a windswept defeat at Hall Road Rangers. Bouncing back, Town managed three more victories despite the weather interfering again. Two of those victories were at The Fairfax Plant Hire Stadium, and were played in front of crowds of 355, and 348 respectively. The last match played in February was an 11-2 demolition of East Hull, a match that finally saw The Robins hit the top of the table.

March arrived with everyone hoping that the weather would permit a busy, but uninterrupted end to the season. Selby fans were hoping that the season would end with promotion success, maybe even with Town as League winners.

The month commenced with a resounding victory over Rossington Main. Liam Flanagan registered a hat-trick and in doing so took his Selby Town total past 100 goals. Joyous scenes.

A huge expectant crowd of 410 fans, the biggest at The Fairfax Plant Hire Stadium for many a year awaited close rivals Winterton Rangers. Level on points with The Robins at the summit, there was a feeling that the match was pivotal. Unfortunately Selby were not at their best and were defeated 0-2.

No opportunity to bounce back, because as we all know the season has been suspended, and now has been declared as null and void.

For the record Town had played 25 games at the time of suspension, so another 13 to play. They had amassed 56 points and had a massive goal difference of +46, the best in the Division. Third in the league, two points behind Skegness Town with a game in hand, and three points behind Winterton Rangers, with two games in hand.

Home: Played 14 Won10 Drawn 1 Lost 3 F51 A26

Away: Played 11 Won 8 Drawn 1 Lost 2 F35 A14

A great position, but we will never know what might have been. However, the season past, will long remain in the memory of Selby Town fans. Goals galore, and then some. Here’s hoping The Robins can go again, and win the promotion that all Town fans have been dreaming of.

Whatever the future holds, whoever of our descendants gets to write the Selby Town Bicentenary book for 2119, has one heck of a first chapter to write!

By Phil Dearnley

Comments 1

  1. Tommy Arkley

    Great article Phil brought back some great memories hang on was it just a dream?

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© Selby Town FC 2020
Casey Stewart
Forward - Sponsored by Garry Mollon
Brett Lucas
Defence - Sponsored by Samson Moat, Charlie Molloy, Jake Shaw
Myles Lawman
Midfield - Sponsored by Flames of Hull
Josh Rogerson
Defence - Sponsored by Graham, Isaac and Angela Shepherd
Jordan Carter
Midfield - Sponsored by Blu Skye Villas
Luke Sellers
Defence - Sponsored by Terry Smith
Ryan Gothard
Centre Half

Ryan works in York as a mechanic.

He has previously played for Sporting Knavesmire.

His most enjoyable moment from his time at Selby Town is beating Bradford Park Avenue on penalties in the West Riding County Cup.

Ryan is a FIFA man, and his favourite player is John Terry.

Ryan captains the Selby Town side, playing as a centre half with the number 5 shirt on his back.

Alasan Ann
Defence - Sponsored by Selby Ultras

Aged 24, and from Luton – Ann is living in York whilst studying physiotherapist at university.

He has previously played for Luton Town, St Neots Town, Hitchin Town, and Kings Langley.

His greatest memory in non league so far was reaching the play off final with Hitchin Town.

A FIFA man, his greatest inspiration in football was Ledley King which he puts down to his “overall understanding of the game and leadership skills.”

Reuben Pearse
Right Back

Reuben has played for a number of clubs including Cliffe F.C.

He had a stint in management at Selby Town before stepping back due to work commitments.

Reuben plays at right-back with the number 2 shirt.

Nick Kennedy
Centre Back/Striker - Sponsored by David Reynolds

Nick is just starting out as a labourer, but hopes to travel the world playing football.

Previously played for York City and Bodens BK.

He hasn’t been at the club long, but his best memory so far is winning against Tadcaster Albion in the semi final of the West Riding County Cup.

Nick is also a FIFA player (that Selby Town FIFA tournament is gaining players by the minute), and he looks up to Sergio Ramos, because he is a “goal scoring centre back”.

Nick is versatile and can play as a full back or striker, wearing the number 6 or number 9 shirt depending on his position.

 

Nick is kindly sponsored for 2018/19 by David Reynolds.

Zac Lawrence
Defence

Formerly of York City, Zac also held trials at Sunderland.

This is his first season within Selby Town Football Club’s defence.

Danny Snaith
Defensive Midfielder

Danny is a defensive midfielder.

He has previously played for Selby u19s, Tadcaster Albion, Dringhouses, Copmanthorpe, Glasshoughton Welfare, and Huntington.

Danny’s favourite Selby Town memory was from a few years back (possibly 2013/14) when Selby hosted Shaw Lane at Richard Street. At the time Shaw Lane were paying stupid money to get players to play for them, yet Selby still finished the game 3-1 winners.

Football Manager is his game of choice, and growing up Steven Gerrard was his favourite player, but the best player he has seen play live is Jermaine Defoe whose ‘pace was frightening’.

A joiner by trade, Danny lives in York and works for Future Roof fitting GRP

Chris Bilton
Midfield

Chris lives in York and works as a Sports Marketing Intern at York St John.

He has previously played for York City FC, Huntington Rovers, and Osbaldwick FC.

He has had numerous highlights in his sporting career, from gaining back-to-back promotions to winning county cups. But his favourite moment in football so far was representing York City FC at junior level until the age of 15.

Chris usually plays in the centre of midfield but can also play further forward.

He also plays cricket for Woodhouse Grange CCin the North Yorkshire Premiership which shows how seriously he takes his sport.

Charlie Clamp
Midfield

Lives in York with his partner and 3 month old baby boy. Works in Insurance for Aviva.

He has previously played for Leeds United, Bradford Park Avenue, Cadiz (Spain), Farsley Celtic, and Harrogate Railway.
His favourite moment with Selby Town was beating Tadcaster Albion 2-0 to make the final of the West Riding Cup, which will be played against his old club Farsley Celtic!
He’d choose football manager over FIFA or PES, and is a big fan of Paul Scholes.

Charlie’s claim to fame is winning the first team bleep test at Leeds United, relegating Robert Snodgrass into 2nd!

Charlie plays in midfield with the number 8 shirt.

Harry Bissett
Forward

Harry lives in York, and is currently studying sports and coaching.

He has previously played for Dringhouses.

Harry’s best time so far with Selby Town was stepping up to take a penalty in Selby’s win over Bradford Park Avenue in the West Riding County Cup – a penalty he calmly put away, helping to win the game.

He is 100% a FIFA player, and thinks he is the uncrowned FIFA king, something Ben Lock might dispute?

Harry’s proud of the fact that when his dad (former footballer Nick Bissett) played at Old Trafford in the FA Cup, he ‘tore Ryan Giggs to shreds’ – good man!

Harry is a forward and usually wears the number 17 shirt.

Carl Stewart
Forward - Sponsored by Blu Skye Villas

Carl is a striker and wears the number 10 shirt.

At 28, Carl has had experience at a high level with a number of clubs, most recently Tadcaster Albion and Pickering Town, Carl will be ideal support for our leading scorer’s Liam Flanagan and Joe Dale.

He works in York as a ground worker.

His greatest moment in football was scoring against his home city on Boxing Day, and then playing the reverse fixture on New Years Day in front of 4,000.

A Fifa player, Carl’s footballing icon is Gazza – a true, passionated Englishman.

Carl is kindly sponsored by LR Joinery.

Liam Flanagan
Centre Forward - Sponsored by Ultimate Roofs

Liam works as a painter and decorator and has previously played for Chesterfield.

His favourite moment for selby was “probably scoring 3 goals in the quarter finals against Halifax Town”, as well as scoring the second goal against Tadcaster Albion which put the game out of Tadcaster’s reach, leading to Selby Town progressing to the final of the West Riding County Cup,

Liam is a FIFA player and his favourite player is Javier Hernandez. It is unknown as to whether his FIFA skills are as good as his Selby Town playing career, but he holds the honour of scoring the 3000th goal in Selby Town’s long history, a fantastic achievement.

Liam is a centre forward and wears the number 9 shirt.

Kindly Sponsored by Ultimate Roofs

Josh Walker
Forward - Sponsored by Unicorn Flying Club

Josh is kindly sponsored for 2019/20 by the Unicorn Flying Club